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Questions & Answers

Flagellants

First posted: August 11, 2009

Word received by: Shamah-Elim Bible Studies

 

 

52 days after we posted the train of thought entitled "Should we continue?", we received an email from a visitor who responded to that posting by making the following basic declarations:

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It was "silly" for this writer to even consider "not continuing" because we are servants of God.

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The low amount of offerings for this website was our fault because we needed to actively request them; the visitor then suggested some ideas that would require donations in order to have access to certain content on the website.

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The Bible teaches that we are to suffer and endure lack, and this writer should learn to accept that.

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This website's audience "will never be wide and deep".

 

Obviously, our intention is not to publicly embarrass this visitor. Because of this, we are not going to post the actual email text, but we feel the Lord's prompting to post our reply to him, a reply that the Lord processed for 8 days within my heart before I sat down to write it out in one long sequence. For the sake of simplicity, and in order to preserve his anonymity, we will refer to the visitor as "Mr. F". Please bear in mind that, as we refer to "Mr. F" throughout this posting, we are not just referring to him per se but to the spirit that prompted him to make the statements he made. In that sense, therefore, we are speaking not only to a single individual but to all believers whose heart harbours a similar spirit.

 

The basic questions we are addressing through the words in this post are the following:

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Are the basic points stated by Mr. F spiritually valid?

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What spirit is behind these words and how does it relate to spiritual events in the latter days?

 

The Lord prompted us to post this word, not only to point out relevant spiritual issues that surface as you delve into the questions above, but also so that you may see a "case study" of a battle of words and arguments between the soul and the spirit. We pray that, as you read this post, you may grow in your understanding of the methodologies that souls use in order to woo spirit-centric believers off course. In a sense, this post illustrates a brief anatomy of soulish arguments and how they contradict spiritual thinking, despite the fact that they sound so "right on" on the outside.

 

I must warn you that our reply is at times rather harsh and abrasive, but, as we said to the visitor, the reason for this is that these words "are intended to break through years and years of misconceptions that have built up" in believers' minds, like hard-water stains on bathroom tiles that cannot be removed without harsh scrubbing. These misconceptions are present not only in the mind of the visitor who wrote but in the minds of many believers who are rather well meaning but who, without knowing it, are holding on to subtle fallacies that are greatly hindering God's work on Earth.

 

FALLACY #1: A servant is never told to be silent

The visitor wrote, "Of course you must continue, don't be silly. We are servants". He then immediately contradicts himself by adding, "We do what we are assigned until relieved". How can Mr. F simplistically dismiss all that I wrote with a simple and rather patronising "don't be silly"? How can Mr. F assume that I could never be relieved of the ministerial function I have been carrying out? Is he God? Is he my master? Am I Mr. F's servant instead of God's? Isn't God the one who would decide if I get relieved of my current duties and am assigned to something else or if my time in this world is up? How can Mr. F so simplistically assume that what he deems best is what God will deem best? How can Mr. F assume that, if God told someone to carry out task X, that person will have to carry out task X for the rest of his/her life? When God told Elijah to abide by the brook Cherith (1 Kings 17:2-9), was he supposed to stay there for the rest of his life? When the brook dried up, was it a lack of faith on Elijah's part when he got up and left that place? Of course not! Based on the spirit of Mr. F's words, I can safely say that, had Mr. F been with Elijah then, he would have tried to convince him to stay there and to continue trusting God for more food and provision at that place; Mr. F would have added that suffering was part of God's calling, meaning that the hardship Elijah was now encountering by the brook Cherith was part of his calling.

 

As Paul preached to the Jews, he came to the realisation that they would not listen (Acts 28:17-29). He then stopped talking to them. Had Mr. F been with Paul, he would have said to him, "Your audience will never be wide and deep", and he would have added, "You must carry out your duty and continue preaching to your people because you are doomed to perennial rejection and suffering, and, after all, they are your brothers in the natural!". Yet, Scripture clearly bears out that Paul did the right thing when he became silent towards the Jews. He felt utterly relieved of his duty to speak to them. Just because he felt the calling to speak to them for a season did not mean that God would have him doing it forever. If there was no reaction to the investment, Paul was under a spiritual obligation to stop investing!

 

When Jesus would send the disciples in two's into the cities, He would tell them to stop their preaching in a city if there was no one there to receive them (Luke 10:10-16). Just because they had been sent to preach there did not mean that they had to stay there and preach for the rest of their lives. They were aware that they would come under judgement themselves if they refused to walk out of the city, wipe the dust off their sandals, and pronounce curse judgements against that city. Were these acts of "city rejection" and "ministerial work stoppage" an act of faithlessness? Was it a sign of servants abdicating their duties? Don't be silly, Mr. F! Of course not!

 

When God became angry at Israel, to the point that He stopped speaking to them for 400 years (prior to Jesus' birth), was God wrong? When God instructed all of His prophets to go silent for 400 years, was He making a mistake? Were His servants wrong for not audibly speaking out any longer? Were God's prophets during those 400 years of silence wrong for not continuing the public exercise of the prophetic ministry in Israel? Don't be silly, Mr. F! Of course not! Yet, from the words that Mr. F wrote in his email, it is evident that his heart does not believe that God ever tells His servants to go silent, even when His words go unappreciated and are left for rubbish in the streets, with only but a single-digit few (Genesis 18:32) interested in picking them up. The God of Scripture dares to contradict Mr. F's soul, however, as shown by the following words:

 

"11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it." (Amos 8:11-12)

 

These words appear exactly 1 chapter before Amos 9:11, which speaks of the restoration of the tabernacle of David. In other words, prior to the manifestation of the latter-day restoration, judgement must come against those who squander the words of wisdom that He is revealing prior to His full manifestation. They must experience the sorrow of not being able to hear His words. They must be made to long for His words, for He will not reveal Himself to people who will not appreciate His manifestation.

 

Unlike what souls such as Mr. F's so clearly believe, God does not waste His time sowing forever in fields that do not respond to His investment. God holds you and others accountable for your reaction to His word. There is responsibility not only on the part of the "word giver" but also the "word receiver". If the word receiver squanders the opportunity to grow, the door will close on him, and the word giver will be around no more to give the word.

