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Posted: Nov 6 2006, 03:49 PM
Member No.: 3
Joined: 29-July 05
Where is the REAL CHURCH in America? 11/05/2006
I have been very hesitant to write about recent events in the American Church. However, the time has come for NOT an in-depth study, but rather a short commentary about generalities. I am not going to write about Ted Haggard and his very recent dismissal, though I do mention it ONLY as an example.
According to the online AP news source it was stated, “"Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct," the New Life Church's Overseer Board said in a statement.”( By KIM NGUYEN, AP)
Ok, so that being said, why are we having so many problems in the modern church? It is the direct result of people doing Christianity their own way in accordance with the following verse.>>>
“Jdg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”
The later half of the verse tells us the trouble. MOST Christians do not live as though they had a TRUE KING over their lives, but rather they live as they see fit. There is no holiness, righteousness, or purity in the lives of most believers today. The vast majority may give lip service to holiness, but when it comes down to reality their lives are no different from that of the world. In fact, many unsaved people live more pure lives than those who claim salvation. Since they are not saved, they cannot be holy, for it takes the Holy Spirit in our lives to make us that way, but they can live lives that have almost all sin removed from the life. All we need to do to see people like this is to look at some very dedicated practitioners of eastern religions, such as Hindu, Buddhist, etc, and we shall see that the overt obvious sins that are accepted in most churches in America are not evident at all. They actually live what they believe!
Let me share a short article with you by a pastor from India named Zac Poonen.
“The Obedient Will Be Blessed by Zac Poonen
In Haggai chapter 2:10-19 there is a message about holiness and sin. Whenever any prophet spoke about building God’s house, the very next thing he spoke about always was holiness. You cannot build the house of God, if you do not emphasize holiness. This is the mistake that numerous preachers and pastors are making today.
The Lord says, “Ask the priests this question about the law: ‘If one of you is carrying a holy sacrifice in his robes and happens to brush against some other food, will that also become holy?’ The priests replied, ‘No.’ Then Haggai asked, ‘But if someone becomes ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person and then brushes against any food, will it be defiled?’ And the priests answered, ‘Yes.’” (Haggai 2:11-13).
The message here is just this: Holiness cannot be transmitted from one to another, but sin can.
A more modern illustration will perhaps help us understand this better. In a hospital’s operating theatre, the equipment is all sterilized and free from germs. If you take one of those sterilized knives and touch a dirty cloth with it, will that cloth become sterilized and free from germs? No. On the other hand, if you reverse the process and take the dirty cloth and touch that sterile knife with it, that knife will immediately become infected with the germs on the cloth.
So what do we learn from this parable? Just this that sin is very contagious, but holiness is not.
It takes a lot of time and effort to make a knife in a hospital sterile. But how long does it take to pollute it? Just a moment. Even so: It is very easy for someone to make you sinful. But it is very difficult for anyone to make you holy. Sin is communicated very easily, but not holiness. Remember that.
Then the Lord went on to say, “Therefore whatever you offer is defiled” (Haggai 2:14). Even if the offering itself was ceremonially pure, their hands were defiled by sin, and so their offerings were defiled too. This is what the Lord is saying to the church today too. The prayers that believers pray may sound fervent and “holy”. There may be loud “Amen”s and “Hallelujah”s from others too. But if there is sin in a person’s life, his prayers are sinful. If you fight with your wife, how can you offer a pure prayer to God without setting matters right with your wife first? Your unholy life communicates sin to your prayer. People may be impressed by your prayer. But God rejects it, because there was “sin in your holy activity” (Ex.28:38).
The Lord then urged them the people to set right their sins and concluded with this promise, “From this day onward I will bless you” (Haggai 2:`19). He desires to bless us. It is only our sin that robs us of that blessing.”
We see this same principle being spoken of in I Samuel 15 when King Saul sinned before the Lord and the Prophet Samuel gave God’s judgment on the situation.
“1Sa 15:7 Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt.
1Sa 15:8 And he took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, though he utterly destroyed all the rest of the people with the sword.
1Sa 15:9 Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; but all that was undesirable or worthless they destroyed utterly.
1Sa 15:10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying,
1Sa 15:11 I regret making Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not performed My commands. And Samuel was grieved and angry [with Saul], and he cried to the Lord all night.
1Sa 15:12 When Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, he was told, Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up for himself a monument or trophy [of his victory] and passed on and went down to Gilgal.
1Sa 15:13 And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, Blessed are you of the Lord. I have performed what the Lord ordered.
1Sa 15:14 And Samuel said, What then means this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
1Sa 15:15 Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but the rest we have utterly destroyed.
