14-Worshiping the Creature-BH Clendennen
The Pathway To An Overcoming Life Series
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
How far can the church get away from what God has called her to be? We will see in this lesson. In the last eleven verses before verse 25 is perhaps some of the most graphic language in the Bible. From a believer to a reprobate in eleven short verses. We live in a world in which all things are passing away. Kingdoms, empires, cities, ancient institutions, families. All are liable to change and corruption. One universal law seems to prevail everywhere. In all created things there is a tendency to decay and always comes from the inside out. But there's one created thing that is the exception to the rule and that's the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many versions of it, but the true church ever remains the same. Movements come to naught, but out of the ashes of their decay, there always rises a remnant.
Although the good effects of a revival runs on long after the first wave of emotions is spent, there comes a time when this must end, too. The movement then falls into decay. The light goes out. It becomes an influence, not for good, but evil. Instead of liberating that movement that brought revival becomes an agent of oppression. The mighty movement birthed in the 2nd chapter of the book of Acts was no exception to this law of decay. In 30 short years signs of corruption and idolatry began to appear. Few things in life are more sad than the swiftness with which the good gets tarnished or corrupted.
Look back with me for a moment at the great revival movements of the past. Consider the revival under Luther that broke the back of Romanism and ushered in the renaissance delivering mankind from serfdom. The movement that birthed that earth shaking revival now endorses the papacy and categorically denies the innerancy of the Bible, the virgin birth and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lutheranism as a whole has become an instrument of deception, posing as a Christian institution, but much of it denying the very message of Christ. Further, consider the Wesleyan revival which according to the secular historians saved Europe from the fate of the French Revolution and swept millions into the kingdom of God. Today, that holy vessel that God used to pour Himself through to a darkened world has become a part of the darkness. The great Pentecostal church which has been so profoundly used of God is following the same path of corruption and idolatry and is fast becoming an influence for evil and not for good.
Now the great question that must be asked and answered is how can a movement born in such purity, beauty and power become so quickly corrupted? The cause of all idolatry is the natural corruption of the human heart. This is that family disease which all the children of Adam are infected with from birth shows itself in this as it does in a thousand other ways. Out of the same fountain which proceeds evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, theft, covetousness and the like, as it's written in Mark 7:21, 22, out of that same fountain arises false views of God and false views of worship that is due to that Holy God.
Therefore when Paul tells that church in Gal 5:19-20 what the works of the flesh are he places prominently among them idolatry. Idolatry is a worship in which the honor due to God and God alone is given to the creature or some invention of His creature. Idolatry is the willful allowing of the natural man to touch that which is holy. It's a turning from the Holy Spirit to the vain philosophies and psychology of the flesh. Who can deny that is where we are today? Everywhere, you see how counseling has taken the place of the preaching of the Gospel. All of a sudden it's the music that has become more important than the preaching.
On the day of Pentecost when the church was born, the physical sign was a cloven tongue of fire, that is fire baptized preaching is the way she cut her way through the council of the mobs and the Jewish opposition against them. Today all of that has almost become history. I was in a church and they said the pastor usually preaches about ten minutes, but the song service lasted one hour and a half. They sang little choruses mostly about themselves. When I took that pulpit, I said I demand equal time. The message of the Gospel has been pushed to the back burner in the church and the results are predictable. It's to make the same choice as the first Adam where we become our own God. Idolatry is the preacher making his presumption of the Gospel. He presumes a thing about God and then preaches it as if it's so. That is the essence of idolatry. It's to love ourselves more than we love God. This is the most evident characteristic of the third generational Pentecostal church.
The truth has been modified to prevent the offending of that which God hates, the flesh. The cross is an offense. Paul asked the question has the cross lost its offense? When this Gospel is preached in uncompromising purity, it will offend that flesh. That flesh will either be broken and come to God or turn away in hatred from the same God. We're told now not to mention the name of Jesus in our advertising, do not call the unchurched sinners, call them pre-Christians. Avoid the term born again. We're told it's no longer either or but both and the list is endless of what's come to be called the Gospel and the warning against offending people. Thus the carnal, depraved human is given more reverence than God Almighty. How can that ever happen? How in the name of heaven did we ever get where we are?
This is why God wants these messages heard. He said if it were possible even the elect would be deceived. We have to know the path to overcoming these things. Only the overcoming will be a part of that bridal company and rule with Christ forever. The path to this deplorable state is clearly outlined in the first chapter of Romans. In verse 18 in that first chapter of Romans, Paul speaks of those who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Now, to hold the truth in unrighteousness means by implication the wrong character is portrayed and God is not seen. We've come to worship that creature more than the Creator. Instead of man being used to portray God, God is used to portray man. That which may be known of God is manifest in them for God has shown it unto them, verse 19. Everything that's to be known of God, and can be known in time, is in the believer who is filled with the Holy Ghost. Man was created for one purpose and that was to manifest God. It's clear from all through the Bible the purpose of the creation was to manifest God's Son to a universe.
