I have spent much of my life looking for the Church of God as described in the Bible and have yet to witness it. I know the Church of God in its fullness by revelation and theory only. Not that my experiences among the Church of God circles are without positives. I know many wonderful saints of God; I have held confidence in a few ministers, and I rejoice in the truth. Through my upbringing in the Church of God, I got the experience of salvation and partook of the heavenly gift. I fully acknowledge that I experienced much good, and I witnessed it frequently.
The evidence of signs following the believers has to a degree transpired in my lifetime - even if it is on a small-scale basis. I know of God’s wonderful power by witnessing the testimonies of those healed of cancer, epilepsy, asthma, and other afflictions. Through the Church of God-message countless lives experienced the transforming power of Christ. Essentially, I sporadically witnessed the God of heaven in each of these associations. Unarguably, there is a justifiable acknowledgement of all the good accomplished, but there is also a necessary acknowledgment of the shortcomings, failures, and downfalls contained within the Church of God associations. God’s heart is weeping over the religious landscape filled with the sprouting of hypocrisy, division, and religious formality. The people who claim to be God’s exclusive family have torn families apart, broken friendships, and shattered reputations. Suggesting otherwise is only an appeal to ignorance and stems from misguided notions advanced by a leadership disinterested in reckoning with truth. I pray earnestly for the day when God will gather the scattered flock back into his one fold.
First, there is no congregational division that has occurred in the church's history not caused by leadership. Those who are in positions of authority and responsibility are the only class to ascribe blame for schism and separation. The divisions and factious elements holding influence among Church of God circles are the fault of the ministry. The following scriptures will prove this to be true:
“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.” -Jeremiah 23:1-2 (read this whole chapter)
“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.” Ezekiel 34:10 (read this whole chapter)
“For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.”
- Isaiah 9:16
Second, the leadership responsible for the chaos within congregations and respective fellowships are the least likely to take the responsibility. They would have you to believe that the fault lies anywhere but with them. Unfortunately, God is holding these ministers responsible for their shadiness in judgment, lack of transparent conversation, and dishonest dealings. The ministry is responsible for the confusion; the ministry is responsible for congregations falling apart; the ministry is responsible for the divisions, and the ministry is responsible for the blood of countless souls on their hands. They will cry foul when you leave their godless, religious structure, but fall conveniently silent and ignorant when you hold them accountable for the unrighteousness occurring under their watch. They can allow children to die without a prayer request, give unanointed ministers the pulpits, and discuss private matters publicly. Additionally, these ministers will lie to cover themselves, preach against the worldliness found within their functioning attendees, and teach modesty while social-media accounts show a flood of their congregants’ modeling campaigns. Finally, they will brag about their high courtship standards while their young people continually fall short, they will boast of inspired faith while they hold record numbers for funerals and all-time lows for healings, and they will preach of more glory at the present than in their past without the evidence of such. These are the earmarks of an apostate, false Church of God, and nothing more than a harlot daughter of the beast.
If the Church of God will ever shine resplendently, it will be through the pouring out of God’s judgment on the systems of men. These systems of men call themselves Church of God and are nothing more than imposters. Their ministers lack a genuine concern for the progression of the kingdom of God. They will preach a strong gospel and enforce a compromised one. They will claim to preach the love of God and leave behind the doctrinal messages and, conveniently, the ones that would render their congregations and fellowships condemned. They will allow congregations they fellowship to fall to apostasy and let the same congregations’ leadership preach in their pulpits, work their altars, and lay hands on the sick. They will advance men in the pulpit who remain loyal to their fellowship instead of the Word, who will contend for the status quo instead of the faith, and who will cover for a corrupt, lying, man-rule ministry instead of removing the cloak and exposing the gross sin. Dear saints, the judgments of God fell on Eli because he would not restrain his sons and their awful corruption within the tabernacle. May the judgment of God fall on the house of Eli again and destroy this apostate and godless ministry who have slain the Word and the Spirit in their midst and rendered themselves spiritual Sodom and Egypt. May our prayers be as those in the fifth seal crying out under the altar, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth [Protestantism]?”
The tide of worldliness and compromise is sweeping over the False Church of God today. Sadly, the infiltration of Hollywood and the spirit of entertainment is killing spirituality in families and congregations at an unprecedented pace. Furthermore, the music of the world is taking a dominant position in the parishioners of the False Church of God. Babylonian groups and performers hold steady influence over the playlists of professed saints and the song selection of many choirs and special singers. Perhaps the message and the content of the songs are harmless, but maybe entertainment and sound quality is replacing the inspiration of Holy Ghost led singing and a singing ministry whose lives back up the holiness message. Today, a prominent concern for education and vocational aspirations are present in many young people and it supersedes their concern for the welfare of their souls and the kingdom of God. How did such an apathy for spiritual matters develop? By their spiritual leaders and examples. Ultimately, most ministers will cry loudly from their pulpits claiming they preach against the world, man-rule, apostasy and so on, but when the time comes to stand for the message they advocate they spare. The scripture says to “cry aloud and spare not.” Unfortunately, many ministers have the “crying” part down, but the cowardice ministry of the False Church of God will spare when it is time to enforce the message they proclaim - and they will spare repeatedly.
One of the greatest deceptions in the land today is that people can see the problems that exist within the so-called church, but they cannot see the urgency of removing themselves from a godless system. They will point to people in whom they have confidence, claim the majority are “good” and “sincere” people, and appeal to the justification that God has not told them to leave as an excuse to remain attached to Babylonian wreckage. Dear soul, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump and it cannot be that you must take the good with the bad. Have you even seriously sought the Lord for direction? Or are you contenting yourself with a mediocre fellowship who will never produce the Church of God? Are you fearful of the ramifications of taking such a stand? May God encourage and comfort your heart in these troubling times of confusion.
Precious saint, you are being misled if you believe it will get better, and one day the problems within your fellowship will resolve themselves. This is the message of those who are claiming peace when there is no peace. You must forsake Babylon - whether the spirit presents itself in rank denominationalism or in the place that labels itself the Church of God. While you may be fearful of the ramifications that you will face should you forsake the False Church of God system, your fear of God ought to be greater. Are there any who will suffer with the Savior and drink of the cup of tribulation?
Dear soul, who is responsible for the wreckage across the land today. Isaiah 9:16 is clear - “For the leaders of this people cause them to err.” The divisions are in the land today because of leadership - those who claim to be God’s ministry. It is time for those who want to be the Church of God to come out of the False Church of God. Your search for the church within fellowships is over and God is ushering in a new time. Freedom from sects, groups, and fellowships is the message to herald across this land. God’s people are not in the United Brethren, the Methodist, the Baptist, the Presbyterian churches. God’s people are in places who call themselves the Church of God - the False Church of God. The False Church of God is Babylon, and that is to whom the “come out” message must focus its attention. Essentially, there is only one body and there is only one church. Anyone who washed their garments in the lamb's blood should renounce their sectarian ties (ties to their fellowships) and come out and take a stand on the sea of glass mingled with fire. The time has come - it is now.