Bad News Good News
"The days of the Church's greatest spiritual power and impact were days when ecclesiastical forms, architecture and ritual were nil, and the Lord Himself was everything.... To get away from the lesser things we need a mighty visitation of the Spirit of God; this, and this only, will do it."
Quotation from T. Austin Sparks - The Release of the Lord - Chapter 7
I heard a message the other day where a salt shaker was used as the illustration that, if we are the salt of the earth, we cannot stay in the "salt shaker" - the container of organized religion or "church". We must get out and do some good. But do we have the will in ourself to do that?
It occurred to me that 2 things may have to happen to get the salt out where it is useful. The shaker has to be 1) turned upside down and then 2) it has to be shaken. Perhaps that's what the "mighty vision of the Spirit of God" will have to look like. It worked that way with the earliest disciples. First there was the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost), followed by much persecution by the established religion of the time, to disperse the new believers out into the rest of the world. Something comes to shake things up.
Seldom has it happened otherwise because the path of least resistance is the natural tendency and way of the flesh to rest on its laurels of flesh investment in real estate, ecclesiastical forms, and the pride of tradition.
"... At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, Once more I will shake not only the earth, but heaven as well. The words, Once more, signify the removal of what can be shaken - that is, created things - so that the unshakable may remain." Hebrews 12:26,27.
It doesn't take a degree in rocket science to see the direction things are taking in this world where "religion" is concerned. Perhaps, as the shameful revelations come out of what goes on behind closed doors and in the basement of organized religion, "the faithful" will begin to question, "Where's Jesus in all this? Certainly the Living One will not be found among the dead." They hopefully will wonder what exactly they have been faithful to. Anyone with their ear to the ground knows that the great church of the west is not the only place where gross abomination and corruption have set in. It will show itself everywhere in religion as time to let go of the salt shaker.
This is going to be a time of testing, and maybe being shaken out of the salt shaker. The very hand of God may have to accomplish this, since the will to do so seems to be largely absent. It's so easy to make idols out of forms, real estate, and tradition- and rest comfortably in them, missing the greater blessing of knowing Jesus without the interfaces.
That message came across pretty clearly in 70 A.D., when religion had so fully supplanted a relationship with God that religion's leaders refused to recognize the Messiah when He arrived.
So maybe not only the believers will be shaken out, but also all the shakeable "things" in which many are so heavily invested, so that the unshakeable will remain.
Will it happen again, this time on a massive global scale?
Wonder why the USA is going to hell in a hand cart? Wonder why "representatives" are being sworn into Congress on something other than the Holy Bible? And then they are cheered for using the most vulgar and shameful language to curse the President of the United States and threaten him with impeachment? If this is not an in your face wake up call, I don't know what is.
I’ve got an idea. It’s an old fashioned one, and not too popular a view.
Here's a hint from Leviticus 26. "... if you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, ... those who hate you will rule over you..." This is just one of the results of losing touch with God and His ways which are designed for our wellbeing.
There's a serious disconnect in the USA from the blessing and protection of the Lord going on right now, and it’s been growing for several decades.
That some claim that the USA is a “Christian nation” needs to be shown by its fruit - what it’s growing due to what its source is. Good spiritual fruit may have generally manifested at one time. But now, morally, there’s a crop failure, and it’s rotten. Where's the fruit evidencing being in harmony with God through the Holy Spirit in a country that continues to allow the brutal “on demand” slaughter of the innocent unborn by the millions since 1973? Or where crookedness, corruption, and perversion are legitimized by law, or just overlooked? It’s been said that any people will get the government it deserves…
This entire chapter (Leviticus 26) is suggested for reading and contemplation, and especially deep reflective prayer. There’s a lot here that looks very familiar. And it reveals that there is nothing new under the sun.
"Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." 1 Corinthians 10:11. Said St. Paul of the Old Testament to New Testament believers.
"Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34. Perennial wisdom there.
It’s really pretty simple: Lose your love and devotion for God, and you move outside His protection. The “religious rites” won’t do a thing for you. It’s not about that. Nor is it about praying for a heroic president or other politician to "come and save us all."
How can we begin to turn what’s happening around? Or can we turn it around at this point? i used to think so, but I’m not so sure anymore.
We should turn out hearts to God in prayer and to His word to discover the answers. Read and heed. Listen.
A place to begin is 2 Chronicles 7:14. “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways…
A careful exploration of Scripture reveals that an exemplary pattern emerges for Israel - given for the Body of Christ upon whom the end of the ages has come - so the foregoing verse is not necessarily a simplistic meme about how this is going to go in 21st Century Christendom.
