Remember When?

I believe God gave us a memory for many reasons.

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Me and Aaron20003

Everyone’s life is a story that could, and maybe should be told. However, not everyone takes the time to review and learn from their life. Many believe life is like an uncontrolled roller coaster; you just take it as it comes with no concern as to where it has been. In reality, God has a purpose, planned out for us from before time. When we find that purpose, and pursue it, is when we will be most satisfied.

God has a purpose, planned out for us from before time.

“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we, who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us, may be greatly encouraged.” [Hebrews 6:17-18 NIV]

I believe God gave us a memory for many reasons. Perhaps the most important, to a follower of the Master, is to recall each and every time He intervened in our lives in an ‘other than every day’ happening. We see this in the way He taught the ancient Jews to remember those special events. He did so in two ways.

One way was to have them build an altar at a geographical location where He had intervened to rescue them, or show them something new in their lives. A second way was that God set aside ‘Holy Days,’ annual celebrations designed to remember Him and something specific He did for them, e.g. Passover, Firstfruits, etc.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” [Proverbs 16:9 NIV]

My wife and I can look back through the years and remember where God acted through certain extraordinary times or events, to take us into a deeper relationship with Him. We like to say we have built an altar there, at each of those points. One reason for that, we believe, is so that when we encounter something new that bodes of danger, uncertainty or fear, we can look to those altars, recall those previous times and events, and remember how God intervened in our life. Thus we will be reassured of His Trustworthiness to ‘”never leave us or forsake us.”

We know, we have complete assurance, that He will either

  1. walk with us through the new challenge,
  2. lift us out of the challenge, or
  3. take us home to be with Him.

Now that’s a win/win/win.

Becoming Overcomers

Jesus overcame Satan by the shedding of His blood, and thereby defeated death for us.

SatanIn today’s sophisticated, deluded culture, the devil is either a cartoon character, a suave charlatan that can give you everything you desire (for a price), or an incredibly powerful and evil being depicted in fictional venues as virtually unstoppable.

Christians need to understand that Satan is a real, yet created being. His powers are no greater than ours, just far more focused. He is not omnipresent, e.g. he can only be in one place at one time. He has an enormous number of demonic beings who do his bidding. These demons exercise great power because they know the Scriptures far better than most Christians. It is only natural that a soldier learn as much as possible about the enemy he faces in battle.

“You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe — and they shudder.” [James 2:19 HCSB]

The devil’s ability to delude so many in our culture rests in his careful reading of our strengths and weaknesses.

The devil’s ability to delude so many in our culture rests in his careful reading of our strengths and weaknesses. He works to move us to distraction, tempts us to seek personal satisfaction through things and stuff. The child of God who is committed to the Scripture and prayer will find the way to stay the course – with a life committed to serving our Master.

“For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.” [2 Corinthians 10:3-5 HCSB]

Jesus overcame Satan by the shedding of His blood, and thereby defeated death for us. He gave His life for you and I.

Jesus overcame Satan by the shedding of His blood, and thereby defeated death for us. He gave His life for you and I. Can we not rally to, at the least, defeat Satan’s attempts to destroy our lives and those of our families? Our nation’s future depends on a reawakening to the truth of God’s Word and the simple fact that we have been bought with a price.

I would ask you to consider these words and, please, read the Bible passages. Then ask the Spirit of God to guide you in every endeavor with the wisdom of our Creator!

Read Psalm 81:13-14

“We must realize that it is not Satan who defeats us; it is our openness to him. To perfectly subdue the devil we must walk in the “shelter of the Most High” (Psalm 91:1). Satan is tolerated for one purpose: the warfare between the devil and God’s saints thrusts us into Christlikeness, where the nature of Christ becomes our only place of rest and security. God allows warfare to facilitate His eternal plan, which is to make man in His image.”

Francis Frangipane, ‘The Three Battlegrounds

God created everything. Even my furnace of affliction was created for His purposes!

Read Psalm 91:1-10

Read Psalm 92:14-15

God created everything. Even my furnace of affliction was created for His purposes!

