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Living Apostles Today | Restoring the Church Back to Her First Love

Confessions of a Minister
Confessions of a Minister
By Apostle Eric vonAnderseck
 
Have you ever heard a minister say that “repentance is the foundation”? He’ll say that right after confessing that he’s been off target in his teaching for most of his ministry and didn’t know that until just recently when God rebuked him.
 
Ministers nowadays have these telling moments of clarity because we’re in the 3rd day of Hosea’s prophecy and God is speaking to the church to awaken her. The problem though, is that ministers believe this moment of clarity to be a green light. They’re  thinking, “God gave me clarity about what I’ve been doing wrong, so now all I have to do is gain the same clarity to know from God what to do right.”
 
Wrong! Let’s look a recent confession and to see that the revelation from God is not a green light, but rather a red light warning—STOP what you are doing!
 
[listen to the recorded message “Defining God’s Goal”. CLICK HERE]
 
1st CONFESSION:  “I’ve been working from my own internal GPS”
 
Minister’s confession: “Every day, I would pray, ‘Lord, use me to lead multitudes to salvation, to speak the Word of God powerfully, to bring nations into Your kingdom, to heal the sick and get people free.’ I asked persistently and passionately for these things morning after morning… one day God spoke to my heart: ‘Son, your prayers are off target.’ … I was stunned!” [-John Bevere]
 
Apostle Eric responds: This minister is not alone in his confession. Ministers who are still in the wilderness share this same bad aim. Where did this minister learn to misappropriate faith? Where did he learn how to guide his faith into this blind alley? This false foundation from which he was building an expectation about what God will do through him (and in the church—for the world) was set in him the moment he accepted Jesus as His Savior, but neglected to come into covenant with God. We’re seeing the results of that choice in the absence of the covenant terms, knowledge, tools, and priesthood.
 
The predominant message in the false religious system is about evangelism and how to get people into the kingdom. This message became the voice of God one heard while in prayer and one claimed to be taught and guided and gifted by the Holy Spirit to teach others this same battle cry. It is not only his ministry flag, but every minister’s flag.
 
As he prayed for these things “morning after morning” it turned into “year after year”. The prayer, wrong target—wrong doctrine was heartfelt and sincere. This is why he’s expressing shock at God’s rebuke, learning for the first time how far off the true prophetic path he’d been wandering.
 
Just like any driver who trusted his GPS, this minister had trusted an inner guidance system (aspiration + scripture + sincerity = God) that was now shown to be of another kingdom, the kingdom of the flesh that is tethered to the kingdom of darkness.
 
2nd CONFESSION:  “I have made a grave error.”
 
How many times did this minister claim his internal GPS to be the voice and will of God, asking you to trust him because he was sincerely giving voice to the inspiration he felt at the time? He did not have the ability or skill to discern his faulty GPS as he spoke for God through the voice of his aspiration, which is the lie of his own record. God is rebuking him for this lack of discernment.
 
To his experience (following his inner GPS—which he had claimed was the voice of God) repentance offers a “do over” button and so yes, he’s building from that false perception that all he needs to do is repent –start from this point to make changes.
 
But that isn’t what God’s saying. God is NOT giving you a green light to start over (repeat your mistakes). God is giving you a red light—STOP! You can’t build my kingdom with the GPS you’ve been using. You need to be instructed by the steward I’ve called and anointed. I’ve placed My name upon him; him shall you hear for he is My voice to you.
 
If you find yourself saying, “I’m just a little off target”, you’re thinking “maybe I can just adjust my sights and get back on target. I’m seeing now that what I thought was the will and purpose of God was not the will and purpose of God after all. I can adjust my sights.”
 
If this has happened to you, you’re not just a little off target – you bought into the false gospel, hook, line, and sinker and now a serious cleansing needs to take place.
 
Repentance is NOT a point at which you can begin to build. It is the point at which grace is awakening you. It is a gift of God to break through the barriers of your aspiration, principle, and imagination.
 
Think about it. When a sinner repents, he needs to be instructed and discipled before he can begin to build with God in His kingdom. We don’t take a new convert and put him in the pulpit to teach. Nor do we trust him to “receive revelation” to know what to believe and how to function with God’s gifts.  
 
I know you’re not seeing yourself as a newbie. You want to be trusted as the one to lead the church into the new era, but obedience to God means that you have to stand down and receive instruction from God’s anointed steward, whom you denied. It is for this act of disobedience that God has assigns the soul to derision as He declared in Psalm 2:1-5.
 
1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
 
When it comes to accepting the path God has laid out by His anointed steward, ministers have claimed the middle of the road (I don’t hear… I can’t discern… I can do this my own way). In reality, God is pointing out to them the reason for their derision.
 
They cast away the cord (stewardship), refusing to tether their faith to the terms and tools of Jesus’ covenant. God’s response: I do speak to them in their conscience, but they lean to their principle, therefore I will have them in derision.
 
This minister, as all ministers in the wilderness, is standing in ignorant admission; standing in his own derision while at the same time claiming it to be a virtue. God is  speaking to him in the voice of His wrath, as He spoke to Cain; not in the voice of a blessing, but in the voice of a curse.
 
