Truth Sacrificed on the Altar of Ignorance and Compromise

This article was a response written by Bud Press during some conversation on another post in the struggle to recognize  false teachers, or more specifically, those who seem to speak for the truth in some areas, but fall away in others. Bud makes some important points we need to consider as we go forward. Thanks Bud!

Over the years I have encountered a number of professing Christians who say, “I don’t agree with everything that [Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, William Branham, etc.] teaches, but he does a lot of good and leads people to the Lord.”

The same can be said for a thief, in that he robs banks at gunpoint, but he’s a good father to his children.

To many, it doesn’t matter what false teachers say and do, because their followers only see the “good” they supposedly do.

Truth sacrificed on the altar of ignorance and compromise.

As a suggestion, when it is learned that a professing Christian is lending credibility to a false teacher, we should ask them if they believe what the false teacher has taught.

Todd Bentley denies the gospel of Jesus Christ. Benny Hinn believes he is a “god”. William Branham taught that Jesus was created, and eventually became the Son of God. If those who lend credibility to false teachers believe the same, then they are in the same boat.

Christians are commanded not to fellowship with compromisers and those who lend credibility to false teachers.

In his eye-opening Commentary on Ephesians 5:11, Matthew Henry wrote:

We must have no fellowship with sin nor sinners, v. 11. Sinful works are works of darkness: they come from the darkness of ignorance, they seek the darkness of concealment, and they lead to the darkness of hell. These works of darkness are unfruitful works; there is nothing got by them in the long run, whatever profit is pretended by sin, it will by no means balance the loss; for it issues in the utter ruin and destruction of the impenitent sinner. We must therefore have no fellowship with these unfruitful works; as we must not practise them ourselves, so we must not countenance others in the practice of them. There are many ways of our being accessary to the sins of others, by commendation, counsel, consent, or concealment. And, if we share with others in their sin, we must expect to share with them in their plagues. Nay, if we thus have fellowship with them, we shall be in the utmost danger of acting as they do ere long. But, rather than have fellowship with them, we must reprove them, implying that if we do not reprove the sins of others we have fellowship with them.”

Lending credibility to false teachers endangers and shipwrecks the faith of a believer, drives the unsaved deeper into sin and further away from God, and is playing nicer than God.

Those who lend credibility to false teachers also lend credibility to their false gospel, false spirit, and false “Jesus” (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians chapter 11).

Lenders of credibility are hypocrites, of which Jesus said,

“So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28).

Bud Press

So often as are reading or listening to teachers, we can have the impression that something is off. We can’t quite come to the place to know exactly, but we just know. This is the time to set it aside and ask the Lord, and do some research to get to the truth. That check in the spirit is there for a reason, and we do well when we pursue it.

Blessings my friends.

a retelling of the good news

aaahhh – is she posting? Is she actually writing something? Oh, she is!

I believe that God created man in His own image. Two of them to begin with, who were placed in a beautiful place to live, without hassles. God walked with them and spoke to them every day and enjoyed the company of His creation and called it good. Eventually these created beings made the wrong choice out of their God-given right to free will, the right to choose. They did not listen to God, their Father, but listened instead to a well-formed lie woven by a crafty manipulator. They called the lie the truth and found that it was good. They were banished from paradise and the hassles of life as we know it began.

After that God made many covenants and attempts to reconnect with His people throughout time. He gave them laws and blessings and waited patiently, with what He refers to as longsuffering, (we say this loooonnngsuuuuferrrrriiiiiinnnnngggg) for them to respond. But man’s heart, despite all the good given to him, is wicked. Man continue to fail and to live in sin by making bad choices through the act of  – again – God-given free will. I want to add here that man’s continued failure came as no surprise to God. This is an important point because the next thing  – the greatest thing – was not God’s plan B. God was not like Ford Motor Company who some decades ago needed to get a better idea. No, this plan, this one plan to end all plans had been there before even the foundation of the earth. He just had it tucked in His back pocket for the right time to come rolling around. Waiting is not a problem to God because to Him one thousand years is like a day. You and I can’t hardly wait for the next payday to come rolling around, much less the next thousand years!

