THE CURRENT HERESY
Copyright © 2017 Robert B Thompson. All Rights Reserved.Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Religion is of man and brings limited benefits. Redemption is of God and not only forgives us but causes us to behave like God, that is, to be in God's image.
No theology or doctrine that places man in control of himself or his circumstances is of God. The Father has put the Lord Jesus Christ in control of all matters in Heaven and upon the earth; and even Christ does nothing of Himself but what He sees the Father do.
Jesus gave them this answer: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." (John 5:19)
"The Son can do nothing by Himself."
So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." (John 8:28,29)
"I do nothing on my own."
If the Lord Jesus Christ can do nothing on His own, what about us?
There is but one valid will in the universe. It is the will of the Father. Every knee shall bow to the Father. The Father always is to be worshiped and obeyed.
"Your Kingdom come. Your will be done."
The Father has given this authority to His Son, the Lord Jesus. Whoever persistently and willfully disobeys the Lord Jesus will find themselves in the Lake of Fire.
All doctrines that place man in control of himself or his surroundings are not of God but are of the False Prophet, even though the name of Jesus is attached to the program.
We are to pray about everything we think, say, and do to make certain they are in harmony with the living Lord Jesus. Then we will be free from the current heresies.
In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, (Colossians 2:11)
"Your whole self was put off."
Circumcision under the new covenant is the cutting away of our old adamic nature so that the new moral creation, which is Christ in us, may take over our thinking, speaking, and acting. It is the crucifixion of the "old man."
This means our thinking, speaking, and behaving no longer are directed by our fallen nature but by Christ.
I have become aware of the fact that some Christian leaders are teaching that Christ wants to restore our fallen adamic nature. Did He do that with Saul of Tarsus?
(What a wonderful world this would be if everyone would read their Bible!)
The very root and emphasis of the new covenant is that the old man, the old nature, is to be crucified. If our whole self is "ruled by the flesh," and the flesh is riddled with sinful spirits, how then is the old nature to be restored.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—(Romans 6:6)
It follows, then, that if our old self is not crucified, the body ruled by sin will not be done away with, and we shall remain slaves to sin.
In this case, anyone who "restores" the old self will be restoring worldliness, the lusts of the flesh, and self-will—for these characterize the old self.
It appears that any careful reading of the New Testament will reveal that our old nature is to be put to death, and a new Christ-filled nature is to take its place. "If any person is in Christ there is a new creation." Each one of us must be "born again." We are to be sons and daughters of God, not of Adam!
We no longer are to be living souls but life-giving spirits. This is possible only as we are willing for our first personality to die and Christ to take its place.
So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (I Corinthians 15:45)
Our Father is a life-giving Spirit. Our Lord and older Brother is a life-giving Spirit. When they are in us and control our life, we are life-giving spirits.
If any person is abiding in Christ there is a new creation, not the restoration of the old creation.
Perhaps the error arises from the fact that we do not understand God's goal in redeeming us. God's goal is not to bring us to Heaven. God's goal is to create us in His image, that is, to work with us until we behave as God behaves.
A good example of the Christian redemption is portrayed when, through the help of Christ, we finally forgive someone who has injured us deliberately. This is the image of God.
All that is thought, said, and done in a Christian assembling is to form us in God's image.
This might be a good point in which to interject an idea that perhaps should be brought to the attention of the fervent disciples of the Lord Jesus.
There is a debate about whether the Great Tribulation will occur before or after the "rapture," the carrying of professing Christians to Paradise to protect them from suffering and the tyrannical rule of the Antichrist.
This is a misguided debate, to say the least.
In the first place, the gathering of those whose life is Christ, when He appears, is not to protect us from the Great Tribulation or Antichrist. Rather it is an adding to the army of saints whom the Lord will bring with Him in preparation for His descent to set up His Kingdom on the earth.
The idea of a "rapture" to enable God's people to escape tribulation is a myth, a fairy tale that appeals to immature believers. Try to find in the Scriptures one passage that says God is going to deliver us from trouble by carrying us to Paradise.
The truth is, when Jesus appears He will gather those whose life He has become, that is, the truly dedicated believers, and transform their bodies.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise (be resurrected; upstanding) first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (I Thessalonians 4:16,17)
Can you see in the above that the "dead in Christ," those who have returned with the Lord, will "rise" (be resurrected) first. After this resurrection takes place, those Christians who are alive on the earth at the time of the Lord's appearing will be "caught up together with them" to meet the Lord Jesus in the air.
This is the first resurrection. It will take place before the ascension, obviously.
If the living are caught up together with the newly resurrected Christians, then it is likely those who are alive at the time will also be transformed. It is unlikely that Christians with unchanged bodies would be caught up in clouds together with Christians who now have resurrected bodies.
Remember, this change into an incorruptible body will take place on the earth, prior to the ascension.
