A Christian Body Divided- The Underlying War

one 10I speak today to those that claim belief in Christ only. This isn’t intended for a non-believer. In light of the recent Supreme Court decision concerning marriage, the discord has begun. What is interesting, is that mudslinging can even be found within the body of Christians. Advocates of homosexuality have rejoiced at the decision, and have begun to brand those who dislike the decision into one category of people that are filled with “hate.” Those that dislike the decision in turn have grouped all that support what is termed “marriage equality” into one category of sexually immoral godless people.  Many generalize entire populations into a single category, based on limited information.  In order to find the truth of any matter (I think most agree that there is one truth), we must identify what the real issue is. Every single one of us has a lot going on within, that no one else is aware of except for our Creator. Why fall into the trap of mass branding or generalizing on either side?  Is anyone edified by this?  Is anyone heard by this?  Is anyone saved by this? Is everyone involved in this argument perfect and sinless? As those that are called to love each other as Christ has loved us, we must remind each other on both sides of this argument, that the sins of every human being are the result of a complex web of circumstances, environments, various educational sources or a lack thereof, conditions of the heart, and yes generational spiritual oppression. In other words, we live in a world of lies and oppression where Satan and many evil spirits work to put human beings into the bondage of sin, and to keep them there.  They fight against the Spirit of God on a battlefield known as the “heart.” We as Christians must be wise to the true war that is taking place within the hearts of men.

Think about the various wars that we have seen in our day alone.  The war between evolution and creation has deteriorated the trust of many Christians in the Word of God, and caused them to instead trust in the unproven science of man.  The war concerning true Sabbath Day, Food Law, Holy Day and Torah observance in general over the past few hundred years has caused Christians to trust in the institutions and practices of men causing various divisions/denominations, and to deny the statutes clearly stated in God’s Word. The war concerning homosexuality has led many Christians to disregard the laws given by God in the OT all together, even though they were confirmed and obeyed by Jesus and His Apostles in the NT.

013Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:17-20

Every single war we have seen in the Christian body has two sides.  One side that seeks to preserve belief in and observance of the Word of God as it is written, and the other side that seeks to discontinue belief in and observance of the Word of God as it is written. This is simply an observation. We as Christians have no choice but to choose a side whether we like it or not, as our daily behavior is the result of our choice.  Every day, we must choose to either obey the Word of God, or do what seems right to us as men and women.

word-became-flesh-the_tWithin the visible body of Christ, there are those that believe that what God’s Word portrays is the way, truth and life, and there are those that do not.  Again, this is simply an observation. I’d like to present an argument for consideration, as a Christian man who believes that God’s Word is the way, truth and life. Mankind for thousands of years has chosen their own wisdom, over the Word of God.  This should surprise no one that has even a vague understanding of history.  It is a fact, that a large group of American Christians today believe that the Old Testament is more like a fairy tale in cases where the power of God was shown, while they believe other portions of the OT serve merely as a historic account of the nation of the Jews.  For this reason, various Christians in the USA are skeptical about the power of God. If the Old Testament was known as the Word of God to the early Christians; it speaks, teaches and prophecies about Jesus the Messiah; and Jesus himself is called the Word of God made flesh in John 1, how is Jesus your Messiah if you reject the OT?  Phrased differently: Is it possible to reject the Word, but accept the “Word Made Flesh?” Is it possible to accept Jesus as the Messiah of the whole world, but to reject the premise that he came upon and was recognized by, which were the hundreds of OT prophecies that told of His coming, life, death and resurrection? After all, without the OT, no one would have realized the need for the Messiah, or even expected a Messiah to come.  In a nutshell, I’m asking- is it possible to reject the Word (Jesus), and accept the Word (Jesus) at the same time?  Some claim they accept some of the OT as literal but not all of it.  It is the same to say “I believe what I want to believe.”

