As it was in the beginning, so must it always be

“As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.” [1 John 2:24]

What was this that they had heard from the beginning and from whom did they hear it?

“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked  at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life-” [1 John 1:1]

John reiterates to these saints how he and his fellow companions (the other disciples) literally interacted with the Person of Jesus Christ Himself. He was reminding them of how they (those he addresses as his little children) initially heard the truth and from whom, because many deceivers had even then gone out into the world. He was encouraging them to remain steadfast in those things they initially received from him and others and not to be swayed by falsehoods.

THIS IS THE MESSAGE WE HAVE HEARD FROM HIM

From 1 John 1:5 and through the remainder of this book, John emphasizes numerous truths and practices which are foundational to true Christian living. It is not intended to provide a totality of the truth, but to emphasize the manner in which Christians are to relate one to another in love. Interspersed within these, runs the theme that runs counter to the rest, the reality of false prophets and apostates that are attempting to deceive them.

We might ask ourselves, “What is the message we have heard from Him? and why is this so paramount as it concerns our service in Christ? (back to this in a moment)

Earlier this week, a friend and I were mutually lamenting about the sad reality of the lack of a witness of Jesus and Him Crucified in this world these days- not just the message of reconciliation through Jesus, but the practical expression of this work, His work via the cross in and through us. I believe this is due to God giving us each a basic understanding of something quite simple in itself that is echoed in the verse below where Jesus says;

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remain alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” [John 12:24]  

Obviously Jesus was the “first” kernel of wheat that fell into the ground and died. But two verses later we read:

“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him”

Where do we meet Jesus? We meet Him in death. Was this not true at the moment of our conversion. Did we not accept the death of Another as the payment for our own debt? So be it, but now we must go further still. I must go the way of death, practically and daily myself, if I am to serve Jesus and bear much fruit.

The second aspect of our recent lament is that we rarely witness the supernatural power and unction of the Holy Spirit as in past days. Even though earlier I promised no answers to him regarding this obvious concern, I think I may have a clue as to “why” it seems God is so absent from us when we seem to need Him most these days.

Back to the two questions in red above.

What is the message we have heard from Him?

A brother recently forwarded a short note by someone else relating to Revelation 2:5 where the words REMOVE YOUR LAMPSTAND were used. This former famous “pastor” was making a comparison between what he claimed use to be “faithful churches” with filled pews to present day empty seats he equated with God’s judgment. He then attributed this change to those who needed to repent and “do the deeds they did at first” as the text states. The removal of their lampstand was what Jesus said would happen if these saints failed to repent and do this.

This sounds great, even scriptural, but there’s one really big concern with this man’s thinking. That’s discovering the proper understanding of what Jesus meant by “first deeds” which He was commanding them to return to. Is it possible that these “deeds” could be compared to something in our modern day, or might they rather coincide with something much earlier in history than that. I suggest to you that the answer is found in “what they had heard from the beginning.”

In response to my friend’s post and this concern over “deeds” I wrote:

“I think the answer may be found within David’s (the authors) own illustration of what he himself has written above. I agree that “the Spirit has departed,” these local groups of saints (what he calls churches) but the question that must be asked is WHY HAS THE SPIRIT DEPARTED?

In my opinion, and that’s all this part is, is that the first things are the first things that the original 12 apostles, namely Paul taught them to obey and observe- the things Paul taught regularly and which were binding upon every local ekklesia regardless of where they were to be found. These foundational truths and practices have been almost entirely overridden by modern day religious tradition and Old Covenant practices that were fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Himself. If the Spirit has and is departing, it is due to the rejection of the faith once delivered in doctrine and in the practice of those doctrines among the people of God. Where they met for fellowship isn’t the primary issue, although the typical church setting suppresses many a command and introduces traditions of men no where found in the scriptures. This is why “church” is so dangerous and misleading. I then proceeded to attach a new tract I wrote that explained my answer in more detail.

Why is this message so paramount as it concerns our service in Christ?