“no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.” [Isaiah 54:17 NIV]

“In the battles of life, your peace is actually a weapon. Indeed, your confidence declares that you are not falling for the lies of the devil. You see, the first step toward having spiritual authority over the adversary is having peace in spite of our circumstances. When Jesus confronted the devil, He did not confront Satan with His emotions or in fear. Knowing that the devil was a liar, He simply refused to be influenced by any other voice than God’s. His peace overwhelmed Satan, His authority then shattered the lie, which sent demons fleeing.”

Francis Frangipane, ‘The Three Battlegrounds

“”To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”” [Revelation 3:21-22 NKJV]

“Let us recall that the Lord delivered the ancient Hebrews out of Egypt so He could bring them into the Promised Land. Likewise, we are delivered out of sin, not that we might live for ourselves, but that we might come into Christlikeness. Our goals must align with God’s, for if our nature does not change, we will invariably find ourselves in the same problems that caused our difficulties in the first place.”

Francis Frangipane, ‘The Three Battlegrounds’

Read 1 John 3:8-9

Satan is not an equal power with God; he is a vanquished foe.

“Spiritual authority is not a tug-of-war on a horizontal plane; it is a vertical chain of command. Jesus Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). He’s at the top. He has given His authority and power to His servants to be exercised in His name (Luke 10:17); we’re underneath Him. And Satan and his demons? They’re at the bottom, subject to the authority Christ has invested in us. They have no more right to rule your life than a buck private has to order a general to clean the latrine. Why, then, does the kingdom of darkness exert such negative influence in the world and in the lives of Christians? In a word, the lie.

Satan is not an equal power with God; he is a vanquished foe. But if he can deceive you into believing that he has more power and authority than you do, you will live as if he does!”

Neil Anderson, ‘The Bondage Breaker

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Read Psalm 33:20-22

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful Jesus Returnsand True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.” [Revelation 19:11-16 NIV]

“. . . in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

I’m convinced it is vitally important we understand this fundamental tenet of how we pray!

praying-man

Quite often we will say something out of habit, or rote, or perceived obligation. When we do that, it is likely the statement is bereft of meaning. For example, when someone sneezes we will say, “Bless you!” Or, more rarely nowadays, “God bless you!” Do we really mean that? Are we thinking about God blessing that individual? Or, has it become a habit we feel compelled to do?

The following article, written by the late M. R. De Haan II, from Radio Bible Class fame, speaks to that problem, and addresses the very nature of what we say in the way we pray.


“. . . in Jesus name. Amen.”

             By M. R. De Haan II      Published in the RBC Digest®; Vol. 3, No. 11; February 1979

Thot: The words “for Christ’s sake” too often become a profanity in the curses of sinners – and in the prayers of saints.

Most Christians are familiar with the fact that the Scriptures tell us to pray in the name of Jesus. And they promise that if we do, the Father will give us everything we ask for. Therefore, along with so many other Christians, I close my prayers in the name of Christ.

But here is the problem. I don’t get everything I ask for. You don’t either, do you? Even though we tag our prayers with the Blessed Name, it doesn’t always work.

I don’t mean to be profane about this. Nor do I regret that I haven’t gotten everything I’ve asked for. To be sure, much of what I’ve wanted would not have been in my best interests – nor God’s. And it’s only because of His loving wisdom that He refused to grant my selfish, shortsighted desires.

If God cannot lie, then why doesn’t He keep His promise when I ask in His Son’s name?

But that doesn’t solve our problem. If God cannot lie, then why doesn’t He keep His promise when I ask in His Son’s name?

Answer: Praying in the name of Jesus doesn’t mean praying with the right “tag.” Neither does it mean twisting the Arm of the Almighty by appealing to the authority of His Son. Praying in the name of Jesus means praying in accordance with His character.

Reason: In biblical times the idea of a “name “ meant much more than it does today. It often was descriptive of the character and work of the person who bore it. In the case of Christ that was especially true. He is revealed to us as “the Lord Jesus Christ.” “Lord” speaks of His authority. “Jesus” describes Him as Savior. “Christ” as God’s anointed one – in other words, the person to whom God gave His Spirit in order to fulfill His assignment.

