Clearly, as the Lord has been leading me to write, the most favorable times of the supposed “church age” have passed. Respected observers including Voice Of The Martyrs have been tracking the intensifying hostility and hatred toward as well as persecution of Christians around the globe. In the mix, God is carrying out His millennia ago announced judgment in His house, sifting out faithful from professed Christians among ancient cultures in their lands; separating them from familiar religious structures that are being destroyed. In America, churches are not only dying, but the legal fracture between church and state has become a widening chasm in only a generation as anti-Christians from all persuasions reject the national primacy of Christianity as biblical or manmade religion in every form.
While the handwriting is on the wall for the prophetically foretold hate-filled, anti-Christian sentiment of these latter days to flash over into severe persecution in America as it has and does marching across the planet (Matthew 24:9), many pastors continue to pursue their ambitious church expansion plans in what can only be described as empire building. As the Lord led, I warned in the introduction to the August 16, 2015 blog repost, “Finding God’s Lost Book,” under the category, Call To Repent, such plans driven by the male ego need for leaving a legacy are doomed to come crashing down in God’s judgment! I gave this warning with the following 2012 Commentary I wrote for The Strong Man Of God Monthly Newsletter also in mind that serves as my blog post today.
Originally Published December 2012
It is all the rage today. From corporate chieftains to entertainers, city planners and pimps empire building has migrated from its once exclusive domain among megalomaniac military conquerors and despotic rulers to the common man. Not to be outdone are many pastors and Ministry leaders across America that live for nothing but how to enlarge their name recognition, power, influence and affluence through empires of expanse, brick and mortar. I confess that I am no stranger to such notions and write this as the Spirit leads to myself as much as to fellow servants of God as a warning from the Lord not to go there. For those that have already, our Lord calls you to repent!
As the Lord led me to write in the December 2011 Commentary, The Ambition Of Men, ambition is in man from God as part of our natural make up in being made in the divine image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27; 5:1-2).1 God is nobly ambitious! Therefore, in and of itself ambition is not evil. Empire building grows out of the God ordained ambition in men to rule, accomplish, build and expand in doing so. As sinners, the corruption of our hearts due to sin influences our motives and causes us not to be concerned about how we empire build (even criminally) or who we hurt in the process. This is evil. In sin, the selfish ambition of men to empire build is of pride and personal glory.
Sinful men of visionary leadership and selfish ambition have historically built great empires. To this day, the world empires of ancient Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece led by Alexander the Great and Rome remain classic studies in empire building. These empires all have in common that they rose and fell in time; their ruins litter the grounds they once stood on. Indeed, God Almighty promises a similar and cataclysmic fate for all the kingdoms of this world with their proudly built structures and monuments to human achievement near the glorious appearing of His King, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 2:10-22, 13:6-13; Daniel 2:24-45; Revelation 6:12-17, 11:15-18)!
The foregoing all being true, it completely amazes me that beginning with the Catholic Church centuries ago and among churches, denominations and ministries of every sort to this hour, ambitious men in the cause of "doing great things for God" labor diligently to build religious empires. These empires are complete with territorial expansion goals and all of the outward splendor and glory of structures men can create in an effort to leave a lasting legacy of their proud achievements. Did these men not get God’s memo from His Word? Every lofty construction of men and mountain is to be brought down close to Christ's return (Revelation 16:17-20, 17:1-6, 15-18:24)!
Many pastors and Ministry leaders reason, of course, that we do not know precisely when the Lord will return. So, buildings of function must be built to serve the needs of the Body of Christ until that Day. True. But this is not what is happening today in many cases as extravagant budgets and fundraising efforts are put into constructing buildings reminiscent of the acclaimed opulence of Vatican holdings to enlarge what are called "campuses." This would not be so bad if it really were all for God’s glory. In truth, many churches especially are expanding their empires to gratify the egos of pastors that see themselves as singularly able to draw and keep crowds. This is pride and arrogance at work.
What a stark contrast to our Lord Jesus! Though He owned and was surrounded by glorious splendor beyond the finite human mind to imagine and possessed a foretold destiny of greatness superior to any other (Isaiah 9:6-7), He allowed Himself to be born in a smelly animal stable to serve the purposes of God (Luke 2:4-7). In so serving, He wore the common clothes of His people and had no residence of His own (Luke 9:57-58). He washed the feet of and allowed Himself to be crucified for sinners. He died having built no buildings or monuments to Himself. However, He rose from the dead and ascended to God in glory leaving behind a legacy of affected disciples.