1Sa 15:16 Then Samuel said to Saul, Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me tonight. Saul said to him, Say on.
1Sa 15:17 Samuel said, When you were small in your own sight, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed you king over Israel?
1Sa 15:18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites; and fight against them until they are consumed.
1Sa 15:19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but swooped down upon the plunder and did evil in the Lord's sight?
1Sa 15:20 Saul said to Samuel, Yes, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag king of Amalek and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
1Sa 15:21 But the people took from the spoil sheep and oxen, the chief of the things to be utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.
1Sa 15:22 Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.
1Sa 15:24 And Saul said to Samuel, I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
1Sa 15:25 Now, I pray you, pardon my sin and go back with me, that I may worship the Lord.
1Sa 15:26 And Samuel said to Saul, I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.
1Sa 15:27 And as Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of Samuel's mantle, and it tore.
1Sa 15:28 And Samuel said to him, The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you.
1Sa 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie or repent; for He is not a man, that He should repent.”
NOTICE this clearly>>> God had commanded Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites and leave NOTHING. Saul kept back the best of the animals and King Agag because he thought it would be a good idea. God came back to Samuel and said that Saul DID NOT OBEY HIM! You see, God demands complete obedience. Anything less is NOT obedience!
Here is the great thought that is carried throughout the scriptures>>> If we do not walk in TOTAL obedience then even our prayers, thanksgivings, and praises are NOT ACCEPTED! We see this here and we see it in Haggai above. If we open our eyes, we will see this same idea repeated in the scriptures. In fact, in Hebrews we are told that salvation is ONLY FOR those who OBEY the Lord.
"Heb 5:7 In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father].
Heb 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered
Heb 5:9 And, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him, [Isa. 45:17.]"
This changes the whole idea of what is commonly preached in the modern Church. We do not hear about OBEDIENCE! All we hear about is man’s idea of believing, which modern “preachers” say does not need obedience, repentance, holiness, purity, or practical righteousness. This is what is commonly preached in America yet this is NOT what is in the Bible!
How can we expect people to walk in true salvation when we do not even preach it? So many are more concerned about offending people, but they do not even consider whether or not their preaching OFFENDS God!
In writing this, I have become very grieved as Ted Haggard admitted to sexual immorality and said he was a deceiver and a liar. How sad. How much the heart of God is grieved. It has come to this in America where supposedly godly men and women act no different from the world. In accordance with the scriptures, this ought NOT to be so.
“Gal 2:17 But if, in our desire and endeavor to be justified in Christ [to be declared righteous and put in right standing with God wholly and solely through Christ], we have shown ourselves sinners also and convicted of sin, does that make Christ a minister (a party and contributor) to our sin? Banish the thought! [Of course not!]
Gal 2:18 For if I [or any others who have taught that the observance of the Law of Moses is not essential to being justified by God should now by word or practice teach or intimate that it is essential to] build up again what I tore down, I prove myself a transgressor.
Gal 2:19 For I through the Law [under the operation of the curse of the Law] have [in Christ's death for me] myself died to the Law and all the Law's demands upon me, so that I may [henceforth] live to and for God.
Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Gal 2:21 [Therefore, I do not treat God's gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.]”
“Gal 5:16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
Gal 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.
Gal 5:18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.
Gal 5:19 Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies),
Gal 5:21 Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
Gal 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.”
Can we read these words and believe that we can violate them and STILL be children of God? Do we think that all of a sudden God condones the evil practices that are listed in verses 20-21 above? Do we believe that we can walk in disobedience and still abide in Christ Jesus?
“1Jo 3:6 No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him--deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].
1Jo 3:7 Boys (lads), let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous.
1Jo 3:8 [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].
1Jo 3:9 No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God's nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.
1Jo 3:10 By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children: no one who does not practice righteousness [who does not conform to God's will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow believer in Christ).”
Do we believe what men have said or do we believe the scriptures? They do not agree with each other. Man has once again done what man has always done, preached men’s ideas of what the scripture say as though God said it! Is that NOT what Jesus told the Pharisees they were guilty of?
Do we honestly believe that Ted Haggard is the only preacher who lives a lie and is a deceiver? The very system that produced him has produced so many others no different than he. Just because they have not been caught, just because their sin has not been brought out into the open does NOT mean it is not there. Look at these verses.
“Col 2:16 Therefore let no one sit in judgment on you in matters of food and drink, or with regard to a feast day or a New Moon or a Sabbath.