Significance: What does all this mean? It means that my prayers, to be in the name of Christ, should conform to the character behind these descriptive titles. They are to be in the spirit of rescue (Jesus), in the spirit of fulfilling God’s purpose (Christ) and in the awareness that my authority can only be an extension of His authority (Lord).

We therefore are to pray, as His representatives, “for His sake,” in His place, in His Spirit, and with His purpose. This means that we must assume His character and by so doing receive whatever we ask for.

This realization isn’t quite so appealing is it? It’s easier to try to use the name of Christ as some magical formula. But to do so would be to diminish the name of Jesus to an instrument of our own flesh. The Lord of Glory can’t let that happen – for our sake – not for His.


Prayer is at the very heart of Christianity

Prayer is at the very heart of Christianity; because Christianity is NOT a religion, but the way of life for a follower of Jesus.

Since many of us are committed to praying for our nation and the first 100 days of this new Administration (in addition to every other aspect of our life), I think it is vitally important we understand this fundamental tenet of how we pray

“Now I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.” [1 Corinthians 1:10 HCSB]

Intentionality

God has already spoken many things to us. Our problem usually isn’t lack of a word from Him but a lack of putting into practice the things that He says.

Black-webbed tree frogs
Black-webbed tree frogs

“LORD, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify your name. All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right.” Isaiah 26:8-9 NLT

Too often we wait to be mystically moved before we obey His word simply and unyieldingly. Implementing what God has said is the surest way to have an amazing year ahead.
Gary Wilkerson (January 2016)

A Mighty Fortress

WWII-war-memorial-washington-DCWith the celebration of Veteran’s Day 2015, honoring all men and women who have served in our nation’s military, I thought it might be fitting to take a close look at this great hymn.

Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenburg, Germany, in 1517. Some time later he wrote the hymn “A Mighty Fortress”. In this post we are going to review the words of that hymn to discover some truths that have been important to the life of the Church of Jesus Christ from the beginning. Martin Luther was quite a musician. He wrote music, sang and played the lute. He wrote this hymn and it became known as the ‘Battle Hymn of the Reformation’. It is said that many of those thousands that were martyred for their faith in Jesus, sang this hymn while being tortured and killed.

A MIGHTY FORTRESS

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing.
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe

That is, the angel of light, Lucifer, Satan himself

Doth seek to work us woe.

Never lose sight of the fact he is more cunning and crafty than you.

His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal
.

Man was given dominion over all creation by the Creator. Man, however, ceded that dominion to Lucifer, better known as Satan, when he fell for the lie and sinned against God.

“The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'”” [Luke 4:5-8]

You will note that Jesus, here seen in the Temptation, never denies Satan’s claim. And Satan’s all-consuming work is to spoil the supreme work of our Lord’s creation, that being man.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing,Wartburg-Castle_A-Mighty-Fortress-Is-Our-God1

We will fail if we seek to battle the evil forces in our own strength! Paul warns us of the necessity of armor and preparation, as follows:

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” [Ephesians 6:11-18]

Were not the right man on our side,
The man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He.
Lord Sabboth, his name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

We know that the war has been won by Jesus on the cross and at His resurrection! Satan is a defeated foe. You can think of it like the German army in the months following D-Day. Their doom was certain – but many allied troops died fighting them in battles throughout France, Belgium and Germany in the months following 6 June 1944. But on 8 May 1945, the Allied Forces victory was complete. The war was over!

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,

The anti-Christian tidal wave that is moving throughout the US is nothing more than Satan overplaying his hand. He is behind it all, wanting to cause as many as possible to deny Jesus and spend eternity separated from God.

We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.

Jesus has left with us the mission of spreading the gospel message. Everything else we do is secondary to accomplishing that mission. The whole purpose of the Church is to be witnesses of the saving and redeeming power of Jesus and His sacrifice. He has promised the Christian victory if we stay true to that mission. Staying on course does not mean you must be a vocational minister or missionary. It just means you place ‘no other gods’ ahead of Him, and you allow Him to lead your every step.