In the example above, the author made some obvious comparisons between what now is and what once was in these churches in which he once preached. Those comparisons are real, but the reasons for those comparisons are not real for one simple reason- his comparisons did not go back to the beginning, back to the original blueprint for how New Testament ekklesias were to be established. He made an assumption that because the churches were full that this equated to the participants being faithful and that simply cannot be proven. They may have been faithful to some extent, though they were not faithful from the beginning, from the bedrock of what Jesus Himself said he was and is building. Jesus is not the foundation stone of any man’s earthly creation (church) but exclusively of His heavenly and spiritual ekklesia. The reason these churches failed is because they were never meant to support the work of God to begin with, it is the ekklesia of the living God which is the pillar and support of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15) and you cannot build this with bricks. Churches fail for one simple reason- they are not built upon Christ but upon sand. Over time, sand shifts and topples everything that has been built upon it. Isn’t that what Jesus says? (Matthew 7:26, 27)

GOD’S BUILDERS

Have you ever thought about some of God’s former builders and building plans? What about Noah and his ark? Would you say that Noah just did his own thing or did God direct the very details of the boat he was building? You can read the account in Genesis chapter 6. Take note of these two verses especially:

(Genesis 6:8) “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

(Genesis 6:22) “Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.”

What about the tabernacle in the wilderness? As we know, God’s primary spokesman at this time was Moses. Moses, though faithful for the most part had his faults. He complained to God about his lack of ability (Exodus 4:10-13). He attempted to save God’s people in his own way and failed (Exodus 2:11, 12). He blatantly disobeyed God (Numbers 20:2-13). He questioned what God asked him to do. (Exodus 19:21-25) Despite all this, he was still called by God and he did eventually obey God as he was instructed. (Exodus 7:6)

(Exodus 25:1-31:11) This passage of scripture details the type of people who could contribute to the building, the type of people who could actually participate in building (Spirit led), the materials (furniture) that would supplement their worship, the manner they would dress, the consecration of the specific priests who were recognized, and those who could actually participate in the worship. Note what surrounds all of these instructions:

(Exodus 24:18) Moses alone with God for forty days and forty nights.

(Exodus 25:9) “According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it”

(Exodus 31:11)…..they are to make them according to all that I have commanded you.

What about Solomon and his temple? It appears that despite the scriptures speaking specifically when this project began (1 Kings 6:1), the word of the Lord concerning it came to Solomon in the midst of its construction- not prior:

“Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, THEN I WILL CARRY OUT MY WORD WITH YOU (emphasis mine) which I spoke to David your father. I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.” [1 Kings 6:11, 12] 

Keep in mind a couple of things now. Despite Solomon being the wisest man in the world, he did not seem to receive any specific instructions by God in building his temple. Unlike the tabernacle in the wilderness, Solomon seemed to have free reign with what he was building for God. He did bring in some master craftsman as Moses also did, he built the new furniture himself (1 Kings 7:48-50), then brought in the things dedicated by his father David and placed them in the treasuries. (1 Kings 7:51) God must have been pleased for we see that after the ark was placed in the holy of holies we read;

“It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord” [1 Kings 8:10, 11]  and

The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.” [1 Kings 9:3]

From the above we see that Solomon was merely following in the footsteps of his father David and fulfilling what God had said would be his own responsibility in building this temple. The outward appearance was of Solomon’s making, though the manner of worship remained the same as it was with the tabernacle above. (1 Kings 8:12-21) This is an important distinction as we shall see later on.

1. Noah’s legacy was that of a faithful man who obeyed God in all things. Moses obeyed God too, it just took him a little longer to trust God more than his own methods. Solomon seemed to start well, he had a desire to follow in his father’s footsteps and yet here at the end of his life we read:

“For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been” [1 Kings 11:4-6] 

Solomon’s sin was this: He did not continue to do as the Lord commanded. In other words, he was no longer wholly devoted to the Lord his God. As a result, he was no longer qualified to lead the people and his actions had to be judged by God. In God’s second appearance to Solomon, this is exactly what was promised to him if either he or his sons turned away from Him. You can read this promise of God in 1 Kings 9:1-9.

It is also interesting to note that in the midst of Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the temple he stated what seemed to foreshadow an up and coming change:

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house I have built!” [1 Kings 8:27]  

A SHADOW OF A BUILDING or OF A PEOPLE GOD IS BUILDING?

Most people know that history has a tendency to repeat itself, sometimes for better and sometimes for the worse. The history of the people of God is no different, as in each generation men attempt their own building projects for God, most of which are copies of former things. Does God allow men, even religious men to build and then dedicate to God whatever derives in their own minds and imaginations? By the look of things it would certainly seem that way.

FULL STOP. Now, what are men building today in the name of Jesus? That’s right, churches! Where or when did anyone get the idea to build physical structures called temples where the people of God meet? Where are the instructions to do so, rather, where are the very detailed instructions like all of God’s other major building projects? Exactly, there are none. That my friends is no small matter, but a very, very, serious concern. For as you may have noticed, God’s presence and power accompanied all of these projects, and those who were commissioned to fulfill them. That is both exciting and terrifying!

Contrary to man’s modern misconceptions, God is not building churches or religious institutions to disseminate His truth. Jesus is building His ekklesia- He is bringing together specific individual Christians (what God deems to be living stones) in particular locales all over this world. This is not something new, it is the manner that Jesus has been working ever since New Testament times. It is both the invention of “church related activities” and the neglect of the above truth that has led men away from Jesus’ true intentions and as a result led to all manner of false doctrines, sectarian divisions and subsequently a lack of God’s direction and power among His people. The only hope of recovering the truth is to return to God’s heavenly revelation proclaimed through the instrument of His own choosing.

GOD’S NEW MAN AND MESSAGE

“For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the ekklesia of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions” [Galatians 1:11-14]  

It’s very easy for those of us as Christians to see this passage as making a comparison between the Paul’s former life as a Jewish zealot and his state as an apostle of Christ in this passage. Although this is true, many more significant concerns can be found throughout.

  • What he preached was not taught to him by man (not by personal study, not in school or was it learned from any other person) He learned his gospel and that proper practice of that gospel from God Himself.
  • What he previously learned in Judaism conflicted with what Jesus Himself was teaching which led to him persecuting those who called themselves Christians before his conversion.
  • His advancement in Judaism included a zeal for “religious traditions”

As Christians we know that in history past God chose a specific nation He created, Israel, to be His representatives here upon this earth and to display his character and glory through them. God dealt with this nation through a covenant of law, a series of laws that would govern their behavior and to which they promised to fulfill. What often coincided with God’s law were “religious traditions” that were added to God’s law as if they were also a part of divinely instituted truth. Keep this in mind. The proof of this can be found here: Mark 7:9-13.

A SHADOW AND MYSTERY MADE REALITY

In past days and under the Law and in relation to this old covenant, specific priests were called by God for what?

“Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary” [Hebrews 9:1]

Now most of us as Christians understand that God has done away with the ceremonial law as found here in Hebrews 9 which consisted of an outer tabernacle and specific instructions for proper worship. What they don’t seem to understand is this included a specific physical place where God would meet them, special mediators between God and men and in the process “cut off” the religious traditions that men had added to the Old Covenant. If this is so, and Jesus has become the mediator of a new and better covenant through His own blood, that which is enacted on better promises (The I WILL of God verses “If you obey”) then why are religious men today still promoting and endorsing that which is below:

If you are even remotely familiar with your Bible, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Where did religious men get the idea to have a special building and special religious furniture where they get together to worship God, call it by a formal name and recruit followers to become known by that name? Does God sanction the designations of “clergy” and “laity?”
  2. Where did religious men get the idea that God sanctions or allows hierarchy of any kind among His children?
  3. Where did religious men get the idea to join the people of God to a secular government institution (501c3) to gain tax exempt status, form a business bank account for that organization and seek out monies from Christians to support “it.”
  4. Where did religious men get the idea that professional trained clergy are to become the visionaries of what God is doing among His people or that God actually needs professional Christians?
  5. Where did religious men get the idea for their fancy formal religious attire that makes them stand out as different than other believers?
  6. Where did religious men get the idea that they can make decisions for the other saints?
  7. Where did religious men get the idea that they can receive monies from others saints, even commanding monies they say is due them?
  8. Where did religious men get the idea to appoint certain people to be the leaders and mediators over other Christians, grant them religious titles forbidden in scripture and give them spiritual titles in religious institutions?
  9. Where did religious men get the idea to make rules that all Christians are supposed to follow and as a basis for membership among other believers?
  10. Where did religious men get the idea to dress up when they meet for special worship times?
  11. Where did religious men get the idea that certain people among them were to hear the word of the Lord for the other saints and teach them to be dependent upon the creations and wisdom of men?
  12. Where did religious men get the idea that they can reject other Christians for any reason outside of them truly being converted by Christ?

