I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Revelation 3:15-16
And Jesus said; “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.” Matthew 7:22-23
Are you now seeing why the scripture teaches that in the end times there will be an apostate church? Apostasy can be defined as “the departure from the truth that one professed to have.” We will look deeper into the subject of apostasy in the near future. The prince of darkness has confused and divided Christians with the teachings of the world so that their vision is blurred and some are even denying the Word of God.
So ... what are we to do?
Like I said previously; “In the Biblical context of spiritual matters, there are only two ways to believe: God’s Truth; or doctrines of demons.This thinking is viewed as arrogant, prideful, and fanatical by those who reject Christ. I also thought that way before I received Christ ... I was blinded by the enemy. I now have put on blinders that protect me from the darkness. "Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
Jesus predicted this reaction. All of the teachings of men, apart from God’s word are most likely tainted by doctrines of demons, and therefore lead all away from the truth, in one way or another. This is true for both Christians and unbelievers. We have only one correct path to follow: to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, in Biblical context.
Is this view legalistic? Legalism is a religious system that teaches that a person can do something to earn or merit salvation from God. Understanding the truth of Gospel of Jesus Christ does not lead us to believe that salvation comes by the works of men; but rather that salvation is by the Grace of God alone, through faith in Jesus Christ, and that His sacrifice is atonement for our sins ... for each of us at Calvary. Many with views that take Christianity out of context will conclude that you are trying to force them to follow your beliefs, and are judging them and their views and religion. That is clearly done by God's Word ... not us. We can judge no man. Our role as Christians is to help others be reconciled to God through Christ. The Oxford English Dictionary helps clarify legalism: The principles of those who hold a theological position of adhering to the Law as opposed to the Gospel; the doctrine of Justification by Works, or teaching which savours of that doctrine. Christians can become legalistic ... but typically that is a result of taking God's Truth out of context and judging; rather than sharing the love of Christ which is forgiving and full of Grace. The call for Christians to be transformed is from God and His Word, not you. That is each persons personal decision; judgment and the consequences are theirs alone, and between them and God only. A common response is to point at you and make a claim of judgmental ... to divert attention.
Properly viewed, God's truth will result in Love, Peace, Joy, and the Righteousness of Christ in Him ... not a judgmental and legalistic spirit.
But how should we relate to others? We are to be ambassadors to Christ with a ministry of reconciliation. We must rightly understand God’s Truth; so that we can help other believers, and unbelievers as well; know the Truth of God. The goal is that they will reject worldly teachings which are all tainted like sour milk, by “doctrines of demons." It does not matter how well meaning, or sincere, or how much good worldly beliefs might do for others, or mankind in general; if they are tainted, they will lead men away from Christ. When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7 We do no need to be viewed as religious fanatics that are judging others. We should always turn others back to God's Word. The issue is between them and God ... not you. But if that is the conclusion they come to in their decision to reject the Truth, and follow the teachings of the world or other religions or philosophies, do not be surprised. Jesus clearly predicts this will happen here. John 15:11-19 On the other hand, when the love of Christ controls and consumes us, we can become at peace with those who have been deceived and help them be freed from the prince of darkness.
When a verse is taken out of its context, it is often presented as meaning something that it cannot mean within the context. A good example of a verse clarified by the immediate context is Matthew 3:11 "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. "Those who are pleading with God for a baptism with fire might reconsider if they connect this verse with the one following it. "His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering the wheat into his barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Baptism with fire is hell. Matthew 3:12
Also, “one cannot properly handle context until he has a good grasp of Biblical content. The interpreter must know the content of the book from which the particular passage he is interpreting comes. He needs to know the content of books in which there are passages devoted to the same theme which he is interpreting...Biblical content is essential for the much-needed grasp of context. The book of James, for instance, was written for the purpose of showing that we are justified in the eyes of other people by our actions. Other people cannot know of our faith unless they see it in action. The book of Galatians, on the other hand, sets forth the doctrine that we are justified before God by our faith, not our actions.”
Jesus also warns of false teachers who will lead us astray with doctrines of demons. Apart from God’s Word we cannot know the truth. But the Lord tells us that we can know the truth, and the truth will set us free … He and the Word are the truth, and that He will disclose Himself to Us. We know men lie. Why would a Christian ever believe anything other than the clearly revealed Truth of God … especially not from mere men; or even themselves; or their feelings which are subject to lust, pride, and the influence of the doctrines of demons? Wouldn’t we all rather be blessed with this: “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship” Exodus 31:3
Contrary to what some have been deceived into believing, we can know God’s Truth. Men, Satan, persuasive speech or any other contrary religion, philosophy, or teaching will never, and can never change or alter the Truth of God, or His plans.Apart from His word; my opinion, or your opinion is at best temporary; and any spiritual conclusions that we might come to, apart from God’s Word, whether they come in a vision; or by any other means are highly suspect, and should always be tested against the revealed Truth of the Creator of all things. “For, all men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever. And this is the word that was preached to you.” 1 Peter 1:24. “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11 This is the model ... Biblical Christians must follow.
You cannot trust your own conclusions; or the teachings of men. They must be tested to be sure that they are in accord with God’s eternal words of Truth. There are clear differences between God’s Truth, and the lies of the world. God wants us to have wisdom … it does not come from the teachings of men. The Truth of God is clearly spoken in these Proverbs. Pro 16:2-7 the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives. 3 Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established. 4 The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil. 5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; assuredly, he will not be unpunished. 6 By loving-kindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil. 7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
These Proverbs need no interpretation; the meanings are clear, and not easily misunderstood. The context is: they are God’s Truth. They encourage Godly lives, and help us to gain His wisdom from above. When one meditates on these truths, the Holy Spirit will provide knowledge, Wisdom and understanding and application to one’s daily life.
So what are we to do with the prophetic scriptures, proverbs, parables, and allegories that have symbolism and appear to refer to more than one event? What if the scriptures appear to contradict itself; or supposed proven science? Then the Bible is either not true, and that is not possible; or God lies, not possible; or someone is out of context. Obviously, when we come to these conclusions, it only means that one dimensional worldly thinking has misunderstood the omniscient all knowing Truth. I am working on those future posts.
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:12-17
often contradict the wisdom of the world. Since we have been programmed by the world ... we have come to accept these worldly ideas as truth ... but when we consider God’s perspective ... we come to understand ... "the Lord's ways are not our ways"
Don't just read these writings ... meditate and pray over God's Word ... Listen to the Holy Spirit ... and be transformed by renewing your mind. He who died on our behalf wants you to ... allow the love of Christ to control you ... so that you might become ... the righteousness of God in Him.
Be an Ambassador of Christ ... with a ministry of reconciliation. Share God's eternal Truth and Love ... with everyone He brings into your path.