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Edition 260. May 20th 2015
Who can you trust?
Who can you trust?
1 Timothy 3:15 (Amp) “...The household of God is the church of the living God, the pillar and stay- the prop and support of the Truth.”
The Bible plots the course of this age (Ephesians 2:2). Included are numerous descriptions of terrible times of stress, deception and troubles in the church. We see a phenomenal contrast between a glorious church and a church ready to be vomited out of God’s mouth!
As we approach the coming of our Lord there will be an outpouring of the Spirit of God and an outpouring of the spirit of Satan at the same time. The Bible prophecies that the church will be rocked and some will fall. Many people will lose their faith. The love of many will grow cold.
But who is responsible for victory or failure of these sections of the church?
Isaiah 9:16 “For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed.”
There are a great many ministers and ministries you can trust. There are some you dare not trust!
The failure of a part of the church is and will be created and led by its leaders. This is no joke. These are deadly serious, eternal issues and they are intensifying. One thing I love about the Bible is that it shows openly the failures of its own, but also how to stay safe from failure.
This edition is addressed as usual to whoever would care to read it, but also to as many ministers of the gospel as would care to read it.
You may or may not be aware that the modern church is in an enormous crisis. It is rocking to and fro like a drunkard about to fall over – as prophesied in the Bible!
Matthew 24:10 “Many will fall away.”
2 Timothy 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 turn their ears away from the truth...but you be watchful in all things, endure affliction, do the work of the ministry.”
1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”
Revelation 3:16 “Because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.”
Statistics of glory and horror:
Within the published statistics for the church there is a great dichotomy. It’s almost as if we are looking at God and the devil! These statistics speak volumes if you care to look below the surface and at the reason for the great gulf.
The first batch is the statistics for the denominational, non spirit-filled churches and the second for the Spirit-filled churches.
1) Statistics for the non-Spirit-filled churches: (Ministry Institute and Pew Research Centre) ●1,500 ministers leave the ministry each month. ●40% will not be in ministry in ten years time. ●90% of the clergy feel unqualified for ministry. ●75% report severe stress, depression. ● 57% say they would leave the ministry if they had somewhere else to go. ●4,000 new churches begin each year while 7,000 close. ●106 million Christians are expected to leave the faith while at the same time 40 million will enter the Christian faith.
2) Statistics for Spirit-filled churches: The numbers for Spirit-filled Christians paint a different picture altogether. ●They number over 500 million, or 8.5% of the world’s population and 27% of all Christians, and are growing faster than those who leave. ●35,000 join each day. ●There are no stats for pastors leaving this section of the church, but the numbers would be far lower than those of the other churches.
►This is a very interesting article. It is entitled “Why do these Pentecostals keep growing.” Click HERE
It is the fastest growing component within the Christian faith.
The Spirit-filled churches are essentially the Spirit-empowered churches. This is also the central reason for their endurance. There is a huge difference between this and the doctrine-empowered churches operating on scholarly intellectualism.
Of course I’m not implying for one moment that the Spirit-filled churches are without their own problems. But nevertheless, there is a huge difference in the overall characteristics and numbers.
The clergy killers:
There is a fast growing problem within mainstream denominational churches (characterised by those that reject the baptism of the Spirit). As we have seen, over 1500 denominational clergy or ministers are leaving the ministry each month. This is also the theme of a new documentary entitled “The clergy killers.” You can see the trailer HERE.
In reality it is impossible to kill the true church. It is the body of Messiah. How can you kill Messiah? If the clergy leave because of persecution by evil people, they should never have been in ministry in the first place. It is good and right that they get out!
Why is so much of the church shaking and falling? Why are so many men of God leaving the ministry? God is thinning out His workers to the bedrock core.
We all know the story in Judges 7:6-7 and onwards of God thinning out His army based on the way they lapped up water from the river. God told Gideon that he would save him and the Midianites by 300 men, identified by lapping up the water in their hands rather than going down on their knees to drink directly from the river.
Is there anything we can read from this? If you kneel down to drink from the river, you can’t see around you. If you lap the water from your hands, you can see an enemy approaching. The typology relates to vigilance and being watchful for enemies at all times.
