Santa Clara, CA
| About as clear as mud|
A preface of sorts. Have been attempting to formulate this into some sort of cohesion and I am not sure I have attained that goal. Have spent a lot of time sorting through and trying to tidy it all up but wonder also at the loss of expression. It is that, an expression, an opinion and cannot help but realize that there may be much error and expect you to point them out. This matter is derived and forced out from the concerns over this present situation, namely Lakeland, Florida which I am hardpressed to use the word 'revival' in conjunction with because I belive it to be something other than and forigen to that which would propelry define what a revival in fact is. I am also just as reluctant to use the phraseology that so often is abused that "The Lord" has put me to it but I will say that it seems He will not let me alone about it. In other words, I am well feed up with the whole matter and am reluctant to keep bringing it up. Compelled, against my own preferences, would much rather talk about prayer or just about any other thing.
I find that there is still much more that could be said and likely should be said, that I likely have forgot to include some things and have overdone others. Forgive the wrongs and correct them, correct the errors in useage of scripture and apply those same things where I am also blind, that I am bringing out to observation.
One more insertion. Have made mention of this dichotomey between the prayer closet and what some term as devotions. For myself it is up early in the morning to pray and sometimes write, read in no particualr order. But then it is out the door into this evil day and everything is of that own particular reality and atmosphere ... it is, 'the world'. And what I am finding more so of late is the growing gap of this dichotemy, it's widening. "God is not in their thoughts". Certainly it has always been so to what ever extent but it seems to be growing worse and worse with every passing day, so much so that the contagion drags one away unaware. Maybe it is my particular circumstances and setting, the busyness of business, the 'cares of this world', the whole mixed lot of confusion. Here, now, at this moment all that follows seems perfectly normal as I write but later ... Keep telling myself that I am glad I had not put this all forward, that is all a bit too much, too long and wordy, that I really have no right to speak such things and that sense of relief, glad that I held back after all. What it all amounts to, I am quite unsure, something is terribly amiss, something is truly wrong ...
[i]For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.[/i] 1Co 14:33
This being true, then the onus and culpability lies with us for this present state of confusion. To be very plain about it, if we don't have a category setup to put everyone and everything into, to keep things neat and tidy, you can be sure we will create one. Sounds completely contradictory I know.
We have a complex that is derived from qualifiers or that may be put as 'explainability'. Let me explain what I mean
It means something along the lines of, "Now, I am not advocating _____ and I do not mean to say _____ but _____" and on and on it goes. To some extent we all do it at various times and I find myself lapsing back into it far more frequently than I care to.
No wonder we are as clear as mud.
SQUEAMISH[/b], a. [probably from the root of wamble.] Literally, having a stomach that is easily turned, or that readily nauseates any thing; hence, nice to excess in taste; fastidious; easily disgusted; apt to be offended at trifling improprieties; scrupulous.
Quoth he, that honors very squeamish that takes a basting for a blemish.
His muse is rustic, and perhaps too plain the men of squeamish taste to entertain.
That grand old dictionary of old fashioned values and meanings, [i]apt to be offended at trifling improprieties[/i] could not better define it.
So what does it all mean? The ability to use a replacement of one thing for another is a clever and not always so intentional aspect of how we go about matters. Because of this penchant to be offended we are first suspicious and presumptuous, on our guard to hear anything contrary, difficult or penetrating. We are personally offended first and secondarily offended if it happens to be a brother\sister under scrutiny, often not even that much, just the use of their name (The whole of "not naming names" business). Trouble is, the "names" are usually those that have subjected themselves to scrutiny in the first place. They will speak publicly yet their words and actions are supposed to be tested privately and kept that way. Such notions!
Because of this weakness, this whole anti-Berean mindset, we are muddy rather than clear, addicted to milk that has been spoiled and induced to reach for the Pepto-Bismal instead of getting rid of the malady.
[u]Suffering for Jesus?[/u]
Seems we would be far more honest to say [i]suffering is for Jesus[/i] by the way our dispositions spell us. This is that strange thing by which we are orthodox in mindset and heretical in practice. Look at so much of our converse, it's a muddle of petty little aspects where we have to coddle the saints, correct all their misunderstandings and over speak to soothe their over sensitive psyches. Saying as much will bring in the 'replacements' and the 'what abouts' until we are further mired in the mud and have lost sight of the shore, even the subject being attended to. Is it not unnecessary confusion?
There is no way we can completely separate all the whatabout's otherwise we would be stuck with dictation and not discourse. What is troubling is the divorce or canceling of one truth at the expense of another. One thing to bring matters to consideration and quite another to mold shovels of them into swords and set them at naught, one against the other. Again, confusion.
Plain speaking must convey we have little to no tolerance for suffering. We will endure a certain tolerance of a variety of difficulties but stop short at having it apply to our persons. The exact opposite of what Jesus tolerated. I am speaking of personal effrontery and the reason for the spread of this disease is a conditioning straight out of the pulpit that has made not disciples who are dead to their weak and carnal appetites but addicted to the baby bottle;
[i]For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.[/i] Heb 5:12
That, my friends is a criticism straight from the scriptures. Back track through what all leads up to this indictment, tracing the context not the unfortunate chapter breaks;
[i]Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness ... Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways ... Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God ... they could not enter in because of unbelief ... But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin ... Let us therefore fear lest, ... you should seem to come short of it ...
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. [/i]
Harden not your heart. Fear! Unbelief. Wrath. Nakedness. The [i]piercing[/i] sword, thoughts and intents of the heart.
And what is the culmination? Such criticism! Do the knees buckle at hearing, "Your deaf that is why we can not speak any further to you." The same criticism that the Lord leveled time and again, of being faithless, of not seeing straight, "Does this offend you?", "Ears to hear", "Their ears are dull of hearing" ... My, our Lord, a critic? Or have we also forgotten just how many times he warned;
[i]Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else ... sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee ... Take heed lest any man deceive you ... Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you ... Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.[/i]
[i]This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. [/i]
Tit 1:13, Tit 2:15, 1Ti 5:20
There's a word that we despise, [i]rebuke![/i]. It has it's own connotations, it sounds 'mean' and curiously 'un-Christlike' if we were more forthcoming about it. Our very reactions to it spell us as too weak to bear it, we just won't have it, our pride will not allow it.
Some biblical definitions;
([i]Lev 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.[/i])
A primitive root; to [i]be right[/i] (that is, correct); reciprocally to [i]argue[/i]; causatively to [i]decide, justify[/i] or [i]convict[/i]: - appoint, argue, chasten, convince, correct (-ion), daysman, dispute, judge, maintain, plead, reason (together), rebuke, reprove (-r), surely, in any wise.
([i]Mat 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.[/i])
From G1909 and G5091; to [i]tax upon[/i], that is, [i]censure[/i] or [i]admonish[/i]; by implication [i]forbid[/i]: - (straitly) charge, rebuke.
([i]Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;[/i])
From G1 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of G3469; [i]unblameable[/i]: - blameless.
([i]1Ti 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;[/i])
From G1909 and G4141; to [i]chastise[/i], that is, (with words) to [i]upbraid[/i]: - rebuke.
([i]1Ti 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. Tit 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. [/i]
Of uncertain affinity; to [i]confute, admonish[/i]: - convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.
Apparently, we may have our wires crossed over the usage of this word. And perhaps this is the crux of our 'speaking evil' or better, evil speaking; One of hatred and upbraiding, the other of clarity, to [i]be right[/i] not of our personal opinion but [i]of a truth[/i], it has me thinking of clarity and what an antedote for that confusion that we are so much the authors of.
But I hear that other admonishen, that other parallel truth, that whatabout, what about, ... love?
[i]As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.[/i] Rev 3:19
Is there anything that could not be more plain? Is this not what drives some of us forward in concern and warning and [i]love[/i]? Not that we take it upon ourselves as those who [i]lord it over[/i], who are we to say or to do so? It is the Lord who ultimately rebukes because He loves, because He will not tolerate confusion or error or any false thing. Hear again this complimentary expression;
[i]Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;[/i] Eph 5:25
Feed my sheep. Shepperd them also. [i]Even as[/i] ... Is this not our compulssion? The church, His church, we love those who love Him, [i]lovest thou me?[/i]
[i]Feed my sheep.[/i]
What is it about the great part of the New Testament that put's so much emphesis on sheep and wolves, on ear ticklers and those that creep in, theives and robbers; be not decieved, watch and pray, [i]watch out[/i], period? And just where did we get the forigen idea that to correct and\or challenge, test and even rebuke, exhort, is somehow contrary to what is so plainly stated? It is something other, something forigen indeed. Somehow we have got to get down to the root of our troubles and out of this miry pit of equivocating that paints so much of our trivialalities. We have an abundance of mispalced intention in the realm of discernment and have gone to great lengths to even criticize that criticism that is a rebuke on the wrong level, with the wrong defenitions. Cannot but think once again of Paul's situation and grasp in 2 Cor;
[i]For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.[/i] 2Co 7:8
What, is Paul eqivocating? Sorry but not sorry? Repent but do not repent? How's that? Will never forget how difficult I originaly found this section early on ...
[i]Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.[/i] 2Co 7:9
Note that, [i]not to recieve damage[/i]. Is this not corarlalary to all these motives of intent in these matters?
[i]For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.[/i] 2Co 7:10
There is a sorrow that is so beyond sweet it is almost impossible to put into words. What is it about that inner pull at the core of our being that brings forth the greatest tears and greatest longing than a true, honest, forthcoming, a real repentance. Do you know what I am speaking of? It's those rare moments where everything caves in and gives up, it can be highly emotional and is, but it is so much more. We are so accustomed to be up on the surface of things and that is where our converse is often done, that to appeal to our sobriety and the heart wretching and marrow searching attributes are given such short shift is such a sad state of the times we live in.
Might it be said that a true revival produces a true, Godly sorrow? Not to be dispised but welcomed and sought after? It is a complete breakdown of the defenses (and the defending!). It's to put our pride in the dust and even our sense of false humility which is just an end around the matter anyway. It's that thing you wait for with a loved one, [i]Oh, if they would just give up already[/i] and come to the Lord wholeheartedly, broken and naked and exposed in the core of their being. It's the point of true conversion and true admittance and true recognition that all the props in the world will never make them better, worthy or acceptable. It's the end of all things and the begining of all things made new.
Listen to Paul's practical excitement over the matter;
[i]that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.[/i] 2Co 7:11
All this over the matters he put forth earlier, let Albert Barnes put it before us;
[b]For though I made you sorry[/b] ... - That is, in the First Epistle which he had sent to them. In that Epistle he had felt it necessary to reprove them for their dissensions and other disorders which had occurred and which were tolerated in the church. That Epistle was suited to produce pain in them - as severe and just reproof always does; and Paul felt very anxious about its effect on them. It was painful to him to write it, and he was well aware that it must cause deep distress among them to be thus reproved.
This is always my own little personal difficulty, "[i]It was painful to him to write it[/i] and might I say that where many of those who take issue with these matters are correct and I share their concerns, that is, there is no [i]pain[/i] expressed in their rebukes or their discernment or their 'witch hunts' as they are often articulated.
[i]I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.[/i]
[b]But ... are we ridiculous?[/b]
Here we are in the midst of all this hubub, this noise and confusion, this yet again, modern, contemporary, so called revival that is of the same makeup and mannerisms, atmopsohere and carnival like carnality of the ones that just preceeded it. We know which ones they are because they get so much ink and attention and years later we are still dealing with the fallout, just when one thinks it has settled down to a simmer ... 'Bam', here it comes rising up out of the ashes again. Yes, that is a dig and a play on words. My dear Brethren what will it take to force the issue up and out of the dulldrums?
[i]The accent in the Church today, says Leonard Ravenhill, the English evangelist, is not on devotion, but on commotion. Religious extroversion has been carried to such an extreme in evangelical circles that hardly anyone has the desire, to say nothing of the courage, to question the soundness of it. Externalism has taken over. God now speaks by the wind and the earthquake only; the still small voice can be heard no more. The whole religious machine has become a noisemaker. The adolescent taste which loves the loud horn and thundering exhaust has gotten into the activities of modern Christians. The old question, What is the chief end of man? is now answered, To dash about the world and add to the din thereof. And all this is done in the name of Him who did not strive, nor cry, nor make His voice to be heard in the streets.[/i] A.W. Tozer
I cannot find less by precedent nor by statement anywhere in scripture that we saints are to be ridiculous or absurd or just plainly stupid about things. I have put this out there before, but can we actually take these antics and things that go on and stick them back into scripture and still have them make sense? We cannot. We cannot have people being manipulated and massaged into accepting the silly for the saintly, 'weirdness' is not an attribute to be championed but ... rebuked. Rebuke them [i]sharply[/i], that they may be sound in the faith[/i], not any old sqeemish, equivocating, sentimental and half backed concern but a true concern for the Church. And if the leadears will not hear of it then at least the saints that are either ignorant or just plain caught up in it. [i]Sound[/i]. A mighty, tremendous word.
[i]Christians have fallen into the habit of accepting the noisiest and most notorious among them as the best and the greatest. They too have learned to equate popularity with excellence, and in open defiance of the Sermon on the Mount they have given their approval not to the meek but to the self-assertive; not to the mourner but to the self-assured; not to the pure in heart who see God but to the publicity hunter who seeks headlines.
In this day when shimmering personalities carry on the Lords work after the methods of the entertainment world, it is refreshing to associate for a moment even in the pages of a book with a sincere and humble man who keeps his own personality out of sight and places the emphasis upon the inworking of God. It is our belief that the evangelical movement will continue to drift farther and farther from the New Testament position unless its leadership passes from the modern religious star to the self-effacing saint who asks for no praise and seeks no place, happy only when the glory is attributed to God acompulsionnd himself forgotten.[/i] A.W. Tozer
I will lay this at the feet of the leaders of this nonsense where it belongs. It is not so interesting that the whole collective lot of them are all running together to heap praise on each other. They promoted, actually designed it in the first place. Rather than naming all the names not of issue with doing so but to the expense of further missing the point, it is the actions and teaching and frankly manipulating that is appaling. They will stir up the emotions and tell exagerated tales, they will parse the word of God ... Oh, this alone! This neology (the use of new meanings for established words [url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=24306&forum=40&start=10&viewmode=flat&order=1]Principles of Neology[/url]) has become so established and so accepted that everything is given new meaning and defention and is a complete abuse of things intended. New catch phrases; "[i]The glory realm". "The apostoilic." "Slain in the spirit." "Holy laughter."[/i] or even to tame it a little, "[i]Heavenly Laughter[/i]", "Extrene Prophetic[/i]" and [i]"drunk in the spirit"[/i]. It's mighty incredible to think that by the simple act of matching anything we wish to words of scripture that they are something in and of themselves, they are without a doubt;
... [i]spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;[/i]
Jude is speaking directly and I am drawing indirectly just over the matter of these empty things. There is nothing to or in them that avails anything but being [i]ridiculous[/i]. We must face the facts;
[i]For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;[/i] 2Ti 4:3
That word "sound" again. An uncertain sound, sound doctrine, sound in the faith, sound words, a sound [i]mind[/i].
From G5199; to [i]have[/i] sound [i]health[/i], that is, [i]be well[/i] (in body); figuratively to be [i]uncorrupt[/i] ([i]true[/i] in doctrine): - be in health, (be safe and) sound, (be) whole (-some).
And lest we run off on the tangent and often easily dismissed notion of doctrine, note what that word means;
From G1320; [i]instruction[/i] (the function or the information): - doctrine, learning, teaching.
How far astray is all this? How convoluted and self congradulatory and diluted? What is very striking to me is the collective conscience of this group. They are, to put it demonstably, even derogotoraly, back slapping each other over this whole thing. Think it not so?
[url=http://christiancrunch.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/prophet-bob-jones-transcript-from-florida-revival/]Prophet BOB JONES TRANSCRIPT FROM FLORIDA Revival[/url]
As just one example, there are many, many more. Many that can be searched out and found here. Even reading through Mr. Bentley's very polished explanation of the happenings there ... I smell a rat and it is not necessary him that I have in mind but that distinctive influance. And do note the aforementioned lingo that accompanies it all. There is something about these things that set my soul to grief. There is something of an elitism woven throughout it all, something off limits to the common pew dweller. It is often prefaced by "You too can experience _____" if you follow our pattern, buy our books, our tape series. Prophecies and special expereiences, all this talk of other 'realms' and I am assured there is one indeed but it is not where we ought to be dwelling ...
Saints, this is nothing short of rubbish. These are things that ought to be rejected out of hand. A spolied piece of fruit is thrown out, even the bad fish were thrown back in the scriptures.
That time of not enduring sound doctrine is upon us in the fullest measure and we have to be clear despite the misconstruing of intention, despite that a large portion of this will go sailing past the ears. There are untold ramifications of all this that hardly no one cares to consider. It is all those things brought forth time and again of just where this all leaves people, changed permenately for the better or damaged just alike? Frankly, I do not think they care one bit for the ones that go away 'without their healing' or their bastarized attempt to put it as some things are delayed or take time, some wishbone, carrot stick of a notion, it's all pure rubbish. The whole is without question "of God" no matter how absurd, no matter how bizzare and nothing of it is to be questioned.
If Christianity is sunk to this low level of theatrics and pumped up entertainment of loud and obnoxious microphone antics that even the cadence of speach gives way, of cheap thrills for no good reason, of itching ears and tingling torso's ... If this is what "God is doing" I would just as soon join the athesits, at least they are generally far more honest in their doubting.
| 2008/7/15 9:55||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: About as clear as mud|
[u]Madness and Intoxication[/u]
[i]The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. [/i] Deu 28:28, Ecc 1:17, Ecc 9:3
[i] If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?[/i] 1Co 14:23
Forgetting tongues for the moment and turning to [i]vexation of spirit[/i] and the unlearned, unbelivers peering into matters, [i]will they not say that ye are mad[/i]?
In the church. No concern over this conundrum? That the greater body of human beings, those we seek to reach supposedly are presented with this, [i]this is your God[/i]? One who bestows presents and puts on a show for His saintlets so they can get all jacked up on an emotional experience and go away ... what refreshed and revived? What happens when the sugar rush expires and the normative, boring, daily duties of this vain life settle back in to play, what then? Why, is it not to seek another fix to be sought to settle the cravings of that very thing that never truly satisfied in the first place. Tozer elaborates;
[i]To many observing persons today it appears that conversion does not do for people as much as it once did. Too often the experience passes, leaving the seeker unsatisfied and deeply disappointed. Some who are thus affected, and who are too sincere to play with religion, walk out on the whole thing and turn back frankly to the old life. Others try to make what they can out of a bad bargain and gradually adjust themselves to a modified and imperfect form of Christianity spiced up with synthetic fun and enlivened by frequent shots of stimulants in the form of gimmick to give it relish and sparkle.
Schleiermacher held that the feeling of dependence lies at the root of all religious worship, and that however high the spiritual life might rise it must always begin with a deep sense of a great need which only God could satisfy. If this sense of need and a feeling of dependence are at the root of natural religion it is not hard to see why the great god Entertainment is so ardently worshipped by so many. For there are millions who cannot live without amusement; life without some form of entertainment for them is simply intolerable; they look forward to the blessed relief afforded by professional entertainers and other forms of psychological narcotics as a dope addict looks to his daily shot of heroin. Without them they could not summon courage to face existence.
A church fed on excitement is no New Testament church at all. The desire for surface stimulation is a sure mark of the fallen nature, the very thing Christ died to deliver us from. A curious crowd of baptized worldlings waiting each Sunday for the quasi-religious needle to give them a lift bears no relation whatsoever to a true assembly of Christian believers. And that its members protest their undying faith in the Bible does not change things any. Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.[/i]
I wonder at the perceived difficulty of just truly looking at something like this from afar, from the glasses of the outsider, unbeliever, unlearned. What does it look like just on the surface? It cannot possibly be all that strenuous to look back on where we have come from and stop there for a moment with our preconverted eyes and take in the whole picture. Add to that the state of things presently, the economy in a roil, the glorification and promotion of calling good evil and evil good. Wars and violence in every variety, corruption in politics, business and morals, starvation, apathy, abortion, sexual abuse, child abuse pervertedly in violence, sexually [i]and[/i] in trafficking. Divorce. Gay unions and gay 'marriage' the bastardizing of the very word itself, the rise of neo-everything, cults and religions and for the Church, persecution and a forcing underground, beatings, imprisonment, slayings.
And God is sending us a house party? A carnival, a 'healing revival' ... only (and lately [i]always[/i]) in America, [i]are ye not mad?[/i]
And I must state adamantly, for what bloody good reason do we desrve such a thing? Fine, deserve is the wrong tense, we deserve next to nothing, but would somebody in the light of all those things that are taking place in this hour explain to me just why on earth the Lord would be doing such a thing as this? It just doesn't add up in the least. Moreover, when something like what transpired just recently in another part of this country, and perhaps no one wishes to call it a 'revival' because of it's seemingly short duration and because of it's denominational base but that was a tremendous reconcilliation and turning to God for help get's so little notice ... does it not tell us what we are clamoring for? Thrills and chills and excitement ... noise and confusion?
Let's try another difficult word next to rebuke.
It seems to rattle us good to hear it applied or even considered as a possibility, the shackles are raised and the defenses armed at the very notion, but what say the scriptures about it? Strange thing that the Lord Himself had no sparing of even calling it on the carpet with His own closest disciples;
[i] But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.[/i] Mar 8:33
This incident has always struck me as just very raw, very matter of fact. Unfortunately our tendencies are to break it into a billion bite size pieces and analyze it to death. But note the rebuke as well! [i]The things that be of men[/i], that this could be the issue ... Not about to go into the whole theological import of habitation or occupation, the plain sense of the matter is whether it be by influence or carnality or some mixing of both, whatever the case may be there is a demonic influence that is evident.
[i]This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.[/i]
Coming full circle back to confusion and though drawing off and hopefully without pushing the text to say something other, [i]evil work[/i] is still rendered elsewhere as just demonic. But the context is also that which is proceeding from the tongue and should we forget that it [i]boasteth great things[/i], do we not have this with tall tales and exaggerated experiences? And just what of the strife, has it not caused no small matter of strife, even here?
Let's pull the whole matter of doctrine (instruction) back into the fold again;
[i]Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;[/i] 1Ti 4:1
[b]doctrines of devils[/b] literally teachings of (that is suggested by) demons. Jam_3:15, wisdom ... devilish; 2Co_11:15, Satans ministers.
I wonder if we do not fully recognize this influance, [i]that is suggested by[/i] and in this matter, suggested by demons. Our tendencies are to come unglued at the suggestion that we can be decieved and really rankle us because we take the word demonic to mean we are demons ourselves. That it is a personal matter, "[i]You[/i] are demonic. But that is not what the Lord infered or spoke to Peter on that occasion, but through him, past him if you will. Nevertheless there is something of being in leauge with the devil and allowing those suggestions to become our own.
I want to say right here that I belive our tendencies are too often those that think that we not susepctible to these suggestions, that we are somehow above it all because we have the indwelling Holy Spirit and therefore cannot be swayed or seduced. But the scriptures prove otherwise and go well out of their way to consitently warn; "Take heed", "watch and pray", "the flesh is weak", "do not be decieved". Expereince bears this out all to well. There is an influance like it or not that is snapping at our heels and stiring up the flesh, drawing off our memorys and failures, pushing us to anger, vain things, evil imaginations which are presumptions, how many are there? Those fantasy things we allow to form and dwell, where we build up little tales within our minds complete with details and conclusions of how they will transpire. Do you know what I speak of? We do it with our loved ones and build cases against them, all in our our feeble little minds. We take an instance and make a precednet of it. We judge the gas station attendant and the driver next to us knowing nothing at all about them. We paint and color things with assumptions and do not care that we have no factual information whatsoever. That is not to say that the idiot who drives 90 miles an hour is not still an idiot but it is also not to overlook the possibility that he might be rushing his pregant wife to the hospital. Common sense, that now elusive commodity.
Intoxication. There is something in the air and it seems to be equal parts Nitrous Oxide and just as appropriately the fictional "sleeping gas", the results are the same; [i]that put the patient, or victim, into a state where they are not conscious of what is happening around them.[/i] This is always part of this induced nature of the surroundings, it is very easy to be taken up with it all. Having been in this created atmosphere it is rather creepy to look back on and take notice of how even in the midst of the questioning and vexation that was underfoot, because of that impulse to give the benefit of the doubt and suppress that very troubling conscience there is a 'going along with it all.' Moreover when one is a supporter and has come with great expectations.
I am just as ready to accept in part, that the ones leading these things are under the influence of their own making, that is they can hardly recognize just what it is they have helped facilitate, it's Frankensteins monster without the recognition.
It lessens their culpability not one iota they would do better to listen to their critics than their supporters who will just reinforce their own objectives and keep down that nagging inner voice that must be raising questions along the line.
[u]So what, then[/u]
A long exercise in futility, another op ed piece that makes no difference, a long drawn out opinion. Sometimes I got to wonder, 'why bother', the general malaise is to be met with a shrug, it doesn't effect [i]me[/i] so why should it concern me seems the condition. Like it of not we are the church and certainly 1Jn 2:19 applies;
[i]They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.[/i]
Maybe a fitting summary of these things;
[b]1Jn 2:18-19 -[/b]
Here is, I. A moral prognostication of the time; the end is coming: [i]Little children, it is the last time[/i], 1Jo_2:18. Some may suppose that the apostle here addresses the first rank of Christians again; the juniors are most apt to be seduced, and therefore, [i]Little children[/i], you that are young in religion, take heed to yourselves that you be not corrupted. But it may be, as elsewhere, a universal appellation, introductive of an alarm to all Christians: [i]Little children, it is the last time;[/i] our Jewish polity in church and state is hastening to an end; the Mosaic institution and discipline are just upon vanishing away; Daniel's weeks are now expiring; the destruction of the Hebrew city and sanctuary is approaching, [i]the end whereof must be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined,[/i] Dan_9:26. It is meet that the disciples should be warned of the haste and end of time, and apprised as much as may be of the prophetic periods of time.
II. The sign of this last time: [i]Even now there are many antichrists[/i] (1Jo_2:18), many that oppose the person, doctrine, and kingdom of Christ. It is a mysterious portion of providence that antichrists should be permitted; but, when they have come, it is good and safe that the disciples should be informed of them; ministers should be [i]watchmen to the house of Israel[/i]. Now it should be no great offence nor prejudice to the disciples that there are such antichrists: 1. One great one has been foretold: [i]As you have heard that antichrist shall come[/i], 1Jo_2:18. The generality of the church have been informed by divine revelation that there must be a long and fatal adversary to Christ and his church, 2Th_2:8-10. No wonder then that there are many harbingers and forerunners of the great one: [i]Even now there are many antichrists[/i], the mystery of iniquity already worketh. 2. They were foretold also as the sign of this last time. [i]For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect[/i], Mat_24:24. And these were the forerunners of the dissolution of the Jewish state, nation, and religion: [i]Whereby we know it is the last time[/i], 1Jo_2:18. Let the prediction that we see there has been of seducers arising in the Christian world fortify us against their seduction.
III. Some account of these seducers or antichrists. 1. More positively. They were once entertainers or professors of apostolical doctrine: [i]They went out from us[/i] (1Jo_2:19), from our company and communion; possibly from the church of Jerusalem, or some of the churches of Judea, as Act_15:1, [i]Certain men came down from Judea, and taught the brethren[/i], etc. The purest churches may have their apostates and revolters; the apostolic doctrine did not convert all whom it convinced of its truth. 2. More privately. They were not inwardly such as we are: [i]But they were not of us[/i]; they had not [i]from the heart obeyed the form of sound doctrine delivered to them[/i]; they were not of our union with Christ the head. Then here is, (1.) The reason upon which it is concluded that they were not of us, were not what they pretended, or what we are, and that is their actual defection: [i]For, if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us[/i] (1Jo_2:19); had the sacred truth been rooted in their hearts it would have held them with us; had they had the anointing from above, by which they had been made true and real Christians, they would not have turned antichrists. Those that apostatize from religion sufficiently indicate that, before, they were hypocrites in religion: those who have imbibed the spirit of gospel truth have a good preservative against destructive error. (2.) The reason why they are permitted thus to depart from apostolical doctrine and communion - that their insincerity may be detected: [i]But this was done (or they went out) that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us[/i], 1Jo_2:19. The church knows not well who are its vital members and who are not; and therefore the church, considered as internally sanctified, may well be styled [i]invisible[/i]. Some of the hypocritical must be manifested here, and that for their own shame and benefit too, in their reduction to the truth, if they have not sinned unto death, and for the terror and caution of others. [i]You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace[/i], etc., 2Pe_3:17, 2Pe_3:18.
Mathew Henry ([i]Italics[/i] extant)
[i]Those Christians who belong to the evangelical wing of the Church (which I firmly believe is the only one that even approximates New Testament Christianity) have over the last half-century shown an increasing impatience with things invisible and eternal and have demanded and got a host of things visible and temporal to satisfy their fleshly appetites. Without biblical authority, or any other right under the sun, carnal religious leaders have introduced a host of attractions that serve no purpose except to provide entertainment for the retarded saints.
It is now common practice in most evangelical churches to offer the people, especially the young people, a maximum of entertainment and a minimum of serious instruction. It is scarely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that Gods professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to meeting with a stick of striped candy in the form of religious movies, games and refreshments.
This has influenced the whole pattern of church life, and even brought into being a new type of church architecture, designed to house the golden calf.
So we have the strange anomaly of orthodoxy in creed and heterodoxy in practice. The striped-candy technique has been so fully integrated into our present religious thinking that it is simply taken for granted. Its victims never dream that it is not a part of the teachings of Christ and His apostles.
Any objection to the carryings on of our present gold-calf Christianity is met with the triumphant reply, But we are winning them! And winning them to what? To true discipleship? To cross-carrying? To self-denial? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To a despising of the worlds treasures? To hard self-discipline? To love for God? To total committal to Christ? Of course the answer to all these questions is no.[/i]
(Man: The Dwelling Place of God, p. 136)
[u]Sensational or Sobriety[/u]
This is an insert to this overly large and far too long rant. But I am struck by this very thing. Are we in an hour of levity or sobriety? It keeps coming back to this, and it would do us well to consider something that has just been brought to our attention. Read this and consider it's possibilities and repercussions.
[url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=24461&forum=35&post_id=&refresh=Go]Kay Authur warns of a famine coming to America[/url]
I want to say that what is happening in Florida and those that make up it's ... hierarchy for lack of a better term are showing all the distinctives of a cult. I am quite ready to label it as such. This has been going on for how many years now. Prophets of their own making and they all come together only when one of these bizarre ... manifestations is upon us? They have their own language as it were, the neology that goes on without question, almost subduing the hearers to even dare to question it. "Third waves" and "Latter rains" and a whole host of skewed defining's and things cooked up in the crossed wires of these fallen minds. But most glaring of all is the [i]emphasis[/i], the emphasis is on the fireworks and the things that stir up the lower nature, the razzmatazz of it all. It is always a big show and a big production. The last couple of these things have had the very same distinctive's to them. And of course, there is always something worth mentioning that is mixed in with it all, some repentance, truth telling, all those things brought forth as rebuttal. But if these are revivals that change communities, that bring sobriety and sweeping change ... is there really any real evidence to back it all up? Hard evidence, evidence like those awakenings and revivals of the past.
If it needs to be over emphasized again, would to God that this would just stop at least long enough to be truly thought through. Does it add up? Does it make any spiritual or practical sense at all? It is not condemnation towards anyone, they profess to love God and Jesus Christ and how could it ever be that this could be questioned to what is in a mans heart, evidence and fruit notwithstanding ... It is rather not the point whatsoever. The point is deception and the lack of thought-full-ness. It is not trying to craft the edifice of a perfected New Testament model in a modern construct but a forcing of what is taking place into those very scriptures pages, principles and precedents, does it work? Does it fit? Is it [i]of[/i] God?
The notion of 'new things' is a terribly dangerous formation, He does not change and has not changed one iota. This same God who loves also [i]kills[/i]. His wrath ... Has this been all but forgotten in this day and age? The word alone ought to put our faces in the dust and our considerations on high alert.
Brethren, I am concerned, very concerned.
[i]The mystry of inquity[/i]
[i]For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.[/i] 2Th 2:7
| 2008/7/15 9:56||Profile|
| Re: About as clear as mud|
Brethren, I am concerned, very concerned.
The mystry of inquity
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 2Th 2:7 [/i]
There was much I would like to highlight, but there was too much for me to do so.
Unfortunatly, there is in this time a great spirit of "unsoundness", that which clouds the eye, the mind, the heart, (whether of men's own hearts, or from demonic sources- they both have the same end); an unhealthiness of spirit which causes us to ignore that which should be paid attention to and pay attention to that which should be ignored.
Reading through Jeremiah and ran across these scriptures which seem to really blend with much of what you are saying:
chpt. 5 [i]"Run to and fro....and see now...if ye can find a man.....that seeketh truth...
And though they say, "The LORD liveth"; surely they swear falsely.
Oh LORD, are not Thine eyes upon the truth?.....
Surely these are poor, they are foolish, for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgement of their God.....
But this people have a revolting and a rebellious heart;...
Neither say they in their heart, 'Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in His season.....
Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have holden good things from you.
For among my people are found wicked men; they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they become great, and waxen rich.[/i]
Actually the verse you quoted at the end of your first post was that which has plauged me for many years, this mystery of iniquity, of lawlessness. More than just the mystery of the lawlessness itself, is that "letteth".
May we all realize that we choose, and that God forbid that He should just "let" us drift away, but rather endure chastening as a son, now, that we should be disciplined under His mighty hand, who always does all things for our good.
| 2008/7/15 16:11||Profile|
| Re: About as clear as mud|
Thats an awful lot to have in the queue, organizing/sorting itself out. Many others also groan.
We love you, brother.
I made these notes as I slowly read through what you wrote:
The silent ones (leaders) and the sin of [u]being intimidated[/u] rooted in pride and manipulation.
Hearts of wicked unbelief.
If you really loved me, you would tell me the truth.
Its a blessing to be convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit.
Oh for a Solemn Assembly.
Imaginations lift themselves up against THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
Lakeland: deceived they deceive others, distracting the starving, making it manifest they are not of us.
There are a few other observations but I am turning my heart and mind to prayer this evening.
| 2008/7/15 21:07||Profile|
Amen Brother!! This past year I have been concerned and fearful for what is to come! This one reason why we left our church, because of the very thing you just wrote. It seems that ministry done today is having clubs, coffee bars in church, free Gas when you visit church! Maybe partly I am cynical and I am sorry for that, but it bothers me and hurts me, because we have moved passed the basics of our faith , Christ crucified and subscribed to man made religion.
Here is what Tozer said about a being a Non-Conformist,
"The fish that goes along with the current hasnt any trouble with the current, but as soon as he starts the other way the current gets sore at him. Just as long as you go the way the wind blows, everybody will say youre very fine and commend you for being deeply religious. If you decide to go Gods way instead of the way the wind blows theyll say that your roof leaks or that something has happened to you that youre a fanatic. You can go along with the times or you can be like Zechariah and Elizabeth and refuse to go along with the times. Personally Ive decided that a long time ago. They say that if you dont conform to the times and find a common ground for getting along with everybody that nobody will listen to you. The more Im nonconformist the more people want to hear me.
Ive been told that Ive missed the boat but I reply that I wasnt trying to catch that boat. That boat and a lot of others like it can go on without me and Ill be quite happy. We can conform to the religion of our times if we want to.
I weigh 145 pounds dripping wet, but I stand here to tell you that Im a nonconformist, twice born, and a rebel and I will not conform to the times. Up to now Ive been able to get a hearing and refused to conform to the times. But if a day ever comes when to conform to the times is the price you have to pay to be heard, then Ill go out and start where I started before on the street corner and preach there. But I wont conform to the times.
They say you are supposed to do it. They say, Dont you know we have the same message but its just different times were living in. I know the voice of the serpent when I hear it. The hiss of the serpent is in that and I recognize that. So we can either conform or we can withdraw from the whole business, and Paul says, From such turn away.
Bless you brother, I will have to print your article to read it again.
| 2008/7/15 22:20||Profile|
| Re: Mud and the mystery of iniquity|
Lor_E: You addressed much of what I had in mind yesterday and in such a clear way. I discovered your post after posting.
I also know that our Father is merciful and loving and ever mindful of the little ones, those being led astray. There is testimony on this very site of God drawing His own out of confusion. Whatever the name is of what is going on in Lakeland, it is no more powerful that what we have been delivered out of.
Lor_E said: [i][u]to ignore that which should be paid attention to and pay attention to that which should be ignored.[/i][/u] A longer version of that: The devices of the wicked one include, distraction, deception, discouragement, deadening, confusion and much more. Looking into wickedness, any longer that it takes to discern it as wickedness, is dangerous. There is no getting to the bottom of a bottomless pit. Our own immaturity, a fascination with how awful something is, remembering past anger and bitterness that has been covered by the blood, a thousand old man things can enter in if we [u]dwell on iniquity[/u]. Once discerned, more than a glance and we risk being dragged away or fouled. Like looking into/handling an open, gutted, swollen, rotting corpse thats propped up and strangely animated by some unseen, Godless, wicked thing.
I know God grows us uniquely for His pleasure and purpose. What I am saying here may well not be for everyone. I know I am alerted to this. The lies I hear/see told about God, our Father, His Son, His Holy Spirit, become another reason in prayer for God Himself to come and set things straight. When my heart aches for all the wasted hours, I appeal to God.
Now looking into the Bible and becoming clear, that is another thing. Always profitable (2 Sam. 24). When it comes chastening, Id rather choose as David did, to fall into the hands of the Lord over famine or flight before his enemies. Oh,my! This morning that strikes me as another reason to pray for revival.
| 2008/7/16 9:58||Profile|
Brother crsschk. Excellent but I still need time to humbly digest all of this.
| 2008/7/16 11:08|