THREE AREAS OF WORSHIP THAT NULLIFY THE CHRISTIAN WITNESS
Copyright © 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. Used by permission.
There are three areas of worship that nullify the Christian witness: the worship of our physical body; the worship of the things of the world; the worship of the ability to control ourselves, other people, and our circumstances.
Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. (Revelation 11:7,8)
Let us think about the first area of worship, that of our physical body.
The worship of our body may take the form of excessive interest in our health, or our appearance. There is nothing wrong with moderate interest, and we should dress as appropriately as we can and take care of our health.
But the adoration of our health or our appearance can go to extremes.
Then there is the question of sexual lust. Sexual lust is a major destructive force in America at this time. There is the molestation of children, which is widespread. There is rape. Outstanding leaders in the military, in education, in politics, sometimes fall in disgrace because they cannot control their lusts.
Teacher-student improper moral relationships in the elementary and secondary schools lead to disgrace and prison terms.
In America, overeating is common. Obesity is a national concern.
All forms of alcohol, drugs, smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and the chewing of tobacco, defile the temple of God—the human body.
In our country there is an epidemic of sexually-transmitted diseases. AIDS is responsible for numerous disabilities and deaths.
A major topic in America in the present hour is homosexual behavior and marriage. People who reverence the Bible as being the very Word of God will never accept homosexual behavior and marriage no matter how widely such conduct is approved by the secular community.
There are weird sexual practices that result in disease. It is not unlikely that in the future the pathogens that cause sexually-transmitted diseases will develop resistance to the medical treatments that currently are effective.
In any case, the various areas of the worship of our body will nullify our testimony of Christ and God. No one is going to believe the witness of someone on drugs, or who is drunk, or who is bound with inappropriate or illegal sexual practices. All such behavior nullifies the Christian witness.
The second area of worship that nullifies our Christian testimony is a love for and trust in the things of the world.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. (I John 2:15,16)
In the passage above we have the three areas of worship: the worship of our physical body; the worship of the things of the world; and the worship of the desire to control ourselves, other people, and our circumstances.
Paul wrote that if we are to prove the will of God for ourselves we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind. One of the greatest tools of Satan in the United States, tools that war against the renewing of our mind in the Lord, are the electronic games.
Electronic games may appear to us to be harmless. They are anything but that. Young people, and some adults, spend hours each day playing with electronic games.
In what way are electronic games harmful? First, they occupy a great deal of time—time that could be spent in more constructive manners. The Bible commands us to redeem the time, that is, to take advantage of every second we have been given, to do what the Lord is directing us to do.
Second, electronic games often are devoted to violence, sometimes with occult or sexual overtones. To the people of the world these games appear to be harmless—much less harmful than some other practices in the American society.
But to the disciple of the Lord Jesus, electronic games are not harmless. They are a satanic device to keep our mind away from Christ, away from knowing God's will for ourselves.
We are approaching the climax of the war against evil. It is God against Satan; Christ against Antichrist; the False Prophet against the Holy Spirit of God.
No person, young or old, is going to be able to stand in the Presence of the Lord, or know the mind of God for himself or herself, who is occupied with electronic games.
But should we refrain from them altogether? Absolutely! They are fascinating. To indulge one's self in electronic games can be as harmful spiritually as alcohol or drugs. They are addictive. It is not a case of just playing with them a little. Every moment spent on them is a moment lost for Christ, as far as the Christian is concerned.
Am I teaching that a child cannot go to a fair or circus and play the games that are there? Not at all. But to play games for hours each day of the week is obviously not what the Lord Jesus has in mind for a young person.
Every day that goes by the developers of electronic games are making them more fascinating, more interesting. It is not that what is presented is so terribly wicked. It is that devotion to electronic games prevents the person from having the sharp edge of awareness of the will of Christ at every moment of his or her life.
One simply cannot successfully live by the Life of the Lord Jesus and play with electronic games. If we are to stand in the coming days of moral and physical chaos in America, we are going to have to practice living by the Life of Jesus Christ.
