February 28, 2010
A lump of clay… she lay in a river bottom, cool water flowing over her day after day. Yea, it was sometimes boring, but there was usually plenty of chatter she could listen to… like the water gurgling over the rocks.
One day an Artist –a Sculptor– came by and gazing down at her, picked her right out of her home. He took her to his workroom and set her by a potter’s wheel. The very next day, He started squishing her and pulling her. It hurt. But it didn’t last too long, and He put her down, then walked out of the room.
Another person happened along and Clay Lump called out, “Help, help! Get me out of here! The Sculptor has been messing with me! I need to get back to my home river!” The person picked Lump up and took her outside, promising to come back soon and bring her to the river.
But a long time seemed to go by and no promised help came. Lump had to endure the direct sun that she wasn’t used to. It started to bake her, in fact. She tried, with great effort, to roll down the sidewalk, but when she finally got rolling, she just rolled off the sidewalk into the street. After that, cars drove over her. She was in much misery –to say the least.
Eventually, the Sculptor came by, and kneeling down, He said, “Lump, there you are.” And He scraped her up and took her back to his work bench.
After that, Lump was spun and molded and shaped on the potter’s wheel. Deciding she was better off in the hands of the Sculptor than being driven over by tires, she submitted to the process and grew to love the Artist. She became a sturdy jug that was put to much use –holding and pouring water for dusty feet. This was a fine life, and Lump was glad that the previous uncomfortable molding had ended.
But alas, one day some guests came that were not careful with her. After using her, they’d set her down too hard, or they’d push her with their feet. She kept getting chipped, until one day, one dropped her, and she splintered on the floor. She was laughed at and then swept up and thrown into a trash heap.
Forlorn and alone, Lump realized she’d not seen, or even thought of, her Maker for some time. She began to cry. But just as she was falling into complete hopelessness, she remembered that He had often spoken to her as He’d worked with her, saying, “I’ll never leave you.” And, “Even when you can’t see Me, I’ll be there.” And, “I’ll always be within hearing distance.”
“Sculptor,” she whispered, “Where are You? You promised me that You would never leave me. Please help me.”
She waited… and waited… He didn’t come. But she knew she’d heard Him correctly, and she had learned to trust Him. So she set her little mind to trust that He would indeed come to her aid –somehow. Thinking this seemed to lessen the pain of her broken pieces –just a little. And finally, she fell asleep.
She awoke to the Sculptor leaning over her, picking up her pieces, lovingly putting ointment on each cracked side. Then He bandaged her all up and laid her in a feather-bed. “Go back to sleep,” He said softly. “I’ll be sitting right here.”
“But where were You all this time?” Lump asked sleepily.
“I was always with you,” came the answer. “You were getting too preoccupied to notice.”
Lump nodded repentantly, realizing it was true; then drifted off…
Many days later, Lump was back at work, only this time, she was careful to keep her eyes on her Maker-Friend, asking Him questions, learning from Him how to serve Him better. The cracks had left scars, and really she was not lovely to look at, but… she was happier than ever. Many guests really appreciated her, and those who treated her roughly hardly fazed her –because she was always looking at the One she loved.
One day, the Sculptor brought her to his workbench. Lump figured (sadly) that she must be needing an overhaul due to flaws she had. She set her mind to submit, and in so doing, joy and excitement welled up inside of her. She gazed directly into her Sculptor’s eyes. He smiled kindly at her.
Then instead of putting her on the wheel, He breathed on her. From being a clay pot, she was changed back into a lump of clay. Then He breathed on her again, and she became a lump of a rare and exquisite marble. After that, He picked up a chisel and a hammer, and He started on her afresh! Oh, dear! And it was painful!
After a few days of this, Lump cried and cried, and asked what she had done wrong.
“You did nothing wrong,” the Sculptor said quietly. “You were faithful in little; now you can be faithful in much.”
“But this hammering and chiseling…” Lump whimpered. “It’s cutting into me… and it hurts so much.”
“Precious,” He replied. “The field complains of that too. For the plow cuts deep into its back. But if the plowing didn’t happen, the seed would fall on hard soil and there would be no crop. If there is no crop, the people are not fed. I have a great plan for you. But it can’t happen without the shaping. Would you like Me to stop?”
“No,” said Lump after some thought. “I am willing.”
So… it was through a painful process that Lump became one of the most valuable possessions the Sculptor ever owned. But to others, she just appeared to be an ordinary common tool.
Therefore, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything… Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:2-4,12)
And… “if we endure, we shall also reign with Him.” (2 Tim. 2:12)
February 27, 2010
Jesus says in John 7:24, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” This is a command. A command to not judge? A command to parrot, “Judge not that you be not judged”? No, we can read that that is not what He is saying at all. He is commanding that we DO judge, but to do so in a correct way. Not only by appearances (which can deceive), but rightly.
So how do we do that? It is by having His Holy Spirit’s guidance. For Jesus also says a chapter later, “He who belongs to God hears what God says.” (8:47) And He ends the verse with: “The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
In John 10:27 Jesus tells us, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” Therefore, if we belong to Him, He knows us, we know His voice, and we will follow His leading. His voice is the leading of the Holy Spirit (since we worship the Triune God.) As Jesus says in John 16:7, “It is good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” And what will He do? Jesus tells us in verse 8: “When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.”
Indeed, this is how we judge. For it is actually Him judging through us. And if we are filled with His Holy Spirit, we will be making judgments in regard to these three things. And we will have discernment –which means “the ability to judge well.”
Jesus goes on to say in verse 13 of John 16, “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all Truth.” And verse 14: “He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” If worship services are not uplifting Jesus, speaking of what He did for us and what we must in turn do in following His commands, but are instead exalting experiences, grandiose testimonials, a certain man or ministry, angels, or exciting manifestations of the supernatural, then that spirit could not be The Spirit of Truth. For the Holy Spirit only exalts Jesus. And He only teaches what Jesus taught (–or the Word of God, who is Jesus –see John 1:1,14 & Rev. 19:13.)
For Jesus again says, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26) I take note of the words “all” and “everything” in this verse. Especially when I see how many “Christians”, including many preachers, focus on only certain Scripture passages that are not too unbearably convicting… or that will support a pet doctrine of theirs –even if it be taken out of context.
So… the true Holy Spirit will guide us into all Truth, will remind us of everything Jesus taught, and will help us judge correctly.
Part of this judging is to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” (1 John 4:1) The way we test is to test their words and behavior against what God’s Word says. It’s true that verses 2 and 3 tell us, “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” However, in comparing Scripture with Scripture, we know that someone’s words can be deceptive, and if a person is claiming to believe in Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection, yet continues in sin, such as “sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed… such a man is an idolater– [he then has no] …inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Eph. 5:3,5)
So it is their behavior that we are to also test, as well as their words. Both are “their fruit” which Jesus refers to in Matt. 7:16 that we will recognize the false prophets by.
Verse 6 of Eph. 5 goes on to warn: “Let no one deceive you with empty words [like, “Oh, I believe in Jesus…”], for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” –For God hates disobedience, and He will condemn all such people to Hell. (Matt. 18:7-9 & Luke 13:3 & Rom. 1:18 & 2 Thes. 1:8,9)
Let’s look at what 1 Cor. 5:12,13 command: “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you.'” And who is this wicked man? Verse 11 tells us the type of man and the judgment (action) we are to take against him: “You must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.” And 2 John 1:7-11 includes such a judgement also against those who are deceivers / false teachers. Let’s note that John pronounces two judgments against them: The action of shunning (v. 10), and… deeming it “wicked work.” (v. 11)
These are right judgments. And they are to be applied by all those who have God’s Spirit in them. –Always with the leading of That Spirit. –And with 1 Peter 4:11 in mind: “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.” Certainly by applying this, one should consistently make correct, fair, appropriate, and “right judgments” –as Jesus said to do.
February 26, 2010
Have you ever noticed that trying to reason with someone who does not want the truth is very frustrating? The answer: Walk away from them. Pray for them, entrust them to the Lord’s discipline, ask that He grant them mercy, and then just trust the Lord to answer in His own timing. It is not the Lord who burdens us with frustrations brought on by trying to help the wicked to see the error of their ways. The Lord tells us to proclaim Truth and to pray for others. The rest is His work.
