February 13, 2012
I hear a lot of talk about revival. I know many pray for revival and that is definitely a good thing. Many claim a great revival is happening worldwide and while I hope that is true I am a bit incredulous considering what the Bible says and infers about the last days.
Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? KJV
Jesus was speaking of His return and this does not bode well for revivals or even the Church corporate. It does not look like dominion theology pans out or any other theology for that matter. It looks like faith will be a rare thing and even at a near extinction level event. Seeing this passage speaks to a post-Tribulation event it makes sense since the Church has been Raptured. The 144,000 will be hard at it and many will be won by their ministry. Yet, when we are looking at seven billion people currently on earth the numbers will still be a small ratio.
Yet, what about Pre-Tribulation days? Can we expect massive revivals?
Matt 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. KJV
When you say the word iniquity most people think of general sins or some particularly grave sin and both are right, but the word also speaks to the idea of being against the law or transgression of it. You could say anything illegal or contrary to God’s laws.
Most Christians do not set out to sin when they are first saved. They become sin hunters and try to seek out everything that might be wrong in their life. That is great! Not a bad idea at all, but sometimes they do go too far and listen to people who teach them the traditions of men and get all wrapped up in do this and do that from the minds of men and not necessarily of God.
After an array of failures and sins they get tired and instead of just dumping the traditions of men they dump everything and consider all things lawful for they are under grace. They lose their discernment in the thrill of finding liberty and end up on the other extreme justifying things that appeal to the flesh without considering that they may cause others to stumble and be condemned by the things they allow. They may even use love to manipulate another believer or get others to do things that they have not faith to do making them sin and ultimately stumble. They push the ideas under the banner of grace. True love and grace would forgo liberty for the love of their neighbor.
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. KJV
Some give up their beliefs or convictions because they are tired of being picked on by the unbelievers and the believers who tell them to lighten up and dump legalism. They just can’t take the persecution though it be not unto blood. It is just inconvenient or frustrating. Once they are on that path they are not far from choosing the path of least resistance. They find their love running cold because to be close to the Lord means getting what He and the faithful get; persecution. We are to resist the devil and stand against evil and when we run from the heat of the battle we find cold love in our desertion.
The unnamed prophet listened to an older peer that seemed spiritual instead of obeying God and ended up dead instead of being in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame. False brethren or erring brethren can be as dangerous or more so than outright enemies. You trust those who profess Christianity and appear spiritual and let your guard down whereas with a known enemy the shields would go up, phasers armed and torpedoes loaded. The enemy knows that and will send such people your way that appear as an angels of light to defeat you.
2 Tim 3:12-13
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. KJV
If we can see the fact that evil men are getting worse and worse why do we think we shall not see persecution? In the early days of the Church revival and church growth came by the shedding of the blood of the saints not by major concerts, coffee shops and whatever might be equal to all our media toys.
Tertullian said, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church” (Apologeticus, Chapter 50) .And that is true in many countries today except for the 1st World nations, especially the carnal US. The land of the free is enslaved to every wind of doctrine and sleight of hand. The winds of persecution are starting to pick up, but we think they are going to become balmy breezes instead of winds from Hell sent to blow away what little seed of the Word of God and its fruit remains.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. KJV
Note that the evil men were deceiving and being deceived not in the rites of satanism or atheism, but in a false form of Christianity. A lawless or iniquitous Christianity that has a form of godliness but lacks and denies the power thereof. A Laodicean form of Christianity that will seem to be rich carnally, but it is wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked spiritually. It will preach sweet but defiled doctrine to itching ears and will sit at the table with Belial. Their doom will be sealed at the Rapture, but they will plead they were doing the Lord’s work on Judgment Day only to be told He never knew them.
2 Cor 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. KJV
There are many false Christs or other Jesus’ out there. The irony is that they can garner far more disciples than the real Jesus. It reminds me of the time we were able to get some real butter when I was a underpaid buck Sgt in the USAF. My kids had been raised on margarine. While my wife and I were in dog heaven when we tasted the real thing the kids thought it was yucky. They had lived so long with the fake they could not handle the taste of the real thing.
That is why it is so hard to get someone out of a cult or apostate form of Christianity. They have survived on the fake for so long that they real thing has no flavor for them. A backslid Christian is the next hardest person to work with because they have forgotten how sweet the real thing is because they have spent so long with the fake. It is easier to get someone to accept the true Christ who has never heard or was barely exposed to the fake. Their taste buds have not been dulled.
Be careful of what you believe and study to show yourself approved in that day for it will not matter what your favorite preacher or teacher taught. It will be checked to see if YOU did the will of the Father. What is that will?
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. KJV
Salvation is first. That is the prime will of God for all humans. After that, we are told in Romans 12:1,2 to become living sacrifices with minds transformed so that we can find more of the good, perfect and acceptable will of God.