 

"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." (Matthew 7:6)

 

"4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned." (Hebrews 6:4-8)

 

Mr. F's soul was more willing to feel offended by the word giver going silent than by the word receiver dismissing God's word. In that sense, Mr. F was acting as one who is first inclined to condemn the weak teacher for losing his patience with rebellious students, rather than judging the students for their rebellion. Aren't God's people supposed to be His servants too? Why, then, wasn't Mr. F's soul more outraged at the servants who squander His words of wisdom, caring for His words as much as they would rubbish in the street? Isn't Mr. F's soul aware that there are consequences for belittling God's pearls, and that one of those consequences is that the pearls will stop getting produced?

 

FALLACY #2: We should be actively requesting donations

Mr. F claimed in his email that people were not offering because we were not actively requesting offerings. The email went so far as to offer worldly schemes to request and secure offerings from the brethren. By saying this, his soul is clearly showing that it does not yet understand how things operate under the New Covenant paradigm, despite all that we share in detail regarding the New Covenant on this website. The Old Covenant operates under external compulsion; the New Covenant operates by internal promptings of the Spirit. By telling us to gather offerings through raw external compulsion, Mr. F's soul was telling us to act like an Old Covenant ministry, and, if we were to do such an unwise thing, we would begin to produce Old Covenant spiritual fruit, making the word yielded by us no different than the blasé and banal word yielded by most other ministries. If people need to be "pressured" into giving, then they are not worthy of New Covenant word, and there would be no point in spending any effort producing it for them. Many souls, including Mr. F's, do not yet understand what the New Covenant and what true tithing is about, despite the fact that we have shared extensively on it in this website.

 

To defend his argument about actively requesting donations, Mr. F quoted the verse that says "Ask and ye shall receive". Biblical as his argument may sound, it is deeply flawed for many reasons. Consider the following: Didn't the Israelites ask for flesh in the desert, and, didn't they receive the flesh they asked for when God sent thousands of quails their way (Numbers 11)? But was what they received good for them? Didn't a great multitude die that day as judgement from God for asking for the wrong thing? Yes, the Bible does say, "Ask and ye shall receive", but that does not automatically justify that which we ask for, and receiving it from God does not necessarily make it profitable for us. "All things are lawful for me, but all things edify not" (1 Corinthians 10:23). As we have shared before, wide-gate believers ask for things according to their own desires; narrow-gate believers restrict their requests to those things that can fit within the narrow gate of God's will and judgements.

 

{It is worth noting that, in the original text, the word for "quail" used in Numbers 11 is the Hebrew word selav, which is derived from the Hebrew word shala meaning "to be at rest, prosper, be at ease". Therefore, when used in a negative sense, the Hebrew word for "quail" speaks of people who settle, who become comfortable with a certain level of understanding and who see further growth as unnecessary.}

 

The above, therefore, prompts the following question: Since Mr. F was telling us to "ask in order to receive", what exactly does he think we are hoping to receive? If what we are hoping to receive is "cold, hard cash", he would be right; we haven't asked enough, and we should devise more strategies to get people to send their money. Yet, what God is hoping to receive from the investment He is making through us is the internal obedience and sacrifice of His people. He wants to reap a people who can listen to the still voice of the Spirit and follow it. Thus, making overt requests and implementing overt money-gathering strategies would defeat the very purpose of what God wants to reap through our sowing.

 

If you read Matthew 21:22, which speaks of asking and receiving, you will see that the Lord adds a caveat: It must be asked with a "believing" heart, which begs the question: Didn't Paul ask for the thorn in his flesh to be removed three times (2 Corinthians 12:7-9), and can't we be confident that Paul truly believed that God could remove it? Why, then, did God not remove the thorn? Because, when Jesus said "believing" in Matthew 21:22, He meant "believing His word regarding the matter that we brought up to Him in prayer". When God said "No" to Paul three times, Paul "believed" that it was the best thing for him, and he desisted from the matter; he then "believed" that God would provide the grace required to endure the thorn. He believed that God had a much higher purpose for him, and that that purpose required the thorn to remain. Since his heart's request for God's full purposes was stronger than his soul's request for temporary healing, he began to ask more loudly for God's purposes to be fulfilled, and he stopped asking for the thorn to be removed; and, since he asked "believing", God's fuller purposes were fulfilled in his life, as Matthew 21:22 promised. He asked for a higher purpose, and he received it.

 

The above principle is also seen in John 16:23-24, which speaks of receiving that which we ask the Father for in the Son's name. To ask for something "in His name" does not mean ending the prayer with the phrase "In Jesus' name, amen". As you may know, "names" in Scripture speak of the nature of the person bearing the name. That is why God would reveal different names for Himself, such as Jehovah Tsidkenu, Jehovah Shamah, and Jehovah Rapha. God did not reveal these names so that people would know the names that appear on His driving licence! He revealed them to expose qualities about His character and nature. Since a son takes on the nature of his father, we can conclude that to ask for something "in the Son's name" means to ask with an attitude that is completely aligned with the Father's will and character. This fact is emphasised by everything that the Lord says in the verses before and after John 16:23-24.

 

A third major flaw in Mr. F's "ask and receive" argument is that it is directed at asking the brethren, not God. Yet, both verses that speak of asking and receiving (Matthew 21:22 and John 16:24) focus on asking GOD in PRAYER, not on going around asking others. God may call us to ask others for things, but this will come after we have asked Him in prayer first. When Nehemiah's heart was grieved about Jerusalem and he brought the matter up before God, God opened the door for him to ask the king for provisions to restore Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:11), and he only had to ask but once for the earthly king to provide (he did not have to pressure the king day after day). When I asked the Lord regarding America's spiritual indifference, He prompted me to write the word posted on 1 June 2009, and He even told me the exact date when the word was to be posted (a week or two in advance), along with the exact date when I had to go to New York, which led to the series of events detailed on that posting. At no point did He tell me to pressure people into donating. Anyone who visits this website can see the "Offerings" link, which has been there for years (literally), along with the "Donate" button. Anyone with a God-birthed desire to give could give at any time. God did not see a need to make the "donation option" any more forceful.