Repentance means that you’ve heard God’s voice of rebuke and admitted that your internal GPS is not the voice of God. The distinction: Having heard the voice of God’s rebuke does not mean that God has called you to rebuild the church.
 
God is addressing the habit of the flesh to strike out on your own and then blaming your failure on your inner GPS as if it is an abstract thing that has nothing to do with you; that somehow you were misguided all these years, but it was not your doing; and that somehow you can keep on this same path and end up at a different destination.
 
3rd CONFESSION:  “I’ve been manipulating God’s people.”
 
God’s voice of rebuke heard by this minister is not a growth cycle where God’s chastening brings healing and fruit bearing in the soul. God’s voice of rebuke is addressing the habit of the flesh to use a confession as building material to continue to manipulate God’s people.
 
This minister’s confession is self serving. He’s wanting to be seen as accountable and transparent because that’s his building material for trust and confidence. Despite his past sweeping failures, he wants his confession to stand in his own honor—to be trusted as the voice of God to lead God’s people into the liberty of Christ.
 
You’re thinking, “If I am seen as transparent I can be trusted.” But you’re not leading the saints to the steward God selected. Instead, you’re leading them to relate to your own brokenness. You’re right, this is the common pattern of believers lost in the wilderness—they CAN relate to you. However, that’s all you’re doing—you’re helping them relate to a shared plight, but you’re not teaching them the true fear of the Lord.
 
The true fear of the Lord is in the covenant. No good token will God withhold from you when you are in covenant with Him. This is why we fear Him. The true fear of the Lord is seen from His perspective: If we don’t receive the tokens of His mercy we will be estranged from Him and be counted a transgressor. 
 
The fear of man has to do with the loss of the tokens of one’s boast. The fear of God is the loss of the tokens of His mercy. We walk in the fear of God, knowing that He is our source and substance of life. That’s why we fear before Him; by His mercy we learn His fear.
 
The fear of God is pure and makes you pure. As Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart”; for the fear of the Lord puts that purity within you. Guilt bears the voice of death, but the purity of Christ bears the voice of His mercy and truth towards us.
 
You must bear the testimony of Christ in your communication of charity which shows that the sign of Abraham is upon your heart. The  pure knowledge of Christ, once compromised (the confession of this minister) will move from His atonement into substitutionism-which is idolatry.
 
 
4th CONFESSION:  “I have a Judas Mindset.”
 
The minister who has come forward with his confession further stated the conviction that the Holy Spirit laid upon his heart. The Holy Spirit likened his mindset to that of Judas Iscariot who betrayed our Lord: “Judas left all he had to follow Me. He was one of the elite twelve. He preached the kingdom of God. He healed the sick, gave to the poor, and got people free. Judas is in hell.”
 
The ministered confessed: “I trembled, in shock and dumbfounded. [derision] I realized Judas had attained all I was crying out for but was forever lost.”
 
Apostle Eric responds: Jesus identified Judas as a protestor—one who wanted to use the knowledge of God to maintain the integrity and boast of his own principle. That was Judas Iscariot. He had the bag. He was using his position as a boast, to which Jesus did not reciprocate so in time he hung himself.
 
Judas Iscariot fell into the same trap as Adam in the garden. They both accepted Satan’s pretense of promise as their hope. At the Last Supper, Jesus indicated who His betrayer was: “He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly” (John 13:26-27).
 
Satan entered into Judas’ imagination to agree with and sympathize with his own motives. Satan, however, cannot enter into faith, as we see in the case of Jesus Himself who said, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30).
 
This is why the pattern for our faith was set in Jesus Christ and not in our imagination. The gates of hell can prevail against our imagination about God but cannot prevail against the covenant of Jesus Christ.
 
Judas used his imagination, coupled with his own principles, to read into scripture something that complimented his aspiration. Do you see the devil’s triad at work: Aspiration, Principle, and Imagination? Hearing the scriptures read, which heralded the Christ as the ruling King of Judah, the Messiah of power, Judas imagined that Jesus would defend Himself if His divinity was put on trial. And increasingly, his thoughts turned toward betrayal.
 
The accountant of a small band of disciples envisioned himself as the accountant of the newly formed kingdom Jesus would establish on earth. Judas had combined his imagination with scripture to form his “personal conviction”, which in turn became a law for his conscience. He therefore betrayed Jesus into the hands of the Romans thinking he was fulfilling scripture. He was merely fulfilling his own convictions—which he thought were good.
 
Yes, Judas did fulfill scripture in the betrayal of the Son of God, but not for his honor, rather to his dishonor. As Jesus said, “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24)
 
In using scripture to prove his principle and set a law for his conscience, Judas produced guile, not faith. Satan was holding Judas’ conscience through holding his imagination. Here we see a strong connection between the conscience and the imagination. As long as Satan was inspiring Judas’ imagination, Judas felt no guilt and carried on with his plans, feeling as if he was somehow doing the will of God. Imagine Judas’ trembling and shock and dumbfoundedness when Jesus did not display His divine power as Judas thought He would.
 