Therefore the saints alive on the earth when the Lord appears do not have to be carried up to Heaven to escape Antichrist or the Great Tribulation because they already are in immortal bodies.
So the argument about before the Tribulation or after the Tribulation is a waste of time. Actually, the Scripture says the appearing of the Lord will occur after the Tribulation.
Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:29,30)
So the timing of the appearing of Christ is not really a concern. However, there are two factors that should be of concern to the believers.
First, numerous Christians of our day are not living by the Life of Christ. Therefore they are not eligible to be gathered to Jesus when He appears.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
The fate of those "believers" who are not living by the Life of Jesus may be worse than enduring the Great Distress (Tribulation).
Second, there is the issue of the False Prophet who will support the Antichrist. It is my opinion that the False Prophet consists of Christians who are not denying themselves and following the Lord with their cross. They will be Christian leaders who place great emphasis on signs and wonders rather than on righteous, holy behavior.
These leaders stress the concept that by faith we can get God to give us money. Thus they are supporting Antichrist who believes that people all over the world should worship money instead of God. Money, rather than the Spirit of God, is the power of Antichrist.
I believe the False Prophet is active today in Christian circles. He (or they) is deceiving the elect and persuading them to look for miracles rather than to practice the Bible teaching concerning godly behavior.
It is the will of the Father that we behave in a godly manner. This is why when we emphasize emotional behavior, such as laying on the floor and writhing, shaking and jerking, or making animal sounds, the assembling is not accomplishing the purpose for its existence and soon will be removed by the Lord.
Showing mercy and kindness toward those who hate us is of far more benefit in the Kingdom of God than is true of falling on the floor.
It is God's will that we be fashioned in the image of Christ' behavior so that we may be His brothers and sisters, and the Wife of the Lamb.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:29)
Someone has said that there is a new paradigm, a new way of looking at things. However, the old way of viewing the overcoming of the sinful nature appears to me to be quite effective. "Repentance" is still the theme of the hour for Christians.
However, there is something new in which Christians are to participate. It is the "third week," the third platform of redemption. However, the born-again and Pentecostal experiences are the necessary foundation for the third platform of redemption; so it is not new in that sense but fashioned by and dependent on the old.
Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt. "No one is to appear before me empty-handed.
Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.
Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.
Three times a year all the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord." (Exodus 23:14-17)
The first gathering is that of Unleavened Bread, speaking of basic salvation, water baptism, and being born again.
The second gathering is Pentecost, referring to the giving to us of the Spirit of God.
The third gathering is that of the feast of Tabernacles and its two subfeasts. We just now are entering the "third week," that of Tabernacles.
From my point of view the "third gathering" is taking place now. The third gathering includes the spiritual fulfillments of the Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the feast of Tabernacles proper, from which all three celebrations are named.
Of course, these all are Jewish celebrations; but they refer to stages of redemption under the new covenant.
In 1948, or thereabouts, the Lord spoke to me that the Day of Atonement refers to the Divine judgment that is to purify the Christian churches.
I did not really understand what this meant, but it became clear in the twenty-first century.
The Blowing of Trumpets, announcing the Jewish New Year, refers to the coming of Christ in the spirit realm to judge His enemies that are dwelling in His Church. It indeed is a new year for us.
The Day of Atonement (of Reconciliation), the one occasion on which the High Priest of Israel was permitted to go past the Veil into the Most Holy Place, speaks of both the forgiveness of sin and the removal of sin itself (the Scapegoat).
The feast of Tabernacles points toward the coming of God to dwell in His eternal Tabernacle, His Church (John 14:23; Revelation 21:3)
We can see at a glance that "Trumpets" is necessary if we are to enter complete reconciliation to God. The blood atonement gives us instant "legal" reconciliation to God. But there must take place an actual reconciliation to God, and such reconciliation requires that Christ's enemies be destroyed out of us.
We Christians have been reconciled to God legally through the blood of atonement. But our worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our self-will, must all be cut away from us in spiritual circumcision if we are to walk humbly with God. Do you agree with that?
And by the way, we do not ask God to come over and walk with us. We go over to God and walk with Him. We are to go with Him wherever He desires to go and do with Him whatever He wishes to do. I believe understanding this fact may be the greatest need of the hour for Christian people.
The Day of Atonement is the Day of Reconciliation. It is the beginning of a new year for us. This indeed is a paradigm shift, in the sense that we had assumed previously that God would just forgive our worldliness, our lusts, and our self-will. But this is not so.
What good would the Divine forgiveness do for us or for God if we are not delivered from our sinful practices? The Kingdom of God would be a kingdom of overlooked sin, instead of a kingdom of righteousness, holiness, and particularly, the doing of God's will. This absolutely is not going to take place!
Do you remember that in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, God proclaimed that He is going to create man in His image (in moral behavior) and after His likeness (with a new, incorruptible body)?