 

A fourth major flaw (related to third flaw) in Mr. F's "ask and receive" argument is that it seeks to find natural means to solve an inherently spiritual issue. Mr. F's soul is telling me (before God's presence) to rely on Egypt's chariots, which are a figure of earthly Old-Covenant methodologies, to achieve God's spiritual purposes:

 

"Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!" (Isaiah 31:1)

 

In that sense, therefore, Mr. F's soul behaved like Sarai when she asked Abraham to go lie with Hagar the Egyptian because the "son of the promise" was taking too long to be produced through spiritual means (Genesis 16:1-2). Mr. F acted like an Israelite telling Joshua to attack Jericho directly instead of wasting time "beating around the bush", marching around the city 13 times for no good reason at all. Mr. F acted like a soldier telling Gideon to "attack the Midianites already!!" with the 10,000 men instead of wasting time surveying how the soldiers "drink their water" (Judges 7:3-7). Mr. F acted like a disciple telling Jesus that He would do more good for the world by staying alive and preaching to the rebellious people than by allowing himself to be silenced in death and Sheol by the people who did not appreciate the word in Him.

 

As we said above, our interest is not to "reap money from the brethren". That is not what we are after. Otherwise, Mr. F's earthly suggestions would make sense. Instead, we are out to reap submission in the hearts of believers to God's invisible voice, and that goes way beyond the issue of money. We are interested in the brethren, not their money. We are interested in imparting recognition of God's invisible "exousia", not in reinforcing worldly paradigms of external compulsion. This recognition of God's invisible "exousia" includes honouring those who are worthy of honour (1 Timothy 5:17, Romans 13:7-10), but our end goal is not honour for us but obedience to God.

 

FALLACY #3: God does not survey people

The words in Mr. F's email are built around the basic argument that God's instructions for His servants do not vary according to the attitudes of the people they are sent to. Otherwise, his mind would conceive the possibility that God could call us to "stop the presses" if people are not "buying the newspaper". God is constantly conducting "spiritual surveys", weighing people's hearts and issuing instructions to His army based on the results of those "surveys". Consider, for example, what happened during the days of Samuel. When God surveyed the hearts of the Israelites and determined that they wanted a king just like all the other nations, God went to Samuel and said to him, "Your days as a judge of this people are over; they are asking for an earthly king, so they shall receive one, but I shall not be happy with this nation, for, in asking for an earthly king and rejecting you, they are rejecting Me as their invisible king" (Judges 8). This exposes the two fallacies described above: For one, it proves that it is not wise to ask for certain things, even if you will receive them; and, second, it shows that God does tell His servants to stop carrying out certain duties based on people's reactions to them. Since the people of Israel did not appreciate what Samuel was doing on their behalf, God told him not to do it anymore. How, then, dare anyone be so bold as to state that God would never tell us (or anyone, for that matter) to stop posting on the website based on people's response to what is posted? Why would anyone be so foolish as to tell God that He cannot survey people's hearts and tell His servants to stop carrying out an activity based on His survey's results?

 

Fellow believer, as you read all of this, I pray that you see how dangerous it is to give advice to others on what they must do, especially if that advice is based on simplistic spiritual clichés that sound good on the outside but are actually contradictory to Scripture. Mr. F's advice was given with a great sense of certainty, as if he were speaking "certified truth". This sense of certainty can be deceiving at times, for it can lead you to believe that the other person is indeed speaking on the Lord's behalf. However, as you listen to other people's advice, you must be on the lookout for clues to determine whether the person is speaking in the Spirit or the soul. You must put the person's advice to the fire of God's Scriptural truth, and you must ask, "Is this advice consistent with God's nature as portrayed in Scripture? Has God ever done the opposite of what this person says God always does? Is this person basing his or her advice on Scriptural principles, or is the advice based on personal paradigms?" Even if he or she is using Scriptural passages, you must ask yourself, "Is he or she applying them correctly, and what consequences have come upon people in Scripture when they have followed the advice given by this person?" Do not ever be deceived by the "authority" or "conviction" with which the advice is given, and do not ever be deceived by the "seniority" or "reputation" of the person giving the advice. As you hear advice and attempt to discern its source, always bear in mind that soulish advice has one very revealing quality: It does not seek after all truth. In other words, the soul does not seek to exhaust all truth and possibilities; it is quick to ignore many of the facts presented before it, focusing solely on the facts that are appealing to it. It does not seek to determine whether its advice is consistent with all the facts at hand, nor does it try to determine if that advice has taken all the facts into consideration. Soulish advice tends to settle into "quail" comfort zones. The soul does not seek to grow into all truth, so it tends to give advice consistent with its comfort level, i.e.- consistent with the level of understanding it has settled into. The soul is (after a while) quite resistant to growth, and it is not too interested in either foolproof consistency or comprehensiveness.

 

FALLACY #4: God's servants must suffer forever

In his email, Mr. F foolishly and hastily stated categorical words that God will hold him very accountable for; these categorical words are the following: "Your audience will never be wide and deep". The offence here is not in what Mr. F said to me per se but, rather, in what he unwittingly said to God. These words reflect an atrocious level of prophetic blindness, showing that Mr. F's advice is not consistent with God's comprehensive truth.

 

As the Lord spoke to my heart in the days following the 1 June posting, He began to speak to me about the "flagellants", the people during the Middle Ages who went from town to town flagellating themselves during the Black Plague as a way to "pay for the sins of the people" that had caused such a scourge. We shared a little on these men in the follow-up posting "The Dramatic battle", but, to be honest with you, I was rather unclear about the spiritual meaning of these men and their spiritual connection to recent events in America's spiritual atmosphere. On 26 June, as I spoke over the phone with a sister from Europe, the message behind the "flagellants" became as clear as the light of day. It is as if the Lord suddenly unveiled before me one of the spirits that are presently hindering His full-blown manifestation in these latter days. The Lord had been shooting internal hints into my heart for several weeks, but it was only until that day that the message became plainly clear.

 

As you may know, the "flagellants" were well-meaning people. These men were devout believers in God, moral people who believed that the people in general were committing grave sins against God and were displeasing Him. Yet, they operated under a fatal flaw: the idea that suffering equals holiness. This flawed principle leads to spiritually deviant behaviour such as that of monks who isolate themselves in monastery bubbles of earthly limitation and holiness as proof that they love God. As we clearly detail in postings such as "The anti-isolation revelation", this attitude of "ascetic holiness" is an abomination to God, and it is a clever deceit from satan intended on hindering God's purposes on Earth.

