[b]A Misrepresentation of God[/b]
[i]by B.H. Clendennen[/i]
"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles 'doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
When Adam sinned he became an altogether different man. His spirit was so violated that it sank down in subjection to the soul; he became a soulish man lacking the ability to communicate with God. Adam's sin was, he chose his own will, and he acted independent of God.
In that decision he became totally deranged in mind, affections, will, spirit, and conscious. There was no remedy. God wrote `vanity' over that creation saying in effect, your kind can never come into my presence. Adam created in the image of God is now a total misrepresentation of God.
Likewise the church, "the one new man," when any segment rejects Biblical authority and begins to act independent of the Father it becomes depraved, deranged and a misrepresentation of God. At this point there is no remedy, no renewing of the "old wine skins."
History testifies to the futility of trying to renew the flesh in any form, whether it be the church or the individual. Knox, Savanorola, Luther, and a host of others tried to reform the Roman church. Wesley tried in vain to renew the Church of England, in the end they had to obey the command and "come out of her..."
Once more in the end of this age we are witnessing a humanistic effort to make legitimate what God has bastardized. Through animitation spirit and the union of dead religious systems, Satan is producing a harlot church that is deceiving millions.
Many of these "religious magicians" have known God, but like the ante-diluvians "they glorified Him not as God" Worshipping the creature more than the creator, God has given them up to the unclean spirit of "self," the mark and image of the beast. By demoting God and deifying man, they claim to be "little gods," this neo-Pentecostal ecumenicity has given a platform to Satan, and he collects all this hokus pokus as worship.
To justify the actions and lifestyle of this deceptive imitation a new theology has been created. So again, like the ante-diluvians, they changed the truth of God into a lie. "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." (Romans 1:25). By twisting scripture to fit their own perverted philosophy, these imitators produced a theology that put man at the center and not God. God became man's means of "self actualization."
This false imitation which in scripture is called, the "mystery of iniquity." "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way" (2 Thessalonians 2:7), has become the Gospel to millions. Ezekiel saw all of this in chapter eight of the book by his name. This is not a prophecy for Ezekiel's day, but a special message for another time, our time. When Ezekiel wrote this, the Temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed more than fifteen years prior.
In verse five of Ezekiel chapter eight the Prophet sees the "Image of Jealousy" at the gate of the altar of the Temple. "Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry." (Ezekiel 8:5).
The next twelve verses shows us that this "image of jealousy" consisted of men placing something beside, as well as in God's true Temple, even placing "In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger" (Ezekiel 43:8). This is the church Ezekiel is seeing.
Ezekiel saw the "image of jealousy" a counterfeit of the real, stand at the door of the entrance of the Holy Place, but the glory of God was also there. The "image of jealousy" which God hated, and the glory of God were there side by side. This was future with Ezekiel, but it is now with us. Running side by side in these final days is the real and the false. There is both a revival and an apostasy. The false is an imitation of the real. It speaks in tongues, exercises gifts, shouts, sings, and dances. It has the outward manifestations of the real. Like the church at Corinth, the twentieth century church needs to examine itself. With all the manifestations, if Christ is not in the manifestations it is reprobate.
If Ezekiel was to fulfill all God had called him to be and do as a watchman, he had to see what God saw. There is a great effort to blind the believer in this late hour so he will not see what God sees. The enemy knows if you see things out of your own perspective you will be deceived. The smart boys of religion have learned how to imitate the real.
He that endureth to the end the same shall be saved, be chosen, be apart of the Bride. This endurance is not physical it is Spirirtual. When you read the word "steadfast" in Acts chapter two, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles ' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42).
This word indicates they were up against something, there was opposition, and they had to resist something to stay in the place of faith. Something other than the Apostles doctrine is presenting itself for their consideration. The false did not challenge their faith by telling them what they believed was false, they would instantly reject such. The false came posing as a deeper revelation of truth. The harlot presented herself early.
The principles and doctrines of the Bible cannot be altered or changed. The truth as it is in Jesus is not only the answer to everything; it is the only answer to everything. Jesus Christ is the truth. He never took on a demonic nature, He never had to be born again, He was born right the first time.
Jesus never suffered in Hell, He plundered Hell. God the Father did not redeem us through a born again man who had great knowledgeof the word; He redeemed us through Him who is the Word of God. Man is not now, nor will he ever be a god. Faith is not a force carried by words. God does not operate by faith; He is the object of faith. All the above and much more, are new revelations of the word of faith, prosperity teachers and preachers. The mystery of iniquity is still at work.
When the enemy was finally successful in seducing the church to compromise the Word of God, the church was reduced to form without power. Everything was eventually lost and the world went into the dark ages. To let down anywhere means you will eventually let down everywhere.
Jesus quoted the prophet Daniel in giving us, perhaps, the most prominent sign of His coming. "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand.:) " (Matthew 24:15). The abomination called "jealousy" is this terrible mixture parading itself as the true Body of Christ. Jesus said this would be a true sign of His return. The most fearful thing about this abominable imitation harlot system is that men who were once mightily used of God birthed it. It is not uncommon for men who have been mightily used of God, through the Holy Spirit, to be filled with pride and become a tool of Satan.