Judas projected (imagined) a righteousness with scripture that was in agreement with his principle, and he felt no guilt or shame. We’re learning here how the power of conviction is mistaken for the power of faith to learn more about why God is rebuking this minister and all who share his convictions.
 
The power of that conviction (God’s will and purpose for ministry) felt like the power of faith, but it was not. The power he felt was the power of an earthly spirit speaking to his sense of correctness with the scriptures and his private interpretation of the plan of God.
 
Satan blended his voice with Judas’ sense of correctness, and therefore, the conscience followed this record rather than the record of the Son of God. Judas didn’t see it and this minister does not see it.
 
How the Imagination Overshadows the Grace of God
 
Jesus had presented the plan of God for redemption and had said that He would be crucified and on the third day rise from the dead to establish a new covenant in Himself as our contact point. Judas, in working with his imagination, rejected the covenant and refused faith in Jesus Christ. His imagination thus overshadowed the grace of God. The word “temptation” now is put within relevant context to help us to understand the Autonomy Transference processes Satan utilizes.
 
The Conscience, Apart From the Law of Grace Works With Another Law
 
The conscience, apart from the law of God’s grace and truth, works with another law and another power to form Christ (redemption) into another pattern, which is unsanctified. When the conscience is thus settled by conviction, the conscience is seared with a hot iron, which means the conscience is not troubled. In the presence of God’s grace and truth, the conscience is again challenged to righteousness and troubled. We witness this also in the case of Judas.
 
When Jesus did not use His power to free Himself from the Romans but instead committed Himself into the hands of sinners to be crucified according to the will of His Father, circumstances no longer supported Judas’ imagination, and he went out and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5).
 
Judas’ imagination was violated, and his soul crashed in on itself. Like letting air out of a balloon, the soul once inflated with the imagination, principle, and aspiration now deflates as these powers decrease.
 
The Devi’s Trio Works to Bring Agreement = False Equity
 
The agreement between the imagination, principle, aspiration, conviction, and conscience produces a false equity. As you begin to understand the connection between the conscience and the imagination, you’re helped to understand how, with the passage of time, the soul becomes hardened in sin through continued justification of one’s own principle fortified by a form of thinking that is deemed to be “correct” or self-validating. We can further understand the psychological fallout of a troubled conscience.
 
The equity Judas experienced through the correctness of his own convictions was sustained by another power that he was not aware of—the power that Satan lent to Judas’ imagination. Once the deed of betrayal to Christ was accomplished, Satan withdrew his power (as if lifting his finger from the scale); and Judas’ conscience was no longer supported by his imagination, and the house of cards fell. This describes perfectly the “defiled conscience”.
 
The Devil’s Trio Works to Produce a Defiled Conscience
 
The apostle Paul wrote about the defiled conscience. “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15). The defiled conscience is under the influence of the ruling powers of the flesh and dominated by the ruling powers of the air. This is why Paul also taught about God “purging the conscience” from sin and the answer of a “good conscience” toward God. Faith in Jesus Christ cleanses or purges the conscience.
 
The conscience uses the record at hand and receives unto itself the witness of that record. Judas received the witness of condemnation because his conscience followed the record of the flesh; he followed the path of his imagination coupled with his principle, scripture, and aspiration to try to advance himself. By forcing Jesus’ hand, he hoped to thus change his own lot in life.
 
In contrast, Apostle Paul said his conscience bore witness to the record set by the Spirit of God in Jesus Christ. He wrote: “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 9:1)
 
Sinners err in using the things of God for their own aspirations, expecting God to confirm their imagination. He will not. The unpurged conscience will continue to bring the witness of condemnation to the soul. God will only confirm Jesus Christ; the conscience then, following that record, receives the witness of the Spirit.
 
Not everyone commits suicide as Judas did. Nevertheless, when the soul crashes in on itself because the imagination has been violated and the support system for the conscience has been disturbed, people can fall into varying degrees of frustration, depression, and anger. We saw this in Satan. The wisdom that God gave to Satan became spoiled.
 
True Repentance
 
True repentance means that you are repenting UNTO the covenant, consenting to build with the knowledge provided by God’s steward of grace, under his guidance. This means accepting the knowledge of Jesus Christ as your foundation to build faith with these stones of knowledge—the 12 essential elements of the gospel.
  
The minister who bravely provided his confession for public record further stated, “I realized I could unknowingly be in the same category as Judas.” This awful realization, that God is in fact saying that he IS in the same category as Judas (not that he could be-but that he is) and that being ignorant of a thing wasn’t counted for innocence of it is indeed a shocking wake-up call for the church.
 
It felt good to trust in the internal GPS everyone was using while in the wilderness; it was the standard issue at that time—but it wasn’t God. You want to be a part of this new and exciting and powerful era that God has called the church into, but you have to do the unthinkable; you have to do what you at one time thought improbable and impossible—you have to accept the steward God called and anointed and build upon the foundation God has given to him as a gift for you.
Last Revised: 2015-11-03

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