Ok. So enter Jesus. Yes. Jesus. Yeshua. The Messiah, the one and only son of the Most High God. Jesus, although He is called the Son of God is really God Himself, God in the flesh and as we are told He is called Immanuel. And, wait because it gets better. Jesus, the son of the Most High God, the one sent to deliver God’s people was born of a virgin named Mary – just a little bit of a girl really, not a big bustling woman, not a well-known well dressed woman of the world that all the girls looked up to, just little bitty Mary who had never once had sex.

An angel, a real one not called Emma, visited Mary and told her that the Lord had found favor with her and that she was going to have a child and that the name would be Jesus. When she asked how that was to be, her having still been a virgin, the angel not called Emma told her that she would be visited by the Holy Spirit.  This is a true visitation because the same angel told Mary’s boyfriend Joseph the same thing. Then, nine months later she indeed gave birth to a baby boy, the one who would even deliver her. As a woman and a mother this astounds me. Some days we have thoughts or realizations that make us feel like we ran splat right into a wall. This is one of them and it happens every time I think that a young girl gave birth to the one who would deliver and save anyone who called on His name – the name above every name. Jesus is the one who came to bring people back into relationship with God. He came to fix that bad decision made by free will that banished man from paradise. The one that made us have kids with runny noses who wouldn’t do what we said despite our blessings and rules. The kids who insist on doing things their own way. The ones with free will. Ahem.

There’s another splat into the wall moment coming up. Jesus grew into a man and began to teach all who would listen about the Father and about the kingdom of God. He chose twelve men who liked to make bad decisions, but they listened and believed in Him. Because Jesus is God He could tell the condition of the hearts of those around Him. Many hated this because they wanted to continue to live out their lives of the lie, the one that began by the crafty manipulator so long ago. Oh no. Crafty never left the scene. He’s always been there. So in their blindness and their insistence on being right – their pride – and because of their kinship to Crafty, they hated Jesus and planned to get rid of Him. But many others loved Him and to those He gave forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

Jesus taught his disciples many things and spoke of His own death and the coming of the Holy Spirit who He also referred to as the Comforter. He told them that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, which is the need to make those dumb free will choices, and that He would lead them into all truth. Then the dark and dreadful day came that Jesus was arrested and taken from them. He was brought to a court where His destiny had already been decided. They mocked Him even though He loved them they beat Him nearly unrecognizable. Then they put nails in His hands and feet and hung Him up that way to die on a cross.

This is what I do not understand.  People can read this story and those facts of the savage brutality, which was an act of wicked, wicked hearts, and they are not moved. Yet, those very same people will rise up against someone who mistreated a dog.

Only three people remained to watch Jesus die. Only three. One was His mother Mary. Then they took Him down, loving wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him alone in a tomb. Have you buried a child?

Those who hated Jesus thought it was the end. The crafty one thought he had won and that people would forever be under his rule. He often thought more of himself than he should and is how he ended on his belly.  See? They were all wrong. Jesus rose on the third day, defeating the death of the cross, winning the battle and proving to all that He is indeed God. Because no one has the power to overcome death but God himself. Kinda lets the umph out of those vampire stories, huh? Team Edward, Team Jacob sorry, you lose too.

So let’s look at this because for a long time I never got the Jesus gotta die thing. When the two were removed from paradise and were banished it was because of their sin in not doing what God said. Sin leads to death. Don’t debate it in your mind just accept it as fact because as  humans it will never make sense. It is necessary to give life to live, so then God came to earth to die in our place so that if we believe in Him we will not die but live forever. Yes, there is a physical death but then we live again with Him. It’s another wall moment because God who is capable of anything could have done any of it or all of it differently but chose not to. That is His love. Don’t miss that point because it is the greatest. And if you decide to do the free will thing here and miss it you will die in your sin and it will be too late to change your mind later on.

Jesus appeared to His disciples and again, taught them, ate with them, comforted them. The first person who saw him was not a man, but a woman. Ha. I love that. It’s one up for the girls. Jesus told His disciples He would be leaving them. He told them to go and wait in a room for the gift to come. As they spoke He went up into the heavens and they watched Him go. Again, there was a visit from an angel, this one wasn’t Emma either, who told them they would see Him come again in the same way they saw Him leave. Translated this means that Jesus will be in the heavens the next time we see Him! The Message says Jesus disappeared mysteriously. Don’t read the Message. It is a book authored by the crafty one, yes, he has books, and this one is a well hidden fact.