“For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and He examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.” (Prov. 5:21-23)
“For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.” (Prov. 1:32)
And a warning for the teachers who carelessly lead others into sin and false doctrine: “He who leads the upright along an evil path will fall into his own trap.” (Prov. 28:10) But same is the destiny of those who follow these leaders, and who love to immerse themselves in “fun worship” rather than the type of worship God requires –that which is “in Spirit and in Truth.” (John 4:24) –That “Truth” being Jesus (John 14:6) and God’s Word. (John 17:17) For it is He, the Word of God which sanctifies (same verse), and is what would open their eyes to the sin that hurtles them toward destruction. Indeed, “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.” (Lam. 2:14)
As the Lord declares in Jer. 4:18: “Your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!” Yes, and as Phil. 3:19 says, “Their destiny is destruction, [for] their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.” Truly… for all they “think about [is] how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Rom. 13:14), and how best to achieve as many ecstatic delights to their flesh as they can.
“Therefore, do not be partners with them.” (Eph. 5:7) Instead discipline yourself in studying the Truth, for “through knowledge the righteous escape.” (Prov. 11:9) –That knowledge which comes from wisdom, discipline, the fear of the Lord, and… His words of insight. (Prov. 1:7,2)
February 25, 2010
Here is an email I sent yesterday to those over at: http://www.operationsaveamerica.org/
Let’s commend those in the Body of Christ who take a courageous stand against ungodliness in our midst.
Flip, Ante, and the others,
Thank you for your godly efforts to spread the Gospel and to put a stop to abortion and other wickedness in America.
Many, I believe, appreciate what you did in standing up to publicly rebuke Todd Bentley. I watched a video in which Ante was explaining why you all did what you did, and I felt he made excellent (and loving) points. Your courage, conviction, and adherence to God’s Word are to be commended. You did nothing violent, so I, for one, believe that extreme and continuously unhindered public blasphemies, and the degrading of God’s Word and holiness, call for extreme measures. I believe you used your right of free speech that we supposedly still have here in our land. Paul stood up to publicly rebuke Peter when he was getting swayed into error. (Gal. 2:11-14) If Todd would have been rebuked long ago, it wouldn’t have had to come to this supposed “disorder in the church” –though they should certainly be used to a little disorder when they promote staggering around, cackling, and other bizarre manifestations of those in the congregation.
I’m glad you are taking the Gospel to the streets. I have been doing so also since 1/96, even while I was still teaching in the public schools. I witness, wear homemade signs, hand out homemade tracts, preach, and pray with people who ask me to. This is not a boast (as it is a small effort anyway), but it is to let you know, for your encouragement, that I too am trying to put action to my convictions (–rather than just talking about it.) It is a privilege to serve our Mighty God!
I feel bad for you that you got arrested for disturbing the abortionist’s tranquility, but we don’t expect Satan and his followers to lay down and say, “Oh, okay, you’re right. I better stop doing evil.” No, they will retaliate. Even many within the churches do not want Truth, justice, and righteousness advanced at the price of their own comfort. I do wonder sometimes… what these people would say and do if, back in the days of Nazi Germany, a Jew came to them and asked them to hide them so that he or she would not be hauled off to the ovens.
Certainly, we do want to abide by the laws of the land, but when those laws let evil reign… hmmm…. And what was that story about Rahab and the spies…? Did she not disregard her city’s ordinance because of a Higher Law she heard within her heart? And don’t we see that she is one of those commended in the famous Heb. 11 faith chapter? Ah, yes, here it is: “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.” (v. 31) What? “Disobedient”? She wasn’t, and the others in Jericho were?! Yes. Because she chose to obey her God-sent convictions, rather than bow to another god’s law. Similar were the actions of the three Hebrew young men: “They trusted in Him [God] and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship [or submit to] any god except their own God.” (Daniel 3:28)
And let’s see… what did Peter and John reply when the law enforcers “commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus”? (Acts 4:18) They said, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (v. 19,20) That’s right. Because when we are full of the HOLY Spirit of Truth, we will be compelled to proclaim what He would proclaim! –Everywhere! –Doing so with wisdom, peace, and boldness. For: “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29)
Oh, and what about the apostle Paul…? I wonder why he was always getting beaten and thrown into prison… And come to think of it, why pray-tell, did ALL the apostles keep getting into so much trouble –even martyred…? Was it due to being jerks, or was it due to their disruption to the evil kingdom? Were they unlawful hecklers, or were they godly men?