Electronic games are of the world, not of the Father. Whoever loves them does not have the love of the Father in him or her.
Concerning love for the things of the world, on one occasion I heard a Christian lady say to the effect, "I have to have nice things." I think she would not do well in some of the villages of Africa where cattle urine is used to make the dirt floor smooth.
There is in America a worship of material wealth. This worship has nullified our Christian testimony as far as the Muslim world is concerned.
We in America do not realize it, but we already are worshiping the antichrist world spirit of buying and selling. We are looking to the world for pleasure, for entertainment, for security, for survival. We may say we trust in God, but our actions, even the actions of supposedly Christian people, show that our trust is in the world, not in God.
The murderous actions of some of the Muslim extremists convince me that they are not worshiping the true God, the God of Heaven. Yet they despise the American people because of the immodesty of our women and our fascination with riches and luxury. Our worldliness has nullified any influence the American Christians might otherwise have had on the Muslim population.
Money is one of the major American gods, along with sexual lust. Money is, as the Apostle Paul said, the root of all evil. We can see that in the newspaper where so many crimes have the desire for money as their basis.
We yet may come to a financial crisis in America. You can imagine the social chaos if people do not have enough money to meet their needs and desires. Some will commit suicide. Others will resort to robbery. There may be a rash of murders. We can say what we will, the truth is we look to money instead of to God for our survival, safety, and security.
From what impressions I have had of the spirit world, money does not exist. How goods and services are transferred I do not know, but money is not involved. You can see immediately, that if our life revolves around acquiring money instead of looking to the Lord Jesus for all things, we are not preparing ourselves for the day in which we pass into the world of Christ.
The evangelists on the radio and television constantly beg for money. This emphasis has nullified their Christian witness. Numerous American people have become cynical concerning the Gospel message because of the incessant begging for money on the part of the Christian ministry.
That God would ask someone to start a work, and then not provide the necessary money so the minister has to beg, seems to me unreasonable. Perhaps it was not God who instituted the work in the first place. Or perhaps the minister is not waiting on the Lord to hear how Christ will provide.
It appears that the world is heading toward some sort of international crisis. There are revolutions on every hand. As communication devices proliferate, the underprivileged people in the poorer nations can see what life is like in the richer countries.
I personally am far from being a Socialist, but I believe that we of the United States could have done much more for poorer countries. Of course, when we try, the schemers in those countries end up with the money that was meant to better the condition of people with starving children.
I realize that graft and corruption make the sharing of wealth difficult. But it could be done if a strong enough effort was made.
God sees the worship of money in the United States, as well as the aborting of children, sexual excesses, and gender confusion. Therefore He is withdrawing His protection from our country. Anyone with eyes can see that nature itself is protesting our presence, with the tornadoes, fires, and other disasters. Also, God is raising up enemies against us, just as He did during the history of Israel.
If God punished Israel as severely as He has, I think we can expect a Gentile holocaust because of our worship of the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
Remember, the Israelites are the only people God has chosen. We Americans are gentiles. It is true that God has added to His chosen nation the Americans who really are genuine, cross-bearing disciples of the Lord Jesus. However, even they must draw closer to Jesus than they are now if they are to survive the Divine judgment approaching our country.
If we are a genuine Christian, we are a citizen of another country—Heaven. We also are citizens of the United States, and we must honor that citizenship. America has been a great nation because of the number of true Christians among its citizenry.
But abominations are taking place among us. People are knowingly worshiping Satan. Gods new to our shores are being introduced. Life in our country is becoming, to a certain extent, an orgy of sexual activity, drunkenness, and the selfish hoarding of wealth.
The unbelievers may scorn such a viewpoint, but the day will come when they face Jesus Christ. They will not be so scornful then!
Now we come to the third area of worship, that of desiring to control ourselves, other people, and our circumstances.