The disciples and followers of Jesus went to the room and waited. It was their turn for longsuffering. They were obedient to the instructions of their Lord and were given the gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He came with might and power. He came with great authority and as Jesus said He would, He convicted the people of sin. Many were saved – 3,000 at time and the church of Jesus Christ grew in number and influence. They knew they had the free will choice to do stupid and purposeless things. They knew that they  could leave at any moment and return to their homes and to their jobs and wine vats. But they chose something different. They chose to hear the word and they received it well. Many of them gave their lives so that others could hear the news of Jesus Christ. And to this day it continues. That is the basic story of the gospel of Jesus Christ that is to be preached to all creatures to the ends of the earth.

And you thought Steven Spielberg could tell stories!

Jesus came to earth in a way that the people did not expect Him to. They were waiting for a ruler to restore their kingdom. Jesus told them His kingdom is not of this world. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit came in a way that they did not expect either. Who could prepare for such power? Have you ever spoken the word of God to someone and you knew there’ s no  way those words could have come from you? That was the Holy Spirit. It’s a kapow deal. A step up from the wall moment. But make no mistake, the Holy Spirit is Jesus, He is God and in that He is distinct. Crafty has his own distinctions and men have once again traded the truth for the lie and called it good. Catch that.

This is a simplified version, my having had no forethought on this at all! – and that is the point. It is simple. But, its such a crazy story  – not my retelling but the real complete unabridged one found in the bible.  And still some days, even though I believe and know that it is true I wonder why… or how. It is bizarre to my human, selfish mind why God would go and do the things He went and did. But, I think that’s the point.

Who else would do such a thing but God Himself?

splat right into the wall.

___

True it has been quite some time since I have written anything. I write this today in honor of Jesus Christ who is everything the bible claims He is. Today is the 1st anniversary of Steven’s death, my husband’s beautiful son. I write this in honor of Christ who does give us life abundant. In Him there is peace, there is joy and the hope of things to come when we see Him in the clouds on a day when there will be no more tears or sorrow or death. Then day when God makes all things new. He holds all our tears in a bottle, ya know?

Stir up the Gift of God

Mike Ratliff at Possessing the Treasure does some very good work. Here’s some I found last night – 🙂 Be Blessed!

Stir Up the Gift of God

April 12, 2010 — Mike Ratliff

by Mike Ratliff

13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:13-16 ESV)

The way the gospel is presented in our time is backward. It is focused incorrectly. Instead of focusing on what God has done for us who have nothing in and of ourselves to warrant it; the way the gospel is given ever since I can remember is to attempt to make it appealing as if people should decide to try Jesus for 30 or 60 days to see if He makes a difference. What a joke! What blasphemy! To be honest, the closer I get to the front lines in serving my Lord, the more our enemy attacks me. The more I suffer. The more problems I have. However, I do not serve my Lord to get away from that stuff. I serve Him for His glory and my Lord went to the Cross for me so how can I seek the easy way out here and now?

If a person wants Jesus for personal gain then they are seeking another Jesus, not the one I know. The one I know has given me something far more valuable than anything this world has to offer. I have eternal life in Him and no matter how bad the circumstances or attacks from our enemy or medical conditions I must bear in this life, I know that my part until it is over is to stir up the gift of God given to me by Him in order for me to serve Him to edify the Body of Christ and bring Him glory. Therefore, I open the Word of God and teach as He directs.

3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:3-7 ESV)

3 Χάριν ἔχω τῷ Θεῷ, ᾧ λατρεύω ἀπὸ προγόνων ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει, ὡς ἀδιάλειπτον ἔχω τὴν περὶ σοῦ μνείαν ἐν ταῖς δεήσεσί μου νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας, 4 ἐπιποθῶν σε ἰδεῖν, μεμνημένος σου τῶν δακρύων, ἵνα χαρᾶς πληρωθῶ, 5 ὑπόμνησιν λαμβάνων τῆς ἐν σοὶ ἀνυποκρίτου πίστεως, ἥτις ἐνῴκησε πρῶτον ἐν τῇ μάμμῃ σου Λωΐδι καὶ τῇ μητρί σου Εὐνίκῃ, πέπεισμαι δὲ ὅτι καὶ ἐν σοί. 6 δι᾿ ἣν αἰτίαν ἀναμιμνῄσκω σε ἀναζωπυρεῖν τὸ χάρισμα τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὅ ἐστιν ἐν σοὶ διὰ τῆς ἐπιθέσεως τῶν χειρῶν μου· 7 οὐ γὰρ ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν ὁ Θεὸς πνεῦμα δειλίας, ἀλλὰ δυνάμεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ σωφρονισμοῦ.  (2 Timothy 1:3-7 GNT)