And finally, where did religious men get the idea that they can disobey God in all of the ways above and many more and still think they are Christians and called by God to promote these things!!!!!

Answer: The Old Covenant that God made with Israel (found in blue type). When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete.” [Hebrews 8:13] 

So this begs the question: If God has made the covenant and that manner of practicing the faith obsolete, “Why are the majority of professing Christians still practicing that for which God has done away with?”

Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. [Hebrews 8:1, 2] 

Here we find the sad reality of our day. While the whole world of religious men go about pitching their own churches, religious institutions, visions, programs and “ministries” galore, then adding their own religious traditions as well (red type above), God is not in them nor do they please Him. One is either living in the shadows of what once was, or living in the reality of what now is. God is not mocked, and men will reap exactly as they have and continue to sow in their own lives for better or for worse.

It is only when religious men refuse to believe in what Jesus has said and has done that they continue to promote what He says is no longer necessary nor valid. It is not part of the Old Covenant that has been superseded, but all of it, a new and living way in Jesus taking its place.

After relaying to the Roman assembly the major foundational doctrines of the faith once delivered and sharing how the saints were to interact one with another, then he warned them with these words:

“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye of those who cause dissentions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned (from the beginning of Jesus and Him Crucified), and turn away from them” [Romans 16:17]  

Shortly thereafter, Paul summarizes what needs to remain central in their thinking and actions:

“Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures and the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to the obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen”

As beneficial as the shadows and the lessons of the Old Covenant may still be, it is imperative that every Christian sees their history as having begun in the finished work of Jesus Christ. The revelation of this gospel was both proclaimed and practiced by the Christians who comprised the various ekklesias that we read about in the New Testament. It is our responsibility, it is our mandate to follow Paul’s example and no other.

Just as there is one gospel to be believed and proclaimed, so is there one practice of that gospel outlined within the pages of the New Testament scriptures. If Christians are promised that they are complete in Christ and have everything they need for life and godliness- well, then that’s exactly what they do have. The only reason those spiritual blessings can appear to be absent is where men refuse to acknowledge what God has said herein and determine to know nothing but Jesus and Him Crucified in themselves and among the family of God.

This is the heart and desire of our Father, that we each would walk in the new and living way of His beloved Son.

-the end

A victim of puppetry

I’ve been watching a series of u-tube videos as of late, through which a general theme has been observed with frequency. That theme, the willingness to sacrifice what one knows is right or best for selfish gain, was seen as all to common, even as it is with every one of us as human beings. Like it or not, we all have and continue to make compromises, and even though I consider myself to be a faithful Christian, I also was convicted on some fronts.

Within the content of the videos the word “puppet” was often used to describe the people whom the videos addressed. That’s because even though these individuals appeared to be and actually were “sell outs,” (from what they knew was in their and others’ best interests) they chose that path anyway- to their own and other people’s destruction. They may not have known that the path they originally chose would lead there, nonetheless the seeds of their initial choices eventually bloomed into something they could no longer control. By then it was too late to turn back. One illustration should suffice to set up the direction of this post.

