doctrine

While The Church Slept

But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way

Matthew 13:25

We are facing an existential crisis for bother the church and America as a nation, a time in which a violent Marxist ideology has arisen, complete with financial and logistical support from enemies abroad, and the full complicity of the mainstream media. How then, did this happen so suddenly?

The truth is that it didn’t happen suddenly. Like the tares, they were sowed early in the modern era, and it is now too late to merely uproot them, but we will rather face them in harvest. We can better understand this if we know just what tares are. They are not just any weed, but rather they are bearded darnel, a weed that so closely resembles wheat that they can go undetected until the ear of the wheat appears, and uprooting them will also uproot the wheat.

They also contain a strong soporific poison. That is, it can cause a “drunkenness” of a sort: staggering, impaired speech, trembling, vision defects, and stupefaction, and can even prove fatal. However, it may not even be this rye grass itself which produces the poison, but a fungus which infects it. Similarly, we as a church and as a nation have many individuals who have been ‘infected’ with ideologies, beliefs, or even doctrine which have caused us to spiritually slumber or be stupefied. Indeed, we have been asleep.

Why do I say this? While this violent ideology and other toxic elements have infiltrated our nation and even much of the church, on a national level we busied ourselves with enticing doctrines of self-help and and a self-absorbed prosperity that robbed us of the godly priorities of the genuine Christian faith. While God can and does prosper us, mere worldly prosperity ought not to have been such a priority to the near-exclusion of the essential doctrines of the wrath of God, His sovereign grace, and the call to repentance and surrender to the Lordship of Christ.

Essentially, what happened was that for several decades our priorities have been largely so self-absorbed that we exalted success over sacrifice, prosperity over piety, and self-worth over self-denial. As a result, we failed to make disciples of men as we might have otherwise done, and have greatly fallen short in our equipping of the disciples that we did bring into the fold, resulting in a church population of which 90% admits to being either carnal or a babe, according to studies done by the Barna Group.

Since the Scriptures tell us that those who are carnal cannot inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:21), and a baby can hardly be entrusted with any serious responsibility, this means we as a church in America are mostly either on our way to hell or incapable of fulfilling our purpose.

What, then, do we do? We must seek God, ask Him to reveal our hearts to us, to uncover even the most subtle of sin in our lives, that we may repent to our very core and be purified so that we can pursue unhindered the purpose of God for our lives.

The Spirit and the Bride say, Come.

Loud sounding gong? A Word on ‘harsh’ prophecies

Delivering a prophecy that seems harsh to our modern sensibilities doesn’t make you a loud-sounding gong without love, contrary to the absolute tripe being taught today.

There was once a prophet who said things like:

Generation of vipers! (Matt. 12:34)
Though you are exalted to heaven, you shall be brought down to hell. (Luke 10:15)
I will profess to them ‘Depart from me, ye who work iniquity, for I never knew you.’ (Matt. 7:23)

He also cursed a defenseless tree for not having fruit.

Who was this mean old ogre of a prophet?

JESUS.

Today’s teaching on how the prophetic must always be uplifiting would condemn JESUS as not having love.

The truth is that we often fail to understand what the Bible teaches because we read it the way it’s been erroneously preached to us. Prophecy is for edification, exhortation, and comfort, but this does not mean it will always be comfortable.

In the US Marine Corps, my Drill Sergeants edified me, getting me into the greatest shape I’ve ever been in. They exhorted with tremendous intensity. Their training is now a comfort when there’s an emergency or danger of any kind.

Some may argue that we’re still supposed to be gentle, but not all situations call for what we now regard as gentle.

Feel free to call me harsh.

The lake of fire is harsher than anything I could possibly say to you.

Am I your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Why we don’t need to ask for an Open Heaven

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
 
I never need to ask for an open heaven because the Veil of the Temple was torn when Christ died. I am The temple of the Living God, and heaven is already open for me, not because I asked, nor because I somehow deserved it, but because the Blood of Jesus has made it so.
 
Nor do I live by my own faith. God forbid, for my own faith would fail many times over before I could finish my journey. Indeed, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. This is why I can do all things in Christ. He promised that HIS grace would be enough, and it is.
 
He loved YOU.
He gave Himself for YOU.
He put His Spirit in YOU.
 
Every prayer you could ever set before the Father has already been answered at Calvary.

What to do when a prophetic word FAILS to come to pass


 

Over the years I’ve run into many people who were disappointed, disillusioned, discouraged and disgusted because of how so many prophecies fail to come to pass in the church. So often when this is addressed, if it’s addressed at all, they are given excuses or are blamed for the prophetic word’s failure. But is it always the receiver’s fault?

Let’s talk about why prophetic words fail and what to do about it.

What to do when a Prophetic Word FAILS to come to pass


 

 
It often happens that a prophet delivers a word which fails to come to pass, and the recipient of the word is either blamed for not having enough faith, or for not meeting the ‘conditions’ of the prophecy, even if those conditions were never stated. So then, what are we in the church to do when this happens?

