The Great Pretenders
Danny Korakas

It is amazing how much popularity and money that the entertainment business generates. Whether it is the big screen, television, or DVD rentals, both Christian and non-Christian alike "invest" much of their time and money in this form of entertainment. Just as amazing is the fact that most of it is make believe. It is the "make believers" whom the world and a great part of church has set apart and set on a pedestal as celebrities and icons of our culture. The skill of "acting" has become a profitable endeavor for both reward and award. Our society has heaped praise and trophies upon those who are professional pretenders. Sadly, some of the greatest actors and pretenders are not in the Hollywood hills, but within the city that is to be set upon a hill The church.

Hypocrisy or pretension has its origins in the root of idolatry. The church attending actor(ess) is desperately seeking the approval and affirmation of man rather than God as his or her primary source of meaning and direction. Needless to say, the idolization of man is idolatry in its basic form because it places humanity on par with the Lord in giving meaning and direction to life. Worse yet, many of these individuals have been walking in man-centered idolatry for so long that they are led to believe that they are "something" that they are really not or doing something that they are not to do. Without the healing touch of God to liberate us into transparency and truth, the "actor" will come to a point of believing their own warped natural and spiritual viewpoints. The element and proof of spiritual truth in our life can be summed up by asking ourselves two simple questions: "Does my public life (the life that I "present" to others) reflect my private life? Does my spiritual life line up with God's Word?

Much of what I witness in the church meeting, broadcast and gathering is on par with a Broadway production worthy of an Academy Award. The western church has become a tonic of entertainment that satisfies the flesh and multitudes have been indoctrinated with the belief that all men and women who speak on behalf of God are ordained by God. And of course, "Don't touch the Lord's anointed." This could not be farther from the truth and this verse has become perverted from its original language and meaning to justify control and silence objectors. (We must remember, that ALL believers are filled with the Spirit of God. Thus, I would say that qualifies ALL believers as being anointed in some aspect of the Christian life). We see a clear picture of this in Numbers 16 where Abiram, Dathan, and Korah took on the authority of a true minister of the Lord and we read that most within the congregation followed them! The sin of Korah is what stands out as a signpost to many who have been trying to repair this old and torn wineskin we call the church. Korah was a Levite by birth and a true minister called by the Lord. Likewise, we have the same birthright as believers in Christ. The difference with Korah and what we need to understand is that he sought to usurp the position and function of the high priest.

The prophetic insight for today is clear: The true church is the tabernacle or temple of the Lord's Spirit and presence. The Bible states that the Spirit of God dwells within us individually as well as corporately. Within the temple, the Holy of Holies is not so much a place as it is the Shekinah or weighty presence of God which manifests beyond time and place. The Holy of Holies represents the Spirit of God and also represents our spirit-man created in God's image. The Holy of Holies represents the attributes of God's glory and power. It is through the glory and resurrection power of God that our spirit-man is revived and renewed. The glory and power of God should radiate through our corporate lives as the church built of living stones. The Holy Place represents our renewed mind or soul. It is within the holy place that "conscience" choices and sacrifices are made that reflect our true relationship with God and one another. It is within the Holy Place of our lives that the sacrifices of TRUTH must be held over the escapism, rationalization, and desires of the flesh that the world and the worldly church offer. (This is where Korah,Abiram, and Dathan began to fall). The Outer Court is a reflection of our physical bodies and an area where both the desires of world, and the desire for God are within sight and arms reach. The Outer Court is both the place of defeat and glorious victories. It all hinges upon what direction we are looking when temptation and truth draws near.

Most of us know that the present religious system, whether traditional or spirit-filled is a distorted caricature of what Christ left us. The time has come and the Lord is desiring a church and bride that is built upon the truth of His Word. A church, whose leadership is about giving and not begging and manipulating. A leadership who will truly begin trusting the Lord for their resources and not man. Look, if the Lord is not providing for your ministry, then its time to get a real job and support it yourself. Paul would single-handedly turn the known world on its ear without begging for money to support his ministry. This allowed him to bring an uncompromising message of truth. Why? Because there was not a conflict of interest in bringing the radical truth to those who were paying his light bill.