Much of the church today is led by ministers on their knees bowing down to the many enemies all around. They are blind to the attacks of the devil.
Now, let’s look at hardship in the ministry:
2 Timothy 2:3 “You (Timothy) must endure hardship as a good soldier of Yeshua Messiah.”
2 Timothy 2:10 “I (Paul) endure all things (suffering) for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Yeshua Messiah with eternal glory.”
Romans 5:3-4 “We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance (and patience) and perseverance, character and character, hope.”
Philippians 1:29 “To you it has been granted on behalf of Messiah, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
So, Mr. Minister, if you can’t endure hardship and persecution what are you doing in the ministry? Do you expect to be serving in a church full of perfect people without big problems? Why do you complain and moan about people giving you a hard time?
What a waste, to have been blessed by the living God with a life which has a call and a plan upon it, and to throw it all away.
Many ministers leave because they have to keep propping up a dead and empty church vessel. They have to try to inject life into a dead and dying dinosaur. Organised, institutionalised religion is a boring dead monster. In many cases it is alive with illegitimate spirits.
Many of these denominational ministers can’t transfer God’s life to anyone, because they are spiritually dead themselves!
All they are doing is trying to make themselves and their congregations fit comfortably into the world! That’s like trying to make a square block fit in a round hole. They have to chip off the corners to make it fit. If you have any parts or aspects of the doctrine of Messiah missing, – you are incomplete and in danger.
Many of these ministers are repeatedly trying to prop up a church constructed on portions of biblical doctrine, with other portions rejected. Many of these ministers are trying to prop up a church cursed with the error of replacement theology. That’s an enormous problem in these days! They are working for the devil himself!
Many church leaders have fallen due to sexual and other sins. That surprisingly, is not the biggest problem. All sin is forgivable on repentance. Restoration is completely possible. Some who have fallen have come back better and stronger than before.
The bigger problem is allowing stress, depression, and burn-out and even betrayal to cause them to give up. The fall from the truth and the fall from the grace of God at their own hand is the biggest problem.
Let me tell you a liberating, little secret. Stress is not what happens because of pressure. Stress is a choice! You can choose to react in stress or you can choose not to! Think about that! And the more you chose not to let stress get you, the easier it becomes to handle.
The clergy killers are not satanic forces, people in the church, or any situation. The clergy killers are the clergy themselves!
The impossible ministry of love:
The duty of the minister of the gospel is to present and infuse the love of God into the church. Today, in many churches this is an impossible task. These failed ministers can and do speak and preach about love and tolerance and being relevant to the world in the name of love, and it’s all poisonous.
Why do so many ministers, Christians, and unbelievers for that matter, have trouble understanding or comprehending God’s love for them? It’s because they love sin and themselves more. They can’t understand that God’s love includes and necessitates hatred for sin. If you accept that great fact you are on the way to victory.
Isaiah 59:2 “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”
Psalm 97:10 “You, who love the Lord, hate evil!”
Psalm 119:133 “Direct my steps by Your word, and let not iniquity have dominion over me.”
John 3:19-21 “This is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practising evil hates the light and does not come into the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be seen, that they have been done in God.”
In these incredibly powerful verses above we see the disease and the cure. You can’t preach love or experience the deep love of God without coming against and hating sin! Please read just the verse above again – read it ten times – it is the answer. It is the reason why many churches are monstrous failures.
Do you see the problem there? People love the darkness. Sorry – you can’t have your cake and eat it. If you want to know the deep love of God, stop loving the darkness!
The Bible speaks much of the unconditional love of God, especially in Romans, but that is more from a point of view of relationship and not fellowship. To walk in fellowship with God, experiencing His love, is what I’m referring to.
You see, coming to the truth is costly! It will cost you everything you are. Once you begin to pay the price you begin to reap the rewards. Cheap, easy believism with no price to pay will get you richly rewarded with demons, devils, witchcraft and all manner of error.
Of course salvation is a free gift of God, but then following our Lord and living the truth is where the cost comes in. (Proverbs 23:23)
Let me say it again, there’s a big red light...it’s impossible to see or understand the love of God without an identification of and hatred of sin. This is why many ministers are bound in frustration. They themselves are participants in the sin and evil of the world, by not identifying and coming against it and then they wonder why they can’t make the love of God known!