The Bible gives us an example of the above in Ezekiel. "And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up." (Ezekiel 8:11) Shaphan was used of God during the reign of Josiah, to recover the Word of God that had been lost for seventy-five years. What we have here are men who have been signally used of God in the past. Yet here inthe midst of this imitation move of God stood Jaazaniah, the leader and high priest, who had lost the anointing and blessing of God through compromise. Equally tragic, he did not realize the true anointing was gone, and had now been replaced by self-anointing.
What a contrast, here is Shaphan, a man used of God to bring a great revival to Israel. A man of holiness, separation, and dedication; now his own son has embraced, promoted, was part of this impurity, mixture and compromise. When by the Spirit, God took Ezekiel through a hole in the wall he saw, what God called abominations. "He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? Even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? But turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when 1 had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about." (Ezekiel 8:6-10) Standing in the midst of this religious mixture and hypocrisy was Jaazaniah, a high priest and son of Shaphan the central figure of a past revival.
"What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh." (I Corinthians 6:16). By reason of the believer's union with Christ, he becomes what Christ was and is as a man. (I Corinthians12:12-27). Fornication robs the Lord of that which is His. The second reason is also expressed here. Not only is the Lord robbed, but a new union takes place. (I Corinthians 6:15; Genesis 2:24). The practical proof of this is that a new personality may result from the union-one spirit. (I Corinthians 6:17). This is one of the strongest expressions of unity and security in the Word of God. As one author has put it, "The sheep may wander from the shepherd, the branch may be cut off from the vine, the member may be severed from the body. . . but when two spirits blend in one, what shall part them?" (Arthur T. Pierson, Knowing the Scriptures, p. 146).
"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." (I Corinthians 6:18). "Flee" is in the present tense for "habitual action;" it is a positive command. Morris suggests, "Make it your habit to flee" (op. cit., p. 102). Someone has said, "While it is often claimed that there is safety in numbers, there are times when there is more safety in exodus!" Joseph's experience comes to mind (cf. Genesis 39:1-12). The final phrases, "without the body" and "against the body," are difficult. Perhaps the meaning is that other sins, such as drunkenness, have effects on the body, but fornication is a sin wrought within the body and involves a monstrous denial of union with Christ by union with the harlot.
This truth is seen so clearly in this promiscuous age we live in. We have a generation of youth that do not know who, or what they are. It is a heartbreaking revelation to sit in a major airport and watch the young people. Young men and women with spiked hair dyed purple, green, red, yellow; with rings in the nose, tongue, navel, eyebrows, and breast. Many don't know whether they are male orfemale so they have sex change operations. Their identity is lost. A new person emerges and through so many relationships the person who emerges does not know who he or she is. God makes it plain that in the act of sex there is transference of spirit-Adam and Eve became one flesh.
The tragedy of the physical is nothing when compared with the tragedy of spiritual fornication. When the Church fornicates with the world in her service and worship, she produces that which is deceptive and opens herself up to the demonic. Abraham, through carnal means (Hagar), will attempt to produce a demon-possessed religion that has become the greatest enemy of righteousness. When a man physically joins himself to a harlot, they two become one flesh, that is, another personality emerges. The same is true in the spiritual when the Church plays the harlot and fornicates with the world; another personality emerges, and that personality is not Christ, it is anti-Christ.
When the Church reaches the point that she will not use the name of Jesus in her brochures or advertisements, when she believes it is wrong to use the term "born again," when she believes it is wrong to teach children that Jesus live in their heart, when she comes to believe that Romanism is Christianity, when she reaches the point that she no longer preaches the offense of the Cross for fear of offending the tares that have joined her, at that point she no longer knows who she is.
Like her counterpart in the physical, having lost her identity as to who and what she is, she is ready to go to bed with everything that calls itself Christian. Out of this confusedpersonality there has emerged a mixture of Romanism and Pentecostalism, with Catholics saying the rosary in tongues, and the simple believing it is real. Since you cannot have the function of the flesh without the corresponding works of the flesh, the same sins found in the world are now openly practiced in the church. What the Pentecostal church once believed, she no longer believes.
Pentecost is a life-transforming message. Pentecost is God living through a human vessel. It is God the Father, through God the Holy Ghost, displaying God the son, through a human vessel called the Church. Pentecost is the final revelation of God and will not stand to be watered down. Our fathers knew this and fought against the Babel of religion until the "sword cleaved to their hand." Then there came the imitation, a Pentecostal anti-Christ, and he deceived us. He came with his "prayer language." "Look" he said, "I can talk in tongues just like you" He totally deceived us-we let him in. Nothing was demanded, he came as he was. We thought he came to be a part of us; instead he came to lead us to the slaughter. Decades of battlefield experience was traded off for a worldly crowd with a taught tongue, a taught dance, and a taught Christ. We called it revival.
There is only one remedy for this deplorable situation: come back to the altar in deep repentance, asking God's forgiveness for our evil affair with the world, His enemy. Remain in the altar until we regain our identity as the "Body of Christ," builded together for a habitation of God by the Spirit. Since the ministry determines the condition of the Church, only the preacher can show the Church the way back to Zion.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon