Many well-intentioned young vibrant men and women have been misled to hold unhealthy ambition that makes them partisan, attached to their camp and pay blind allegiance to leading champions of their lopsided theology or movements in order to gain recognition and promotion within their sphere of influence. This is regrettable!
The game is this; “serve” but (who?) and then you will qualify to be given opportunity (by who?) in order to lead within the sphere of people under their sway. This evil done in the name of protecting God’s sheep is rampant within large and small gatherings.
Our gracious God is watching and laughing at this craftiness and poor wisdom invented for churchy life. His word to us is this; “repent for everything must be judged by My justice. Fear me again with sincerity!” 1 Samuel 16:7, Hebrews 4:12-13. Rather, be “a no-body” than get involved in the religious politics of this present world that is raging like a wild fire amongst those who nickname their “theological camps” in direct disregard to God’s admonition via Paul and the other Apostles.
The wisdom of religious politics is not good for the gospel of Christ, advancing in the wisdom of how to call a spade an agricultural implement is no wisdom. It does not come from above, at best, it is from selfish ambition and past hurt experiences. Those who practice this kind of wisdom will keep hurting innocent people like the Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, chief priests etc, who were so sleek in manipulative oppression against their followers and the disciples of Jesus. Those who indulge in it will not be guiltless Luke 17:1-2, Phil 1:10.
The presumed “I am working for the gospel” that makes man compete with Christ for the soul of men is the gospel of the anti-Christ.
From the foundation of the earth, God has never intended for man to have rule or dominion over man and, that is the reason He did not want His people in the Old Testament to have kings and still does not in the New Testament.
The desire in man to rule man no matter how good intentioned is devilish. God gifted Lucifer that he may use the gift to arouse praise in himself and the heavenly beings specifically to worship and serve Him (God) the only one true God. But, through pride, he desired to rule over man so that man will worship him but to do that, he must contend with God.
In the same way, every gift (spiritual and physical) God gives to man is meant to be used to arouse the bearer of the gift and others to submit, reverence, worship and serve God alone as their only king and ruler.
But, the nature of the devil man acquired through the fall makes man want to rule, be worshiped and served by his fellow man. Anyone (pagan or Christian) who desires worship from man will contend with God even when using the gift he or she received from God. This is why, God calls on man to die to self-life.
The refusal to die to self-life, is the reason we have a lot of renowned “excellent bible teachers”, crowd pulling, miracle workers, charismatic leaders who are “helping” Jesus build an earthly Kingdom in this age. He has not ask them to because when He first came to establish the foundation of the kind of kingdom He wanted, He did it IN the heart of men in preparation for the new earth yet to come.
Anyone in the true gospel understands well that, the word “lead” in the New Testament means to serve not rule. This is the reason God requires that the sheep who wants to serve His sheep must first show they have submitted themselves to the divine rulership of God. Put more accurately, that they participate in His divine nature through Christ by the help of the Holy Spirit and anyone who does, never lays claim to God’s sheep.
When the devil fails to capture the soul of a man he does not give up rather, he attempts to share it with God. Again, this same evil plagues man. Man, also tries to share man’s loyalty to God with God when he fails to get a soul to totally worship him. This is why many people fail to understand Paul’s statement that, he is an Apostle to the Corinthians and not that, he is their Apostle like many claim today of being the Pastor, Apostle, Prophet and Teacher of another Christian or Church.
Unfortunately, we live in an era when majority of believers (gospel people) give higher priority to reading books by “excellent teachers” than the bible and to depend on its teacher (Holy Spirit) like the Bereans. May be, in their opinion, the Holy Spirit is a less excellent teacher. As a result of this appalling anomaly, all kinds of occult and new age teachings (myths) are masquerading as the gospel of Christ.
Dear friend, what kind of gospel do you have and preach? Consider!
God’s way or gospel is in conflict with the gospel of the devil which is not a gospel but a lie. This battle between the gospel of Christ and the gospel of the anti-Christ is raging in the hearts of man and is fiercer than any war man has ever fought with physical weapons or will ever fight.
But, Praise be to God as we see the resurrection power of the gospel in us, swallow up the false gospel that confronts us daily; He is helping us live graciously in the midst of mercilessness, live a forgiving life in the midst of unforgiveness, do justice in the midst of injustice, live in love in the midst of wickedness.
Praying consistently, working hard and enduring much are all geared specifically/singularly to point the unbelievers to Jesus and encourage God’s sheep to devote themselves to Jesus and not to ourselves- that, they may worship and reverence God and Him alone. Hopefully that is your testimony!
At the end, godliness will culminate to love and love to godliness; the two, shall be married Rev 19:7-10. They inevitably live and shall live forever in the same place 1 John2:17. The true gospel deals with our tree (heart) and is budding good FRUIT Matt 7:17
Also, mercilessness, unforgiveness, injustice, and wickedness originate together, live and shall live inevitably together forever in the same place Rev 19:20, 20:10, Rev 21:8 NLT. The false gospel also deals with the tree (heart) and is budding evil fruit.
No man can stop his tree (heart) from producing its kind of fruit (deeds). No amount of self-pruning (adjustment of character) can be helpful. Every tree on the earth is under pressure to forcefully yield it’s kind of fruit (good or evil fruit).
The only salvation from the undeniable approaching axe on all trees on the earth is found only in Christ Jesus Rev 3:10, Acts 4:12.
Every tree (heart) in Christ has the gospel and the exhortation and admonition of the scriptures is this: Hold on to the gospel to the end. Keep on shining and pointing the blind to the good Shepherd.
