Archive for October, 2008

Three Deceptions –

October 30, 2008

 

 

            The first counterfeit of Satan is to convince us that we don’t have, can not live by, and aren’t expected to live by, this other life. In a portion in this introduction we will be talking about how to live by this other life, how to live by the Spirit, how to live the Christian life. There is only one person who can live the Christian life and that is Christ. And, until we come to the place we can say, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me, we are far from the mark.

            The second deception is a misleading gospel, an inadequate truth. I’d like us to look quickly at Luke chapter 18. I’m just introducing this Revolutionary Gospel; hardly introducing it. I’m just going to make a quick point to maybe raise some questions in your heart, questions that I’m hoping will cause you to say, “I need to hear more.” Perhaps you already know it. But, on the whole, the church has an inadequate gospel, an inadequate truth, a partial truth.

 Jn. 4:24

Gn. 3:22

 

            You all know, of course, that I can say what’s true and communicate a lie. The issue is not saying what is true. Satan in the Garden did say what was true. He also mixed it with a lie but in there was that which was true. “You’ll be like God.” At the end of chapter 3, God says, “They have become like us, knowing good and evil.” True – it just wasn’t the whole truth. “You surely shall not die.” Yet they died. That day they died, and they became a living soul not a living spirit and it was the spirit that died. And it was the spirit that had compatibility with the Father. He’s a spirit; and the Son, He’s a spirit; and the Holy Spirit, of course, is a spirit. God is a spirit and they that worship Him shall worship Him in spirit and in truth.

            I know I’m covering a lot of ground and it is because within the following pages I will be repeating some things many times so that it will finally sink in and connect. I believe if you are testing the spirits, you are bearing witness right now with what the Spirit is saying. In Luke chapter 18, beginning in verse 31 we see this interaction between Jesus and the disciples taking place within three, may be four days, at the most a week, of Jesus’ crucifixion. This is at the end of His three and one half years’ ministry.

Verses 31 – 33.

 

   Then He took the 12 aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be handed over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.”

 

            Jesus, four days before His death, is saying to His disciples, “I must go to Jerusalem where I will be killed, buried, and will rise on the third day.” Death – burial – resurrection; a three day work. And His disciples had no idea what He was talking about. Now, follow with me. This is important. We’re going to spend more time on this even in the introduction, but we’re going to spend several chapters on this issue.

            Jesus began His ministry, Matthew chapter 4, going about Judea, and Galilee, preaching the gospel. And, numerous times, many times, throughout the 3 ½ years, the Holy Spirit relates to us that Jesus was preaching the gospel. In Luke chapter 9 it says, in verse 1,

 

   And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.

 

            And He sent them out to proclaim the gospel.

            That was about a year and a half to a year and 10 months into His ministry, which would have been another year and a half to a year and 10 months before this event here. For almost two years the disciples were also preaching the gospel. Can you preach the gospel without touching on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus? If your gospel begins and ends with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and its work, you’ve missed the gospel that He preached. He most certainly had a three day work, and as Paul says in 1 Cor. 15, “It’s of first importance.” It just puts us into a place where we can now receive the fullness of the gospel. But we now learn how to live a life that is not our own. Jesus spent 3 ½ years dealing with life, not sin and death, life and how to live it. And if our gospel ends with death, burial and resurrection, we will end up with the Laodicean church that is overcome by every temptation that comes along.

            We will end up looking just like the world around us. We will be divorcing at the same rate as the world. We will be aborting our babies at the same rate as the world. Our children will be going off to college and ending up in the world at the same rate the world is. And the reason this takes place is that we’ve not learned that we were created for life. And not created for a sweet by-and-by life, but from the very beginning the very Christ life, victorious life, overcoming life, abundant life. Am I coming through?

 

The Second Deception –

 

            The second deception the enemy must work on that Laodicean church is to convince her of an inadequate gospel, a less than complete truth. I said I could say to you what’s true and communicate a lie. I have a friend named Tim. I’ve been in Tim’s home many times and if you were to ask me what kind of family he has I would say something like, “Well, the truth is I’ve been in their home many times and they have not one time offered me a cup of coffee. I’ve been there for every meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and not one time have they offered me a cup of coffee.”  That’s absolutely true, but the rest of the story is, they know I don’t drink coffee. I can say what is true and communicate a lie.

            I can also say what is less than complete and communicate the whole truth. We have eleven grandchildren and almost every one of them goes through this phase. Around three or four years old they start coloring with crayons and they start drawing figures. Little Katy comes running in one day and she has this picture, on the bottom of which her momma has scrawled “Papaw.” And the picture here is of this kind of crude melon shaped head. And out of the side of the head where the ears ought to be are these two little hands sticking out. And where the neck ought to be there’s two little sticks with feet turned out. I suggest to you that it was a perfect picture. I suggest that it communicated everything little Katy was wanting to say to her Papaw. Am I communicating with you?

            Is it possible the Laodicean church has accepted a gospel that can cover her sins but can not empower her to live an overcoming life?