clip_image002I believe as evidenced in the historic and present day record, that the true Gospel of the Word of God has been hijacked by ungodly men for thousands of years. For those that will acknowledge the truth found in the Bible, there are tons of examples where men decided that their way was better than the ways of YHWH, and there are also many examples of the outcome of this kind of foolishness.  Those living in the time of Noah completely left the order of God and decided to do things their own way.  It is documented as a time of pure wickedness and evil, which didn’t go unpunished.  For those that dare to believe the truth, God judged this people with a flood that filled the entire earth….yes literally.  Sodom & Gomorrah also found their ways above the ways of YHWH leaving His order for their own, and met swift destruction by fire. The Egyptians of Moses’ time believed in the ways of the “gods” (they worshiped many demons in Egypt), the pharaoh even going as far as to declare himself a god.  He regarded his ways as higher than the ways of YHWH, the god of the Hebrew people.  His destruction came upon his entire nation.  Throughout the times of the Judges, Hebrew men rose up believing that their ways were better than the ways of YHWH, and they were judged repeatedly for this foolishness.    During the era of the Kings, many of the kings of the Jewish people were found guilty of creating their own ways and disregarding the ways of YHWH, and their destruction came upon themselves.  King Saul, the very first king was guilty of this, and met his death quickly.  King Jeroboam of the Northern Tribes of Israel at one point cheryl.showers_1351872772_23decided to disregard God’s holy days, and to create his own putting his ways above YHWH’s, and he met his fate.  YHWH was even faithful to judge Gentile cities, and to give them the opportunity to repent, as seen in the case of Jonah being sent to the Gentile city Nineveh, and the case of Ancient Babylon. Probably the most famous to us today, are the works of the Pharisees and Sadducees mentioned in the gospels.  These were two political factions of the Jewish people, who over the years after the temple was rebuilt, had created all kinds of new laws in addition to God’s law, known as the oral tradition or “Talmud”. They viewed that their ways/commandments were more important than the commandments of God found in the OT.  Jesus is documented rebuking them repeatedly for this sin of adding to His law, and causing the Hebrew people in effect to disobey the laws of YHWH.  They too met swift judgment in 70AD, with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and the final destruction of the temple.  This pattern is presented for our learning over and over again in God’s Word, and as He also teaches us in His Word, “there is nothing new under the sun.”  It will continue over and over again until the final judgment. It continues today.

interfaithThe Word of God has remained the same for thousands of years.  It is the most well preserved document in the history of man.  The commandments of men on the other hand have changed so many times over the past 6,000 years that it would be impossible to count.  Yet in every generation, men rise up who believe that their wisdom is greater than the Creator’s.  They truly believe that they are gods, by putting themselves in the place of YHWH and decreeing things that even oppose the law of YHWH.  This is no surprise, as many Christian leaders have tossed out all of YHWH’s laws.  What is more troubling, is that this in many cases is done in His name.  Some Christian leaders even venture to go so far to say, “God has changed his mind on this one.” The YHWH that is the same yesterday, today and forever?  We as a Christian body should start asking our leaders- “what god do you serve and what gospel do you teach?” As Paul mentioned:

“Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of ChristBut though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursedAs we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursedFor do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. ~ Galatians 1:7-10

047-2-1-1Think about how it sounds, when someone says “I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe in the Bible.” Really think about this statement.  Is these even a possibility? Could it be, that you are not a Christian, because you reject the very book that testifies about this Messiah. Would you be willing to confront the possibility that you may not really  know the Messiah who you proclaim to believe in?  I don’t say this in judgment or condemnation, but rather, just think about what this logically means. It would be the same to say, “I’m a Christian, but I have no interest in what this Christ (the Word Made Flesh) had to say, and I don’t fully understand why I need Him.” I believe that this is the core problem we have within Christian churches in the USA.  Many want the name, but they don’t want the message.  War is being waged on the hearts of all men and women in this country, and divisions are inevitable.  Just as in biblical times, over and over again, there were divisions between those that sought to obey God, and those that sought to defy Him, so today nothing has changed.  In a church I used to attend, there is an article of faith that mentions to obey the governing authorities as long as no godly law is transgressed.  We enter a time of testing for many people and organized Christian denominations.  Be wise, as the wolves will be easy to identify if you know the Word of God.

04_proctor1_JNThe world is going to do what it has always done.  It will always eat of the fruit that God said not to eat.  Don’t be a fool, this is the way of the world.  That being said, be prepared to defend your belief in YHWH, His Word, His Law, His Way, His Son, the new life that he gave us, and the freedom he gave us from the bondage sin. Be prepared to testify about how your life has changed by the Word of God (Jesus), and how he has freed you specifically.  Be prepared to be rejected, persecuted, and hated.  Be prepared for tribulation. Be prepared to love your enemy, and to pray for your persecutors.  Be prepared to LOVE all men and women, as this is the realm where God moves and works. The war today is one for the heart. The battleground is in the heart.  Remind each other about what God has said in His Word.  Hold on to His promises.  A friend of mine reminded me of the words of Paul recently.

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:19-26

499wThe true issue within the Christian body today is not between those that support marriage equality, and those that don’t.  Rather it is between those that believe that the Word of God is the way, truth and life, and those that don’t.  Every man will have to decide for himself where he stands. There is only one middle-ground, and it is known as the place of the lukewarm.  Ask yourself, “do I believe that the Word of God/Bible means what it says, or do I think it is an outdated historic book that is irrelevant to today?” Let the cards fall where they may, and love all men unconditionally with patience and longsuffering, instructing in meekness those that oppose you. A meek nature is quiet and gentle, yet firm. In conclusion, please consider what I believe is a slippery train of thought- that if the OT is irrelevant, than Christ is irrelevant; and if Christ is irrelevant, than the NT is irrelevant; and if the NT is irrelevant, on what rock have you built your house?

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:15-17

And don’t forget, we were warned:

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” ~ Revelation 12:17

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