 

When the "flagellant" spirit grips well-meaning and faithful believers, it anaesthetises them to their suffering, making them unable to discern the purpose behind the suffering. As long as they are suffering, they perceive that they are faithfully carrying out their ministry, and they measure the validity of a decision based on the amount of sacrifice it requires. Scripture does show that those who serve God will indeed suffer (and those who visit this website regularly know that we believe this), but what the flagellant misses is that God does not send us to suffer per se ... He sends to achieve a purpose, to fulfil an intended goal. Yes, we will suffer as we struggle to achieve the purpose God sent us for, but that is not the goal in and of itself. Our service will not be measured by how much we suffered but by how much of God's intended goals we were able to achieve. God will clearly not hold us accountable if the goal was not achieved due to the failings of others, but He will definitely hold us accountable for the parts in those goals we were responsible for. The reason why "flagellants" tend to forget this is because they become too used to the fact that they are "servants of God", forgetting that they are "sons of God". Unlike an indentured servant, a son is told the reason why he is being sent to a given place to carry out a certain activity. He becomes aware of the Father's motivation for sending him there, and he becomes aware of what God's future plans are. Unlike an employee, whose only concern is to do what he is told, the son becomes emotionally invested in the desires of his father's heart. A son who is working in his father's company will become frustrated if he is sent to close an important deal with another company, for example, and the deal falls through because of issues with the other company. An employee will not care why his employer is interested in closing that deal; he does not care what his employer plans to do once the deal is closed; as long as he is doing his part, the rest is utterly irrelevant to him. An employee will never say, "My employer and I are one". He will not share in his employer's vision and purposes. By contrast, a son will feel emboldened to say, "The father and I are one" (John 10:30, John 17:21). He will see the other company's rejection of his father as if they had rejected him (1 Samuel 8:7, Hosea 4:6, Galatians 4:14). The frustration of his father's purposes by to the stubbornness of others will frustrate him. Why? Because, as a son, he knows he is an heir, and he knows that all that is his father's is his (Romans 8:17, Luke 15:31). He may be on the payroll just like any other employee, but he will see his father's business in a completely different light, because his love for his father will unite him to his vision. An employee may not feel emboldened to ask his employer why he is sending him to a given meeting; a son will. A son will be interested in knowing what his father sees down the road. He will want to know what his vision is for the company, and he will somehow come to understand why certain deals are important to his father and why others are not.

 

"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." (John 15:14)

 

As I have walked with the Lord all these years, my soul has become pregnant with a vision from Him. Why? Because, just as I see Him as My Lord and Master, I see Him as my Father, and I see myself as His son and His friend. As He has had me on this journey filled with suffering, I am aware of the purpose behind it. My ministry will not be measured by the suffering I have endured per se (otherwise, I would have bought me a whip to strike myself on the back as "flagellants" do). Instead, I know that my ministry is intended to enable the manifestation of God's latter-day rain on Earth. That is why He has had me suffering for all these years. The suffering has not been to make me feel "holier". It has been to help achieve a specific purpose: the manifestation of God's Kingship over all the Earth and the subjugation (in Him) of all the soul forces on Earth under His feet so that heaven may "hold him back" no longer and He may be manifested on Earth:

 

"20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:20-21)

[The word "receive" in verse 21 was translated from the Greek verb dechomai, which can have the connotation of "a place receiving one" as a sign of hospitality. Jesus Christ was welcomed in Heaven because the Father's will reigns supreme in Heaven (Matthew 6:10), but He is not welcome on Earth because the soul's will reigns supreme on Earth. As is clearly shown by this passage, the Lord must remain in Heaven and cannot manifest Himself on Earth until "all things" are "restituted", meaning that a "purification process" must be carried out by God's people so that the Lord may be fully manifested and be welcomed back on Earth as the rightful King and Lord. God does not manifest Himself where He is not welcome. If a place refuses to welcome Him long enough, it shall only see a manifestation of His destructive judgement and nothing more; in such places, there will be no manifestation of the fullness of His personhood.]

 

"The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110:1)

 

"And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:22-23)

 

"For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." (1 Corinthians 15:25-28)

 

A flagellant believer does not understand the "end purpose" for all of the suffering in his or her ministry. Such a believer does not have the vision of the latter rain that is prophesied throughout Scripture. Such a believer does not see the outpouring of God's Kingship as coming from within man (Luke 17:20-21). A flagellant believer does not press his or her ear against the Lord's chest to hear what is beating in His heart and to know what He is longing to accomplish through us, what He is endeavouring to do through our suffering. This is why Mr. F was surprised that the Lord would have us post a word such as the one posted on 1 June.

 

Flagellants believe that all faithful believers are condemned to a ministry of failure and rejection until the day they die. Yet, they fail to understand that the last generation (the missing generation of Matthew 1) has been called to conquer what all the previous generations of remnant believers longed to conquer but were unable to. All these previous generations stand above us like a cloud of witnesses, waiting for us to complete the task so that they may enter into the fullness of their recompense, for they are aware that they cannot possess without us:

 

"They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 11:37-12:2)

 

Notice how Jesus did not suffer just for the sake of suffering. He suffered knowing perfectly well what His suffering was for (v2). As a son, He was aware of God's full plan, and He visualised the day when God's glory would fill the Earth. He knew that His suffering and death were instrumental in the releasing of that latter-day glory. He saw that day with His eyes, and He was glad. He was not a "visionless servant" suffering simply for the sake of suffering. He knew that there was a purpose, and He would become frustrated whenever that purpose was hindered by man. This is why Jesus scolded the disciples on occasions when they were too stubborn to understand His purposes. He did not see His ministry to the disciples as a mere "labour of suffering love". He knew that the Father's purpose for His time on Earth with them was not so that He could rack up "suffering points" on Earth. Instead, He knew that God's purpose for that time was so that they could mature into spiritual men and women who could conquer the Earth unto God. That is why He would scold them harshly when that purpose was not being fulfilled:

 

"He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me." (Matthew 9:19)

 

"Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (John 14:9)

 

"And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough!!!" (Luke 22:35-38)

 

Notice how exasperated the Lord became with them for not understanding that they were to fight with the sword of the Spirit, not the 2 swords of physical and emotional resources (which are the swords that Mr. F promoted in his email). To the flagellants who believe in stoic suffering, I ask:

What do you think we should do about Jesus' exasperation? Should we indict Him for losing His patience and for not be willing to "suffer some mo'", or should we indict the disciples for being hard of hearing?