It works like this: Prophets were sent to warn what was about to unfold as good times softened people and so they drifted from God. In spite of the warnings to which they would not listen, the nation then fell into sin and rebellion against God, served other gods, and became corrupt; it was overtaken by its enemies (Babylon, Rome, etc.) - sacked, taken captive, enslaved. It was often a brutal and extended period of time, outlined in the bullet points of Leviticus 26. In the midst of captivity, some hearts turned back to God - a remnant, which came to repentance. These were some of the ones who went back into their land and restored it, under God’s direction.
fed up with memes that talk about Human Beings being the cruelest "animals" on the planet. Are you who are posting this stuff aware of who generates those memes - that they are all about trying to get you to feel guilty about yourself, to demoralize you, get your buy in about "what's best for Mother Earth," yet have as their agenda the elimination of the human population down to the "manageable" amount of 500 million?
These are the same people who promote abortion on demand and genocide every way they can. They run the world with war, which kills more military and civilians than anything else, and lines their coffers with gold. They support Human trafficking. They talk of peace but have no intention of allowing that to happen, but keep us all stirred up with propaganda against one another. This too makes their self imposed management easier - a divide and conquer strategy.
They are all about getting rid of whoever they decide is a "useless eater" or a drain on the system because they are old or disabled. And when your turn comes, they will think nothing of eliminating you too. So they really have to work hard at making it look like all Human Beings are devils who don't care about animals.
The fact is - that the Human haters are the cruelest "animals" on earth, because they do not tell the whole truth about Human Beings, but try to make us all look bad to suit their draconian plans, as they wear a hypocrite's mask that makes them look good. Don't fall for it.
Certainly there are evil people. Certainly there are some people who will go to these marches and protests and make absolute fools of themselves. (Guess who they work for and don't know it? The Human haters actually call them "useful idiots.")
But there are also some very good people who care about BOTH people AND animals and all of life and the earth. For us, it's not one against the other, and never was. But you won't hear that.
Nor will you hear that man was created in God's image and likeness, and that makes us Human Beings not animals at all! Because mankind has fallen, that likeness of God is in need of restoration through Jesus Christ's redemption and His plan of salvation for humanity.
You won't hear that either, because these half baked meme starters work for the dark side, which despises our Creator and His Human children. Why? They want complete control over God's creation - which is not theirs to control at all, since God's "Prime Directive" was for Human Beings to lovingly administrate and care for the Earth and all its inhabitants. God's Way is to serve, not to dominate!
But in true psychopathic fashion these predator type Human haters blame everybody else for what they're doing. So the next time you are tempted to post a meme on how nasty Human Beings are, with a lovely photo of a wolf or tiger or whatever, realize who and what you're supporting and promoting, and don't hit the send button. Realize that a lot of the Human haters also engage in blood sport and killing these precious animals just for the sport of it. But they keep that well hidden too.
So don't blindly repost every meme you see along these lines. Think first.
(PS: You're possibly wondering why I capitalize the words Human Being. If so, here's why - because Human Beings are meant to be Sons of God in the making, heirs and joint heirs in Jesus Christ. It's just an honorarium of God's love for us and the vision He has of us! So let's see ourselves through His eyes, and not let the Human haters define who we are any longer.)
Quote seen on a meme: "There is no need to go abroad to attain the kingdom of heaven, nor cross the sea in search of virtue: as the Lord has already told us, the kingdom of God is within you." (Attributed in the meme to St. Antony of Egypt.)
The "Kingdom of God" these days is misconstrued to be the human spirit inside anyone, Christian or non Christian, or the "inner light” as it is sometimes called. As if that - unregenerated by the Holy Spirit which must enliven it - has any wisdom in itself! It's essentially Humanism. That's where this "you are god" idea comes from, as well as the idea that "we are all one." (Synchretism.) Or "There's only one being, and you are that." (Solipsism.)
So, what's entered the thinking of all too much of Christendom today is a philosophical cocktail which, when imbibed spiritually speaking, keeps people outside the Kingdom of God. This is the adversary who comes to rob, steal, and kill.
This "Cocktail" is not what Scripture teaches, but more and more it's being promoted in just about every denomination and religion. This is what happens when the whole counsel of Scripture gets kicked to the curb, and we start relying on tradition, philosophy, and the doctrines of men. Or elevating one man as the mouthpiece of Christ on Earth, and that without any background checks on him to see where he's actually coming from. (Another story for another day.)
But the fact is, that not everyone is part of the Kingdom of God, because not everyone has received Christ. They therefore have not the Spirit of Christ. That's the bad news.
The good news is - that can change by surrendering your life and the entirety of our being to Jesus Christ and continuing to do so. For "... as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12,13.
