Sunday, February 21, 2010

ZEALOUS For the NAME of the LORD

I have a confession to make: I'm very angry these days! You might think, 'What James? Angry? But you're a Christian! Christians aren't supposed to be angry, but remain steadfastly in a state of joy and peace, right?'

Aside from the fact that the LORD Jesus got angry in the Temple, when He saw the corruption that was there, and the religious authorities were actually the ones impeding true worship from taking place; and the fact that scripture does say:

EPH. 4:26
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath 

And in Proverbs it has this to say about angry people -
Prov 29:22, 24
An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:

So its wise that we not associate with such that have uncontrollable tempers, and seem to always be angry. However, there is a time and a place for anger or righteous indignation just so long as it is righteous, and it doesn't lead to sin.

So what has me so worked up? We'll get to that in a bit, but before we do, I'd like to talk about religion in the Judaic system established by God in the Old Testament (particularly the Pentateuch), that is, the ways of the LORD and about man-made religion.

The ways of the LORD in the beginning was very simple; God came and had fellowship with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening, there in the Garden of Eden. In this love relationship there was just one rule (a one rule 'religion', if you will): don't eat the forbidden fruit! That would be the proof of their faithfulness, devotion and love for their Creator.

Not that there was anything inherently sinful in the fruit of that tree, any more than the fruit of any other tree, I'm quite sure. It was in the disobedience of God's command that Adam and his wife sinned. Once they discovered that what Satan had promised the woman, that they would be "like gods, knowing good and evil", and a means to acquire wisdom (GEN 3:5-6) was a lie. When they had transgressed the Law of God, they then took it upon themselves to sew fig leaves together and make aprons in order to cover their own nakedness.

They attempted to create a means to cover their sins using their own wits and ingenuity, and here is the first example of man-made religion!

God came along and after questioning and dealing with the two of them, made coats of lamb skins; it must have been astonishing and dismaying to Adam and Eve to see something die (for the first time) and see its blood shed! The price for sin against God meant someone had to pay for such a spiritual debt! Here was the lesson that they learned, for the offering to atone for sin, blood must be shed.

Then there was the scene with their two sons, Cain and Abel. No doubt the spiritual lesson of the parents would have been taught to their kids, and so Abel and Cain would know about blood sacrifices for sin.

Yet when these two men made their offerings, Cain's was refused, for it was an offering of grain, which of course was without blood. One question that's been posed before: How did they know which offering was accepted and which was not? Did a holy fire come down out of heaven and consume the sacrifice much like in the day when Elijah challenged the prophets of Ba'al? That's a question I should like to ask Abel when I see him in heaven!

Interesting to note that in both of these instances, vegetative growth was used rather than the blood (from the meat) of animals in order to present an offering for sin!

Propelling into the future at break neck speed, we come to the deliverance of Israel from bondage in Egypt, and to the Mount of the LORD and the giving of the Law from God to Moses. He was up there for a long time apparently, and the people of Israel grew restless.

They decided to make a golden calf(s) and proclaimed that "these be your gods"! to the children of Israel. See EXOD 32:7-8. More false religion. The LORD didn't take too kindly to this horrendous infraction against His Holiness, and it brought down His righteous indignation! Even Moses, meekest man in all the Earth was full of wrath against these people prone to sin!

The Tabernacle (the design of which was given to Moses as well, at the giving of the Law) was erected once again during the time of their voyage to Israel, and every thing connected with the Tabernacle and worship of God was carefully prescribed by the LORD; He gave them explicit instructions on how, where and why they were to worship the LORD, even right down to the incense and the sort of altars they were to be built.

In LEV 10:1-6 we see how the LORD dealt with the sons of Aaron who took it upon themselves to light a 'strange fire' which the LORD did not ordain! Those two men were slain by the fire of the LORD for their misconduct! God takes it VERY, VERY seriously how He is to be approached, worshipped and represented before the people of God!

