Date: 03 Sep 2015 13:21:22 -0700
read something from a relation of mine this morning that stirred me to
thinking. She wrote "Why can't the religious leave the non-religious
alone? Why can't the non-religious leave the religious alone? She had
offered no answer. I pondered the matter and decided that the two
groups have never left one another alone in the whole history of Earth.
People have always bothered one another (or worse) over religion.
Furthermore, people do not always remain in one group exclusively for
all of their lives. There are many converts that head in either
direction. So, I do not expect either group to ever leave the other
My understanding is that true Christianity is not a religion, but most
people who attend church probably think that it is. True Christianity
is walking and talking daily with a living Lord. It is about a real,
active relationship with God. Our society has framed this idea in such a
way that we often might think that only those who "go to church" have a
relationship with God, but this idea is man created and does not
originate in the Bible or with God. Many expect that their "pastor" has
a better relationship with God. This was mans idea and not Gods.
Furthermore, people have been trained by generations of society to
accept a mindset that there are church members and there are
pastors/priests/ministers. They believe this separation was God's idea,
but really it was mans. God's intent is that all who serve Him should
be ministers, priests and pastors. But our practice walking this out
has fallen far short of that which God intended.
Twenty four years ago, I did not consider myself a minister, priest or
pastor. I was a church member: a worshiper of God. I was seeking God,
voraciously reading my bible and giving myself to prayer. I really
wanted to know the truth about God. I was the Father of three
daughters. God had called me to go to church: this particular church
that met several times a week. So, I was at the place where I knew the
voice of God. I was in relationship with Him, but at the time, I
thought that church membership was the way you did that. On Sunday, 600
or so gathered in a High School auditorium and I had my regular seat
just about in the middle, toward the back, or about 25 rows from the
front. At that time, I had not yet preached or been in a pulpit. I had
witnessed about my faith a bit but I did not consider myself to me any
kind of a full time minister. I was a CPA who had escaped from public
accounting into industry. I was a co-chief executive charged with
oversight of about two billion dollars of South Florida Real Estate.
So, I thought that I knew my place in life. I was a businessman who
loved God. I was making good money and doing well in the eyes of the
world. I had the three daughters, the blond haired wife, the boat,
large house and cars that go along with the stereotype. But...........I
was very serious with God.
Four years prior to that, God had called me to seek Him. One client of
mine witnessed to me incessantly and He led me to Christ. So, here I
was, four years later, in early 1991, sitting in church as a mere
"church member". Suddenly, everything changed for me. I had a vision.
I knew my bible. I knew what visions were and that men have had them
for thousands of years. Now, suddenly, I was sitting in church,
listening to the pastor speak, but I was having this vision. I could
see the pastor at the podium, preaching his message, but the vision was
adding things to what I was seeing. I saw a pyramid form at a height of
about 20 feet over the pastor's head. This pyramid looked to be about 6
feet tall. Then, I saw lines appear on the pyramid in a type of tree
fashion, like a corporate organizational chart. I saw names fill those
lines: Pastor Dominic's name filled the line at the top of the pyramid.
We had three other elders: their names filled lines on the next row.
We had seven deacons: their names filled the lines on the third row.
Then, Jesus appeared, standing to the left of the pyramid, hovering in
the air. He had a club in his hand. (just like the one Bam Bam had in
"The Flintstones") He looked kindly at me, directly in my eyes, then he
looked at the pyramid and became visibly angry. Then he looked back at
me and declared, "I did not build this thing". He turned back and beat
that pyramid to dust. The vision ended.
That vision put me into the ministry more than any other event. It
became what I refer to as my "Defining Vision" on my website. God gave
me the mission to explain to the church that bears His name that He,
Jesus, is returning to destroy it because it not doing what He told it
to do, in the manner He gave for it to do it. It is a THING to Him, not
His body. I have written about this vision many other times and I have
said a great deal more about it, but I do not think that I ever
emphasized before that when I had this vision, I was NOT A MINISTER! At
least not in my own eyes. I was a BUSINESSMAN. I was a church goer,
and so you would have said that I was religious, but I was one of those
sitting in the pews, doing the listening. I was not one of those given
to making noise in the church. God did not select a religious, seminary
graduate for this commission. He gave this commission to me: a man
with no religious pedigree and very few religious words.
I know that many who might read this vision might wonder: will God
destroy all the churches? I know that there must be men and women who
have tender hearts; who love God more than money or possessions. There
must even be those to whom we attach the "clergy" label who will be able
to avoid the judgement that Jesus is bringing to the thing called
church. Surely, they must exist, somewhere? If you are a pastor in one
of these churches, I would most earnestly recommend that you seek the
Lord now about how to get out of trouble with Him! Here in America, the
body has become a business. The world calls that "The Oldest
Profession". Americans have been very deft to export this thing called
church around the globe. Wherever Jesus finds it, He will smash it to
dust! Today, we have many who are called prophets. They sell books and
DVD's. They organize their television appearances and manage their
multi-million dollar budgets. They travel their church circuits,
preaching to the faithful. I tend to doubt whether they are really
Bible prophets were sent by God when God had a controversy with His
people. God always sent prophets to explain just where God's people
were going wrong and that God himself would destroy them if they did not
turn around. God's people always killed their prophets. God has
raised up other men at times of reformation: Moses, Paul and Martin
Luther to name a few. These men were true apostles. They were trail
blazers. They showed God's people the way to walk out of darkness and
into greater light of God. Today, we need both types. Nevertheless, I
regard no man as a prophet today if that man does not carry the message
to the church as it is constituted and organized with its Senior Pastor
who carries out principally all speaking duties and makes almost all
critical decisions that Jesus Christ will bring about the destruction of
all such churches. Jesus Christ himself will oversee the destruction
of the church, the THING that bears His name. How can any man be a
prophet if he does not carry that message? How can any other prophetic
message be of real value if it is true that Jesus is coming to destroy
this church, which has become a harlot? When all of this transpires,
you will know who the true prophets of this generation were, and they
were few: very few.
Stephen L. Bening
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