We know what they were.
May the Lord bless all of you.
February 24, 2010
Jesus says in John 8:51, “I tell you the truth, if a man keeps My word, he will never see death.” What does He mean? We certainly all die. Um… don’t we?
Well, there was a tree… in a Garden… and it symbolized “the freedom of choice”. The two humans who represented all of mankind decided to listen to a deceiver who contradicted what “the LORD God [had] commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when / in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” (Gen. 2:16,17) It was a simple test. An obedience test.
Unfortunately, they failed. And because of that rebellion, that choice, that disrespect of God’s simple command, “in Adam all die.” (1 Cor. 15:22) In other words, all of humankind has died. Does this mean death of the body? Well, yes, as in: All “the creation was subjected to frustration” (Rom. 8:20) and “bondage to decay” (v. 21), and that includes our bodies.
However, the main way we die, the most crucial definition of death, and the way God and Jesus used it, was almost always as it pertains to spiritual death and loss of fellowship with God. For example, when God says, “If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin, he will die for it; because of the sin he has committed he will die.” (Ezek. 18:26) And, “I will judge you, each one according to his ways… Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!” (v. 30-32)
Also… –when Jesus says, “Unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3) He is not warning about the death of the body, for in Luke 12:4,5, He tells us not to fear that, but to instead fear God who “has the power to throw you into Hell.” For if “that servant is wicked… The Master of that servant will come… and… He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:47-51) In Matt. 25:46, Jesus compares “eternal punishment” with “eternal life.” Therefore, we can see that Scripture is teaching that to sin results in death –which is equated with eternal death, eternal punishment, to perish, or Hell. And if we add 2 Thes. 1:8,9, we read that those who “do not obey the Gospel… will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord…”
So, back to the Garden… Did the bodies of Adam and Eve die the day they ate the fruit? No. But did they die spiritually, losing communion with God? Yes. Their eyes were immediately opened, and no longer innocent, they realized they were naked, and they hid in shame from God. (Gen. 3:7,8) And besides this, when God confronted them, they began (as people have now done ever since) to put the blame on another for their sin. (v. 12,13)
Thus, because of this defiance against God, Satan was able to usurp God’s earth, and it was plunged into the dark kingdom –the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19) This is why Jesus says in John 3:18 that “whoever does not believe [in God’s Son] stands condemned already“, and in verse 36, that “God’s wrath remains on him” who “rejects / disobeys the Son.”
So, mankind is dead –dead in transgressions and sins. (Eph. 2:1) But… God provided a way out! Through Jesus He “rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves…” (Col. 1:13) And this is for all who truly believe and repent. (Mark 1:15) In so doing, God makes “us alive with Christ” (Eph. 2:5) and we become “new creations.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
This is why Col. 3:1-10 teaches, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ… Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature… Because of these, the wrath of God is coming… Rid yourselves of all such things… since you have taken off your old self and its practices and have put on the new self…”
For “You were taught… to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:22-24) And gnostics, that is: Our “whole spirit, soul and body [to] be kept blameless”! (1 Thes. 5:23) “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation –but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” (Rom. 8:13)
“Now if we died with Christ” (Rom. 6:8), then “we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless… freed from sin.” (v. 6,7) “We died to sin” (v. 2), being “baptized into His death.” (v. 3) “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead… we too may live a new life.” (v. 4) –Different than the one “in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world… [like] those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” (Eph. 2:2,3)
“For when we were controlled by the sinful nature… we bore fruit for death.” (Rom. 7:5) “For the mind of sinful man is death” (Rom 8:6), because “those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” –v. 8 Indeed, “if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die.” (v. 13 again) You will die spiritually. And that means you have “returned like a dog to its vomit” (see 2 Peter 2:22), have become a “branch cut off” (see Rom. 11:22) that “bore no [righteous] fruit” (John 15:2) –back under God’s wrath. (Matt. 18:32-34)
Friends, sin leads to death. We’ve all been taught it: “For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23)
However, if you have truly “died with Christ” (Col. 2:20), then “In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature… having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith… God made you alive with Christ.” (v. 11-13) YOU are then dead –and thus dead to sin. THEN, through Christ, you are alive to God –obedient to Him –walking in purity and fellowship with Him. In so doing, you have kept Christ’s words; and you will indeed never see death.