"You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, IF the Spirit of God lives in you. And IF anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Romans 8:9. If…!
This is a serious warning. But then it's serious business where you'd like to spend eternity.
The kingdom "within" can also be translated in the verse referred to by the meme (Luke 17:21) as "among you" or "in your midst".
The quotation included in the meme is taken out of context to make it look "inclusive" of multiple faiths not in agreement with the Christian Gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord as the only Way to God. It's certainly politically correct, but not spiritually so. If it were, there'd be no need for the Savior or the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Since many have been led to believe there is no need - a sort of “I’m OK; you’re OK” as you are - then there is no asking, seeking, or knocking - in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
That inclusive perspective certainly was not intended by the ancient Church Fathers, one of whom is allegedly quoted here (St. Antony of Egypt) who knew the dangers of twisting Scriptural Truth to mean what you want it to say. And that is exactly what's happening in our times.
The Church Father's were anything but "inclusive". This statement is therefore not addressed to everybody, but rather to those who did have the Spirit of Christ within them, and who were serious and resolute about going on into mature sonship in Christ, but also needed the reminder that it was not by religious works, pilgrimages, and rigors that we are saved.
Instead it is in repentance that we turn away from self mistaken for God, and toward the power of the Holy Spirit given to those who love Him as He comes to dwell within them.
This article addresses a popular concept that has crept into the thinking of a lot of people who sojourn under the banner of Christendom. It may seem surprising, but it needs to be addressed. It's this idea that I am the captain of my soul, and I can determine my future, and I am this, I am that, and I will do this, that, and the other thing, and no one is going to tell me otherwise. Because I say so, what I declare goes and it will happen. I will make it happen. All under the guise of "positive thinking."
You will? Let me know how that goes for you.
Reason I'm bringing this up? Been there, done that. It comes straight out of New Age / New Thought. This is not Christianity. Not a good idea. It may work for awhile, but sooner or later your mojo is going to fail you, since it's outside the purposes of God. And you will wonder what hit you.
Sound familiar? Ring any bells? Maybe this will help jog the memory, from Isaiah 14:13-15. It's God’s word through Isaiah His messenger (prophet) to the king of Babylon, whose driving force and motivation behind the throne was Lucifer himself. They were essentially one! "You said in your heart: 'I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the far reaches of the north. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' But you will be brought down to Sheol to the far reaches of the Pit."
It seems that the Lord is still in charge, and He isn't especially impressed with the "I wills".
Basically you’re playing God, yet calling yourself a Christian. Surprise. Your fallen ego self is your god, not Jesus Christ. And Lucifer doesn't care who you worship, especially without realizing it - because no one bothered to teach you the difference or what to look out for. Or maybe you didn’t want to hear it anyway. If you call Jesus Lord, then there cannot be two kings on the throne. Who's in charge - Jesus or you? No way around it.
This “I will” attitude is just plain old fashioned witchcraft, and nothing less. It's become quite popular in the "church" - among those who attend a brick and mortar and also those who don't. Sometimes it's even disguised in their "mission statement." It's become so engrained in our pop culture infested churches that discernment is completely lacking when it comes to this sort of thing. It's seems pretty subtle, until you can see it for what it is.
Here's an example from the book of James, just in case you think that your idea really is something new under the sun, and you're feeling awfully good about yourself.
"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.' Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.' But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil..." From James 4:13-16.
It’s a good idea to read the whole chapter, since its context addresses friendship with the world, which the Apostle plainly calls hostility toward God! The idea is, you’re either in or you’re out. And that is not the kind of Christianity we’re used to hearing about. But it is the Bible kind. Maybe we should read it and heed it. All of it.
Yes, if the Lord wills! That is humility and it is precious in the eyes of God, because it reflects the likeness of Jesus Christ, Who did the Father’s will by coming into this world to redeem and restore us - His way. Remember His prayer in Gethsemane? “Not My will, but Your will be done.”
Paul reinforces this when he directs us, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant…” Philippians 2:4-7.
But the "I wills"? Well, we know whose image that reflects.
So once you can see this, there's a choice to be made. It's either Jesus as Lord or, frankly, you’re partnered up with the devil. What's it going to be?
And as for the brick and mortars with their "We will" mission statements, are you working for Jesus, or does your eye gaze at becoming some globalist corporate megachurch that sells people-pleasing religion, with expansionist ambitions? Please visit Acts 16:6-9, for how Jesus plants churches.
Maybe the answer is more Holy Spirit led prayer meetings and fasting, instead of flesh led board meetings and feasting. It’s time we learned how to listen!