The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure.
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers
Not thanks to them, abideth.
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through him who with us sideth.

God has given His Spirit, and the gifts of the Spirit; all that we need to overcome!

Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also
.

All the material that life has to offer, including family and life itself, pales under the Light of our Redeemer, our Eternal Life, who is Jesus!

The body they may kill,
God’s truth abideth still.
His kingdom is forever

Each of us must choose. It is a simple choice.

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn’t really matter.” (Author unknown)

What Have We Done With the Jew?

For Reference See My Post “What Would You Do with the Jew?

I have long wondered why so many Americans have a bad attitude, or actually hate people of Jewish ancestry. I grew up in a conservative Christian home. My parents never exhibited open hatred or resentment toward other races, and certainly not of the Jews. For that reason I remained unaware of the ChristiansHolocaust-StarOfDavid who despised and rejected people of Jewish ancestry. As an adult I began to see some of this, but still I did not hear that theology taught or preached in the various local church groups where my family and I worshipped.

Perhaps it is because of the current tensions in the region of the Middle East, and specifically in the nation of Israel, that Christian views are being forced into the light of day. I know what God says through His Word. God’s Covenant with the Jewish people is irrevocably joined to His plan for all eternity.

“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” [Deuteronomy 7:6-9]

The Apostle Paul, an orthodox Jew, a Pharisee, and a Christian called by God to be the evangelist to the Gentiles, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write, “ From the standpoint of the gospel, the Jews [at present] are enemies [of God] for your sake [which is for your benefit], but from the standpoint of God’s choice [of the Jews as His people], they are still loved by Him for the sake of the fathers.  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call].” [Romans 11:28-29 AMP]

It is far beyond the scope here to speak directly to the inept policies the current US Government and the United Nations are implementing and seeking to implement with regard to the nation of Israel. The United States has, from 1948 to 2009, been a close friend and ally of Israel; our only ally in the Middle East. We are, to our shame, forsaking them now. President Obama made his position clear in his very first international trip, when he snubbed Israel and lauded Egypt’s radical Islamic revolutionaries. Since then, to our shame, virtually no one in the senior positions of the administration has stood for Israel.

I have often said that, at least since the 1950’s, people live in a tightly defined “time bubble.” Everything outside that bubble is considered irrelevant. So, we only look forward a year or two; and our concern and knowledge of the past, may be five years. That is not to say we don’t know things; but very definitely we don’t learn from the past nor do we seriously plan for the future, except where money is concerned. Shaking our fist in the face of God obfuscates planning for the future.

Consider the following:

“In the ancient Near East, people sealed relationships between individuals or nations by covenant. When larger, powerful nations and smaller, weaker ones made a covenant. The entities operated like father and son or master and servant. Each had a distinct role to perform.

“The more powerful kingdom (called the suzerain) would adopt the smaller one (the vassal). In exchange for the vassal’s allegiance, the suzerain would provide military protection and financial provision in times of need. The suzerain had authority over the vassal. It might allow the vassal to maintain its own government and traditions, but it maintained legal ownership of the vassal’s land and agricultural harvest.

“The vassal was expected to operate in submission to its suzerain. In addition to giving a percentage of its annual production, the vassal was expected to be completely loyal. A vassal could only have one suzerain. Making a covenant with another suzerain was high treason and would incur horrendous consequences. The vassal’s loyalty was pledged to the suzerain and could not be shared with another

“The Bible translates this kind of loyalty using the Hebrew word hesed. It means love, faithfulness, or covenantal faithfulness. A vassal’s faithfulness was described as love expressed to his suzerain. Rebellion was to hate the suzerain.” Taken from ‘The Deliverance Principle’, as found in “Gideon: Your Weakness, God’s Strength”; by Priscilla Shirer.

My concern is the Biblical position many in Christianity have taken regarding the Jew and the nation of Israel. The verses quoted above are difficult to misread. Yet, there are many who believe the Covenant that God initiated and backed by His Name has changed, and He has turned His back on the Jewish people. If a Christian believes God could ever break any Covenant, then what assurance do we hold that He would not break the New Covenant – that of His Son Jesus.