I have been writing for many years, as issues have resolved themselves in my mind. I always have been aware of this third area, the problem of self-will. Self-will in many instances is more destructive even than the worship of the physical body and involvement in the antichrist world system.
The original human sin occurred when neither Eve nor Adam asked God concerning the counsel of the serpent. God was walking in the garden, immediately available to them. Yet they elected to rely on their own wisdom.
I think we must have inherited from Adam and Eve that decision to rely on our own wisdom. The ensuing 6000 years of the history of mankind reveal that very, very few people—even religious leaders—look to God for His solution to the problems facing them.
I have been a Christian for many years. I don't know as I ever have known of Christian leaders or their followers actually looking to the Lord Jesus for the solution to the problems with which we all are faced every day; or for direction in their decisions concerning their life or ministry as a Christian.
I realize that Christian people do pray often. They ask for help in times of sickness and trouble. They ask God to bless their decisions. But Christ desires more than this of His elect. He wants us to turn over our life to Him so that we continually are seeking His thinking, words, and actions in every aspect, both great and small, of our life.
If we Christians do not seek Christ for guidance each day, and our leaders do not wait on Jesus to hear what He has to say before they launch out in new programs, we hardly can expect the people of the world or the political leaders to wait before God until they knew what God wants them to do.
As someone said, "The need does not constitute the call." There are many needs in the world. If an individual wants to attempt to satisfy a need; but I do not believe he or she should do this in the name of the Lord Jesus unless Christ has asked him to do so. It simply is not a good idea to just "launch out in faith," as the expression is used.
I wonder how much Christian work is done that never has been instituted by the Lord!
In the past, the Catholic Church has tortured and murdered people who did not obey or believe its doctrine. Such actions never were ordered by the Lord Jesus and reveal that the prelates were not hearing from Christ.
In fact, it probably is true that most Christian religious work is not of Christ and will seek to murder Christ when He actually is sponsoring a work of some sort.
Ministries that bear the name of Christ but are not instituted or operated by Christ, destroy the true witness of Christ. This is Babylon, described in the Book of Revelation.
Babylon, the church of Laodicea, and the False Prophet are examples of religious institutions that bear the name of Christ. However, they are instituted and operated by people apart from Christ.
Eventually Babylon shall be destroyed by the Antichrist nations. Antichrist, the False Prophet, and Satan himself shall be thrown into the Lake of Fire. Laodicea, the church of the "rights of people", shall be vomited from the Lord's mouth.
When man is in control, instead of the Lord Jesus, corruption and destruction always shall follow.
Perhaps it is true that neither Christians nor the leaders and people of the world believe that God actually will give them wisdom if they ask. Maybe that is the reason they choose to seek to control themselves, other people, and their circumstances according to their own wisdom and experiences rather than asking God for His thoughts.
But the Bible says we should ask God for wisdom! The Old Testament contains many episodes in which God told people what to do.
Think of the accounts of Noah, of Moses, of Joshua, of the Prophets. The Book of Acts tells how God directed the Apostles.
Years ago I was driving home from Lemon Grove, San Diego, after preaching at a night service. I was traveling across a bridge over Mission Valley.
I had read where a meteorologist had said that if a certain dam broke, the backed-up water would rush through Mission Valley on its way to the Pacific Ocean.
Mission Valley is a shopping center and there are numerous structures there.
I was pondering this problem. I could picture the important possessions and papers of people, and perhaps the people themselves, swirling around in the water.
I think the Lord spoke to me as follows: "If those who built the dam and the developers in Mission Valley had sought My wisdom, I would have shown them how to prevent this potential catastrophe."
One time I heard a pastor plan a "revival." He was speaking to his workers. He said to the effect, "Let us invite so and so. He will draw the crowds."
Can you imagine the Lord Jesus saying to His disciples, "Boys, what shall we do to draw the crowds?"
I remember reading an account concerning William Branham. He was traveling to Africa with his promoters. The promoter set up a meeting in Nigeria that was prepared for thousands to attend.
