Sunday, January 30, 2011

If I tell you a lie, can we still be friends?

Part 1

This question became the jest of what the prophets of Jeremiah’s time would suggest to the people of Israel. This is the question that I present to you today in light of the truth of matters of our time. The problem of Jeremiah’s time was that the self proclaimed prophets of Israel had taken upon themselves to be the spokesman for Jehovah God. Well, it turns out that their great God Jehovah had indeed not given any such sayings to them to give to the people but instead, claimed that all they said had come from the LORD and this was the “burden of the LORD”. The LORD was angered at their preposterous audacity in assuming they could speak for Almighty God without permission. Instead, Jehovah God motivated His Man, Jeremiah, and had him to speak out against the lying prophets of Israel.
Turn with me in your Bible’s to the Book of Jeremiah, chapter 23 and starting with verse 9. At this point I want to encourage you as you read, to read slowly and pay special attention to what the LORD is saying here. I have to admit, this is no light reading, and it is very intense. This is very important that we don’t misunderstand the point. The Sword of Truth from the Prophet Jeremiah reads:

“Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness. For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right. For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? Who hath marked his word, and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? Saith the LORD. I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? Saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? Saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, what is the burden of the LORD? Thou shalt then say unto them, what burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people that shall say, the burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, what hath the LORD answered? And, what hath the LORD spoken? And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, what hath the LORD answered thee? And, what hath the LORD spoken? But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD; Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence: And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.” Jeremiah 23:9-40

As we can see in the Scripture, these lying prophets, preachers, and scribes, really crossed the line and angered the LORD JEHOVAH to the point that any word that came from their mouths was considered profane. These prophets were not capable of telling the truth and God warned every one of them if they continued, Jehovah God would utterly destroy them, and their house, and their city. As we can see, these accusations were very serious and carried with them the upmost catastrophic set of circumstances anyone could imagine. The real problem is that no one really knows just what Almighty God is capable of doing. Let’s face it, when God turns loose a whirlwind on a town, people just cannot believe that God had anything to do with it even when God warns us He will in fact perform it! But let’s face the truth, who really takes God at His WORD?

For quite some time now, the LORD has been dealing with my heart as I have been studying the Book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament. To give somewhat of an explanation of this message, the prophet Jeremiah was chosen to go to all Israel and warn of the coming judgment and captivity of the nation in the public places, especially the King’s Palace. Jeremiah warned that if they did not turn from worshiping idols, which in fact were placed in the Temple along with Jehovah God, the true and living God of Israel, Jehovah would become angry and destroy all they had and were and sending the residue into captivity of the enemy at that time. No doubt, this mind boggling message was a drastic measure and Jeremiah was chosen by God to carry the brunt of it to the public. I believe the importance of the message is brought in the light by the intensity of the punishment to be incurred if it is not adhered too, promptly. As I look at this situation with Jeremiah and his people and wonder, if God in His wisdom deals with His people in this manner, who are we in this day to go about our business taking a nonchalant attitude towards God the Father and His Son, Jesus, the Church (not the buildings but the born-again people of God), his work, and most important of all, our daily walk with Him? We just don’t realize the dangerous ground upon which we walk each day. In fact, we don’t understand who we are really dealing with until we see how God dealt with His chosen of the Old Testament times. I know in my heart God is love, and merciful, but this isn’t always the way He reveals himself to us. The problem lies in our very own hearts. The Lord enlightens us to the reality if we stray and ignore the warnings that are sent, there is nothing left to do but carry the brunt of chastisement. This warning is brought forth in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Hebrews.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:5-11

But, they didn’t take heed and God sent His messenger as a gracious move towards His people by sending Jeremiah unto them as a token of love and carefulness dealing with a stiff-necked and rebellious people.

Today, I feel led by the Holy Spirit of God to come forward and proclaim that God will visit us if we don’t forsake this world and the lusts that is in it. But, the message isn’t only directed towards the flock, but also the pastors and priests of our time. By this I mean that God is sending a warning for those that pervert the Gospel and blatantly lie to the church (flock) as to make merchandise of them. Yes, I am accusing them of lying to the flock of God to gain an advantage of them and exploit them to protect their personal interests, such as their livelihood and social standing. We have in our presence the old ways of false prophets of Jeremiah’s time right here with us today. Many pastors of today are not saved by grace but are presenting themselves as angels of light, messengers of God, and preach another Gospel; weaving their web of deception of health, wealth, and prosperity gospel, to the flock. At this juncture, I am going to take the liberty and list some of the most common of deceptions perpetrated from the pulpit today. If you recognize any of these and know personally of whom is preaching or teaching this strange doctrine, mark them and run from them as to save yourselves when God’s judgment comes upon them and their kind.

Falsehood number One:

There is a favorite verse of Scripture that is misquoted on many occasions and it goes like this:

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

Yes, this verse is one of many misquoted verses in the Bible and it is used in such a manner as to make one believe anyone and everyone can be saved just by saying the magic word, LORD SAVE ME. This false doctrine is known as “easy believeism”, without a doubt, a fundamentalist scam. There is no doubt this is Scripture, but in reality, Scripture taken out of context. Satan used this same old trick in the Garden with Eve. In fact, God will save you, but there has to be some dynamics to have occurred previously in order for this verse to have any power. First of all, God’s very own Holy Spirit has to be present and wooing the prospective converts. The long and short of it all is that, if God isn’t in the witnessing, teaching, praying, and preaching, it is all in vain. It is called “religion and denomination dogma” and here is the proof. From a personal perspective, I know this to be true because I was taught this from a very early age.

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:35-40

“Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life.” John 6:43-48

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” John 6:63-66

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

As we read and perceive what the Scripture is really saying, we can attain that there is a prerequisite to salvation, the presence of the Holy Spirit of God. In reality, the Gospel of John comes before the Book of Romans and there is a reason for that order. Quite precisely, the prerequisite of salvation is first gaining an understanding of just who it is that is calling. The entire Gospel of John deals with the LORD JESUS, God’s Christ, and just who he is. If someone was continually calling you and you could not identify that person, would it not be in vain? In essence, God in His wisdom sends His Holy Spirit to do His bidding and begins to woo and work in the hearts and minds of those that receive the truth of the WORD of GOD. The truth is that if anyone who really wants to know who it is that is calling on their heart, you need not look any further than the Gospel of John.

Pastors, preachers, evangelists, and even lay people, of our time are guilty of misquoting this Scripture and ignore the possibility that the Holy Spirit of God is not even in the room, let alone the thought of dealing with a sinner that is unrepentant, prideful, and stiff-necked, in their wicked ways. These so called pastors, teachers, and evangelists, are getting the proverbial horse before the cart, so to speak. They are guilty of preaching another gospel which leads to false professions of faith. Many times I have witnessed people coming forward to confess they were just playing the part of a Christian and until now was never saved. God is merciful! This false teaching produces false Christians and therefore religious worship that Satan can control from the inside out. Such is the product of “easy believeism”.