In EXOD 20:25 it states:
And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

The LORD Jesus Christ is referred to as 'the ROCK' in scripture, as well as that 'stone cut without hands'. I find it interesting then, that if any sacrifice is made on an altar of stone, its not to be of hewn stone, but natural; in other words any changing of the rock's appearance through human effort would pollute it and any sacrifice offered upon it.

God will not accept any human design, imagination, efforts in works or elaborate religious creations in regards to the justification He Himself provides for the salvation of mankind!

In NUM 25:1-11 There is an account where Israel committed whoredoms with the pagan nation of Moab (this seduction was performed by the counsels of Balaam, who advised Balak to have the Moabite women go into the camp of Israel and lure their men); in the throes of erotic passions, the Moabite women would bring out their idols, and they would pay homage to these false gods.

This wasn't even done under cover of darkness, nor behind the backs of Moses and Aaron; note vs. 6:

And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Because of this, a plague from the LORD broke out among the children of Israel, but it was suddenly stopped. How? Did they have an ecumenical meeting with Baalpeor and the leadership of that nation? Did they have a consensus and seek out common beliefs so that they could dialogue and come to a mutually agreeable belief system whereby they could join together and form a peaceful religious association so that they might better their world?

No. Read in vs. 7-8:

And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.

Harsh action? Cruel punishment? An unjust deed?

Listen to what the LORD had to say about this!

NUM 25:10-13
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.

Because one man had the zeal, the love for, and awesome reverence for the LORD and His Holy Name, he took it upon himself to stand up for righteousness and bring a stop to the whoredoms and spiritual adultery that had infested the camp of Israel. He slew those who were guilty of High Treason against the LORD GOD Almighty, Creator and Judge of all the Earth! For that, the plague ceased at the command of the LORD, and He blessed Phinehas!

Much later, after the reign of King David, and his immediate successor, Solomon, the nation of Israel found itself divided into two separate houses, that is, the house of Israel, and the house of Judah, and these two houses of the divided kingdom were at odds with one another. The house of Israel fell into idolatry and was eventually judged; Judah remained faithful at first and intermittently afterwards, but later they likewise succumbed to idolatry and left the living God for the false gods of the pagan nations around them. Both houses were judged and carried away to Babylon in the days of Daniel the prophet.

Yet generations prior to this point, God sent prophets (Isaiah, and Jeremiah to name two of them) to warn and to plead with the people of Israel (the nation) to return to the LORD, and not forsake His Law; to return to Jerusalem and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, and not to seek out Bethel in the northern region of the house of Israel (Bethel was a city established as an alternate to Jerusalem where people could worship YHWH as well as the other gods of the pagan nations). The LORD didn't take too kindly to having to share His people in their affections for other gods!

Amos 5:5-6
But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.

In the days wherein the LORD Jesus Himself walked the streets of Galilee and Jerusalem, the Pharisees were exulting in the Law as though they could work out their salvation by their own efforts, and attempt a justification by the Law! Yet the purpose of the Law was to reveal our sinful hearts in light of the Holiness of God's Law!

This is why the LORD Jesus was so angry with these religious leaders! They were perverting the Word of God, the Law, and using both towards their own selfish ends of monetary gain, and the reception of reverence from others. Read MATT ch. 23 to read the rebukes of Love Incarnate towards these religious leaders!

The church has been born, grown, established now for about two thousands years, and in today's current world, the situation is the same!

The WORD of God has been altered, polluted by the heinous hewing away of scriptural truth by liberal scholars and their hammers and chisels of blasphemy.

New Age and Emergent church organizations and groups are likewise taking away or adding to the WORD of God in the creation of a pseudo-Christian religion!

Dialogues between so-called Christian leaders and all other world religions are seeking harmony, focusing on common ground and a mutual consensus whereby they can tackle and solve global problems such as poverty, hunger, global warming, etc. and claim that THIS is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about?? These leaders of 'the church' are encouraging meditative practices that are not only unbiblical, but born of occult wisdom from the very same ancient cultures which God had judged in days gone by!