It is ridiculous to pay someone to visit people at the hospital, pray for people, bring the Word, and minister the good news we should all be doing this without excuse as the proof of being born again believers. The only way that I can justify paying a minister full-time, is one who willingly desires to equip others to become greater than themselves in serving the Lord and humanity.(Jesus desired that we would do greater works than Him) All others are acting or pretending to be leaders and have been ordained by the auspices of man. The "pastor" who fails to equip others in doing everything that he or she does (Like Jesus) is burdened with control and insecurity. What is the function of the TRUE church? It is that true leaders become true servants and equip the saints for the work of ministry and encourage their spiritual destinies. Yes, and that includes bringing the Word on Sunday mornings. To listen to one man preach 50 weeks out of year is a blatant sin and injustice to God's people. Rather than taking an interest in the vision of the congregation, today's religious leadership desires the congregation fulfill their vision. This is completely backwards from the TRUTH. Rather than continued growth and dynamic, the current religious system promotes a hierarchal structure and spiritual dependancy. The Bible gives us the blueprint for ministry finances and it does not require an academy award performance, spiritual manipulation, and a worldly telethon. Sadly, we have come to point of rationalizing this "moneychanging"as normal and acceptable in the church. A prophetic portrait comes in view in looking at the death sentence that was passed upon these three men as they chose to take the place of "high priest" in the presence of God and minister to His people. In the New and better covenant; Jesus Christ alone is our high priest. The true church and ministers of the Lord are those who make disciples of Christ rather than taking the place of Christ in the lives of others. In today's modern church, many have created disciples of themselves The Word comes through "their" teaching. The healing comes through "their" hands. The abundant life and prosperity comes through the tithing and offering into "their" ministry. Spiritual promotion and growth comes through obedience to "their" vision. Thus the emphasis of what "man" can do becomes the barometer of spiritual affirmation rather than simple obedience to Christ and His Word. I have stated in previous articles that "the highest form of worship is simple obedience to God's Word and voice." Isn't this what it all boils down to? To go into all of the world and create disciples of Jesus, the following fruit will be produced: We will teach and encourage all believers who are willing to share and preach the Word, and provide them a platform. We will send out equipped believers to lay hands on the sick and pray for those in need. We will encourage an interest in each others vision, spiritual gifts and talents and cheerfully give to their success. This sounds like the ministry of Christ and the model that He gave us for the church.

The system of man-centered religion led to the downfall of Korah and his followers. It is interesting that out of these three men, two were not even Levites, yet were "ministering" before the Lord and His people. We can conclude that two thirds of the ministers present at this service were NOT ordained by the Lord. Whether we want to believe it or not, there are those who are ordained by God and those who are ordained by man. Somehow, we have been brainwashed into believing that all men and women who are "ordained" or went to some school and received a piece a paper to hang on the wall are ministers. Beloved, God does not validate "titles." He validates and affirms "function." We are all ministers of reconciliation and no person is head or above another.

The "Korite" doctrine that has made its way back into assembly of God's people manifests in itself in the focus and support of a counterfeit temple (Church). The Old Testament Temple was a type and shadow of the finished work of Christ. It would be a people redeemed by His blood that would become a living temple and dwelling place of the Lord's Spirit and presence. The New Testament temple is you and me. The Korite doctrine focuses and spends its resources and energy on the preservation of the present religious system. If today's present "leaders" were truly led and ordained by God, then I believe we would witness a whole lot of change and shaking going on. The Bible states in Matthew 25:31-46 that our resources, focus and energy should be meeting the needs of each other as God's people. As a matter of fact, the Bible goes on to say that we will be judged by how we meet these needs. However, it seems that much of our focus has been conditioned to turn to the supporting and sowing into the ordained of man for the purpose of reaping both earthly and eternal blessing rather than simply meeting the needs of those who cross our path in life.

The spirit of Constantine and the leadership model of today is drawing to a close.It will be the "servants" who will arise with a heart to restore the church back into the hands of the Lord and her original meaning and function. For too long we have "played" church and performed our way into irrelevance to a world that is searching for something real. Those who are in the present church system, know in the core of their heart the frustration and the sense that something is incomplete and unfulfilling. The spiritual loneliness and irrelevancy that many are experiencing in the church is the failure ofothers to take an interest in their vision. We can blame many things for this. However, we must take the blame ourselves. We have created an environment that spiritual validation and calling is recognized and "released" by the "leadership." Maybe its time we start encouraging and releasing one another. Better yet, let's start taking an interest in one another. This is the TRUE church...

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