Do you test what is being taught in the church against the Word of God? Or, do you have a tendency to believe what you hear, because it sounds good?
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 1 John 4:1-3 ESV
Much of today’s church, at least here in America, has united with the flesh of mankind, via their partnership with the government, via turning the church into man-made businesses (corporations), and via uniting with the world of sin through compromises with the flesh, through adopting man-made religion and humanistic teaching, and by diluting the gospel message to make it more appealing to the world and to the flesh of humans.
The offspring of this unity of church and flesh are sheep born of the flesh of man, not of the Spirit of God. They are false sheep, flesh sheep, who were won over by (birthed of) a false grace gospel. They are forcing the Word of God in the way of this flesh-driven church and flesh-driven gospel. And, they are very good at what they do, too, i.e. they are very clever and skilled in their arguments, and know how to misuse the scriptures effectively to their advantage, in order to support their case, and to win over converts.
These false (of the flesh) sheep think they are in union with Christ, when they are not. For, this false grace gospel gives a wrong perception of God’s grace and of his salvation. The “deliverance” that these false sheep believe, and thus teach, is of the flesh, not of the Spirit; it is natural, not supernatural. It does not deliver from slavery to sin, but it leaves its followers still in bondage (addiction) to sin. It thinks God’s grace is merely forgiveness of sin and of its punishment, and is the promise of heaven when we die. But, it forgets that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; to deliver us out of slavery to sin, not just to forgive the sin.
Yet, the Word of God is veiled, it is hidden from those who are still walking in darkness, according to the flesh, because they are blinded to the truth. These flesh sheep believe their salvation is sealed, no matter how they live their lives, and that they will never come under the judgment of God. But, they will be overtaken like by a thief in the night, because they are not in Christ, and because they are not spiritually prepared for what is coming.
We Are Testing
So, we test this false grace gospel via the Word of God, in context. For, many false faiths result from removing scriptures from their context and making them say what people want them to say, to support what they want to believe. They often ignore the bulk of teaching on salvation, on the grace of God, and on eternal life with God, unless it agrees with them, too.
We use the Word of God, thus, to look inside this flesh-driven church with its flesh-driven gospel, which is resulting in disciples of the flesh, not of Christ. And, we examine what is going on there in the name of Jesus Christ. We see what is being fed the children there, i.e. both the true sheep and the false sheep; both sheep born of the Spirit and sheep born of the flesh. We see that they are not teaching repentance (death to sin) or obedience (following Jesus Christ in obedience with our lives).
Since there is no death to sin, there is no deliverance from slavery to sin, and since there is no obedience, there is also no living to righteousness, but yet for these purposes Jesus died. The offspring of this union of flesh and church are not delivered from slavery to sin, but are left still with their sinful addictions. Thus, this false grace gospel also separates its adherents from their eternal inheritance which they think they have, but which could be theirs through genuine faith in Jesus Christ, which involves dying with Christ to sin and living with Christ, in newness of life, to his righteousness.
You Have Overcome
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:4-6 ESV
Because the flesh-driven church is teaching this false grace gospel, what they are teaching is at the cost of truth. Truth is taking a hit, and is being sacrificed and compromised by those who are promoting a false grace, which then leaves people still enslaved to sin, and it separates them from their eternal inheritance with God in heaven.
But, the truth will triumph! It will overcome! We don’t have to fear what humans may do. God’s Word will remain steadfast forever while all these lies of men will perish with them. The Word of God holds its own. It stands the test of time. It maintains its integrity. It will not be proven false. It will not be compromised. It will prevail. The truth will prevail!
The Word of God makes ready the people of God for the dark hour to come upon the earth. It does not teach “peace, peace,” when there is no peace. It delivers them, not just from the penalty of sin, but from slavery (addiction) to sin, and it frees them to walk in holiness and righteousness, and from walking according to the flesh.
The Lord has many servants of righteousness who are proclaiming the truth of the gospel in order to drive it home to people’s hearts. Amen! They are overcoming the attacks of the enemy against the truth of God’s Word, and are even prevailing over personal attacks against themselves. And, they are combatting Satan’s lies and this false grace gospel with the Word of Truth.
Yet, even the opposing forces against them are being used by God to drive them to the Father, toward holiness and godliness, and to put within them a passion for exposing the lies and for proclaiming the truth. What Satan means for evil in their lives, in order to defeat them, God is using in their lives to motivate them to examine what is being taught, to bring the lies into the light of truth, and to get the truth out to the people.
We Have Confidence
God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:16a-19 ESV
The antichrist surely is coming. He is already here, among us. He has been conquering peoples, nations, governments and Christians. He has been waging war with the world and with followers of Christ and with the true gospel of Jesus Christ. He has been killing, raping, confiscating property not his own, destroying, lying, betraying, and taking over other nations. The total rule of this beast is on its way. This has been in the works even before the creation of the world. This has all been predetermined by God and will take place in his timing, and according to his schedule.
What this will mean for us is a time of great hardship, persecution, difficulties, loss of homes, finances, properties and homeland, forced evacuations, and the like. And, we need to be spiritually prepared. We need to be watching. This will be a time of great testing. The Word of God is saying to get ready to forsake the comfortable, and it is teaching us that we should already have forsaken this union with the unholy, with the ungodly, with this false grace gospel, and with its false hope, and that we should not return to it. But, we should stand watch, and stand on the truth.
I do believe the Word of God teaches that during this time of testing on the earth that the bride of Christ, the church, will make herself ready for her Lord’s return. The Lord, through testing, will purify her heart and refine her and will revive her. I believe that during this time, as the gospel is spread throughout the world, that many will turn their hearts to the Lord, too.
So, we need to be standing watch, and standing on the Word of Truth, so that when this time comes we are not caught off guard, and we are not easily shaken, but we will have confidence in our Lord. God will use this time to teach us His Ways and His Truth, and the result will be true deliverance from slavery to sin for many of those who are still walking in darkness. They will now walk in the Spirit and in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. Amen!
It Is Well with My Soul
H. G. Spafford / P. P. Bliss
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well; it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul,
It is well; it is well with my soul.
Thursday, February 15, 2018, 5:03 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word.