Well, this is the reason for the third stage of redemption, of which I am speaking. It is to form man in God's image so men and women can be the brothers and sisters of Christ, and so we, as children of God, can walk with Him in humility.
The week of Unleavened Bread plus the week of Pentecost are the essential foundation and preparation for the third week; for our being made in the image of God.
But how does the third stage of redemption work?
It works as we look up to Jesus Christ, ask Him to expose our worldliness, the sins of our flesh, and our self-will, and to help us to confess and set them aside. They are Christ's enemies. Also, they are not in God's image.
Try it and see! When you ask to be set free, Christ will lead you on the path of deliverance; of the full conquering of sin. You then will be eligible for the rewards to the overcomers.
A word of warning: When Jesus returns, He will gather to Himself His victorious saints. Then He will give them eternal life and an incorruptible body.
Christ must be our Life if the above is to be true of us.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
Sad to say, I am not certain that all professing Christians are living by the Life of the Lord Jesus. Many appear to be conducting themselves by the ordinary human life of flesh and blood.
How are we going to appear with Christ if we still are living the customary human life?
The Lord Jesus is coming to us now in the spirit world to prepare us for His appearing. He desires that He become our Life. He shall become our life, if we are willing to turn from our worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our self-will. He shall accomplish these deliverances in us provided we confess clearly our need and cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He leads us in the way of deliverance.
When we cooperate with the Spirit, He feeds us in the spirit world with the body and blood of the Lord Jesus. These are our resurrection Life and will gather us to the Lord when He appears.
His appearing is described in John 14:18-23. This of course is not His worldwide coming, but a previous appearing to activate the third platform of redemption.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. (John 6:54)
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. (John 6:57)
What I am describing is the third stage of redemption. It is as real an experience as that of being born again, or speaking in tongues. It is for you and me if we will get serious with the Lord Jesus.
I am thinking about video segments (from Dan Irving) that I saw recently in which Christian people were lying on the floor, writhing; other people were jerking, making weird sounds (not speaking in tongues), shaking. How is this forming believers in the image of Christ? Does Christ behave in this manner? Is there any scriptural evidence that we are supposed to shake and jerk? Did any of the early Apostle practice such behavior?
Does uncontrolled laughter lead to the image of God? If not, then this practice is not of the Lord Jesus and we need to flee from it.
In one of the video segments I saw, the believers were calling upon angels to come down from Heaven. This is totally unscriptural. The believers are apt to receive evil angels by doing this. Righteous angels are God's servants, and they obey no one but the Father who created them.
What do Christians hope to accomplish by calling upon angels?
Then there are people pretending they are drunk on the Holy Spirit. This is disgusting. I suppose they are thinking of the time when the Church was born.
However, these first Christians were not staggering and stumbling around like sloppy drunks. It was the speaking in tongues that caused the onlookers to think they were drunk.
"(Both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?" (Acts 2:11,12)
Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine." (Acts 2:13)
Whenever believers want to pretend they are drunk in the Spirit, they can demonstrate this fact by speaking in known languages! They also need to have tongues of fire on their head. The known languages and the tongues of fire would suggest that they indeed are filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
As far as speaking the word of faith, visualizing, or any exercise of spiritual dominion, being sprinkled with gold dust, spitting out gems, these are metaphysical practices. The Bible way, when we have a need or desire, is to bring our request to God in Jesus' name, humbly and patiently. Meanwhile we are to obey the Lord Jesus in everything.
I started thinking. The accent on getting wealthy in money and land, becoming influential in politics, having gold dust in our hair, all have to do with that which the False Prophet and Antichrist would be expected to endorse. Nothing like this ever was emphasized by the Lord Jesus.
Rather, Jesus spoke about righteousness, mercy, and faith, not money or political power. We ought to know by this that the current emphasis on prosperity and political power are not of Christ.
I have been told that in the "Toronto blessing" people were making animal sounds. When I first became a Christian, I was instructed by the other men in my platoon that I must stick closely to the Scriptures. You see, they had been impressed by Dawson Trotman that "this Book of the Law" should not depart from our mouth.
But as far as I know, there is no account in the Scriptures of people making animal sounds. There is, however, an instance in which a donkey spoke like a human being.
People, what are we thinking of?
I gain the impression that many of the actions that occur under the New Apostolic Anointing are validated by the men and women who are ministering, not by the Bible. They are not anchored to the Scriptures. Calling down angels from Heaven is an example of this sort of free-wheeling, we might say.
Such behavior goes against all I was taught when I first became a Christian.
No, I do not believe there is an instance in the entire Bible of people making animal sounds. If such behavior is not in the Bible, how can we view this practice as being of the Spirit of God.
A minister was prophesied over that he would have a great worldwide ministry. Yet it was known at the time that he was having an adulterous affair.