 

Notice also how the Lord told them that the plan had changed: before, they were to go without a purse, a scrip, and shoes, but, now, they were to take their purse and their scrip with them, and they were to purchase a "sword" with their garments. Conditions had changed, and, now, they were to operate under a different scheme, so it is foolish to believe that God never tells His sons to stop doing a certain thing that He told them to do before.

 

When you ask flagellants what they perceive God wants to do down the road, they have no answer, not because the situation is too complex to discern, but because they simply do not care to know. They carry out visionless service, with no zeal for God's vision burning inside of them, no true understanding of what all the suffering is for. Since they are servants and not sons, they don't deem it necessary to know what is in the Father's heart. They do not care to know what causes His heart to burn like consuming fire. Whereas they may use the "ask and receive" principle to acquire material and emotional resources, they do not use it to learn the secrets of God and to understand what is truly going on in the spirit realm. As long as they are suffering in some ascetic setting, they are happy, and they couldn't care less what will happen in the spirit realm down the line. They are servants but not sons.

 

"The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." (Deuteronomy 29:29)

 

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3)

 

"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)

 

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." (Jeremiah 33:3)

 

The flagellating servant does not struggle to understand God's purposes. He is happy to operate in "purposeless darkness" because he does not deem himself worthy of knowing God's intentions. He wanders about, suffering from one day to another, without experiencing the frustration that comes with seeing God's purposes hindered in the spirit realm. He may have a zeal to sell his ascetic perspective to others, but he lacks the zeal for God's vision, and he has a hard time understanding that zeal when others manifest it. They have a hard time understanding "what all the fuss is about".

 

Back in the 1830s or 1930s, it would be "understandable" to expect God to tell us, "You will die in suffering and failure without seeing My visions fulfilled". However, we are not living in such times. These are truly the "end of the end times". We are the generation appointed to release the manifestation of God's Glory and Kingship on Earth. We are the generation that will finally take the Promised Land and enable all the past generations to share in the conquest that they died without enjoying. Abraham suffered as a wandering man in the land that was his; so did Isaac and Jacob. Jacob's descendants suffered a brief period of reprieve before going through 400 years of slavery. The generation that saw Moses defeat Pharaoh then wandered aimlessly for 38 years in the desert. The time came, however, when the land was to be taken. Unlike those with the flagellant spirit, Joshua did not say,

"Poor old us; our dominion will never be wide and deep. Our ancestors from Abraham onwards have all been wandering Jews with no place to call home. We have a tradition of suffering that we must continue, for we are God's servants, and that is what we are here for."

 

Instead, Joshua took the opposite attitude. He knew that the end of their wandering had come. They were the generation that would finally be able to possess the land that had been promised to Abraham. He did not take a "humble, poor old me" attitude. He knew that God does not prolong suffering forever (Isaiah 28:28-29). He knew that the time to conquer had come. Some flagellants might foolishly argue, "Well, I will possess when Jesus comes down from heaven to establish his kingdom", yet, to these fools the Lord declares the following,

"Did Joshua wait for Me to hand him the Promised Land on a silver platter? Why did he and My people have to fight for several years in order to possess it? Why didn't I simply wipe off all the Canaanite cities with plague so that they could walk in and possess the cities with no need to fight in My power? Why do I speak of a latter-day army in Joel? Why do I speak of a remnant that rises to possess in Obadiah? Why do I speak of a fearsome army in Habakkuk? Fools! Wasn't Joshua's heart filled with the zeal for victory as My heart is? Why, then, do you behave like self-defeated failures? Why do you expect Me to hand you the victory on a silver platter without understanding that I have called YOU to possess the land in Me. Didn't I tell Man when I created him that I had called him to establish dominion over the Earth, and wasn't My Son's sacrifice on the cross for the purpose of restoring that purpose? Why, then, do you speak like fools? Why, then, do you squander the sacrifice of My Son, reducing it to a mere escape from torment in hell?"

 

If you are going to "play", you should "play to win". People with a flagellant spirit are not worthy of God's latter-rain army because they pretend to be in the "game" without knowing where the goalposts lie.

 

FALLACY #5: It is always about the servant

When Mr. F read the 1 June posting, he took the attitude that the posting was about this writer's suffering and a simplistic wish of mine not to suffer any more. Without considering the facts that were being laid out in the post, he then judged this writer's alleged wish as "not being from God" because it didn't sound like the "pious thing to do". By focusing solely on my personal suffering and not seeing the bigger picture of what was being said, and by then trying to ordain "more suffering" over my life, he violated the principle laid out by the Spirit in the following passage:

 

"16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." (Colossians 2:16-23)

[Notice how those with the flagellant spirit become disconnected from the Head (v19), issuing "decrees of abstinence" on their own, without understanding what the Head is up to. Because they become disconnected from the Head, they fail to understand the principle of "continual growth and increase" (v19). They lose the vision of the stature that all believers must strive towards (Ephesians 4:13); as a result, they fail to experience the frustration of seeing other members of the Body not reaching the target stature, and they fail to discern a change in circumstances that results from the desired stature not being achieved in the allotted time.]

 

What Mr. F failed to understand is that the 1 June posting was not simply to describe my suffering! God prompted us to post that word as an indictment against believers for their spiritual indifference to His purposes. Yet, Mr. F allowed the flagellant spirit to simplistically turn our words against us, leading him to indict us, instead of joining with God in His indictment of His indifferent people (God's purpose behind indicting His people is to avert a great spiritual loss!). Mr. F's wrongful indictment was also caused by the fact that he misunderstood the posting's target audience. God did not direct the posting at the sinful world, or even at the religious Church. He directed it at the small audience of believers who know that the religious Church is wrong and who long for something different, but who aren't quite willing to break away with all of their old paradigms. He was speaking to "America's best", a small group of believers, i.e.- the "forever-small" audience that he simplistically sentenced us to. Unbeknownst to Mr. F, that small audience included him. However, instead of discerning God's indictment of old things that remained in his soul, he chose to indict the messenger.