A Transcendent, Eternal God, who lives outside of time and knows the beginning from the end, cannot make a Covenant and then break it. It is against His very nature as an Almighty, Righteous and Just God.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” [Romans 1:16 NIV] Thus wrote Paul in his letter to the church in Rome.

So, where does this lead us?

At the risk of being repetitious, let’s hear what God said, at the very beginning, to Abram:

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” [Genesis 12:2-3]

  • May 14, 1948: late morning eastern standard time (late afternoon in Palestine): David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, reads a “Declaration of Independence,” which proclaims the existence of a Jewish state called Israel beginning on May 15, 1948, at 12:00 midnight Palestine time (6:00 p.m., May 14, 1948,eastern standard time).
  • May 14, 6 p.m. eastern standard time (12:00 midnight in Palestine): The British mandate for Palestine expires, and the state of Israel comes into being.
  • May 14, 6:11 p.m. eastern standard time: The United States recognizes Israel on a de facto basis. The White House issues the following statement: “This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the State of Israel.”.
  • May 14, shortly after 6:11 p.m. eastern standard time: United States representative to the United Nations Warren Austin leaves his office at the United Nations and goes home. Secretary of State Marshall sends a State Department official to the United Nations to prevent the entire United States delegation from resigning.
  • May 15: On May 15, 1948, the Arab states issued their response statement and Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq attack Israel.

[From the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum; Recognition of the State of Israel.]

The USA became the very first nation to recognize the new nation of Israel. Israel is the only nation in the history of mankind, to have been dispersed by invading armies (70 AD) yet maintained a national identity and ultimately reborn.

Over the next two decades the US was blessed with spiritual, economic and military growth beyond compare. Our infrastructure advanced as the standard of living spiraled upward.

Some may call it a coincidence. But, the obvious fact is that it resulted from God’s Covenant Promise to His Chosen People. The US was blessed because of the Genesis 12 promise.

Today, notwithstanding the Church’s malaise and retreat from Biblical Christianity, our schizophrenic relationship with Israel, now bursting into an all-out rejection of the plainly stated Biblical position of the Jew, has brought the US into a place where our two greatest adversaries are literally ‘thumbing their noses in our face.’ Russia and China have both, in the last 12 months, begun making aggressive moves, militarily, geographically, politically and financially, that place our nation at extreme risk.

Israel will stand – alone, if necessary – of that you can rest assured. Holocaust Memorial-StockholmAlmighty God has spoken. Biblical prophesies cannot be lectured away by the religious intelligentsia; nor can land-for-peace treaties be expected to be honored by Palestinians; nor will the UN be able to accomplish any of their anti-Semitic resolutions. Jerusalem will never be divided again and the Temple Mount will not be controlled by Palestinians. And Peace will come to Jerusalem, but not in the form the world thinks.

Peace will come to Jerusalem when the Prince of Peace sets foot on the Mount of Olives in His triumphal return to reign upon the earth!

So, while the European and North American politicians play their silly games, Iran blubbers that they will cause Israel’s demise, and the Arab nations feign blustery anger at Israel’s fair treatment of the Palestinians – TAKE NOTE!

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;

the Lord scoffs at them.

He rebukes them in his anger

and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

“I have installed my king

on Zion, my holy mountain.”   (Psalm 2:4-6)

Help, I’ve Fallen, and I Can’t Get Up

Good Without God! Really?!? (Part V)

Man has, from the very beginning, exercised his will in opposition to God, by seeking to operate outside of God’s Will. In a similar vein, mankind has used the intelligence God gifted them to devise ideas of why they believe God does not even exist and all of creation just happened. Reality? NO! Lunacy? YES!

