Welcome to Brian's Bits, where Brian gets to share at length about various topics stirring inside of him.
The Harlot Church System, Part 6
10 September 2014
This is the last in a six-part series of articles presenting excerpts from Charles E. Newbold’s book The Harlot Church System, taken from chapters 15 through 18.

In this book, the author’s thoughts and arguments build from one chapter to the next. Therefore, if you have not read the previous parts yet, I strongly encourage you to do so now before you read today’s article. This is especially important because throughout the book, Mr. Newbold uses words like church, “it,” “Self” and “Thing,” with very precise and special meanings. In order to understand what he means by these words, you will want to read his introduction in Chapter 1 of Part 1 very carefully.

As I shared previously, Entire sentences highlighted in this color are MY emphasis — thoughts which struck me as especially important. All other emphasis is the author’s, or implied by the author. If the flow of thought from paragraph to paragraph feels disjointed at times, that’s because it is! Except for the three articles in which I share entire chapters, I’ve taken paragraphs which were spread throughout each chapter, so there can be large chunks of text missing in between the paragraphs I’ve included here. That’s why you need to buy your own copy and read the whole thing!
Chapter 15 — Legalism
Those who rule the churches are typically legalistic. Technically, legalism is the literal, strict, and excessive conformity to a law or religious order. Bob Hughey says, “Legalism is the system by which we do things to try to get to God.” It is putting confidence in the flesh in an attempt to find acceptance with God.

Of all the deceptions perpetuated in the church system, legalism is the most frightening because it looks so right, but is so terribly wrong. The works of the law — or in present-day terms, church laws and church work — are presented as “the way” to salvation rather than the work of God’s grace through Christ Jesus. These works become substitutes for Jesus.

In each of these denomination, I still have to “do” something in addition to believing in Jesus in order to be one of them — at the very least, I would have to join their church. I would be expected to join something Jesus never required me to join, something that did not even exist in New Testament days — church. So, what is it they want me to join?
Legalism Is the Outward Doing of Things
Legalism is based on performance. It implies that we are rewarded for what we do and are chastised for what we do not do. It is based on works. This is precisely why the churches are dead.... Whenever we go back under law, whether it is Old Testament law or modern day church law, we fall from grace.

Law is doing. Grace is being. Law has to do with what we “should” do, but cannot. Grace has to do with what God has already done for us. We call a people to be like Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus, but we love to have the Marthas around. Most of the activities in the churches depend upon the Marthas (Luke 10:38-42).

If I try to legislate what you must do to act like a good Christian, then I am under the law and putting you under the law. If, on the other hand, I introduce you to Jesus, who is the perfect law of God, and He legislates His law from within you by changing your nature, then I bring you to the grace of God. Grace is the power of God at work within you to perform His word within you. Faith actively pursues the grace of God. Faith will never pursue law.
Legalism Attempts to Perfect By the Flesh
Unless a change of nature has taken place on the inside of us, the changes on the outside are in vain. We are phony. The inside of us always has a way of shining through that thin, transparent, gilded exterior we exhibit to others.

The law of God has been deposited within our human spirits and we have been transformed by it. Therefore, we no longer live according to the outward working of the law, but by the inward working of God’s law. That’s grace!
Legalism Is Devisive
Legalistic people tend to be divisive. They may not intend to be divisive, but their legalistic ways cause division. The more legalistic they are, the more they tend to splinter over little, non-essential things.... Silly and petty rules in the churches often cause divisions and deep hurts which sometimes lead to rejection of individuals by their own families. Churches of every kind have divided over non-essential issues. Churches by their very nature are programmed to splinter.

There is only one body. This one body of Christ is not and cannot be many bodies. Therefore, if that which you are in can be divided, it is not the real thing.
Legalism Is Empty, Mechanical Ritual
Legalistic people do works out of a joyless sense of duty, thinking that God will be pleased with their performance or that He might grant them “merited” favor. It is empty ritual. So it is with foot washing. Some traditions believe that foot washing is an ordinance like water baptism and the Lord’s supper. They may set aside arbitrary times once a month, every three months, or once a year to wash one another’s feet.

When the Holy Spirit leads someone to wash another’s feet, it can prove to be powerful and meaningful and usually conveys a message of spiritual significance; but to impose foot washing as a requirement for being saved, for being right, or for being spiritual is to turn it into legalistic dead works. The same can be said for any act of worship or service. When things are done mechanically, they are generally meaningless works of the flesh.
Legalism Is Judgmental
What we judge is different from how we judge.... This entire book is a judgment against that Thing we call church. We are to discern what God is saying. We then speak those God-given revelations, visions, dreams, and understandings given to us in order, if need be, to call one another to repentance. We call sin, sin. We judge what God judges, but when we bring our own agendas, opinions, or feelings into the situation, we turn righteous judging into critical, legalistic judgmentalism.
Legalism Is Bondage
The bondage of legalism occurs when our laws, rules, and regulations put God in a box and then we try to fit everyone else into those same boxes. If they do not fit into the box, they are considered outsiders and even infidels.

The Lord dealt with Larry about using doctors. Larry had come to a place of confidence in the Lord that all things were under His control. It was no longer a question of healing with Larry; it was a question of God’s will being done. Larry had faith. It was not his faith, but the Lord’s faith in him to endure whatever sickness and infirmity that came upon him without subjecting himself to medical treatment. Larry was careful not to make this a rule for everyone. Had He said, “The Lord has shown me it is wrong to go to doctors and therefore it is wrong for anyone to go doctors,” he would have moved from grace to legalism. If we make going to doctors or not going to doctors a rule for everyone, we are legalistic. Those laws soon become impossible requirements for salvation.

Most Christians are bound by what their church system says is proper Christian practice.... They rarely know why these things are required of them. Church systems have no life to give. Moreover, they quench the Spirit with their carnal meetings, formalities, traditions, rituals, dogmas, rules, programs, and regulations.
Legalism Is a Curse
We tend to make religious laws and systems out of the truths of God and follow them instead of following God. The Kingdom of God has to do with the living reality of Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit who is at work within us to bring about God’s ultimate intentions. Jesus could never be squeezed into the systems and formulas we concoct out of our carnal minds. Watch out for them! They are killers.

At best, the laws that are put on us by religious people in the church systems can only be observed outwardly. No change of nature has taken place. Therefore, any requirement for us to adhere to a belief system, join and regularly attend church, dress a certain way, perform certain rituals, or abide by certain laws, rules, and regulations puts us under a curse. We are trying to make ourselves righteous by laws we cannot keep in our hearts.
Legalism Is Bewitching
Our teachings (doctrines) often become the gospel we preach. An acquaintance of mine once said of himself, “I preach faith.” Then he declared, “It works.” However, the apostle Paul proclaimed that he preached Christ and Him crucified. Jesus is what works and Jesus is not an it. How astonishing that faith, the appropriate solution to the law, could be so skillfully turned back into law. Many well-meaning and God-seeking believers have been mesmerized by that false teaching.

Some denominations have made water baptism and membership into their church the way of salvation. Consequently, people are being inadvertently baptized into the name of that church rather than into the name of Jesus. What an affront to Jesus!

Any practice, teaching, doctrine, ritual, program, rule, regulation, system, organization, association, or church government that binds and oppresses people rather than setting them free in Christ is not of God. It is legalism. Legalism is fleshly. Flesh is manipulative. Manipulation is the practice of witchcraft — manipulating others to do things against their will.
Chapter 16 — The Demons of Witchcraft
Whenever we have one of these Things we call church, it is a work of flesh. If flesh, then it is idolatrous. If idolatrous, then it is demon infested. If demon infested, then it is going to be driven by manipulation and control which is the practice of witchcraft in the broad and more subtle definition of the term. If it is the practice of witchcraft, then the demons of witchcraft will be swarming.... The stench of flesh attracts the demons of witchcraft.
The Spirit of Babylon
Spiritual Babylon takes on tangible form in this Thing we call church. Church is idolatrous. In the Bible, demons are associated with idolatry.... So, too, this Thing we call church is possessed with demons — all the demons of spiritual Babylon.

I was born and raised in spiritual Babylon as were many in the church. It was all I knew. It was in me, and I was in it. As a minister in that system, I found identity, significance, validation, power, support, and hope. It was a major stronghold in my life.

Even after my conversion and separation from the system, I experienced times when I would be overcome by this spirit of Babylon. I wanted to go back into the system — the very thing that had spiritually bankrupted me before. The pull was so compelling at times that I was certain it was the voice of God calling me. The call contradicted the revelations and understandings I had been given about the church system, but I could not see the truth while under its veil of deception. After a while, that veil would lift and I would come to my senses.

