A civil war in the church is drawing near—and it will be centered around the fear of the Lord.
Before I get into the meat of this message, I want to address something that I’m sure many of you have wondered about.
Yes, I am absolutely intentional regarding my “unbalanced” approach on the end-times, the church and the call to reformation. The reason is simple—the situation in the church is so dire that an urgent, radical response is necessary.
We cannot casually sit back and initiate Christian small talk as we seek to find common ground anymore. Billions are headed to Hell, and in their ranks are a very high percentage of those who call themselves Christians.
Many believe the church is mostly doing well with a few minor, non-essential issues to address, and an upgrade in positive, encouraging messages will help nudge us back on course. A focus on God’s goodness and love alone will be enough to convince people to veer back on course. If that were the case, I would absolutely be more subtle in my approach. However, it is not. The church is way off balance, and an extremely weighty counterbalance is necessary.
I let my son Skylar get behind the wheel of the car for the first time in a parking lot the other day to begin to teach him how to drive. He was getting used to the steering, gas pedal and brake responsiveness, and, under my watchful eye in the passenger seat, he would jerk the car left and right, brake too hard, step on the gas too quickly and give us quite a ride. My response? Subtle, encouraging words to straighten it out, to ease up on the gas, to brake more softly. He was on the right track, but was simply learning how to stay on it.
That is not where the church is today. Things are not mostly good. We are not on the right track.
How would you react if the person driving your car decided to go the wrong way down a highway, at 100 miles per hour, at night with the headlights off, with his eyes closed and not a care in the world?
You would scream! You would grab the wheel! You would not passively, subtly encourage him to straighten it out. You would not talk about how lovely an evening it is. It wouldn’t be the right time to teach him how to parallel park or how to change the oil. You both are near death and immediate, continuous cries and alarms must be sounded! Not only are you near death, but others will be crushed by your wayward vehicle as they come over the next hill!
The church is also near death—and is putting many others at risk. Many in the church are on their way to Hell—and they have no idea. This is why I sound alarm after alarm after alarm. If you choose to turn a deaf ear, so be it.
However, I challenge you to be receptive and responsive, and not shut out the warnings of the Lord, no matter how irritating and repetitive they are. In fact, join me in my cry. Cry out REPENT! Turn around!
Matthew 3:1In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Preparea the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”
A Coming Civil War
I needed to explain what I did in the opening section to help you understand what I’m going to share next.
Entire popular movements today are in the wrong lane, going the wrong way and putting the church at risk of eternal death.
We are going way to far with our ecumenically driven strategies of unity within the church. The false-love movement that focuses on friendships and affirmation has led to a false-unity movement where we presume anybody who goes to church and professes Christ to be a legitimate Christian worthy of our alliance.
I’ve said before and I’ll say again—I will love everybody with the fiery love of Jesus, but I absolutely, unapologetically refuse with bold resolve to unite with anybody who isn’t carrying their cross, dying daily and burning hot for Jesus Christ.
I do not presume people to be saved simply because they say they are.
We are all in process, and as long as we, in our weakness, in our struggles and in our brokenness are truly running after Jesus, I will be right there with you. However, if that is not the case, you heard me right—I will not run with you.
I will love you. I will pray for you. I will honor you. I will encourage you. But I won’t run with you. I won’t unite with you.
You might be wondering how, with that type of resolve, we can avoid a civil war in the church. We can’t. We don’t want to.
The sickle is about to be taken to both the wheat and the tares, so we will all be hit with the judgment of God. This will be a very difficult season for everybody, but it is a necessary one.
Matthew 13:30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
Matt 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.36And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Jesus boldly revealed what a true believer looks like. His sword of truth is about to strike the church and those who are not fully his will be revealed.
North vs. South
The true remnant will rise up with spiritual violence to liberate masses from the slavery that has been granted them through inappropriate theologies and religious systems.
There will be great confusion in the nation as the world watches this happen in the church, yet it will only be for a season. The true church will eventually emerge, finally, with the power and love they have been craving to see.
Great leaders will rise up in the spirit of Elijah and John the Baptist to initiate conflict (instead of avoid it) and to wrestle with spiritual forces of darkness.
Ephesians 6:12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
“The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong.” – September 1862 – Abraham Lincoln – Meditation on the Divine Will
The Fear of the Lord
Please consider what I’m about to communicate very carefully.
We must be humble, teachable and repentant. As prophetic messengers, we cannot move in the flesh and come against what may be a true move of God. Take your viewpoints to God and ensure he confirms them to you. Allow your theologies to be challenged by the Holy Spirit. Let the Spirit of Truth reign in your life.
That being said, we cannot stay silent when there is a clear and present danger in the church. To do so would be treason! When God sounds an alarm in your spirit, you must respond to that alarm!
The coming civil war in the church will hinge on the issue of the fear of the Lord (among a handful of other issues).
There are entire movements that are vocally opposing the validity of the fear of the Lord. The civil war in the church will form as the camp divides on this primary issue.
Of course, the false-grace movement and the false-love movement (that refuses any scriptural reality that doesn’t feel like love) are devoid of the fear of the Lord. There are other significant movements out there that may not be as extreme as this, but are at least silent if not resistant to any discussion of the fear of the Lord.
Spiritual pride is a direct result of the absence of the fear of the Lord. So is apathy, a focus on personal experience, the rejection of the call to live a repentant life and having a benefit and blessing mindset.
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
Luke 1:50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
While I understand, and even affirm to a degree, the desire to call God “Daddy,” I am at least a little troubled at how casual we have become with such a fearful, mighty God.
God is not our personal emotional warm fuzzy. He cannot be limited to that. He is mighty indeed!
Does he comfort? Oh my, YES! Does he encourage? Yes! Is he your Daddy? Absolutely! But, my friend, he is so MUCH more.
We can and MUST experience both comfort and fear simultaneously! The civil way in the church will see a departure on this issue. Many will reject this mandate to fear God.
Acts 9:31 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
Without the fear of the Lord, his true nature cannot be discerned. Without the fear of the Lord, there is no friendship of the Lord.
Psalm 25:14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
1 Peter 1:17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile
This fear of the lord is indeed the beginning of wisdom. This consciousness of sin is the straight pathway to heaven. ~Joseph Barber Lightfoot
It is critical that we allow the fear of the Lord to expose issues of our heart that put our relationship with him at risk! This is very good! This is desirable! And, the fear of the Lord is not “respect” of the Lord. The Bible calls it dread. Terror. It’s quite the mystery indeed that we can experience both terror and love at the same time! How mighty is our God!
2 Corinthians 7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
The fear of the lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death (Proverbs 14:27)
Vision of a Chess Board
I once had a vision of a chess board, and on the appropriate squares stood actual humans, Christians. They each were fervent and focused as devoted warriors. They all seemed to be spiritual mature and responding to their call of duty.
Suddenly, the chess board began to shake violently. It was clearly a tremor from Heaven as God was causing everything to be hit by his loving judgment. He will shake everything that can be shaken.
What happened next was remarkable. Most of the Christian soldiers remained standing, while a few hit their faces in humility and brokenness. Those who stood, in pride, were suddenly shaken so violently that they turned to dust.
This shaking is coming to the church. Those who pridefully reject the fear of the Lord are in great danger, though they are fervent in their religion.
A Concentration of Government
I shared at a recent regional church leader’s prophetic prayer meeting that we must be careful.
There is a lot of pride in this region—especially within the church of Detroit.
Acts 10:35 But in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
It’s right to respond to God’s mandate to focus on our region and on the state of Michigan. I am friends with some phenomenal leaders who are spearheading a movement of prayer in this state, and they are doing so with great humility.
We must follow their lead, and we cannot allow the pride of Detroit to manifest in our zeal to see a great end time revival land here.
While geographic boundaries do have extreme significance, we have to understand the greater reality.