You may be wrapped up in various sins or what common census defines as iniquity. Your love for God may not be just cold but frozen. It is time to seek the Lord and let His love thaw out your heart and bring about a love for Him since we love Him because He first loved us. You may need to be saved to get a first love or maybe you have wandered and need to return to that first love?
You may have lost your love because you see the iniquity and lost faith or hope in Him. It became easy to justify your sin because so many Christians seem to be having no problems with their many sins. They may not be Christians but living in iniquity and they will not be happy in the end.
You may think your love is on fire but in reality you are a worker of iniquity or being deceived by one because you are worshiping another Christ instead of the one the Bible proclaims. You would do well to heed Peter’s warning to make your calling and election sure.
You may feel like you are on a mission from God to get your particular group to come back from apostasy. God said to come out from among them for He cannot sit at the table of Belial. Do not touch the unclean thing. Yes, grab out some folks as brands from the fire but hate the garment stained by the flesh. Otherwise, your heart will grow cold as the iniquity defeats you and brings you into despair and at the end fruitless when you could have been fruitful in another place.
How’s your spiritual love life? Feeling a bit of a chill? Beware of iniquity. Study, study, study! Try the spirits! We are in the last days and they are days of apostasy, not revival. See with spiritual discernment and not just your eyes. Ask God to open your eyes so you can see your heart and the things around you with His eyes. The clarity may well stun you, but it will be so worth it when we stand before Him! Maranatha!!!
February 6, 2012
I have heard quite a few conspiracy theories since I became a Christian in 1975. It seems like every year there are new and wilder theories as well as supposedly absolute proof that the old ones are true and we best beware. What they all miss is the ultimate conspiracy because all the things the theorists see are just smokescreens to cover up the BIG ONE!
2 Thess 2:1-12
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. KJV
The world is being prepared to receive the Anti-Christ. While the conspiracy lads and sadly, even many Christians, are chasing down the lower class boogie men the big Kahuna’s plan is working smoothly and falling into place. Atheist and nominal Christians missing this is understandable, but the true Church missing it is unacceptable.
1 John 2:15-20
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. KJV
You do not need to look for conspiracies and evil for all that is in the world is evil because it functions under the rule of evil men led by the many antichrists that have been in the world since Cain. That evil men will wax worse and worse is a given and really did not have to be prophesied, though it was, for we can see the history of man through the Word. Even sensible men of the World would have to admit that with all our technological advantages all we have done is create things that evil men can use for evil. We have made their ability to commit evil more destructive than ever. So here we are at the end of the age and we have to dig around for evil when it is everywhere and floods the news media of the world?
While it is grand to desire to fight against evil unless you understand the real enemy and fight with the right weapons you are only beating the air and your head against a wall.
2 Cor 10:3-6
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. KJV
Here is where Christians have failed miserably. In the early years of this country we fought the evils of the world and won using Scripture and strong preaching. When we tried carnal warfare and legislation we failed miserably even when we appeared to make some gains.
Indeed, Prohibition initially hailed as a great thing was repealed as a failure just a short time later. Preaching shut down many bars when Prohibition only drove them underground increasing the profits of the speakeasy owners. Slavery ended at the cost of 600,000 military personnel and unknown civilian casualties along with loss of property and crops when it was on its way out because hearts and minds were being changed. Some by technology and others by good preaching. Had we preached equality in our churches by pointing to there only being one race, the human race, we might not have had Jim Crow laws or a need for Selma marches. Preaching took whores off the streets when laws only hinder prostitution a bit.
The weapons of the Church are stronger than any carnal weapons or laws. When we used them evil was halted and overcome. When we starting relying on politicians, education and socialism to accomplish the work of God the country starting falling apart. We trusted in the arm of flesh and that arm has failed miserably and shall continue to do so.
The thing one must realize is that we cannot stop the mystery of iniquity, It has infiltrated every aspect of man and even the Church. We will not defeat it because it is coming to a final showdown between the Anti-Christ and Christ. Jesus will destroy him and his empire. Satan is already defeated and he knows it and will fight until the bitter end. That will be at the end of the Millennium after Christ fulfills all the promises to the Jews as He fulfilled all the prophecies about Him. Satan will at least be cast into the lake of fire and the mystery of iniquity will cease.
So what do we do? Sit back and wait? Turn tail and run? No, we are to put on the whole armor of God and if nothing else hold the ground we have, but we are called to advance because the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. That means we kick the doors of Hell down not sit in the Church in a defense mode. We can take down strongholds and imaginations thus taking back ground from the evildoers of the mystery of iniquity. We may get down to a small force of troops before our Commander-in-Chief comes to Israel to reign, but that force is to still fight until the Rapture dustoff. .
So do you want to fight evil conspiracies? Then dump the small fry stuff. Go after the mother lode. Get your Bible out,. Read it and use it. Pray earnestly and ask God to deliver His enemies into your hand! Give no quarter! Take prisoners back from the Wicked One! Fight the good fight and above all stand in the evil day!! Maranatha!