Instead of the LORD Jesus Christ being revered and worshipped, there's talk among such people about the 'Christ-consciousness' and the worship of false Christs as well as themselves!

Instead of the Body of Christ, there is the world church comprised of pseudo-Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, animists, nature worshippers, etc.

Instead of the WORD of GOD there is a homogenized amalgam of globally spiritual beliefs and world views, that are primarily Hinduism at its core.

Instead of prayer there is mysticism; also contemplative prayer, a euphemism for mantra meditation, a totally Hindu concept.

Instead of transgression of GOD's Holy Law being called sin, its the failure of recognizing the divine within ourselves, and our lack of self esteem and adhering to old, out-dated belief systems (like the Bible) that's being called sin.

Instead of repentance from sin and towards God, the repentance of today is understanding the failure to recognize our full potential, and in dwelling too much about 'pie in the sky in the by in bye' heavenly mindedness that we become no earthly good, and lack commitment towards a global P.E.A.C.E. plan!

Instead of the preaching of the Gospel for salvation and being born again in Christ, there are mystical meetings where people gather in order to become 'enlightened' to the truth that God is in all, and thus we are part of God and really... we ARE God!

If this isn't enough to cause me to become angry (and it most certainly IS!), there is the added effrontery that comes from pastors and Christian leaders who not only keep silent in their protests against these things, but who actually voice their approval and praise! They're commending the very things that they should be condemning!


WHY are they not teaching about and exposing the LIES and HERESIES of these movements?!!

WHY are they focused on building their own fiefdoms and kingdoms within the four walls of their own high-tech, seeker friendly, popular and prosperous sanctuaries?!

WHY are they carrying on in such a happy-go-lucky, "isn't our church wonderful?" Laodicean mood when these heretical dogmas, doctrines of demons, seducing spirits, and apostate leaders are creeping in and infesting the body of Christ with this plague of paganism?!


Heed the words of Jesus Himself:

LUKE 18:8b
...Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

And for these pastors and Christian leaders, does this aptly fit as a rebuke to any of them? Hear the LORD's lament and scathing declaration through Isaiah the prophet:

ISAIAH 56:10
His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

Note, these watchmen are blind... not seeing, perceiving, understanding the very dangers they should be warning our congregations about! They love spiritual slumber, ease, comfort and don't want to be bothered about controversy in the world that is narrowing its aim upon the church. They are bent on their own gain, greedy but never having enough, selfishly motivated and careless regarding the sheep.

See also EZEK 34:1-10

Who among God's faithful churches will stand in this terribly sad day of apostasy, and will remain true to the LORD, even if it means losing their tax exempt status, even if it means government fines, even if it means losing their church building because they refuse to comply with a government sanctioned DEPARTMENT of PEACE edict (potentially what's in store in our future -- an article at The TRUTH Under FIRE)

...even if it means a prison sentence, even if it means losing one's own life here in America the once-free nation, upon which God had shed His grace.

May the LORD raise up such an army of dedicated saints who will wage no war against flesh and blood, but only against principalities and powers of wickedness that are gaining a greater strangle hold on this world as well as the church at large.

UPDATE- 10/26/10: In addition to this admonition, I have also included this fiery, holy message by Leonard Ravenhill: ZEAL, LOVE ABLAZE.

Prayerfully yours,
brother James FIRE


Tony Kiar said...

2 Cor 5:10 "10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."

God will not be fooled - what men sow they will reap - and for some it will be terrible and for others the Day of the Lord will be relief, release and reality finally.

Tony Kiar said...

What messengers will dare to go into the dark places to bring the Light of hope? Those that preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ can and do go into places of despair and devastation. They bring a message that gives comfort and hope to despairing people. The pain isn't dulled or denied but made bearable by introducing the Presence of the One who has been through it and overcame it. Honest preachers will walk into dark places not because they aren't afraid but because they believe Jesus is greater than the darkness of death. They are convicted! They bring the Word of conviction to a sick dying world.