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The Persecuted Church

 

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The Time is our time

2 Tim. 3:1-5: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

We live in strange, perilous and difficult days, just as the Bible said it would be in “the last days.” A time where the sin nature of man overcomes any restraint and becomes the dominant activity in the world.

Eph. 5:15-17: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Understanding involves wisdom, which can comes from the word. Without its instruction in these evil days we are like fools, the heathen, that have no wisdom.

We are living in a time of diminishing freedom in the world and a time of diminishing doctrine in the church.

2 Tim. 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

God commands all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Inside the church that have turned away from the truth in written form and instead listen to men’s made up stories. The church is bleeding from her itching ears being scratched.

Jesus warned about the end, describing it as being like “the Days of Noah” (Mt.24:37-38). Everything continued, as if what Noah spoke and was building was a lie. They ate and drank; planned marriages, at the same time the earth was filled with violence (Gen.6:11). The word violence in Hebrew, chamas - sound familiar? Terrorism (violence) was a major factor as the sin nature became dominant - Gen. 6:5 tells us “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Whatever was left of the image of God that man was made in was eclipsed by the sin nature. Because of mans pride “violence covers them like a garment” (Ps. 73:6). Isa. 59:6-7: “their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.” We see this repeating in our day.

Jesus also warned about “the days of Lot: where “They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built” (Luke 17:28). In other words, life in both Noah and Lots day looked like it would continue normally despite what the preacher of righteousness warned (2 Peter 2:5), his words were ignored.

We are in the time for many things prophesied to take place. Most important of all is God calling you to be involved. We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and watch the corruption that is taking place without speaking out and being there for others. It’s a time for action.

In the Russian newspaper, the Pravda, an interesting piece was written of how Russia sees the changes in America, it is called American capitalism gone with a whimper 4-27-2009 (excerpts)

“It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker” (by Stanislav Mishin PRAVDA)

Consider his words carefully at this point of America and mankind’s overall decline into an age of darkness. We are watching the demise of many things - a simultaneous crumbling of America as a nation and the church are taking place. It is coming from within, and from without. A good portion of the church has become fragmented in her mission, evangelism is vanishing and being replaced by every worldly trend these dreamers can summon (Jude 1:8).

What kind of churches are becoming the largest and most influential? Can a church that labors to produce knowledgeable disciples compete with one that does not? Who will have the quicker increase in growth? It will more often be the one that requires less commitment. That is what is taking place in many churches today.

Lying always has the intent to deceive the hearer and protect the liar. Lies have permeated the church and society. People lie about investments to get ahead in business, they lie in the church with false promises so that you give them your money. They brag on how many people are saved and healed, boasting on how God is using their ministry so people are more willing to give their money to them. Should we expect any genuine revival with zero amount of integrity - no we should not. Prov. 12:22: “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD.”

We are in the time of lying, when the lie is told so easily and boldly and the truth is told so weakly and inefficiently. We have been fed lies portion by portion, piece by piece that the lie has become larger than the truth. So large no one wants to believe it has encompassed the way the church conducts her practices.

James Dresden “When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

There are so many lies we do not know where the truth is anymore. Lies from the highest offices of the land to the pulpits.

I Jn. 2:21 tells us “no lie is of the truth.” Lies are the opposite of the truth, a lie has no truth. Lies reject honesty openness, integrity, love; they are an assault on everything holy. The tactic used to produce the first sin from the first humans, came from the source of all lies - Satan.

Many believe in all kinds of lies over the truth, these lies are rampant and influencing many. But there is a lie that coming that will change the world, 2 Thess. 2:9-11: “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.” People will be so used to lies that they cannot bring themselves to believe in the truth and will accept the ultimate lie of the ages.

The most serious of dangers always come from within. This is true of a country and is certainly true of the church. The church has been corrupted from within in America and because of this encroachment the political system has been affected. Why? Because Americas spiritual beliefs (her religion) once guided and guarded the people. The Frenchman Alexis de Toucheville visited America in the 1830’s said America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Which he determined were because of her religious views.

The spirit of age is aggressive in its progress and its goal to merge all, a unity in diversity. “Liberal” and “conservative” are not just terms limited only to the politics, they are at odds with each other in the church. There are belief systems behind these words that when we accept them affect how we live.