One Charismatic leader proclaimed to the adulterous minister that he was forgiven "in God's name." Yet there was no repentance—maybe a regret. Perhaps not even that. In any case, in spite of the presence of distinguished leaders of the Charismatic persuasion, the man was not commanded to return to his wife and children.
"By their fruits you shall know them," the Lord said. Would you proclaim that an adulterous minister would have a worldwide ministry when he did not return to his wife and children and make things right? Neither would I. Neither would God.
It is no wonder that God will visit America with judgment. Our light of proper moral behavior has gone out, and the Government has no example that would help them do what is godly and righteous.
The current move, with its stress on getting rich and engaging in all sorts of weird physical manifestations, is not based in the Scripture. Therefore we know it is not of Christ and we need to keep away from it.
We call upon the Lord. We do not seek to control the physical or spiritual realms. Are you marching along with me in this?
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:14-16)
To tell you the truth, what I saw in Dan's video segments was more like deceitful scheming than it was an example of the Holy Spirit moving in the members of the Body of Christ.
God has given us His written Word so we can grow to maturity in godly behavior and strict obedience to Christ. It appears to me that the believers, at least in America, would rather come and participate in emotional demonstrations than they would to be built up in the image of God's behavior.
Tell me I am wrong about this!
What will the unsaved think when they see people jerking, shaking, and writhing on the floor? Will they say that Christ is among us? Will they be convicted of sin?
We had better start thinking about the welfare pf the unsaved and about the approval of the Lord Jesus rather than about what a good time we are having.
I do believe persecution is on the way to the Christian people in America. Many of us Christians are not nearly serious enough to cope with what is ahead of us. How many believers are using the abilities and resources God has given them to build up the Kingdom of God? Or are they at ease in Zion, planning on doing nothing of significance during their retirement years?
I do not read that the Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul, or any of the other Apostles of the Lamb were looking forward to retirement. Nor did any of them speak of a "rapture" in the future.
When we no longer are free to read our Bible and preach the righteousness and holiness of the Gospel, we are going to wish that we were faithful to Christ instead of wanting to have a good time in Church.
If we will study the Book of Isaiah we will find that God's Israel, all who are part of the Lord Jesus whether Jewish or Gentile by natural birth, have a great work to do when the Lord returns (not before the Lord returns, as some are teaching as they roll on the floor or lay hands on strangers who enter the meeting).
Christ, Head and Body, will be used by the Lord to bring the nations into the Kingdom of God, but only when He returns. We cannot possibly set up the Kingdom of God before the Lord returns. First we must be crucified and learn to live by the Spirit of Jesus.
The Kingdom of God is God in Christ governing from within the hearts of the saints, not a group of Christian men and women who are aligned with a man or woman who professes to be an apostle and who makes questionable moral judgments.
They do not stagger about pretending they are drunk in the Holy Spirit. How revolting!
Listen to me, your brother in Christ! The main consideration in the work of God is that Christ is dwelling and working in us. We must be thinking as Christ is thinking right this minute. We must be speaking as Christ is speaking. We must be working as Christ is working.
This is how the Lord Jesus is related to the Father.
One day I was praying for the power to work miracles. Jesus said to me, "Do you also want to rob Me of My Glory?" Then I saw what He meant. The Christian leaders who are seeking and emphasizing power and signs are not giving Christ the Glory that rightfully is His. Sometimes they do not so much as mention the name of Jesus.
Go to one of their meetings with thousands of other people and see for yourself how many times Jesus is mentioned. The leaders are pointing toward themselves and their mighty signs and wonders, not to our Lord Jesus.
The power of deception in these "apostolic" meetings is so strong it is deceiving the elect. You would think Christian people would be alerted when they see such self-glorifying antics taking place; but perhaps they are afraid of speaking against the Spirit of God.
Another proof that these "restoration" meetings are in error is the emphasis on God making us rich. Since when is the Gospel preached to the rich? It is preached to the poor. It is not God's will that his faithful servants be impoverished; but seeking to be rich is not scriptural, to say the least.
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (Psalms 37:25)
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (I Timothy 6:9,10)
One time the Lord told me we could test the spirit a hundred times and He would not be offended. But after we are positive it is the Lord speaking, then we had better be obedient.
We do not have to test the spirit of the new apostolic renewal numerous times. If we know our Bible at all we can see at once that the "new awakening" it is not in line with the Scripture but is the actions of spiritually ambitious people.
Having been a devoted servant of Christ and a Pentecostal for some seventy years, I am fairly well acquainted with the manifestations of the Spirit of God. I speak in tongues frequently, and prophesy on occasion—mostly to myself. I love the Shekinah, the Glory of God.
But what I am seeing today is not the old fire that I love. It is strange fire. I realize the Ark of God's Presence is coming down the road. But Uzzah and Ahio have their hands all over it.