Consider the average young and gifted singer in a local congregation. Everyone soon discovers the little girl can sing and this soon ushers in some decisions that propel her in a specific direction. This may start somewhat innocently as a choir participant, then as a “special music performance” and then morph into a traveling music ministry. The exposure may then lead to a formal “Christian band” being formed through which more recognition is gained. Eventually some well meaning person or contact will connect the dots and this individual will now get the opportunity to become the next big “Christian celebrity” or if that fails, mainstream into the secular music industry. Sound kind of far fetched? That’s the exact experience of former church girls such as Beyoncé, Katy Perry & Whitney Houston and a hundred more like them, although most not as popular as they are. Would any reasonable thinking Christian in the pursuit of holiness for one second consider the aforementioned women’s careers to be a success? A success in the eyes of Almighty God? The obvious answer is of course not. They have long ago abandoned anything even remotely Christian, and it could be rightly ascertained that these gals never really knew Jesus to begin with.  Without repentance, they will reside indefinitely in the lake of fire like the rest who continue to suppress the truth of God with all manner of unrighteousness. This may sound cold you say, but that’s the truth as God speaks it, and sadly no one seemed to care enough to tell the women above before they sold out for everything this world and the people in it offered them.

This post is not about music or a wholesale condemnation of music ministry as we find it these days. I’ll save that for another day. It is about specific choices we make, choices that have far reaching consequences for ourselves, our families and those with whom we have contact. It’s about the seeds we plant, the people with whom we associate and the direction those seeds and people will and do lead us in.

WHAT IS A PUPPET?

1. A doll that is moved by putting your hand inside it or by pulling strings or wires that are attached to it.

A doll, though it may have the appearance of an individual, does not have life in itself. It’s very strength has to derive outside of itself for it is not able to act on its own. It’s primary characteristic is total dependence upon something outside of itself.

2. A person or an organization that is controlled by another person or organization.

A person that is controlled by another person or entity has relinquished their right or responsibility to think and act for themselves, for they are mastered by something outside of themselves they have no control over.

As a young boy or girl, the ability to think reasonably and properly has yet to be fully developed. During this time one’s parents or other mentors are responsible to steer these children and safeguard them from the poor choices that all young people make- one’s they think are in their best interest. What child doesn’t think staying up late, eating whatever they want or neglecting responsibilities is a good thing? Exactly. They need the guidance of the more seasoned saints to keep them from making harmful choices that will affect them adversely.

WHEN A CHILD IS LEFT TO THEMSELVES

We all know what happens when children are left to themselves or without supervision. They get in all kinds of mischief and often cause themselves and the others around them suffering. Every parent knows this is true. But might I ask, “Is that trouble any different than the trouble caused by a neglectful, undisciplined or unwise parent?” Could not what a parent thinks is in the best interest of their child actually be harmful to them?

THE REAL DEFINITION OF FAMILY

How we view family in our American culture is far different than in some other cultures. We value independence, independent accomplishment and crave individual attention and recognition. But are any of these encouraged by God and indicative of an individual who is living and serving Jesus Christ? Are not the traits above more likened to a self serving individual who’s priority in life is themselves and their own interests?

In a spiritual family of believers in a specific locale, children, adolescents, mothers, fathers and elders are all present. They each have roles and responsibilities that are exercised within that family- not just their own immediate family but within the greater context of their local spiritual family. There are many reasons for this, the collective wisdom of the saints being a primary factor about how both individuals should act and how the corporate assembly should address various concerns. For example, despite the casual attitude Christians take toward employment these days, “Are any and all forms of employment acceptable and proper for a believer in Christ?” Who makes these decisions considering they ultimately affect the entire local body of believers? Should a believer work as a:

  • Bartender (considering the patrons one will be serving, the environment, the abuse and the affects of the alcohol upon those being served)
  • Banker (considering the fact that God is opposed to, or at least frowns upon people loaning or borrowing money)
  • Model (Does God want His children posing under the direction of superiors in order to sell anything or themselves) Like it or not, both Beyoncé and Katy Perry are modern day prostitutes who not only sell themselves but regularly entice men to lust after them and even worship them. They both actively and regularly promote what is evil.
  • Actress (Being an actress necessitates following the rules of Hollywood. To think one can live like a faithful Christian and be promoted by Hollywood is to remain in fantasy land)
  • Psychologist (Psychology is opposed to Biblical Christianity. It is not from God and should be outright rejected. Therefore being in this field of study cannot coincide with remaining a faithful believer)
  • Military soldier (Considering the fact that all branches of service demand absolute loyalty which includes killing other people at times)
  • Religious professional (God doesn’t have professionals, but chooses the weak, foolish and dependent upon Him. Pursuing ANY career in “Christianity” is not consistent with the real meaning of this term)