As Christ was in this world, so are we. When you read that in 1 John 4:17 and understand the sole purpose of Christ on this planet was to be a revealer of God. Paul said that in Col. 1:15 Christ was the visible image of the invisible God. Now the purpose of the church then as the body of Christ, as He is so are we, is to be the revealer of Christ. That's why we're here. But today we become a revealer of celebrities of religion that change their mind every time somebody challenges what they preach. We have some of the biggest names today, like John Hagee said that Christ wasn't the Messiah of the Jew then went on to say Christ never claimed to be the Messiah. 1
See all of this has taken the place. When the preacher, the music or the program become the predominant attraction, the plague of idolatry has gotten a foothold in the church. This was the situation in Romans 1 and this is the situation in the twentieth century Pentecostal church right now. When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, verse 20. Not liking what they saw, they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like the corruptible man. God was used instead of worshiped.
If you listen to the prosperity message today, you'll see that is exactly what it is. They are attempting to use this great God instead of worshiping Him. God has become the servant of man instead of man being the servant of God. But listen, wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness, through the lust of their own heart. God simply gave them what they wanted. Man became the object of their worship. He turned them over the flesh and to the worship of that flesh. When that flesh becomes the source of life, and inspiration to the church, the creature has now become the object of worship. I can tell you they go to these big named preachers like they go to hear rock stars. They don't go looking for God. You can have one of the big named preachers in town, I know this isn't true of all, but many of them it is. You get one of them to come, and you can't hardly get all the people in the building. But you tell that same crowd in the morning there is going to be a prayer meeting in this same building, and nobody will be here but Christ to meet us, and you'll be the loneliest man in that city. They won't come. They would never voice such a thing, but actions speak louder than words.
By psychologically evaluating man to find his strengths and weaknesses says in no uncertain terms their trust is in flesh and not in the Spirit of God. If you are a Christian believer and you have found a psychologist who can explain what happened to you in the matter of your faith you have been unfrocked. The very moment that man's experience in Christ can be broken down and explained by the psychologist, we have just another church member on our hands and not a believing Christian. Their source is now the genius of man and not Christ. The creature is worshiped more than the Creator. The quest in this fleshly controlled system is for personality. God never asked for personalities, though they are the first condition with all worldly enterprises. God calls persons and makes them personalities. The gift of the Spirit of God is the gift of Personality, that possesses man's spirit and empowers him for all of the will of God. God takes the simple and confounds the wise. Paul said when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:10.
Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland missions, was asked why he thought God called him to evangelize inland China. His response was He had a difficult time finding someone weak enough to do the job. The answer was and is always it's not I but Christ. God's only need in this crisis hour is us presenting ourselves at His altar, as an empty possibility, open and willing to be used by Him.
Now, once the image was set and man became the dominant figure, a theology had to be created to support it. Absolute truth had to be compromised. They changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator. The message must justify the image so the pulpit was filled with the psychologist, whose message was not the flesh crucified and Christ glorified, but rather now it's a better self image. That nature which Christ nailed to Calvary was resurrected by the so called Church of God. The message is no longer put off the old man and put on the new, it's crucify the new that the old may live. For this cause God gave them up to vile affections for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature, and likewise the men, leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lust toward one another. Rom 1:26-27.
The Word of God was perverted to justify the image that was projected. God's Word won't tolerate all the vanity being projected in the name of Christianity. This sensuality and all this liquor drinking, theater going, half naked crowd, the Gospel won't tolerate that, so a new message had to preached. Since everything is held together by the Word of His power, once the Word of God was perverted, God gave them over to a perverted spirit. Rampant homosexuality has marked the end of every civilization. This is the result of worshiping the creature more than the Creator. This pathway of idolatry, making the carnal mind the source of the spiritual work is always downward. From the unclean, to the perverted, to the reprobate mind, having perverted the Word of God, having created a theology that would justify their lifestyle, this generation reached the point where they did not want to retain God in their knowledge. This did not mean they would divorce themselves from God, but rather use God to sell their new theology and carnal schemes. They didn't want Him who is truth to interfere in their thinking and acting. The neo-Pentecostal expresses their desire not to retain God in their knowledge by breaking connection with the past.
So, where are we? We have a theology being taught and seems to be catching on that this third generation of Pentecost can't relate to God in the same manner the first generation of Pentecost related to Him. It's a total contradiction of the Word of God.
Jer 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
Turn back to Pentecost, to Calvary and this is the answer to everything.
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