I know by the Spirit that true revival is at hand. Not too long from now, the "two witnesses" of Revelation, Chapter Eleven, will be anointed with a double portion of God's Spirit and will bear witness to every nation of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
The two witnesses are the overcoming saints, one witness; and Christ in them, the other witness. If you have a problem with this interpretation, forget I wrote it. It is not the subject of this brief essay.
In any event, there is to be a massive witness of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth, and that witness is not far off.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
Notice that it is the Gospel of the Kingdom that will be preached. The Gospel of the Kingdom is the original gospel, and it is being restored in our day.
I will tell you what I believe. I think the Antichrist spirit is holding sway in the political leaders of our day.
At the same time, the spirit of the False Prophet is holding sway in the Christian leadership.
Let me take you to a relevant passage:
The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. (Revelation 13:1)
This is Antichrist.
But there is a second beast:
Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. A double portion of power but a mouth full of lies.
The beast coming out of the sea, out of the nations, is Antichrist.
The second beast, coming out of the earth, that is, out of the soul of man, is the False Prophet.
Now I will tell you who the False Prophet is:
The False Prophet is Christian people, particularly leaders, who are guided by their self-will and not by the Lord Jesus.
Did you get that? They are not filled with Christ. They are following their own ambitions. They are not thinking in concert with Christ; speaking in concert with Christ; nor are they working in concert with Christ.
The only way in which we can be free from being deceived by the False Prophet and Antichrist is by counting ourselves dead to the adamic nature and alive in Christ.
"And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name." This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
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 14:11-13)
"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
The only way to avoid deception is by dying in the Lord. As long as we are working according to our self-will, our carnal mind, we are going to be deceived.
"From now on." I believe we are at this point in time. The False Prophet will cause people to worship Antichrist. You may notice how those who are preaching the new "Apostolic Reformation" emphasize money. When they are emphasizing money they are causing the believers to worship Antichrist.
The only way we can keep free from this powerful deception is by dying in the Lord, that is, by being circumcised by Christ.
There are Christian leaders who never have been crucified with Christ.
They speak great swelling words, as the Bible says, but they do not know the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not give glory to Jesus, and this makes me sad to think how our Lord is being robbed of what rightfully is His.
Christ left the ivory palaces to come to earth, and then was whipped by wicked men so we could be healed. Therefore, people ought not to be pointing out how wonderful they are when someone is healed.
So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." (John 89:28,29)
The Lord does nothing on His own but speaks what the Father tells Him. We are to be related to the Lord Jesus in the same manner.
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. (John 6:57)
The true believer lives by feeding on the body and blood of the Lamb. As we walk in victory, we are given in the spirit realm the body and blood of the Lamb as a reward for turning away from temptation; and also to give us further strength so we can continue treading on the Dragon.
The body and blood of the Lamb are the "hidden manna."
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. (Revelation 2:17)
The leaders of today who are making great noises about what wonderful things they have done know little about walking humbly with God, making themselves nothing so Christ may be everything.
You know, Jesus never changes. The old way of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God, never changes. God has shown us what is good. It is not a flashy meeting with strange goings on. It is the practice of righteousness, to have a heart of mercy, and to walk humbly with God.
If mighty works follow our preaching, that is well. If they do not, that is well also provided we are obeying Christ all the while.
We are not to seek power! We are to seek friendship with God. God needs friends. Do you want to be a friend of God like Abraham? I sure do!
Let's think for a bit about the False Prophet, because that is what we are seeing today as the leaders talk about the great new restoration.
Remember, the False Prophet is Christian people who are not bearing their personal cross of deferred desires, after the Lord Jesus.
Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. (Revelation 13:11)
Isn't that horrid. It had two horns like a lamb. This means the False Prophet seeks to use a double-portion of the power of Christ, the Lamb. But it speaks lies!
It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. (Revelation 13:12)
That "fatal wound" may be referring to the destruction of the World Trade Center in America.
This means that deceived Christian leaders will make the people of the nations worship the Antichrist world system, which is based on money. Perhaps the current stress on involving Christians in the governmental systems that govern society will prove to be an example of the False Prophet making the people of the world worship Antichrist.
The Lord Jesus has not called us out of the world so we can govern society. His Kingdom is not of this world. Our role is to be the image of God as a testimony; as a moral light.
The moral light in America has been extinguished by the stress on grace as an alternative to obeying Christ, and by an emphasis on an unscriptural carrying of all professing Christians to Heaven so they can play while the nations suffer under Antichrist.
And it (the False Prophet) performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. (Revelation 13:13)
If the deceived ministers of our day were able to cause fire to come down from Heaven, they would proclaim loudly how marvelous they are, and then take up another offering.
The False Prophet of our day is performing miracles in the name of the Lamb, while teaching that which is contrary to the Bible. Does anyone care?
Causing fire to come from heaven to the earth in the sight of the public will convince multitudes of people that the new apostolic teaching has to be of the Lord. People, being the way they are, will not search the Scriptures to see if these Christian teachers really are of the Lord. They will go by the miracles.
Because of the signs it (the False Prophet) was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast (Antichrist), it (the False Prophet) deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It (the False Prophet) ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast (Antichrist) who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. (Revelation 13:14)
Incredible as it may sound, the deceived Christian leaders by means of miracles will deceive the nations of the earth. The deluded, self-seeking leaders will then order the people to set up an image in honor of Antichrist.
This reminds us of the time in history when the Catholic Church exerted considerable political power.
Perhaps the emphasis on Christians seeking places of prominence in the several areas of culture in the world will result in these Christian leaders actively supporting the money-driven Antichrist world system.
The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. (Revelations 13:15)
In some manner the Christian leaders will enable the image of Antichrist to speak and enforce the worship of itself.
This reminds us of the golden statue of Nebuchadnezzar. I have little doubt that the image of Antichrist will somehow have to do with money and commerce—buying and selling. You may observe in the United States the preoccupation with buying and selling—so much so that we have the idea this is the way the world is supposed to be.
Perhaps we in America trust in money more than we do in God. Do you suppose that is the way it is supposed to be? Personally, I do not believe money is employed in Heaven for the transfer of goods and services. So we are not wise if we build our life on the acquisition of money.
It (the False Prophet) also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. (Revelation 13:16,17)
The "number" is the familiar 666. Whether this means anything or not, "6" is the number of man in that man was created on the sixth day. "3" is the number of God. So perhaps 666 indicates man making himself God.
It is rather obvious that some of the Christian leaders of our day are making themselves out to be God. They do not give the glory to our Lord, Jesus. This tells me that God eventually will intervene. When He does we will be able to see clearly who is of God and who is not.
Now let's think for a moment about what I have said thus far in this essay:
Perhaps I am mistaken, but it seems to me that Antichrist occupies himself with commerce, buying and selling, but it is the deceived Christians who will be active politically.
Because of the signs it (the False Prophet) was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast (Antichrist), it (the False Prophet) deceived the inhabitants of the earth.
Today it appears we have a major effort to persuade Christian people to become involved in political issues, such as abortion. This effort lends itself to American thinking, because of our doctrine of democracy. We all are urged to cast a ballot, no matter what party we support. It is the thing to do in America.
However, when we begin to speak of placing Christians in positions of governmental power, there is something Jesus said that suggests caution concerning Christians becoming active in governing politically.
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place." (John 18:36)
Jesus advised us, in John, Chapter Seventeen, that we are not of this world just as He is not of this world.
There are those who are teaching that we are to be wealthy and powerful in the present world. Then I think of the Christian believers, people just like us, whose flaming bodies lighted the arena in Rome while the lions ate their children.
Those beloved Christian people were neither wealthy nor politically powerful when this was taking place. Were they disobeying God? Were they not employing the correct metaphysical practices?
Had God forsaken them? Some must have thought so.
We may meet some of these early Christians when we die and pass into the spirit world. Will we tell them how rich we became by serving the Lord Jesus?
Is Divine judgment coming to America do you think, because of abortion and homosexual behavior? I believe so.
There is considerable persecution of Christians in other countries in our day. Children who will not renounce Christ are being beheaded. Persecution just has not caught up with America as yet. We are no better in the sight of God than other people in the world. Maybe we are worse! It may be that God is saving the worst for last!
To whom much has been given, of them shall much be required.
Perhaps Divine judgment has begun in some parts of the world. But it will catch up with America sooner or later!
Is the problem political? I do not believe so. It is demonic. God is permitting it when people are not worshiping Christ.
I don't think our business as Christians is to fight politically, although we must do whatever God puts in our hand to accomplish. Our principal task is to be the light of the world, that is, to bear witness by our moral behavior that God is righteous and holy.
We are not doing this. We have invented some doctrines, such as lawless grace and the any-moment rapture of all professing Christians, that keep us from portraying to the world the honesty, purity, and meekness of God. We are not walking hand in hand with God in too many instances.
Unless I am mistaken here, I believe God wants us to take a hard look at Galatians 2:20:
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.
Most of us know very little about Saul, a Jewish citizen of the Roman city of Tarsus. But fervent Christians have read and reread the letters he wrote to the churches.
How do we account for the fact that we read the letters written by this Jewish citizen of Tarsus? We read them because Saul chose to live no longer but to think, speak, act, and write by the Life of Jesus. Through the ages since his death, Paul is accomplishing far, far more politically by accepting suffering and martyrdom than he could have by political activism.
Yes, or no?
I mean by this that the Epistles of Paul have affected for good most of the nations of the earth. How many of the humanitarian institutions have come from Christian thinking and support? How many from other religions?
So it is today. We are being urged to engage in political activism of one sort or another. But if we will offer ourselves to Christ and think only as He is thinking; speak only as He is speaking; and work only as He is working, far, far more will be accomplished through us than ever would be possible by our engaging in political activism.
I am not well acquainted with those Christians of our day who are politically active. But what I have seen and heard leads me to believe the name of Jesus is not often heard from their mouths. What they talk about is how we must be "anointed" so we can do works of power in the financial and political realms.
I wonder if any of the famous Charismatic leaders actually have heard from the Lord Jesus that the new "revival" is of Him. Have they actually heard the Lord? Do they spend time listening to Jesus?
It is a mistake to ask for the power of God so we can accomplish a goal that we think is righteous. Rather we are to seek carefully night and day Christ's will, meanwhile presenting our body a living sacrifice.
Several years ago I began to pray for America, because I could see the slide toward immorality. The Lord spoke to me that America is to become a third-rate nation and the leadership of the world will pass to the East.
Audio tapes dating back three or more years will verify that I have been speaking of world hegemony moving to some Eastern country, although the Spirit did not tell me what country.
God did not tell me He is going to restore America. Rather He spoke of Divine judgment on America due to the practice of abortion, and other rejections of Christ. Having been born and raised in New England, and now ninety years of age, it grieves me deeply to see the errors being made by our country, and its consequent weakening.
I wish for national repentance. But the above is what God is telling me.
The weapons of our warfare include much prayer and waiting on the Lord for His directions, even if we wait twenty years. Christ can do more in one year than we can do in our entire lifetime.
I have written on occasion about listening to Jesus. I get the impression from some Christian leaders that they are guessing at what Christ wants. They do not actually know, they are doing what they think is best and asking God to bless their efforts.
They are not walking with God. They are beseeching God to walk with them.
One famous preacher is stating that God does not speak to us today. He is incorrect in this. God will make known His will to anyone who is dedicated to seeking it.
I understand that sometimes Christians say, "The Lord told me this, or the Lord told me that," when it wasn't the Lord at all. But that does not mean Christ will not speak to you or me if we are obeying Him completely, promptly, and cheerfully. If we commit all our ways to the Lord, He indeed shall direct our paths, or the Bible is not true.
But do we actually want to know Christ's will in every aspect of our life? That is the question. If Jesus cannot have our entire life, He will not accept any part of it. He is our God and our Creator, not our servant.
If Christ doesn't do the work, it is not of eternal good.
It requires practice if Christ is to do our thinking, speaking, and working. We have to keep looking to Him, day and night, and asking Him if we really are where He wants us and doing what He desires. If we get a "no" on either of these, we are to stop what we are doing, as possible, and pray until we know what He wants. Then we are to ask Him to help us correct the problem area.
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)
I have been crucified with Christ. "I" is Saul of Tarsus.
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? (II Corinthians 11:24-29)
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 (or by the faith of the Son of God). We live by His mighty faith, not by our feeble faith in Him!
There is such a spirit of triumphalism in the politically active churches that it sometimes is true that the name of the Lord Jesus scarcely is mentioned. It is clear that "anointed" men and women are in control, not the lowly Jesus.
I will tell you what I think will happen. When Christian men and women are in high places of government they will fight against one another. Why will this happen? Because they are being led by a human, adamic spirit.
Only Jesus, can clean up the mess the world is in, including the United States. And He can do it quickly and easily. All the nations of the earth are but a drop in the bucket to Him.
History would teach us the fate of nations that reject Christ. But we do not learn history with the lessons in mind. Instead we plunge ahead in our blind fashion, hoping that somehow our plans will work.
But they will not. Christ will make sure that His name is exalted no matter what takes place on the earth.
If we are wise we will flee from the spirit of triumphalism and seek the lowly place with the Lord Jesus. To walk humbly with our hand in the hand of God is a more exalted place than that of the greatest of rulers. But it seems that people, especially political leaders, find that thought repugnant to them.
Until we are circumcised by the Lord Jesus, and take the lowly place with Him, we will not achieve the desires of our heart.
I will tell you where we are going with all of this.
God has four needs: a house, a home, a resting place, and a location for His Throne. Man was created to fulfill these four needs. However, until man is free from the love of the world, the lusts of the body, and personal ambition, man cannot meet these needs satisfactorily.
The purpose of redemption is not only to wrest man from Satan's grasp and restore to God His rightful ownership of man, but to form man in God's image. When God is dwelling in man, man will behave in the manner that God behaves, that is, man will be in God's image.
This is the purpose of redemption, and as we confess to Christ His enemies that have us bound, we will move toward that perfect day when we are the house, the home, the resting place, and the location of God's eternal Throne.
We are to be a Royal Priesthood. We will govern the saved people from the nations of the earth by the fact that Christ is governing from within us. The scepter of iron righteousness is being formed in us now as we resist sin and obey Christ. This is God's eternal plan, and such leaders are being identified and trained in humility in the day in which we are living.