Webster’s defines “puppetries” (plural) as follows:

1. The production or creation of puppets or puppet shows

2. The art of manipulating puppets

HOW A PUPPET IS CREATED

A puppet is created by simply offering individual persons what their sinful flesh actually desires and convincing them that this is in their best interest. The desires of one’s flesh know no bounds, therefore, the puppet is given more and more of what they desire provided they forego their own rationale decision making and judgments. Remember: A puppet has no control over themselves as they are  directed by something or someone else outside of them.

Let’s consider some “Christian” organizations and their founders that create and continually manipulate the puppets they have created.

1. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Churches

From start to finish, becoming a purpose driven church means following the direction and dictates of Rick Warren himself. Nothing is left to chance, even the sermons shared are already made up and ready to purchase online. To think for yourself or act contrary to Rick’s plan is to become an enemy of what he says God is doing in your life and in the world today. Take your pick: Either Rick or his appointed change agents direct God’s will for your life.

Not only does Rick’s resources save the day and solve your problems, the use of every possible translation of God’s written Word (paraphrase or not) will have you so confused you won’t want to think for yourself anymore.

2. Joel Osteen’s best life (can be yours too)

Like Rick above, Joel’s philosophies and ministry decisions about life just don’t add up. Joel makes the masses feel right at home here on earth, with faith in themselves being the primary tool toward one’s happiness and success. Out are words such as “sin” and “judgment” and in are self esteem and self confidence. God forbid Joel ever offends even a single person. It’s all about feeling good and trusting God to do for you whatever you ask in faith regardless of how ridiculous or unscriptural. This all amounts to trusting in one’s own thinking and methods more than a sovereign and Almighty God to save people.

One again, Joel’s books, combined with his translation of the scriptures are your keys to happiness here on earth. Just do as your told and repeat after me (Joel) and all will be well. That goes for you homosexuals as well.

3. The New Apostolic Reformation

  • Peter Wagner and his associates seem to think that the majority of professing Christians are so naïve that they don’t realize that religious hierarchy doesn’t exist among the people of God- and he’s right, they don’t. That’s why among the adherents to this “new reformation” their is a continual competitiveness for prestige and religious position in the various groups of people who cling to this sect. Not only are false prophesies quite regular and an interpretation of tongues non-existent, the religious titles are more common than any time in history past. Hundreds of false apostles and prophets all have a place among the special elect or so they say. Believe it or not, these are your end time leaders, those who will deceptively usher in the wrong messiah for all to behold- after they have prepared his way by bringing forth their own judgments upon the s0-called wicked (actually the real saints) and preparing the way of their lord. You might want to gather up some of that gold dust they claim is falling among them and use it to barter when you can no longer buy or sell if you really believe their claims.

Again, who needs proper doctrine or testing the spirits when obviously everyone among them are already on the same wrong page.

Personally, I would be just a little concerned about anyone trying to convince me of anything “new” concerning the faith once delivered some 1800 years ago.

4. Any “professional” Christian on any level and within any church or organization.

Despite what Jesus says is mandatory for his children in carrying a personal cross and denying oneself, that isn’t possible when these professionals refuse to relinquish what they claim they have earned through their own efforts. The very lives and practice of these “Christians” within their self-made ministries thwart any real denial of self, equality with the brethren and real Spirit led service in the will of God. Say what you will, not a single religious professionals life lines up with the mandates of the scriptural record, and in fact make of no effect the very commands Jesus Himself instituted about His people and ekklesia.

You have two choices: Continue to follow the one you sinfully call your Pastor, Priest or Father or reject their example as being less than desired and follow Jesus instead. Doesn’t He deserve your complete and total allegiance?

