Let me provoke you here a bit. I argue that Satan has ruled the Institutional Church (IC) from her early beginnings and I also believe he did not stop there. The devil even goes so far to draw those into his spider web of lies again who once would leave the institutional church system because they saw its serious shortcomings. And it does not seem to me that he has had great difficulties in doing so. Whoever does not preach the true gospel of Christ, but a mixed version that is more pleasing to the listener’s ear, has become deceived whether they know it or not. But alas, they do not know it. If they did, they would not be deceived, right? They could repent if God gave them eyes to see the truth. It is so saddening to observe when they are confronted with the truth, instead of repentance, false spirits rise up and manifest the spirit of antichrist aka the ‘instead-of-Christ-spirit’ as Michael Clark told me several times in the past. There is our old self’s nature, our fallen human nature, the flesh that always wants to be like God without obeying Him and His Spirit’s leading (cf. Gal 5:14). In his recent recent article Michael wrote,
Man loves to try to do the works of God, accumulate knowledge, know with his own mind, and imitate God instead of knowing God intimately with his heart and allowing God to conform him into the image of Christ by the plan and design of the Father. The fleshly state of fallen man still loves to eat the fruit of that same forbidden tree instead of Jesus, the Tree of Life (See John 6:51).
Religious man loves to collect Bible knowledge and knowledge of doctrines so he can decide for himself what is good and what is evil. He loves to heap to himself teachers that tickle his religious ears and to garner to himself degrees in theology. Yet, when the New Testament speaks of “knowing the Lord,” it speaks of an intimate knowing that goes much deeper than a mere accumulation of facts.