God spoke to Brother Branham and told him not to hold the meeting.
Branham told the promoters what God has said. They declared it was impossible to cancel the meeting. Branham, being a humble man, went ahead with the meeting. He became ill and was out of commission for a season.
How can we expect the world political leaders to seek God's will when the Christian church leaders plan program after program without hearing from God?
As far as the world political leaders are concerned, some of them may earnestly pray for peace; but not one has declared that he or she is asking God what the solution is to the present unrest.
I believe I am hearing from the Lord that we now are passing into the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Day of Atonement. It is the will of God's Spirit that each Christian person listen to what the Spirit is saying about the things in his or her personality that are sinful or self-seeking. Then he is to confess these areas of spiritual uncleanness to the Lord and renounce them vehemently.
The Bible promises that Christ will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The Bible is never wrong, I can testify after following it for over sixty years.
But what do we hear from the religious leaders? More emphasis on world evangelism. This when the churches are filled with every conceivable work of the sinful nature.
Bringing more babies into the churches is nice. We all like babies. But God is telling us we need to find out what our sins are and turn away from them. After all, God's goal is mature believers who are in the image of Christ. They can bring the Kingdom of God, God's will, into the earth. Spiritual babies are no threat to the rule of Satan!
Such washing of our robes in the blood of the Lamb is going to prove to be absolutely necessary if we are to stand and help others to stand during the exercise of Divine judgment on America.
We of today are following the path of Sodom, Rome, and Pompeii. We are going to experience God's attitude toward our behavior just as they did.
The issue is one of control, isn't it? Are we going to choose to control our life, other people, and our circumstances, or are we going to look to God to control our life, other people, and our circumstances.
One young lady in our church testified two Sundays ago that God was teaching her to let go of people she was clinging to. They were not living as she thought they should, and she was seeking to conform them to what she believed to be God's will for them.
How often do we resist the idea of a loved one dying instead of looking to God that His will be done?
How often do we decide what should be true of people, or ourselves? My wife, Audrey, heard the Lord say to her: "Your standards are not My standards." This proved to be a milestone in Audrey's thinking.
We all have decisions to make each day, some of them minor and a few major. Do we immediately begin to scheme and plan, or do we simply ask Jesus what His will is? Of course, in order for this approach to life to be effective we must be willing to obey Christ implicitly in every aspect of our existence.
We have to have faith if we are to live by every Word from God that is directed to us. Perhaps this is what the Bible means when it claims that the righteous shall live by faith. What do you think?
Here in San Diego there is a beautiful natural environment. The weather is of the best. "Every prospect pleases," to use an expression from Reginald Heber.
But, as one might expect, sin abounds with the resulting tragedies.
I often have thought, what would it be like here if every person was dedicated to finding God's will and performing it? It would be a paradise, wouldn't it?
What would it be like if every person on earth was dedicated to finding the will of Jesus Christ, and doing it? Paradise would be here!
The solution to the problems of the world are easy to understand. We are attempting to live apart from God's will. That's it. Just as simple as that.
When the Kingdom comes, and it shall come, God's will shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven. God's will is the only valid will in the universe, and Jesus Christ, God's Son, always does God's will and requires that His disciples do also.
I have written that there are three areas of worship that nullify our Christian witness: the worship of our physical body; the worship of the antichrist spirit of the world; and the worship of our control over ourselves, other people, and our circumstances.
As long as we worship these three areas, we destroy our witness of God, His will, His way, and His eternal purpose in the Lord Jesus Christ.
You and I have the option to choose to do in our own life something about these three problems.
We can pray until God saves us from the lusts of our flesh and spirit.
We can pray until God saves us from our trust in the antichrist world spirit.
We can tell God that we desire to live by the Life of the Lord Jesus Christ rather than our own adamic life.
If we are willing to choose to seek God in these three areas of worship, and worship only God and His Christ, we will be able to bear a true witness of God throughout the Gentile holocaust.
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them." (Revelation 14:13)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)