 

Instead of sharing in God's anger against the indifference of America's best, Mr. F's soul chose to point the finger at us, in the same way that people in Liberia (who are "free" but remain "slaves") generally point the finger at the woman raped, accusing her of "bringing the rape upon herself", instead of becoming indignant against the rapists. As long as Mr. F's flagellant soul stubbornly continues to focus on my "convalescence" and "suffering" and not on his (and America's) responsibility in God's latter-day plans, he will continue to miss the point ... a point that God (not me) is trying to make. This is God's command to the flagellant souls: Stop patronising the voice of the Spirit! Stop blaming the victim and absolving yourselves!

 

Fellow believer, I have suffered throughout my life, at levels much deeper than Mr. F will ever know; I have encountered opposition and disbelief at levels that flagellant souls such as Mr. F's are not yet mature enough to discern; even so, I have soldiered on for years and years. Thus, the words in the 1 June posting are not the words of someone who is reluctant to suffer. They are part of God's indictment against hearts such as Mr. F's that feel that they are right with God and have yet to understand the "call to arms" that God is sending forth in the spiritual realm. Contrary to what Mr. F may think, my shouts are not the shouts of someone whose toe got stepped on! My shouts are the sounds of God's clarion call, yet most believers in America have been deaf to it. Why? Because they do not understand the nature of the war. Many of "America's best" may think, "I know we are in a war; I have been fighting all of my life". But, by saying that, they are just proving that they do not understand what war God is talking about! They do not understand what fighting God is referring to! It is not the war or fighting that they know! It is something totally different, and I sincerely wonder how long it will be before they will finally come to know what God is talking about. As long as they keep hiding behind their "good" and "humble" intentions, they will never know.

 

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." (Hosea 4:6)
 

Notice how the verse above warns about the potential loss of a generation.

 

FALLACY #6: God will never have a large audience

By saying to God that the audience of people who will submit to His word will forever be small and "not deep", Mr. F actually insulted God, for he said to Him,

"You will never take dominion of the Earth. Your judgements shall not fill the Earth as you said in Psalm 105:7; Your glory will not cover the Earth as the waters cover the sea; the days that You prophesied in Zechariah 8 are a lie; when You told us to establish judgements in the gate in Amos 5, you were telling us to waste our time, given that You are going to establish righteousness on Your own anyway; we are here simply to suffer and to get a few people to repeat the sinner's prayer before all is done"

 

This is God's reply to the flagellant souls:

 

"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." (Zechariah 8:20-23)

 

"Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph." (Amos 5:15)

 

Does the multitude in Zechariah 8 sound like an audience that is "small and not deep"? Either God is lying or the flagellant spirit that spoke through Mr. F is. Which should we believe? The basic question in the posting was,

"Will the small group of America's best finally step up and forge the manifestation of the word in Zechariah 8, or will those with the remnant spirit have to die with a small audience and wait (unnecessarily) for the next generation to finally step up?"

 

If those with the flagellant spirit truly cared about the souls that have yet to know Him, they would be longing for the large audience of Zechariah 8 to be manifested now, without having this generation perish without fulfilling its destiny for no good reason at all.

 

FALLACY #7: Anger = Overreacting

After we sent our reply to Mr. F, he responded that he was disappointed by the fact that we did not mention his intention to encourage us. In other words, our reply to him did not seem from the Spirit, according to him, because we seemed to be unaware that he sent his email to us with the intention to encourage us and to tell us to continue. Since his "good" intention did not get an "honourable mention" in our reply, he found grounds to question the spirit of our reply, and he once again attributed our words to my "pained" soul. In typical matriarchal-pastor fashion, he interpreted the behaviour of others in soulish terms, attributing anger in others to "troubled souls that have yet to heal from their hurting". Fellow believer, it is utterly frustrating to engage in a dialogue with people who have a strong matriarchal-pastor spirit because they will always see your words of judgement against them as mere manifestations of a sick and grieving soul. As matriarchal pastors, their intention is to soothe, to bring "peace and harmony" to the world, and anyone who is not in a state of sedated peace is exhibiting internal problems that must be resolved. Because of this "anti-anger shield" over their eyes (for lack of a better term), any non-trivial judgement pronounced by the Spirit against them is automatically bounced back at the spiritual person who issued the judgement. As you judge them in the spirit over things that their sedated eyes cannot easily discern, you always end up being the one judged, making it almost impossible to get through to them and to get them out of their sedated "quail" state. Because they tend to patronise others' souls, any person who judges them over spirit-centred issues that are foreign to their souls will automatically appear as "needy" in their eyes, and that "neediness" will seem even greater if they perceive a strong zeal behind your judgements, given that they associate "anger" with "sickness". This is the reason why the matriarchal media in America have been so quick to judge and condemn the vociferous Americans protesting against the Democrats' health care reform in recent town-hall meetings; instead of perceiving the issues being raised by these citizens, the biased pro-Democrat matriarchal media have resorted to labelling these citizens as "angry mobs" that must have some sort of personal problem. Obviously, there could be nothing wrong and worthy of outrage in what the well-meaning, liberal Democrats have to offer! Cursed be these patronising bastards! Cursed be arrogant and patronising baboons such as Charles Schumer, Barney Frank, and Barbara Boxer, and cursed be the liberal media who so willingly sacrifice their journalistic professionalism in order to place an umbrella of protection over them. Cursed be babi obama, the baboon king, for enabling and emboldening this congress of matriarchal baboons.

 

{Fellow believer, we strongly urge you to follow this link to read about baboons at wikipedia.org; we also urge you to read about babi.}

 

The soul-centred mindset has a tendency to measure righteousness using subjective, emotional parameters rather than objective and unbiased facts. Thus, if you have a "good heart" and mean to "do well", your actions cannot be labelled as "evil"; at most, they are mildly "misguided" and in no way worthy of an angry reaction. Scripture, however, reveals that God, who is Spirit, not soul (John 4:24), operates by a very different mindset. As we have studied before, when Moses was on his way to Egypt to fulfil God's mission for him, God suddenly appeared on the road he was on, and He stood in front of Moses to kill him!

