Wednesday, January 4, 2012

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All too often, present day pastors shrink from preaching the full measure of God’s Word, preferring to speak only about the portions of the Word that would be less confrontational and less likely to stir up feelings of uneasiness or even conviction of sin in our lives. This results in creating a weak body of Christ that seeks to be fed only that which contributes to a “feel good,” or “I’m okay, you’re okay” attitude. Conversely, when I was little, I can remember sermons that made clear the reality of suffering in Hell for eternity for those who reject Christ and choose to continually and willingly disobey God. God’s love was preached, but also His wrath and judgment was also taught. There must be a proportional and balanced understanding of both of these attributes of God’s nature if we are to be truly equipped with the kind of faith that will “endure to the end, even unto death.” We are truly representative of the Laodicean Church of the latter days as described in the Book of Revelations, desiring to hear only those things that
“tickle our ears.” No wonder we have become a body of believers that lacks the power to live lives that visibly give evidence of the holiness and righteousness of the Christ that we profess to believe in and follow. Yet we can not blame this lack of light and salt in our lives entirely upon our pastors, for we are held responsible for our own lack of commitment to study the word of God for ourselves in order to become that ‘workman that need not be ashamed.”

A couple of weeks ago, I felt blessed to receive a teaching by John Hagee that did not shrink from giving a more balanced view of what God truly requires and desires of us if we truly seek to know His will and do that which is pleasing in His sight. I took notes and also added some of my own thoughts and reflections that I now to seek to share with the reader, in hopes that it will help bring light and understanding to others. Even more importantly, I pray that it will inspire others to delve more into the Word of God to draw closer to Him. The following are the notes I took from the sermon:

[I Samuel 15: 23- “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as idolatry.” Rebellion is the rejection of the righteous authority of God. Who is the stubborn person? That person is one who will not change his mind or his ways even when the word of God has shed light upon that which is wrong. Why, because then one’s own opinions, or intellectual concepts, have become more valid than the word and wisdom of God, thus making one’s own opinions idols in one’s life. If I choose to hold my own opinions and thoughts in higher regard than my regard for the truth of the word of God, I am then in the state of idolatry to myself. This is intellectual idolatry.

The cardinal mark of a rebel is one who continually finds fault with God’s authority. The Christian is to strive to willingly subject himself (mind, body, and spirit) totally to the will of God. We are to willingly serve God and submit to Him, seeking to be led by the authority of the word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. To subject ourselves to authority of anything or anyone else is to walk in rebellion against God.
We are reminded to acknowledge and equate rebellion as being equal to the sin of witchcraft. Witchcraft is practicing or exerting intimidation and manipulation for the purpose of dominating or controlling another.]

My own further thought upon Pastor Hagee’s sermon led me to read and study further the proper order of the church as described in the Bible which teaches that God has delegated the teaching of His word to His body on Earth via others like preachers, teachers, and various other leaders, but always with the realization that we are never to walk blindly without discernment provided by His word and His Holy Spirit. For example, Pastor Hagee warned against such things as persons who seek to tell others that they must always go to a particular leader before making any decisions, etc. This is not proper delegation of God’s authority, but lies instead within the realm of witchcraft.

We are warned not to receive any other gospel than the gospel of the Biblical Christ and gospel. There are those that seek to water-down, distort, and pervert the word of God and change the Christ into just a prophet, or good teacher, or good man rather than the one and only Son of God. Today there are numerous other gospels being preached, and the Jesus of the Bible is being changed so much that the biblical Jesus is not even known by many who profess to follow Him. Rebellion, witchcraft, deception can only exist in our lives in the measure that is often allowed by ourselves as we refuse to study and subject ourselves to the Lordship of the one true and living God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If it were not possible for believers to be deceived, He would not have told us “Be not deceived.”

God is not a tyrant; neither did he create us to be mindless robots. We can choose to acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior, accepting His righteous authority over our lives, or we can choose to walk in rebellion exalting ourselves to the position of god in our life. God or Self,
the choice is one or the other. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye can not serve God and mammon (wealth, property, earthly treasure). Mathew 6: 24.

Ginger Rahn


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