You will joyfully say, along with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live [I no longer live… I no longer live… I no longer live…], but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) Yes! And Christ being in me, controls me, –NOT the sin-nature!
THIS is why it is called “Good News”!
February 23, 2010
I would encourage you to visit Chrystal’s very informative website at slaughteringthesheep.wordpress.com. The fall and restoration of ministers of the Gospel is a hot topic right now, and it is imperative that we know what God’s Word says about it. Or… do we not care what God’s Word says about it….? Because there are many “Christians” and pulpit men who are making up their own rules. Let’s encourage those who are exposing sin, error, and blasphemies, and take a stand with them in upholding God’s Word, Truth, and righteousness.
How can we say we love Jesus and yet roll over and let “Christian” leaders trample His name and the grace of God?! How can we stand by while these “false apostles, deceitful workmen” (2 Cor. 11:13) lead souls to Hell?! C’mon! Put some action to your pitiful, worthless words! Put down the remote, fill up your mind with God’s Word, listen to what His HOLY Spirit is telling YOU to do, put your own sins to death, and encourage everyone else in Christ’s Body to stop tolerating sin! Oh, yea, and PRAY. Yes, let’s get on our faces and pray fervently –with weeping– that God will remove this wickedness from our midst!
Thank you –to those of you who are doing this!
Here is the comment I made at her site today:
Good points in answering John B. above.
As to your post and what Prasch said: Right. Besides, David thoroughly repented of that adultery with Bathsheba and murder against Uriah. However, not until he was confronted and rebuked did the repentance process start. This supports the call to confront, rebuke, and even expose publicly (if and when necessary.) If Nathan had not had the guts (and love for God and neighbor) to walk up to a king and give him a wise and hard-hitting analogy (2 Sam. 12:1-4) and condemnation from the LORD (v. 7-12), David may have continued in his arrogant disrespect of God and righteousness.
Also, let’s take note that even though David acknowledged, “I have sinned against the LORD”, Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. [–Deserving of death was a conviction David himself pronounced in verse 5.] But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt / and you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.” (v. 13,14)
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction…” (Gal. 6:7,8) God does forgive and His mercy can lessen the blow of consequences if we call out for mercy –in true humility and contrition of heart –as we can see from Ps. 51 that David did do.
However, did God take away the “calamity” He decreed to David as the punishment for his sin? No, He did not. Those horrible curses Nathan gave him from the LORD did come to pass. “The sword will never depart from your house, because you despised Me…” (v. 10) And “Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you… one… will lie with your wives in broad daylight…” (v. 11) These things all did come to pass. After a week of being sick, the poor baby died. (v. 18) There was incest / rape between two of his children (13:14), vengeful murder resulted (v. 28,29), then estrangement for three years of David and that son (v. 38), then mutiny, war, more death…. it just goes on and on.
So…. if this is what Rick and Todd want to compare “Christian sinners” to, then they are foolish. There’s no other word for it. There ARE consequences for sin –disastrous ones! And this is after God’s forgiveness for those who are truly repentant! Good grief! Clue in Bentley fans! God is a JUDGE and a KING! He will not take lightly when someone who touts His Great and Holy Name sins against His righteous commands! ! ! !
Well, thanks again for contending for Truth…!
February 22, 2010
Once upon a time there was a man who I am going to call here “Mr. Zee”. And this man did YOU great harm. He slandered you, telling lies about you that cost you your job. A few weeks later, he came to you and apologized, and he seemed genuinely repentant. Being the honorable Christian that you are, you forgave him.
Unfortunately, and just shortly after this, Mr. Zee was caught sneaking out of a window of your house, carrying a bag full of your wife’s jewelry. The man was charged with theft, but then seemed so repentant, that you forgave him again and the charges were dropped. But this time, Mr. Zee was ordered to go to counseling –which he did do.
During the months he was in counseling, Mr. Zee began to help out at the local church. He had such a winsome personality, that he was asked to fulfill a bigger role, and soon was even asked to lead ministry outreaches. Quickly, he gained ever more popularity, and was asked to speak at revival meetings. Soon, people were coming to him for prayer and advice, even counseling; so he wrote a book. The book entailed his theology, especially that which pertained to the power of God over sin.