Man upside down in dirt hole with legs in the air

However, my purpose here is to speak to the end result of that questioning of God – the religion of humanism and how it has crept into the Christian Church, the universal, worldwide body of believers in Jesus Christ. Within the universal Church there are numerous subsets and denominations. Just as the human body is a unified creation, made up of many different but essential elements, so the Body of Christ (the pure and true Church) holds to a set of foundational beliefs that cannot be set aside and still remain part of the Body.

“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”        [2 Thessalonians 2:10b-12]

Apostasy, as I will discuss it herein, defines the process of falling away from the Christian faith.  It is a revolt against the truth of God’s word by any believer, group or church organization that has “fallen away” from the truths of Christianity as divinely revealed in the Bible.

It is as simple as that! Humanism has been a primary cause of apostasy. The false teachings of humanism began to seep into Christian thought and writings as early as Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274), and followed by the likes of René Descartes, Jeremy Bentham, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, and John Dewey, among many others.

In my early years as an adult in the church I experienced numerous examples of people talking out of both sides of their mouth regarding what they believe and how they put it into practice. One of the primary problems that eroded the foundations of church bodies was failure of individuals to study and know the Word of God. Whether it was simply spiritual laziness, or the distractions of busy lives, or materialism or the explosion of audio and visual mediums of communications, followers of Jesus began to drift away from focus on God’s Word. Many remained faithful to church attendance (it’s a social thing), but created a segregated life of home, work and church. They found it easier to let a pastor or teacher ‘spoon-feed’ them with spiritual truth during a short service on a Sunday, than to acknowledge their personal responsibility to spend time daily exploring God’s Word for the truths He had for them. For example, the difference in a person feeling good because they know there are diamonds in a particular rock formation, versus the one having the tenacity to carefully dig into the rock and extract the diamonds.

Our God is a triune being who, from eternity past and forever, exists in fellowship. He welcomes fellowship with His children. As we grow in our love for Jesus through the Bible and the teaching of the Holy Spirit we find favor with God the Father.

Many pastors, who came up in this environment of apostasy, found that teaching bits and pieces of the Bible, eliminating those areas that were caustic to the culture, would facilitate growth in attendance and membership of their local church.

woman-rejectionThe people who have developed such a lifestyle will eventually pattern a god that fits comfortably into their lives. However, as can be seen in all congregations, they know how to “play church,” how to act and speak the part. It is possible to know someone for years and never grasp the disposition of their spiritual walk. Indeed, many aspire to and gain positions of leadership for the gratification of their ego and/or their desire to rule others.

When confronted with issues that endanger their belief system, they spout out, “Well, I believe God loves all people and would never do ‘such and such.” Or, “I think God would never support that kind of belief or action.” Or, worse yet, “Though there is nothing to support it in the Bible, I am sure Jesus would agree with this.” (See the Post on Pres. Carter) The operative word here is “I”. So to speak, people rip out the parts of the Bible that interfere with their personal beliefs or lifestyle, while building a belief system out of what little remains. You can approach the Bible with a sin-hardened lifestyle, pick out certain passages and try to prove a point. The Bible is either all true, inspired by God, or not.

The late Adrian Rogers (Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN) described the ministry of the three persons of God in this way:

  • The ministry of God the Father is to rule the universe!
  • The ministry of Jesus the Son, in conjunction with His Father, is to save mankind!
  • The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to open blind eyes, to bring light, to bring understanding!

The person who has believed in Jesus as the Son of God, and that He died, was buried and rose from the dead, physically, and is alive today, has been redeemed and is a part of the Family of God.

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” [Ephesians 1:13-14]

It is this Holy Spirit, permanently resident in the believer, who teaches us the Word and provides guidance in the daily pursuit of life. Since this is built on faith in God, the humanist cries foul, and is bent to accept nothing he can’t see or prove by science.

Paul explains why it is different for the non-believer.

“But the natural, non-spiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them (of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them) because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.” [1 Corinthians 2:14 Amplified Bible)

There is but a remnant in the USA of those who trust God, read, study and follow His Word, and lead a life worthy of the calling placed on them by their Master, Jesus. Large numbers professing Christianity cannot, will not, submit their entire lives to Him. The book of the Revelation, the final book in the Bible, speaks to how that turns out!