Paul tells Timothy that he thanks God for him and his sincere faith, which was also evident in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Because Paul was confident in the sincerity of Timothy’s faith, in v6, he reminds him ἀναζωπυρεῖν  “to fire again to life” τὸ χάρισμα τοῦ Θεου “the gift of the God” ὅ ἐστιν ἐν σοὶ διὰ τῆς ἐπιθέσεως τῶν χειρῶν μου· “which is in you through the setting on of the hands of me.” For a summary of this event read 1 Timothy 4:13-16, which I placed at the top of this post.  Paul is urging Timothy to do what? The word ἀναζωπυρεῖν refers “to keeping the fires alive.” Timothy had received spiritual gifts to serve the Body of Christ. Paul is concerned here with Timothy’s gifts of preaching, teaching, and evangelizing. All believers are stewards of the God-given gifts given to them. It is sinful to let them fall into disuse.

In v7 Paul gives us a hint of why Timothy may have been not using his gifts as he should have been. The word Paul used here that is translated as “fear,” δειλίας, can also be translated “timidity” or “cowardice.” It denotes a cowardly, shameful fear caused by a weak, selfish character. Timothy could have become more timid as the threat of Roman persecution escalated. Also, the Ephesian church resented Timothy’s leadership. This coupled with the many attacks from false teachers could have overwhelmed him. Paul is telling Timothy here that if he is withdrawing in fear then this “Spirit of δειλίας” is not from God. Instead, God has given us the πνεῦμα δυνάμεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ σωφρονισμου, the spirit of power and of love and of sober mind (self-control).

Instead of being fearful, we have all the spiritual resources we need for every trial and threat. This does not mean we will not have problems, attacks, or threats, but that we will have the right resources from Him to meet them. The Love here, ἀγάπης, centers on pleasing God and seeking what is best for others before one’s self. The mind-set σωφρονισμου is actually the opposite of fear and cowardice. The spirit of fear causes disorder and confusion. This spirit does the opposite. Why? It focuses on the sovereign nature and perfect purposes of our eternal God. Why is this important? When we more fully understand the sovereignty of God and surrender to it in more and more of our lives, the more godly wisdom and confidence in every situation we will have because we will be fully in line with Him and His will instead of being tossed in every direction by our circumstances.

How do we fan into flames the gift given to us by God that He gave us to enable us to serve the Body of Christ and bring Him glory? We must reject the πνεῦμα δειλίας, the spirit of fear, while embracing the πνεῦμα δυνάμεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ σωφρονισμου, the spirit of power and of love and of sober mind. We reject what is not from God and embrace that that we know is from God. This is huge. I suffer from a seizure disorder. Its worsening has coincided almost exactly with God’s elevation of this ministry. I have had several seizures since this condition returned in September last year. In fact, I had one just a week ago. I became spiritually fearful. I was bold when I wrote and taught, but the rest of the time I was not doing so well. I saw a picture of myself holding my grandson last week. It was about three days after the seizure. I looked haunted or worried. What has changed? I had a long talk with my brother about spiritual things. We talked about the spirit of fear and what this does to the boldness of those in ministry. I discovered that my physical symptoms had actually gotten worse. I felt awful. I felt all bound up. He, my wife, my daughter, my son-in-law, and my mother all laid hands on me last week and prayed for the spirit of fear to be gone. My brother did pray for my healing, that I would have no more seizures. That would be awesome, but I am celebrating the fact that the joy of Lord is most certainly back. I am no longer all bound up. The spirit of fear is gone. The boldness I have now is now also accompanied by a joy that is profound. The gift given to me by God has been fanned into flames!

8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. (2 Timothy 1:8-12 ESV)

The more God uses us in the Kingdom, the more we will be partakers in the suffering for the gospel by the power of God. This is just the way it is. Notice that our salvation and our calling are for God’s purposes not ours nor are they according to our works. When we have this mindset, we can endure anything.

Soli Deo Gloria!