When this Babylonian spirit is further exposed, I believe three other main demonic influences are seen working in concert with each other to take rule over carnal churches. They are a matriarchal spirit, a Jezebel spirit, and a spirit of witchcraft. These spirits operate as three in one to form the “unholy trinity” in opposition to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Empowering the Matriarchal Spirit
The pastor who wants domination over “his” sheep suppresses their gifts and ministries that he might have the rule over them. He wants — that’s Jezebel; he suppresses — that witchcraft; he rules — that’s the matriarch. This unholy trinity is gender-non-specific. It operates through male or female to secure its domination over its house. The true Patriarch over the ekklesia of God is Father-God. Anytime His people submit to any other spiritual authority for headship, the matriarch takes over, whether the leadership is male or female.

The church system as a whole is structured for this unrighteous domination of a few people over many people. Phil Perry says regarding the harlot church system that “it will either make you domineering or keep you weak.” Witchcraft and Jezebel in these Things we call church scheme to empower some people with ungodly authority and imprison others under that ungodly authority.
Drones of Witchcraft
Paul wrote, “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and the doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1). He later added that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Demons whisper into our itching ears, and we succumb to their deceits when we have not settled the issue of utter surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. We still lust for Self and do not love the truth. Remember, the Lord was talking to the assemblies of the called-out-ones in Asia [Minor] when He mentioned the doctrine of Balaam in Revelation 2:14, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans in Revelation 2:15, and the doctrine of Jezebel in Revelation 2:20-24. These were false teachings that threatened the simplicity and purity of the devotion of the saints to Jesus.
Demons and People
If we are seeking something for Self, we will despise those who threaten us. Some would kill if they could. The demons in the churches are many and vicious. Many churches have become more of the battlefield for injury than a triage center for healing.

Those who rule within these Things we call church may be few in number, perhaps only one. It may be the pastor, but not necessarily.... Quite often, those in control are “lay” persons who not only rule the church, but control the pastors as well. They may be male or female.... One pastor friend of mine told me years ago that when he went to a new church situation, his first task was to discover who the “chief” was in order to find a way to work with him or her.
Witchcraft and the Holy Spirit
If we cannot wait on God to bring a thing about, we are wanting something God has not ordained. If God ordained it, we should be able to wait for Him to bring it about in His timing. His timing is perfect. The nature of the Holy Spirit in us is to rest, wait, listen, and then act only when it is time to act. The Holy Sprit is patient, gentle, kind, and long-suffering.

We have to let people be free. We have to let them be free to be who they are and where they are at any given point and time in their lives. Any act of control that creates bondage for another person is the subtle practice of witchcraft.
Chapter 17 — The Deep Things of Satan
Read the entire, uncut chapter in the article The Deep Things of Satan.
Chapter 18 — Who Shall Ascend?
This chapter is a prophecy which Mr. Newbold received on February 4, 1987, which he included as the last chapter because it serves as a thorough summary of and closure to all of the preceeding chapters. Buy the book to read it!
Other articles in this series: Shop for The Harlot Church System book on Amazon.com
This article is 47th a series of articles on this Web site related to Modern Christianity and the Church which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
9  Nov  2008
27  Nov  2008
12  Jun  2010
9  Sep  2010
10  Sep  2010
11  Sep  2010
12  Sep  2010
15  Sep  2010
16  Sep  2010
27  Sep  2010
2  May  2011
22  May  2011
4  Jul  2011
20  Aug  2012
20  Mar  2013
2  Jul  2013
3  Jul  2013
6  Jul  2013
7  Jul  2013
9  Jul  2013
10  Jul  2013
11  Jul  2013
17  Aug  2013
18  Aug  2013
20  Aug  2013
27  Dec  2013
19  Feb  2014
24  Feb  2014
25  Feb  2014
27  Feb  2014
19  Jul  2014
24  Jul  2014
25  Jul  2014
1  Aug  2014
19  Aug  2014
29  Aug  2014
30  Aug  2014
31  Aug  2014
1  Sep  2014
2  Sep  2014
3  Sep  2014
5  Sep  2014
6  Sep  2014
7  Sep  2014
8  Sep  2014
9  Sep  2014
The Harlot Church System, Part 6
10  Sep  2014
11  Sep  2014
13  Sep  2014
18  Sep  2014
23  Sep  2014
24  Sep  2014
25  Sep  2014
26  Sep  2014
10  Oct  2014
11  Oct  2014
13  Oct  2014
20  Oct  2014
15  Dec  2014
16  Dec  2014
20  Dec  2014
22  Dec  2014
27  Dec  2014
14  Jan  2015
15  Jan  2015
18  Jan  2015
26  Jan  2015
3  Mar  2015
19  Aug  2015
4  Sep  2015
Reader Comments
There are no reader comments for this blog entry.
Article Index     |     Search     |     Site Help