 

"22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: 23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. 24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision." (Exodus 4:22-26)

 

Why would God want to kill Moses for wanting to go to Egypt to do "exactly" what God was telling him to do? Isn't that "overreacting" on God's part? Yet, as you read the story, it becomes evident that there was something that God had asked Moses to do, something that had been "pending" for a long, long time, but which Moses refused to do because he remained submitted to the more "compassionate" wishes of Zipporah's soul. Why would God want to kill Moses simply because his son was not circumcised? Wasn't God being a bit too "harsh" with the humble servant Moses? This passage illustrates the fact that judgements in the Spirit operate at a very different level from judgements in the soul. The spirit becomes outraged over things that the soul deems as "trivial" or "insignificant". It was necessary for Moses to break with all the matriarchal ties in his soul. He was on his way to Egypt to fight an eminently spiritual battle, a battle that he would have to fight in the spirit against very strong principalities and powers that feed off of allegiances of the soul. Had Moses gone on to Egypt without breaking his soul's matriarchal submission to his wife's desires, he would have arrived in Egypt a vulnerable man, and he would have been defeated at the end by the spiritual forces there (including the soulish currents within the Israelite people that were flowing in the underground, currents that eventually surfaced in the wilderness). As revealed by the words at the end of verse 23, Moses would have been unable to unleash the 10th plague on Egypt, meaning that his whole excursion into Egypt would have ended in failure, without the people of Israel being able to leave in freedom. God had been constantly reminding Moses of this issue in his soul for some time prior to his trip to Egypt, and it is evident that God was reminding both Moses and his wife of this issue as they headed for Egypt, as shown by the fact that both of them were quick to understand what God was so angry about. However, both of them pretended not to hear, and they thought that the issue would somehow "go away" and that God would eventually desist from the matter. This kindled God's anger even more, to the point that He wanted to kill him.

 

In his counter-reply, Mr. F also indicated that this writer was unreceptive to his criticism because I am in some way surrounded by "yes people". This could not be further from the truth, and it only serves to illustrate how the matriarchal soul always tries to pin the blame on the receptor of its misguided words, not on the source. Mr. F's soul was trying to convince itself into thinking, "The brother's poor little soul is still hurting, and that is why he snapped at me like that; besides, he is used to people agreeing with him all the time". Matriarchal souls are prone to guessing, to seeking a way to understand the indignant reaction of others without having to indict themselves. As I said to Mr. F, I wish people would always agree with me! I wish I was surrounded by a group of people that I could feel in total spiritual harmony with, people who shared my vision and I theirs. Yet, the reality has been the complete opposite. The fact that Mr. F missed the target on that one proves that he was still speaking from the soul, and not as a prophet, in his counter reply. When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, she knew that He was a prophet when He stated things about her personal life that He could not possibly know in the natural (John 4:18-19). Jesus was not guessing when He spoke to the Samaritan woman; the matriarchal soul that passes up for the voice of God always is.

 

How could Mr. F have even imagined that I am surrounded by "yes people", especially when I so explicitly stated the following in in the 1 June posting:

I have tried to find people, "Elishas", who will receive an impartation of the revelation anointing that is within me, but, to this day, I have found no takers. How I wish that I could look around me and see hundreds of people declaring the same things I am declaring, independently receiving the same type of revelation word that I have received! How I wish to see myself as part of a great army, and not as a lonely voice that is at best mildly heard.

 

This is clear evidence that Mr. F's soul read the words in that posting without reading them. He heard without listening. He saw without beholding. The matriarchal soul subconsciously refuses to absorb the words that in one way or another indict her spiritually for not seeking after a higher purpose that she deems unnecessary and irrelevant. People with matriarchal souls don't want to be an "Elisha". They don't care to be one. They do not care for a spiritual impartation that will enable them and others to fulfil God's end-time purposes. They are comfortable with their current spiritual understanding and with the current manifestation of the Spirit on Earth. Being a flagellant, Mr. F's soul is happy with a monastic desert life, herding a few sheep in the wilderness, and he doesn't care to hear what that burning bush in the distance has to say. As far as he is concerned, the bush is burning out of natural anger, not supernatural zeal.

 

As you may have discerned so far, soulish people (including soulish believers) turn all arguments into a subjective, soap-opera battle of emotions and feelings. By contrast, spirit-centred people engage in discussions of objective facts and ideas. Soulish believers turn discussions into a "You hurt my feelings; don't you see that I love you? Why do you hate me?" type of discussion. In such exchanges, the "righteousness" of your argument is determined by how "loving" and "sensitive" you are. Any expression of anger or forceful emotional conviction based on solid (and very incriminating) facts is automatically labelled as "evil" because it breaks the soul's paradigm, exposing her to the truth, like a naked woman exposed to the cold of winter. When the soul sees her mink coat of emotionalism torn through and shrivelled to bits, she feels betrayed, and, instead of repenting, she lashes back with indignation that is centred around her emotions, not the facts.

 

FALLACY #8: The intention is what counts

As we said above, Mr. F believes that, if our reply was really written in the Spirit, we would have made an honourable mention of his intention to encourage us. Yet, as the saying goes (and as Scripture bears out), the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Consider, for example, when Nicodemus went to see Jesus. Nicodemus was probably the only major teacher of those days who was willing to admit in his heart that Jesus was indeed from God. Yet, if you read John 3, you will notice that Jesus was rather harsh with him, saying words that would have made anyone feel "dumb" or "stupid":

 

"10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness." (John 3:10-11)

[The word "master" was mistranslated from the Greek word didaskalos, which actually means "teacher"]

 

Instead of congratulating Nicodemus for at least having the good intention of speaking to Him, and, instead of having a nice and friendly "get-to-know-each-other" conversation with him, Jesus chose to confront him for his inability to understand spiritual language, pointing out that his title of eminent "teacher of Israel" was apparently not helping much. As you may see, Jesus also points out that Nicodemus' heart was unwilling to receive the witness of the Spirit (v11). Wasn't that a harsh thing to say to a man who was risking his reputation amongst the religious elite of Israel by going to Jesus and trying to listen to Him? Fellow believer, Nicodemus' intentions were indeed "good" when he sought to speak to Jesus in person, yet the Lord was calling him to do more.