Col 2:17 Such [things] are only the shadow of things that are to come, and they have only a symbolic value. But the reality (the substance, the solid fact of what is foreshadowed, the body of it) belongs to Christ.
Col 2:18 Let no one defraud you by acting as an umpire and declaring you unworthy and disqualifying you for the prize, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions [he claims] he has seen, vainly puffed up by his sensuous notions and inflated by his unspiritual thoughts and fleshly conceit,
Col 2:19 And not holding fast to the Head, from Whom the entire body, supplied and knit together by means of its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
Col 2:20 If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world's crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations?--such as]
Col 2:21 Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them],
Col 2:22 Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines. [Isa. 29:13.]
Col 2:23 Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). [Instead, they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh.]”
Can you read these words? Do you know what they say? The New Life in Christ Jesus IS SUFFICIENT in dealing TOTALLY with the indulgence of the flesh, for by His sacrifice it has been put to death on the cross. If we are NOT living there, then we need to get on our faces, and REPENT!
REPENT until we cannot repent any longer. Bring a TOTAL consecration to the Lord. Utterly give Him everything in our lives. DO NOT leave anything left for yourselves. Do not cling to your rights, your wants, desires, thoughts, doctrines, teachings, abilities, gifts or anything else. LAY EVERYTHING DOWN! Give it all to Him utterly and irrevocably. NEVER take it up again.
Only here are we “safe”. Only when the old man is actually put to death and is in the grave will we be free of his influence. Many claim that this will never be this side of the grave, or this side of the return of Jesus. However, how can we be commanded to abide in Christ, knowing what it means, if this is impossible? Yet, John tells us to do so. So does Paul, Peter, James, and of course Jesus Himself says no different. Please look at what Jesus says about Himself.
“Joh 8:31 So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples.
Joh 8:32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.
Joh 8:33 They answered Him, We are Abraham's offspring (descendants) and have never been in bondage to anybody. What do You mean by saying, You will be set free?
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin.
Joh 8:35 Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of the house] does remain forever.
Joh 8:36 So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.”
If you carefully read this WHOLE passage, it is very obvious that Jesus is saying that HE has come so that we will be set free from committing sin! Just believe it actually means what it says. Jesus says point blank WHOEVER commits sin is a slave to sin, BUT HE has come to set us free from being slaves to sin. Who is NOT a slave to sin? Simple, whoever does not commit sin!
Many claim I John 1 says that anyone who says they have no sin, is a liar and makes God a liar. BUT that is NOT what it says. I John is speaking of those who have yet to give their lives to the Lord. NO ONE can be saved unless they admit they have sinned and are in need of the Savior. But if we are forgiven and cleansed from all sin, HOW can one then claim that God has not removed sin from us? That is exactly what most people are saying.
There is only one way to enter His rest; absolute consecration and then faith that the Lord will sanctify. If you do not believe He will or can sanctify you, how can you have faith that He will indeed do so? It is impossible. We first MUST believe that HE is and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
It is only by faith that we are sanctified. No amount of prayer, fasting, preaching, witnessing, baptisms, communion, or any other Christian duty, rite, or work will ever cause us to be sanctified. It is consecration; total consecration to Him with absolutely nothing left over for ourselves to allow sanctification to be available to us. However, we could be in this state of total consecration for 50 years and never enter in IF we never take the step of faith of believing that He is able to do that which HE promised to do.
There will be many who may read these words who will say I am deceived, that what I am saying is false, a lie, impossible or something else just as negative. They will never arise out of the sin that the blood of Jesus has bought for us all as long as they continue in their doubts.
This is why we have so many preachers today who are being made to step down from the pulpit, who are going to jail, who are being brought into the courts before the world and dragging the name of Jesus Christ through the mud of sin and degradation. Only when the reality of NEW COVENANT is preached, the covenant that is far better than the one Moses brought, will the world begin to see the glory of God on the people of God who live JUST LIKE JESUS.
Until that happens, we will continue to see preachers and others who have claimed the name of Jesus sinning in such a manner that not only destroys their witness, that also destroys the credibility of the TRUE CHURCH, but causes the very name of our Lord Jesus Christ to be ridiculed and dirtied in such a manner that no one would want to become one of His people. This is what we are seeing happen and it will continue to get even worse as the sins of those who claim to be Christian but have never been delivered from it come to the light of day and are revealed to the world.
Brothers and Sisters, JUDGMENT has come to the House of the Lord and it will continue until His House is totally cleansed. We can either be washed in His blood, or be exposed and shown to be hypocrites. It is the choice of each and every one of us. Which way will you choose?
A bondslave in Christ Jesus, Dirk