THE RESULTS OF BECOMING A PUPPET

If it were only a matter of one here and there becoming self-deceived, well that would be sad enough. The truth is, millions upon millions of people have traded in their own reasoning skills for the opportunity to get involved in what the men above all claim is a special move of God among His people. They hold out the promise that “something new” is on the horizon and you don’t dare miss out. They use all manner of threats and manipulation to intimidate the masses- to keep people from leaving their “ministry” and instruction, that somehow you just won’t make it without their divine help or mediation. Such are the lies of the enemy.

Consider these additional consequences of puppetry:

  • Having abandoned the “faith once delivered” and the scriptural record, adherents are seeking out “new revelations” in addition to scripture. We are not talking about momentary Spirit led direction, but additional doctrine that is claimed is on par with scripture.
  • No one tests the spirits in people, or they subjectively claim to know the spirits without the aid of scripture.
  • No one studies to show themselves approved and they no longer have to. The qualifications for elders have now become qualifications for leadership. These amount to simply having a desire to do what one is told to do or promote among the “ministries” above. The more you follow the leader (guru), the more responsibility each person is given along ministry lines.
  • Success is determined by the numbers of people involved worldwide. It doesn’t take much effort to invite people to a church or get them involved in worldly estatic and sensual pursuits. Is it any wonder the worldlings fit right in and are never encouraged to repent of their sins. All that matters is that they too “follow the prescribed plan” like the “Christians” do.
  • Sin is optional- it has to be. As long as the individuals keep pushing the agenda they feel God loves them and accepts them as they are. This is compounded by the oft preached “decisional regeneration” which makes people think they are saved without really have to change their behaviors.
  • The message of the real gospel is exchanged for something entirely different that tends toward universalism and ecumenism. The goal of preaching the gospel is exchanged for making this world a better place. That’s an odd goal for people who seem to have forgotten a Christian’s citizenship is in heaven-now.
  • The world and its people are no longer threatened by the ekklesia (what people wrongly call church) or its message of Christ Crucified as so few people preach or live it out.

REMEDIES AGAINST PUPETTRY

1. Follow Jesus, not any other person, ministry, church or religious organization.

2. Stand and be counted. The best defense is an offense- speak the truth in love regularly to people everywhere.

3. Carry a daily cross and learn to deny yourself as Jesus commands. Remind yourself often that this life isn’t yours anymore- its His will and His good pleasure from now on.

4. Accept all professing Christians in love, yet cultivate only friendships that revolve around preaching the word, establishing the saints and co-laboring with Jesus in what He is building spiritually in your locale.

5. Seek God daily through either reading, study, prayer and some form of fellowship. Truly learn to place the interests of your brothers and sisters above even your own desires.

6. Be content with what you have, where He has placed you and who He has made you.

7. Under no circumstances ever attempt to “start a ministry” or any formal institution but wait upon God and be willing to be subject to other believers for wisdom, counsel and accountability for your actions.

“For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.”

Our fathers were not literally under the cloud as Israel was, nor did they pass through the sea, nonetheless God said to those He initially spared previously;

“Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” (These people did not take what God said seriously. Their lives revolved around the “good times” and what they found pleasing to themselves. Those pleasures were considered idolatrous by God as are many of those of professing Christians. Idolatry can also include anything that competes with Jesus such as your church, your pastor or even your ministry or movement as above)

“Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty three thousand fell in one day.” (Modern day churches are filled with all forms of immorality and rarely if ever are these professing Christians sins condemned and rightly judged…..though they will be by God Himself)

“Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.”  (Professing Christians are regularly testing the limits of God’s grace by willfully continuing to sin in all manner of overt ways. Continuing to sin by allowing and promoting Old Covenant practices superseded and fulfilled in Christ is just one way)

“Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer”  (Professing Christians are rarely if ever content with what God has done or is doing with them presently, whether that be in the natural or spiritual realms. Hardly anyone blinks an eye when “Christians” openly lust after more money, more power and more praise just like those in this world do. Add to this the incessant and insatiable lust for more spiritual power and more dynamic spiritual experience which the worldly pastors are so prone to promise to all of their own followers.

“Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages have come. Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” [1 Corinthians 10:1-12]

-the end