Mr. Zee was gaining such notoriety, that some in the public began to step forward, calling to light that Mr. Zee may not be as trustworthy as he sounded. There were accusations of shoplifting, spousal abuse, selling of drugs, affairs with those being counseled, and the visiting of prostitutes. However, no one could seem to get stories straight, and as Mr. Zee denied them all, he only continued to gain fame. Many in the general public, including you and others in his home town, did not know what to think, as he did appear to be genuine. Besides, the outreaches he led were bringing many into the church, and also, many were claiming to get healed at his revival services.
One night you awoke to a gunshot and a yelp, and upon peering tentatively outside, you saw a man that looked like Mr. Zee running away, and your dog dead in the yard. The next day you confronted Mr. Zee, and though at first he denied it, he later came and told you, in tears, that he’d been angry at his wife, so instead of shooting her, he decided he would shoot your dog instead. When you asked him why he felt he had to shoot anything, he said that he just had an uncontrollable urge. He then tried to convince you that your dog was a hero, saving a woman from certain death at the hands of “the evil urge”. Whether convinced or confused, once again, because you’d been taught it was the Christian thing one must do, you forgave him. But you told him never to come near your house again, or the police would be called.
Mr. Zee seemed to heed your warning. Also, he continued to grow in popularity so that even radio and T.V. began broadcasting his services, his outreaches, and his Bible Study teachings.
But alas, one wretched day, you got a call from the police station and your daughter had been raped. Yes, it turned out that the criminal was Mr. Zee. This time, Mr. Zee was sentenced to prison.
But even in prison, Mr. Zee, insisting to the public that he was a repentant man, and pointing to the fact that we all sin, began writing yet another book, this one on forgiveness –required forgiveness toward one another as it related to God’s forgiveness of us. The book sold millions of copies and a few years later, when Mr. Zee emerged from prison, he was given platforms to discuss his ordeal, as well as discuss forgiveness, restoration, and how he had conquered sin in his life.
Many people bought into his teachings, and equating forgiveness with trust, they once again decided to forgive, listen to, and even trust what he had to say. Of course by this time his wife had divorced him, but no matter, for he clearly had many women pursuing him. In fact, so many church-goers gave him their commendation, that if anyone stood up to apply God’s Word to what was going on, those people were immediately accused of being legalistic, unforgiving, and unable to grasp that they themselves had certainly had to be forgiven of sin also. So… most resorted to being quiet; and Mr. Zee began his upward climb to fame again.
Today, you sit in your living room looking sadly at the T.V. Mr. Zee is on stage, his eyes shut as he sings with the other worshippers a love song to Jesus.
In another state… your daughter also is watching the same revival service.
Far-fetched story? No. Similar has gone on time and again, and undoubtably this is how a large segment of the corporate “Bride of Christ” must appear before The Holy God. For apparently most of her leaders (and followers) view the blood of Christ shed for them as a ticket of freedom TO sin, rather than a gift of freedom FROM sin. Even though we know our sin was worse than that of rape; for our sin tortured and killed God’s Son.
So once forgiven for such a horrible crime, how could we possibly keep on “crucifying the Son of God all over again” (Heb. 6:6) by continuing to commit that which nailed Jesus to the cross in the first place?! Mr. Zee deserved prison. But “How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him [granted him that pardon], and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:29)
Yet continuously, such people come before God in tears, claiming they have repented, but then go right back out to participate with and feed themselves on the world: Lying to their neighbors or boss, eating like gluttons while others starve, gorging their eyes on scenes of violence, murder, sex, adultery, rape, nudity… listening to blasphemies against Christ… and even viewing outright porn when no one else is looking. Then, alongside their families they’ve deceived, they attend church, swaying to songs of worship, cooing, “I’m so, soooooo in love with You, Jesus. Thank you for the cross… and forgiving me. Thank you for setting me free, free, freeeeeee… That I may sin, and not be condemned… Thank you, Jesus… Savior and Lord…”
It’s sick. And God is going to vomit this part of “the Bride” right……….. out ! (Rev. 3:16)