I wish now to remind you of something I said at the very beginning: "Religion is of man and brings limited benefits. Redemption is of God and not only forgives us but causes us to behave like God."
Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh. As Christ is formed in us, the eternal Word of God is formed in us. That Word existed before the creation, and through the Word, God brought into being the creation.
But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. (Hebrews 1:2)
The various religions are human attempts to acknowledge what they believe about God. They then proceed to teach this information and to develop practices that they believe will please God and perform His will in the earth.
This is as true of Christianity as it is of all religions.
However, the Christian religion is different from the other religions of the world in that what it teaches about Christ is true. The problem is, after acknowledging the truth about the Son of God, in most cases the believers in Christ proceed then to develop practices that they believe will please God.
However, it appears to me that Christ Himself, although He desires to do so, is not always the One who is issuing our Christian practices.
Jesus said that upon the Rock of the truth concerning Himself He would build His Church. Christ has not left it up to man to build His Church. Hence the competing denominations and the failure of the Christian religion to produce people who behave like God.
Since Christ is the Word made flesh, He behaves exactly like God. He is the very image of God. The only manner by which we Christians can behave like God is to have the Word of God brought to maturity in us.
It seems that in the hour in which we are living, Christ is ready to be formed in us, and then to dwell along with the Father in that which has been formed in us.
If we truly are listening to the Lord Jesus, and obeying Him totally, our behavior will begin to change. Instead of a weak, well-intentioned Christian person, there will arise a new moral creation in the very image of God in behavior.
The forming of Christ in us, and the subsequent occupying by the Father and the Son of that which has been formed in us, is the only true redemption. It is not man-conceived religion.
Let us therefore run to Jesus every day until we are filled with God.
"Filled with God, yes, filled with God. Pardoned and cleansed, and filled with God."
True Christians are not merely the members of a religion. Rather they are true "Israel," the people destined to bring in and operate the new world of righteousness when Jesus appears. It does not matter whether they are Jewish or Gentile by physical birth.
The bottom line is this: The old way of humble, cross-carrying obedience to Christ has not changed. If we will continue in it, we shall enter the aspects of the Divine redemption that are being offered in our day.
God is ready to bring us into His image to the level that we can say, as did our Lord Jesus, "He who has seen me has seen the way in which God behaves."
It always is true that "I must decrease so Christ may increase."
Keep on pressing forward in Christ. Never, never quit. The Lord made the day in which we are living. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (I Peter 2:9)
And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. (Isaiah 61:6)
"On the day when I act," says the Lord Almighty, "they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not." (Malachi 3:17,18)
APPENDIXThe Glory of God is that surpassingly wonderful Presence that brings righteousness, holiness, love, joy, and peace to all it embraces. It brings us the feeling of finally being "home."
The Father and the Son are not the same Person, although they abide in total union, union into which the obedient believer is brought—a union with God and with one another.
Perhaps the confusion concerning the Godhead comes from Satan who is intent on destroying our simple, straightforward fellowship with the Father and the Son.
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (I John 1:3)
Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." (John 20:17)
Our goal, the rest of God, is two-headed. One head is that of behaving morally like God and Christ. The other head is that of dwelling always in the Person and will of the Father. These two heads are interdependent.
A sign along the highway is not the destination. Miraculous signs are not our goal. When we make them our destination we do not arrive at our true r goal, and we replace Bible teaching with violent shaking, writhing on the floor, imitation drunkenness, weird sounds, an emphasis on acquiring wealth and gaining political power, and other unscriptural actions. We are not behaving decently and in order.
We often are indulging in "triumphalism."
Perhaps the worst error, to emerge from those who are emphasizing miraculous signs as the goal of our assembling as Christian people, is the teaching that we are to restore our adamic nature.
Any believer who knows anything about the program of sanctification understands well that if they are to make progress in learning to live by the resurrection life of the Lord Jesus, they must cut away from themselves all traces of their old nature.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— (Romans 6:6)
In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, (Colossians 2:11)
"Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off." That is the end of Adam. And good riddance! Are you marching with me in this?
The self-seeking Christian leaders of today, who do not understand that we must deny ourselves and carry our cross after the Master, are becoming the False Prophet. By emphasizing miraculous signs instead of the Bible, they will help Antichrist. establish throughout the world the worship of money.
The living Jesus is not seen in them as they vaunt themselves.
Because of the signs it (the False Prophet) was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. (Revelation 13:14)
It has been said by some that if a miracle is done in Jesus' name, that is proof that Jesus is present. This is not true.
Consider the following:
Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' (Matthew 7:22,23)
Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. (Revelation 13:11)
The second beast, the False Prophet has a double portion of the power of the Lamb (the Lord Jesus), but is speak lies because it is motivated by Satan.
"Triumphalism: The attitude or practices of a church that seeks a position of power and dominance in the world." (Dictionary.com)