Don’t let anyone take your crown!

Stop chasing prophecies!

God never intended for you to be chasing after a prophetic word every day. This insatiable addiction to prophecy I’ve seen in churches and in Facebook groups is not from God, and it renders people highly susceptible to seduction by the familiar spirits that some ‘prophets’ move in.
To some extent this happens because the leadership of the segment of the church which believes in the prophetic has created a dependency which gives the prophet an idolatrous place in the life of the believer.

Feeling discouraged and need a boost? In 1 Samuel 30, when David and his men returned to Ziklag to find that the enemy had burned their homes and taken their families captive, his men started talking about stoning him, because they clearly blamed him for being away from home when the enemies came. He didn’t go looking for a prophet to comfort or encourage him:

 

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. (1 Sam. 30:6)

Later in the chapter, he DOES inquire of the Lord for himself, not for encouragement, but for direction. He then takes his men and goes after the enemy. The recover EVERYTHING, and take additional spoils. David then uses his share of the spoils to send gifts to the leaders of Israel in the towns and cities David frequented.
What can we learn from this? The answer to your need for encouragement isn’t always in some prophet, but often in your own mouth, and when you ACT on the word of the Lord, God will position you not just for restoration, but for promotion, IF we ACT, and then use the fruit of our action to bless OTHERS.
When David sent those gifts, it wasn’t just about their inherent value. It also made a statement: I’m your king, I fight OUR enemies, and when I do, I do it for YOU, too… that even when David was fighting for his family and the families of his men, he still thought of the rest of Israel and its leaders. This communicated to them that they could trust David to think of them, even when handling his own personal business.
Are you called to leadership? Stop chasing prophecies, and ACT on the prophetic words you’ve been given already. God and his prophets will still have more to say.

Old Testament vs. New testament

Very often I hear people say ‘that’s Old Testament,’ usually in an effort to dismiss some measure of Biblical accountability that they don’t like. However, how did the early apostles of the church view what WE call the Old Testament?

First, they called it ‘the Law and the Prophets.’ While Paul made it clear that we are not under the Law, he was also clear that it was our schoolmaster (Galatians 3). Consider this: Did you forget how to read when you got out of school?

Second we must note that the early apostles taught ONLY from what we call the Old Testament. NONE of the NT had been written at the time of the beginning of the church, and Revelation, for example, was written after most of the apostles were dead.

Third, when Paul wrote ‘All Scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work,’ (2 Tim 3:16-17), he was talking about what we call the Old Testament.

Therefore,

ALL of it is profitable for doctrine. Therefore we ought to use it both to teach and as a measure for the standards of conduct, character, and protocol. Deut. 18:22, for example is something false prophets just won’t teach from. Look it up, and you will see why.

ALL of it is profitable for reproof. It is to be the basis upon which we judge character and conduct so that we know when a rebuke is necessary, and it is the basis upon which reproof is administered.

ALL of it is profitable for correction. It’s not enough to merely rebuke, but we must also show people the right way, and it is the Scriptures that give us the standards by which we must correct.

ALL of it is profitable for instruction in righteousness. If we attempt to teach righteousness from the NT scriptures without the OT, we will inevitably distort the doctrine of grace. Remember, the apostles taught ONLY from what we call the OT.

It is impossible to fully understand and rightly explain the NT writings without an understanding of the Law and the Prophets. Without the OT, we ignore the intention of what was written in the NT.

Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

“Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one.” (1 Corinthians 8:4)

In today’s church, many people twist scripture to justify conforming to the world. Taking one verse out of the context of the whole of scripture might satisfy someone’s need to rationalize conforming to this world, but it’s not truthful. Paul spoke concerning food, and in particular eating out of necessity. For example, some of the early saints lived in households which were unsaved and ate food dedicated to various gods. In such cases, the idol was nothing. How can we come to this conclusion? In Acts 15:29, the new gentile converts were told NOT to eat thing sacrificed to idols, so it is clear from context that the permission given in 1 Cor. 8:4 is situation-specific, and not a green light to go and willfully participate in the worship of other gods.

Thus we must understand that when one believes that 1 Cor. 8:4 can be used to justify celebrating Valentine’s day or other pagan holidays, one has been deceived by the enemy.

You may not want to hear this, but then the Bible did warn that a time would come when people could not endure sound doctrine…

Rob Bell and the Gospel without Convictions

Rob Bell has now told Christians to ‘adapt or die.’ Now, I don’t like the term ‘evangelical,’ since it is now almost exclusively used instead of ‘Christian,’ and for good reason, and even in the rising debate concerning morality and homosexuality in the context of Christianity, this very distinction has gone entirely unnoticed. While many are freaking out over Bell’s latest departure from sound doctrine, they fail to notice that as a whole, even we who are of a more conservative bent have already given up so much ground just in the acceptance of the term blanket term ‘evangelical,’ which I believe is a strong indicator of where we are in our stand for the cause of the gospel.

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