 

Scripture is rather poignant about the fact that Nicodemus went to see Jesus at night (John 3:2, John 7:50, John 19:39), which is a way of embarrassing him for his cowardice. Instead of praising him for even wanting to talk to Jesus, the Spirit takes the time to emphasise that he did it in cowardice. God abhors attitudes that beget half-way commitment. It was necessary for God to be somewhat harsh towards Nicodemus in order to break soulish ties within his heart. Otherwise, Nicodemus would have never shown up to help prepare Jesus' body for burial after He died on the cross (John 19:38-39).

 

There are many other clear examples in Scripture that show how "good intentions" are at times irrelevant to the Spirit: When Simon took Jesus aside and told him, "Hey, don't talk like that! Don't be silly! Don't speak of suffering and death at the hands of the enemy! Think positive! We will win here!", Jesus did not reply, "Oh, dear Simon, I appreciate the fact that you are trying to encourage me, but I must respectfully disagree with your understanding of things". Instead, He called him "satan" and He declared that his words were an annoying hindrance [a stumbling block] in God's plans (Matthew 16:22-23). "Encouragement" is pointless when it intends to leave the "encouraged" person in a spiritual position that is contrary to God's plans.

 

When David gathered 30,000 "chosen" men from Israel to take the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, he decided to do it his way, rather than the way that God had designed. To David, carrying the Ark on the shoulders of unknown and weakly priests was not "flashy" or "regal" enough. The Ark of the Covenant deserved "more", and David was prepared to give that "more". As David's procession took the Ark back to Jerusalem, they were singing; they were playing music and rejoicing that the Ark was on its way back to where it belonged, when, suddenly, tragedy struck:

 

"6 And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. 7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. 8 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day." (2 Samuel 6:6-8)

 

Uzzah's intentions were "good". Just like Mr. F, who did not want our ministry to come crashing down, Uzzah put his hand on the ark to prevent it falling to the ground. Just like Mr. F did with us, Uzzah did not lay his hand on the ark to "destroy" it or to do it any "harm". Uzzah "loved" the ark as much as the next bloke, and he was obviously happy that the ark had been recovered. Otherwise, he would not have been part of the procession, and he would have cared little if the ark fell to the ground. Yet, all the good intentions in the world did little to impress the Lord, and God's anger was kindled against Uzzah, so much so that He killed him on the spot. Mr. F shared in his counter-reply that we were wrong in "stabbing" his "caressing hand" with our harsh reply (which appears here almost verbatim in fallacies 1 through 6), but, just as with Uzzah, what mattered was not so much the intention behind the hand but, rather, the blindness behind the intention.

 

Notice also how David became displeased with God (v8) for killing Uzzah. Even David, a man who was supposed to be "spiritually mature", thought that God had "overreacted" by killing Uzzah. How could God do such a horrible thing to such a well-intentioned man? David, who at that moment, was operating in the soul, not the Spirit, was unable to understand God's anger, and he saw it as nothing more than an irrational outburst of anger.

 

Another example of good intentions being "brutally" ignored by God can be found in Acts 5. When Ananias and Sapphira sold a possession and gave part of the proceeds to the brethren, they were showing good intentions. As Acts 5:4 states, they were under no obligation to give any of the money, but they chose to do away with part of it, which shows that they did have a sincere intention to help the brethren in some way. However, when they gave the money to the brethren, they chose to say that they had given the entire money from the sale, not a part. And, for that, God's anger was kindled against them, and they were each killed on the spot when Peter confronted them on the matter. Mind you, this is narrated in the "New Testament", not the so-called "Old Testament", which eliminates the "Old-Testament excuse" that most "Christians" use to avoid accepting that God can become "irrationally angry" by the soul's standards. Why didn't God take Ananias and Sapphira's good intentions into account before deciding to kill them? After all, they were giving some of their money to help the brethren. Yet, once again, God chose to focus on the blindness behind the good intention. Just like Uzzah, and just like Simon in Matthew 16:22-23, they were trying to use soulish understanding to handle something that was spiritual and consecrated unto God. They were trying to "man-handle" things and people that were operating on a higher plane, a plane that they were unable to understand due to the conformity and wilful blindness of their hearts.

 

Mr. F's encouragement, well-intentioned as it may have been, was from the soul, and not the spirit, and, when things come from a soul-centred perspective, they will inevitably clash with things that are in the spirit. Just like Uzzah, and just like Ananias and Sapphira, Mr. F thought that his good intentions absolved him from any unpleasantness that God may have experienced from his words; but, to Mr. F's surprise, God thought otherwise (Isaiah 1:11-13).

 

When things are done in the soul and not the spirit, they eventually produce the opposite result of what was intended, which nullifies any "good intention" that the doer may have had. Mr. F, for example, expected us to feel encouraged by his words, even when he was boldly decreeing that this ministry's audience will "never be wide and deep". By allowing himself to be led by the flagellant spirit, his words, intended for encouragement, were basically saying,

"All of the visions of God's latter-rain glory being manifested during your lifetime will never come true; all of the visions that were birthed in you as you read Scripture year after year are a lie, an illusion, a mirage; God was not telling you the truth".

 

How in Sheol could anyone possibly think that the above would be an encouragement to our lives?! How could Mr. F expect us to believe his "well-meaning" words when they go directly against the vision of God's latter-rain purposes on Earth? Can two walk together if they do not agree? How could Mr. F expect to "encourage" us if he is not willing to walk with God's heart and visualise what He visualises? Any "encouragement" that is unaware of God's visions is worthless "encouragement", pathetic rubbish, and, just like Simon's well-meaning words to Jesus, they actually act as stumbling blocks that easily trip up those who allow themselves to be wooed by the good intentions of the soul and not by the purposes laid out in the horizon by God's Spirit.

 

Despite Mr. F's intention to "spur us on" in this ministry, his words of "encouragement" became nothing but a potential source of destruction for what he was intending to perpetuate (i.e.- our ministry on this website). Had we chosen to "go on" with this work under the inspiration of Mr. F's words, the spiritual underpinnings of this ministry would have been destroyed. Had we allowed his words to "bless" our hearts, we would have had to die to the vision that God has placed in our hearts, and we would have had to reduce God's prophecies in Scripture to a worthless bunch of vague clouds that do not merit being guided by. By accepting Mr. F's earthly advice, we would have degraded this work into the typical, run-of-the-mill, Old-Covenant, wandering-in-the-wilderness type of ministry, and all of God's investment in us would have been squandered, just as was the case with the man of God in 1 Kings 13.