Washington DC is not important to this nation because of its geographic boundaries. In fact, it’s a very small area. The reason Washington DC is significant is because of the concentration of government. It is our governmental center, and the governmental activity is greater there than anywhere else in the nation.
Yet, the Pentagon is also important and strategic to our nation. So are our military bases. Why? Because of their affiliation and alliance and responsiveness to the governmental leadership in Washington.
Michigan is no different. Pride would cause us to presume that there is something special about our geography. Humility, and an accurate analysis of the situation would reveal something very different—Michigan will be special because of the concentration of humble, cross-bearing, anointed Kingdom government officials and offices that will be established here. Heaven’s authority is coming, I believe, to Michigan. Our impact will be determined by our willingness to humbly respond to God’s governmental leadership.
Just as with Washington DC, it’s not about making Detroit famous. We have been given a sober mandate—to serve our nation in the midst of a coming national, civil war.
A Dividing Line
As God’s government increases, no matter where it is, the division will increase. Gray will become black and white. People will have to choose where they stand. It sounds terrible, but in a wheat and tare season, it is absolutely necessary. God is bringing judgment to the church, and people will absolutely choose sides.
“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
This is why the fear of the Lord is so critical! We are scarcely saved and judgment is coming!
Those with a casual disposition and a resistance to the fear of the Lord, and a focus on “Daddy God” without also acknowledging him as “Fearful Judge and Father” will be disturbed beyond description.
Their understanding of who God is will be threatened and they will end up choosing to resist the one they say they know! My God!
Thus, the civil war will commence.
The false-unity, “can’t we all just get along” hopes will be crushed as the fearful reality of the Judge brings his sword of division. His love will provoke him to call the true bride of Christ out and give those compromised by faulty theologies a clear and compelling chance to run to him.
The false-grace, false-love, false-unity movements are radically resistant to the fear of the Lord, yet they won’t be able to escape it when it all comes crashing down.
The world is getting better and better?
The glorious fear of the Lord results in radical and continual repentance as we joyfully encounter the lover and judge of our souls at the same time.
The grief and mourning is multi-faceted, yet much of it comes from an understanding that great destruction is upon us and Hell is expanding as millions are sucked into its horrors.
Those who reject this idea are focused on blessing and benefits. The belief is that the world is getting better and better, and we can rest easy—eat, drink and play.
Exodus 32:4And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a goldena calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.” 6And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
So many have fashioned a god of their own design—and have given it glory for rescuing them from Egypt! The plan is to play instead of forging ahead to save the world. They want to stay at the bottom of the mountain with their hands in their ears saying, “La la la la la!”
I’ve heard it said that God is always in a good mood. This is not only ridiculous theology, but it’s dangerous. Why? When those who subscribe to this idea experience the fearful shakings of God, they will reject him as a foreigner or as a demon.
John 8:48The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge.
I honestly have no patience for the argument that God is always in a good mood, and that he no longer judges. We need his judgment!
How can 4000 babies a day murdered in our nation, an increase in radical terrorism, absolutely disgusting moral decline, pornography viewed by most people—in the church and increasing suicides, murders and other atrocities cause anyone to presume the world is getting better?
The goal is not to live a great life now—it’s to rescue a dying planet and prepare the way of the Lord!
The fear of the Lord will result in a sobriety that will shake us terribly. We will see the heartbreak of God and join him in his distress.
God is absolutely not in a good mood all the time. If he was, he’d be a monster as he laughed and did a happy dance as he cast people into eternal torment in Hell.
No, God is very often sad, disturbed and heartbroken.
Pray. Pray like your life depends on it. It does.
Mourn. Cry out. Sound alarms. Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
Be broken. Be humble. Be repentant.
A civil war is coming. Will you choose the way of comfort and pleasure and personal benefits as you fashion a god of your own design? Many significant movements and churches will do so. The pressure to join them will be extreme. The deception will be convincing. Will you seek after peace and safety with them?
Or will you drop your toys, leave the remote on the couch, let the dead bury their own dead and head up the mountain where the lightening, thundering, shakings—and God himself are?
Exodus 19:16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain[b] trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.