The exhortation and admonition to persevere in the gospel is relevant because the devil will attempt as is his nature and mission to continue to blind the world that they may not see the true way or light of the gospel of Jesus on the one hand and on the other hand, derail the people who are in the way (gospel).
We need to hold tenuously to the scriptures and have very low regards to philosophy. Things of faith towards God are simple and certain and must not be abandoned for philosophies that are uncertain Col 2:8, Jude 1:3.
God does not want His Life in His people to rest on empty human philosophies but on the old rugged cross and the wisdom taught by the Holy Spirit.
Philosophy is the reason deviation happens and that is how the spirit of the anti-Christ enters a gospel person or people.
The devil blinds the world by his gospel of lies which the Apostles of Christ by His Spirit described as another gospel. Anyone who has the gospel of Christ but, embraces “another gospel”, that individual part of the body will stand the danger of apostasy- falling away, being cut off from the book of life (Christ) because a branch MUST abide in the Vine to live.
The dangerous and wicked doctrine of once saved ever saved is “another gospel”! The danger of false gospel is this: it gives no grace and it robs from believers the grace (power) of God that helps keep believers eyes on Christ.
Can A Branch (part of His body) Be Truly Cut Off
Let us read 1 Tim 3:6, notice the following points: -A person to be appointed as an elder must not:
Be a new convert- by implication, must be a convert at the least.
Then it says, “He may become puffed up” this clearly shows that a convert can be tempted to be puffed up and actually succumbs to temptation.
It further says, “And falls into the condemnation of the devil” indicating the judgment the devil received from God for his sin of pride and, the effect of the judgment was separation from God. This assertion is correct because the devil can only accuse converts or believers but he has no power to condemn a believer.
Look at Matt 3:10, and note, that the axe is laid on the root of the trees. Axe represents judgment and trees typify hearts. Judgment is neither good nor bad word. It is the outcome of judgment that can result to it favoring one person and serving as a disadvantage to another person.
The result of the axe is undeniably associated with the kind of fruit the tree has produced. So, the fruit of any tree is a judgment already on the tree.
Rom 8:1, tells us that there is presently no condemnation on them who are in Christ. The term IN CHRIST signifies those who have, not just received Christ but are abiding in Him Matt 11:30, Luke 9:62.
The abiding in Him is equivalent to walking in the Spirit, who produces the good fruit Gal 5:22. Please note, the term; “the fruit of the Spirit” is an emphasis that the Spirit produces fruit where ever it resides no matter the circumstance Jer 17:8.
The statement “there is therefore now no condemnation” in Rom 8:1 is a judgment on its own because Christ has changed the tree into a good tree (good heart) by regeneration which is making it bear good fruit.
It is the Spirit in the believer’s that produces the fruit and not the believer’s power to keep the law Eph 2:8. Because a believer is saved by grace (God’s Spirit) and not the keeping of the law, he/she must keep or stay his or her mind or eyes on Christ which is the meaning of, to abide in Christ Heb 12:2.
So, “the abiding” is actually “looking to” rather than doing something. It is the looking to or relying on the Spirit of Christ that causes us to avoid insisting on our own ways when the Holy Spirit graciously persuades us directly and indirectly through another believer and very importantly the Church (body of believers).
Having said the above, it is wise we remind ourselves that a believer who fellowships on the internet but has no local assembly of believers he or she gathers regularly with is creating his or her own way! The danger is extremely huge though it may not be apparent at the immediate. I am certainly not knocking internet fellowship- it’s a great resource and I am all for it but, it must not replace the clear pattern in Acts of the Apostles.
In Rom 6:1-9, Paul, indicates unequivocally that grace makes the people of God bear fruit inspite of any constrain they may face. For example, in this case, they were in lack- yet they gave generously from the little they had. So, lack could not stop the Spirit in them from bearing the fruit of generosity.
If the Holy Spirit has revealed to you that tithing deviates from the doctrine of grace and as such, is a false teaching, I hope He has also revealed to you that not giving (being generous) is sin- evil fruit!
Grace makes anyone who has it to bear the fruit of heaven!
The Spirit dwells in heaven and is on the earth (in man) to produce the same fruit (love) as it is in heaven Matt 6:10. This is why Christians (those in Christ) are already heavenly citizens.
God’s Spirit on the earth is not hovering aimlessly like the demons but, He has residence in His people purchased by Emmanuel’s Blood. Are you one of those housing God? If yes, the scripture invites you to meditate on this mystery day and night, “….. Christ in you, the hope of glory” Col 1:27.
Meditate daily on Matt 22:37-40, 2 Tim 2:15 KJV, Acts 17:11, Col 3:16— the result is amazing!
The question everyone needs to answer for him or herself is this; what kind of fruit is my heart producing? If it is good, then I am walking in the Spirit or abiding in Christ but if it is bad, then I am in the flesh. And, no one in the flesh has grace, walking in the Spirit or abiding in Christ.
So, the focus should be the tree not the fruit because the type of tree we have determines the type of fruit you and I see daily in our lives.
The truth is this- there is only one remedy and surely it is not feeling guilty but, being contrite and broken (repentance) Matt 12:33, Psalm 51:17.
Feeling guilty has never been and will never be an option to remedy our state of falling short of the gospel because guilt leads to shame and shame drives man far away from a loving Father Gen 3:8.
Thank you for reading through “The falling away” series. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and sustain you by His grace in the gospel. Amen.