There is the spirit of the world, that lives in the natural man preventing him from receiving any of the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:12-14). The spirit of the Antichrist, we are told is already in the world. (I Jn. 4:3) that denies Jesus is the Christ “is the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).

Let me make some correlations so we can understand how the ‘spirit of the age” is working and coalescing politics and the church.

The word faith movement with its heretical teaching on positive confession for health and prosperity have become the norm. Word faith has monopolized the TV airwaves, the church is being influenced and controlled by its own corrupted media. We all know how arrogant politicians can be and so are the TV prophiteers that are selling the church a lot of worthless promises in the name of God as a means of gain. We have all heard of junk science, what about junk doctrine, noxious speech that is useless for our spiritual growth. As Jeremiah wrote, "Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit” (Jer. 7:8).

This influence for the most part, has taken away the incentive for people to study the Scripture on their own, instead they are telling people to just have faith, a faith which is disconnected from the word in its context. Tithe for your blessings, give to the TV prophet for the hundredfold, and depend on the words they confess. You can turn to the majority of Christian channels and hear these so called prophets tell you to call in the next few minutes to give money so that your situation can turn around by their speaking the word.

Mass media news is on the side of Liberal politicians just like the Christian broadcasters are on the side of word faith teachers that bring in the money. People are unable to hear contrary views so it is basically a controlled media. The Christian TV has become an extension for the false teacher’s message of money – they have a centralized control, a monopoly on the air waves. They preach an unbiblical pseudo - ponzi scheme called “seed faith.” Their teachings for years have moved the church in the wrong direction affecting evangelism, discipleship and tithing and now many are reaping the whirlwind. Every wind of doctrine pushes their audience this way and that way, few have strength to resist it.

This all implemented by men who claim to be spirit filled, anointed, prophets and apostles but are without the Spirit, are carnally minded or who have succumbed to another spirit at work. How can we tell? The Bible says if they do not speak according to this word they have no light in them (Isa.8:20). In other words they keep the darkness over the people and bring no dawn, not for you, nor themselves. Occasional inter-mitten Scriptures are sprinkled as salt on an old rotten piece of meat that should have been thrown out long ago.

Isaiah then says vv. 8:21-22: “They will pass through it hard pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward. Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness.”

I don’t think many of us realize how far gone the bulk of the church (Christian media) is with the prophetic and signs and wonders movements influence. We have a parade of heresies: the newest revelation from prophets; The word faith philosophies of divine health and wealth; The new moves of the spirit with people lying that they are visiting heaven often; The whole Gnostic idea of being taught strictly by experience while the Scripture tells us to learn by doctrine; The newest tactic in spiritual warfare; the newest deliverer to release one from curses and demons they still have; The newest fantasy book that claims to teach about God, Etc. etc.

Thank God for the few that stay the course; who do expository preaching and give the gospel but they are becoming a rarity in our country and the church all the time. They certainly are rare on TV. Why do we have so few on TV point out the state of the church? First, because of the control factor of who owns the TV station and the satellite lease (TBN leases to many). The false teachers have hijacked the programming so there is no contrary view seen. The voices that will speak in the opposite view are silenced. The other problem is the associations. You cannot preach against false doctrine when you unite with those inside the church that teach it, it compromises your position of truth. You will either influence them or they will influence you. Paul writes 1 Cor. 15:33: Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits." Many had started off with good intentions only to be shipwrecked alongside the others they befriended. Giving a defense for the truth and the gospel is more important to God than friendships that have you compromise on this. It is the truth of Scripture that matters first, not someone's ministry or who they are. Jesus told the people the truth and offended the religious crowd. Nothing has changed, they react the same way. Those who are exposed are wrong or false in their teaching are always angered at those who obey God.

1 Cor. 5:11-13: “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner-- not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person."

Covetous, idolater, reviler and extortioner are what we see in the Christian media (TV) with all their false promises as they rake in your money and live luxuriously. To Judge is as bad a word as sin these days. But it is a necessity as we see the worlds influence affecting the church. We do not need less judgment but more, for our own safety. We have exhibited a high level of tolerance, but it is time to have a righteous anger. We had better start judging teaching for our survival. Respect does not mean we allow men to teach whatever they want from the pulpit to the congregation; that is disrespect for God.