1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The original texts imply that the love for and of the Father is not in those who love the world!
1 John 5:4 “Whoever is born of God overcomes the world.”
Don’t tell me you love our Lord and you love the world too – you liar! You can’t love both, it’s impossible! Read that verse again. If you love the world, the love of God and for God is NOT in you. You may think it is and even have all the right words, but you are a liar.
If your love for God is mixed with love for the ways of the world, as a result you are neutralised. You have no spiritual power. You can shout and yell all you like, stand on your head and perform many circus acts, but you are powerless. You have nothing of the supernatural to sustain you and keep you. All you have is dead academic words.
The clergy killers complain that the devil has got into their churches and is causing havoc and causing them to be “killed” by the ministry. No sir – it’s the other way around. They have let the devil into their own lives and as a result, are the killers of their congregations.
I used this powerful verse above. Here it is again:
Isaiah 9:16 “For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed.”
Do you want to grow in your love for our Lord? Then you need to grow in hatred and separation! You must grow in hatred for sin and separation from the world.
Here are a few more verses dealing with these issues:
Proverbs 22:10 “Cast out the scoffer and contention will leave; strife and reproach will cease.”
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no revelation (Lit=prophetic vision), the people cast off restraint...”
Proverbs 3:32 “His secret counsel is with the upright.”
Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me and those who diligently seek me will find me.”
James 1:2-7 “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience ...But let him ask for wisdom in faith, with no doubting...for the doubter will receive nothing from the Lord.”
How to know whom to trust:
You do not need to go on a witch hunt looking for demons behind every door. If you feel you need to be in a particular church – be there. Our Lord may have reasons for you being here or there. It is not my job or even yours actually, to decide where to be. The best by far is to trust that our Lord is leading you along the path He has set for you as well the church of His choosing.
If you do feel that you need to move along then do so, but do so with our Lord’s leading and approval.
The single big issue is this. Are you growing in our Lord? Are you growing in the truth? Are you being set progressively free from the dictates of the flesh, the world and the demonic? Are you moving forward? Are you encountering and being exposed to the full doctrine of Messiah in the power of the Spirit?
If you are moving forward in the love of our Lord, your hatred for evil will also be increasing. If you are moving forward with our Lord a deep inner passion for Him, His word, and His ways will grow and grow.
Your minister must be a “pillar in the temple.” He must stand securely and endure all types of pressure, persecution and hardship even unto death!
The fruits of whom you can trust will be evident. They will endure hardship without complaining. In fact the hardship mixed with faith will turn them into a diamond of great value. They will stand securely, unmoved in the truth.
The one whom you can trust is the one who can see the wider path ahead for you and the church at large. The one you can trust is the one who can see the obstacles. The one whom you can trust knows spirits, and their operations.
The one you can trust knows and practices the full doctrine of Messiah – all of it! The one you can trust knows and walks in the fear of the Lord. The one you can trust knows the living word of our Lord extremely well. He is not a novice.
The one you can trust is not necessarily a person who has not failed miserably in the past, but he would have learnt from it and is moving forward.
The one you can trust is the one who judges and gives mercy rightly divided and applied.
The one you can trust is the one who is blood-soaked and scarred with the marks of the cross on every area of his life.
The one you trust is the one who is loved and hated supremely!
Experiential truth is always a place of retreat and deep rest. If that is not the fruit of your truth, you had better re-examine your truth.
Colossians 2:18 “Let no one defraud you of your reward.”
True man of God is other-worldly, can’t be controlled or manipulated by the world, man and media. He is unshakeable, deeply mysterious and in a sense unknowable, because that is the quality of God.
The true man of God is full of good fruit, who rejects and hates poisonous doctrines and its fruits. Above all he has a heart, broken by God, soft and pliable in His hands, hard and impenetrable to all the ways of the world and the devil.
He knows God, his greatest friend, and is known by Him. He is strong and secure, yet soft and transparent. He is full of knowledge, understanding and the wisdom of God.
Psalm 42:7 “Deep calls unto deep”.
I took this picture of a Saddle-billed Stork taking off at sunset in Botswana.
Shalom and grow in grace!