Those first disciples were and we nearly two millennia later are to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and His Kingdom; making new disciples that form the only thing He vowed to build: His Church (Matthew 16:15-18)! Besides our immortal glory at the resurrection and crowns of reward, the disciples we make in obedience to Christ's commission (Matthew 28:18-20) are the only enduring legacy of our earth sojourn for we shall behold them forever (2 Corinthians 1:12-14; Philippians 2:14-16, 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20)! Thus, with His attitude and promise of reward, we labor to enlarge Christ’s eternal Empire in the hearts of men (Philippians 2:3-11). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 This Commentary was posted March 11, 2018 under the category, The Cause. I also address the issue of ambition discussed in that Commentary as well in my book,
The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
How plainly narcissistic are the many demonically inspired and patently false doctrines flowing from numerous pulpits and media labeled Christian exposed in the illumination of God’s current and escalating judgment in His house! Yet again in history people claiming a connection to God must decide who speaks the truth from Him between the prophets of peace and prosperity that proclaim with zeal, “It’s your season” or those such as me calling for repentance while in real time judgment unfolds among dying churches? Since the Bible shows the immutable God consistently vindicating the prophets of judgment, the decision should be easy, but sin deceives and destroys in all seasons!
Today, megachurches are built on ear itch relief teaching as foretold that falsely has God always graciously blessing and bringing folk into their selfish season of prosperity--who would not want to hear that all of the time if it were so (2 Timothy 4:3-4)? Truly, God is gracious to bless His people sold out to Him and His cause in the Gospel beginning in their souls and despite whatever else they may lack (Philippians 4:10-14; 3 John 1-4); for Christ died on the cross to completely save sinners, impoverished souls with no hope of accessing the riches of spiritual life available in God alone (Matthew 5:3). This truth is true for believers in any nation and economy on earth!
Notwithstanding the deceitful preaching by so many of my male and female contemporaries, I declare as the Lord has commanded: repent, judgment is not for some future time far removed, but is now in progress and intensifying (Ezekiel 12:21-28)! In line with the experience of prophets such as Jeremiah who had to also contend with the contrary message of false prophets and the apostle Paul’s charge to Timothy, I stand knowing what is received as negative has never been popular and certainly is not in today’s “be happy” world (Jeremiah 6:10-15, 8:10-12; 2 Timothy 4:1-2). With the world, in fact, the very mention of the word “sin” is considered negative by many professing Christians.
Indeed, professing American Christians and those in other Western nations at this hour are not the first thinly religious people to so enjoy the pleasures of sin that they find the divine call to repentance and warning of judgment repulsive (Jeremiah 5:10-13, 28:1-17). Ancient Israel was repeatedly called to repentance and warned by her faithful prophets, but chose to ignore, persecute and murder them (Jeremiah 25:1-7, 38:1-6; Matthew 23:29-36). As the Lord Jesus points out in contrast to Israel rejecting Him--the greatest of all prophets, mighty pagan Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah (Matthew 12:38-42)! Outwardly religious Israel had the Son of God crucified.
Similarly, Foxe’s Book Of Martyrs details professing Christians and their manmade Christianity the religion have a history on par with Israel on this score. Unregenerate men more devoted to their invented forms and doctrines of Christianity have barbarically and hideously put to death those they considered heretics including the faithful souls God raised up to call them to repentance. Though they presently do not murder physically as a general rule, denominational leaders, pastors, elders and churches that resist God’s call to repentance for whatever motives do so now by maligning, shunning as outcasts and treating with hostile contempt those He sends to them as I am a witness.
Even so, hear now, this summary Word of the Lord from Ezekiel 13 to the sixth century BC “foolish prophets” of Israel that reverberates in application down to the false prophets, prophetesses and teachers of peace and prosperity in this twenty-first century (NKJV). Woe to you! You prophesy out of your own heart; having seen no vision from God, you express what has come from your own spirit in falsehood and futility. He did not send you and you lie on Him that He has spoken to you for the sake of money. The Lord’s hand is against you. Unless you repent, your name will not be written down with the righteous because you have seduced His people with your false messages and teaching of peace and prosperity to enrich yourself.
With your lies you have built a spiritually weak wall for those that follow you. This is a wall that will collapse from the storms of God’s judgment in His house and the world. Being no respecter of persons, the Lord will not spare the women either who have boldly stepped up to claim their right to speak and be heard before and in all authority over the assembly; lying on God to say He called you to do this and making Him a party to confusion and sin (1 Corinthians 14:29-37; 1 Timothy 2:11-14). Together with your male counterparts, it is your season; your season to experience the judgment of the holy God who judges us in accord with our works ostensibly born of faith, love and obedience (Jeremiah 17:9-10; John 14:15; Romans 2:5-11)! Be certain that with dying churches, your foolishness will die also.
There will be no peace in the world during this present, evil milieu except within the faithful Christian (Isaiah 26:3-4; John 14:27, 16:33); the Western economic system that made material prosperity possible, drawing to its inevitable end as well (Isaiah 24:1-13; Matthew 10:34-39, 24:7; Revelation 6:5-6). Not until the Lord, the Prince of Peace returns will there be thorough and lasting global peace and prosperity (Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-9)! Greatly blessed are the gray headed that largely fill the relative few faithful Western churches that remain. They now depart home in peace and the prosperity of their souls; removed from the troubles ahead (Psalm 116:15; Isaiah 26:20-21, 57:1-2). Let the younger faithful prepare by coming to the way of the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of our Lord Jesus Christ and the soon coming revival fire of the Holy Spirit!
Strong Man Of God Resources
Get Your Copy Of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics
Your purchase supports restoring men, families and communities through Strong Man Ministries!
Purchase It Now