We should be concerned when those in the position of leadership are off doctrine and do not allow themselves to be questioned on what they teach. Watch out for those who refuse to explain what they are teaching as unbiblical and are unresponsive to others in the body of Christ. A “Godly” pastor or teacher tries to be accurate in what they teach, transparent when they are questioned - able to answer from the Bible what they teach is true (Tim.1:7). They do not make excuses or ignore the questioners or vilify those who ask as if they are unspiritual or ignorant. What we see going on with those questioning congress on the health bill and being belittled and dismissed has been going on for a long time inside the church. It needs to stop and people need to be held accountable. God says the teachers are to be more accountable (Jms.3:1).

Imagine if we heard - how dare you inspect our meat we sell in our restaurants? How dare you inspect our cars coming off the assembly line? How dare you question our education for your children? Before we invest in buying a house or a car or fly on a plane we want to make sure everything is in good shape. We not only thank those that inspect it, we insist they do this. But when it comes to teaching in the church, which can mean the difference between spiritual growth or becoming shipwrecked; heaven or hell for our soul (our most precious possession), we care not. This is insane!

The Lord said in the past that his people perish for a lack of knowledge, we are no different shape today. Accurate Bible teaching is vanishing from those who stand behind the pulpit. A Christian who has the Holy Spirit should recognize another spirit at work, especially when the teacher is so far removed from good Bible interpretation, but the people are unable to discern. Why? Because 1) they cannot discern truth from error being untrained in the truth of the word, 2) they are walking in the flesh and grieve the Spirit or 3) do not have the spirit at all.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. By this defines a good portion of the church with the word faith teaching of confession brings possession. Too many have tried it and not had it work. Not surprising, since it is not a biblical teaching, but they don’t abandon it

Many look for signs and wonders - we have a sign in the White house, the administrations policies that are severing the country from its constitution; can we read the signs? The same is happening in the church, in our pulpits - those who are not teaching from our constitution, the bible, severing the church from the word.

Liberal and conservative and not terms limited only to the politics, they are at odds with each other in the church. A general definition of a liberal “Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.” (American Heritage Dictionary)

It is Liberals that are severing the country from its constitution the same is happening in the church being severed from the word. Liberals are loyal to an ideology. Most liberals lack belief in God, but trust Government, thus government becomes their god. Liberalism has become a competing force against biblical Christianity. It is liberals that have abandoned the Bible on topics such as homosexuality and women pastors. It was the Liberal churches that were among the first to embrace the postmodern thinking, forge religious partnerships, unification with other religions. It is liberals that diminish sin and doctrine in favor for their own ideas. (for more on what liberalism is)

This can easily become the end of the evangelical church in America and be spread abroad. We have the progressives ruling in government and now they same are in the church. What will become of us when we have very few teachers of the word that are willing to stand up for the word.

The wolves unite, large meals of sheep are being eaten and few shepherds have anything to say about it.

Peter, Paul and Mary sang a folk ballad in the 60’s that needs to be remembered in our day…

If I had a hammer

I'd hammer in the morning

I'd hammer in the evening

All over this land

I'd hammer out danger

I'd hammer out a warning

I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters

All over this land

If I had a bell

I'd ring it in the morning….

If I had a song

I'd sing it in the morning….

Well I've got a hammer

And I've got a bell

And I've got a song to sing

All over this land

It's the hammer of justice

It's the bell of freedom

It's the song about love between my brothers and my sisters

All over this land

The song encapsulates principles we should be adhering to, their obligation to speak out the truth; for justice, freedom and to warn of danger. There are patriots that are rising up in America letting their voices be heard for freedom, we need to see the same thing occur in the church.

Where are they that defend the gospel and the truth? We are facing the giant of do not judge, do not say anything, which only protects the false teachers and not the sheep. Speaking out with the intention to save, to preserve people is God’s will in the time of great deception. If we don’t address what is wrong among us now, will we address the evil that is coming?

We are fighting many giants. But I remember a giant that blasphemed Israel was taken down with one well aimed rock by a boy, we can take the giants with the right words. Let us speak with boldness and may God let our voices be heard.

 

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