 

The Third Deception –

 

            The third deception that the enemy must work, the first being a form of godlessness that denies its power and life; the second being a misleading gospel or an inadequate truth; the third being a counterfeit salvation – a costless way.

Mt. 28:19

Mt. 4:19

Mt. 16:18

            Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” He did not say, “Go and make Christians.” Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” He did not say, “Go and build churches.” He did say, “I’ll build My church.” Isn’t it interesting that we give so much of our life to building churches and this work of making disciples seems so neglected? Jesus said, “Follow Me and I will make you…” they were not made the instant that they left their nets. There is a reason why the scriptures talk about having been saved, are being saved and shall be saved.

            Turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 10. In 1 Corinthians we have a text that ends in verses 11 & 12. We’re going to read verses 11 & 12 and then we’re going to go back to verse 1 which is our focal text. Whatever is spoken of in the first 10 verses, verse 11 says,

 

    Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

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A Deluding Influence –

October 28, 2008

 

            Now, look at 2 Thess. 2:11 which is the most frightening text in all the scriptures for me. And “for this reason” they would not receive a love for the truth. 

 

   For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false.

 

            God Himself will send upon this church who just would not receive a love for the truth, God Himself will send a deluding influence, a deceiving spirit so that they might believe what is false. Is that frightening or not? So, I would suggest that we be fairly diligent in our prayer life in crying out for a love for the truth.

            You will discover as I have discovered that you will have no problem with the truth that does not touch you. I have no problem dealing with the truth of drugs or homosexuality or a whole raft of things. But those areas where I am having trouble buying the truth are elsewhere.

            You know Pr. 23:23 says, Buy truth and do not sell it. It is in those areas I find truth difficult. Truth is to be purchased. And, if you’ve not learned this by now you will learn this eventually. If you do not purchase it the first time around there is not a commodity in all of God’s economy or the world’s economy that is so consistent with inflation as is this issue of buying truth. If you do not buy it the first time, the price goes up. Inflation takes its toll. And you will find it more expensive the second time or the third time or the fourth time because truth must be purchased. Receiving a love of the truth is necessary in order for us to purchase what’s being offered.

 

Verse 12. …in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

 

            The reason this Laodicean church is so deceived is because there is so much deception out there from the enemy and in the end, from God Himself upon those who just would not receive a love for the truth. The cause of this deception is the unwillingness to receive a love for the truth. I want to suggest to you, and this is our thesis, I want to suggest to you that there are three things that the enemy works at to deceive us. It was so in the Garden. There were three things that God lost. We all have trouble believing that God could lose something but the truth is God did lose in the Garden. It did not end there but He lost Adam and Eve and the life of Adam and Eve for His own habitation. It was God’s intention from the beginning to dwell in His man. That’s why this other tree, the tree of life, was in the Garden. God lost His habitation. God lost the truth as we will see in the body of this study and we will touch on it here. And God lost His way with man, His intimacy with man, His walk with man. That was all destroyed. And, God’s solution for Adam’s race was a second man, as we will see, who was also the last Adam. I’m quoting from 1 Cor. 15.

2 Co 5:17

             The enemy has three great deceptions. The first deception is that he tries to convince us that we can have a form of godliness and yet deny its power. It’s an imitation life. Most teaching that I hear in the West, has to do with the church trying to imitate Christ. It’s What Would Jesus Do? God’s solution is not our imitation of Christ. God’s solution is not our trying, by the strength of the old man, to live like the promised man – the new man in Christ. The first counterfeit that the enemy has put over on this Laodicean church is that we can not expect to live by another life until the sweet by-and-by. The first deception is that Christ can not live now in us. Most Christians live defeated lives because they’ve yet to learn how to live out of a life that is not Adam’s life. But it is the very life for which they were created. Man was made for God. Man can not even be the man that God created him to be without God indwelling that man.

Jn. 12:44-46,49

Phil. 2:6-8

            Jesus was the first normal human being ever and it is because He lived by the life of Another. He did not live by His own deity. He left that in heaven – humbling Himself, taking on the form of a man. From that point on He is referred to in the scriptures as the Son of Man not the Son of God. In eternity, in the future, you read in the book of Revelation that He’s referred to as the Son of Man. He came to show us how to be man as God created man to be and that is to live by this life that Adam and Eve never, ever tasted of.

Apostasy Revealed –

October 25, 2008

 

            Let’s turn quickly to 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 1. 

 

   But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith….

 

            There is going to be a falling away and the falling away is from the truth. Having been in a position of truth they end up in error – misled – deceived.  …some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. This is going to take place in the age of the Laodicean church. I’m suggesting to you to consider the possibility that the church that we know has been misled significantly and our deeds show it.

            Let’s just go back a couple of pages to 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2. This is a very important text. It’s important because it explains why Christians end up deceived. And we’re just introducing the thought at this point.

            Reading from verse 1.

 

   Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and 0ur gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

 

            That day of the Lord is our being gathered together to Him.  Verse 3.

 

   Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.

 

            (The apostasy is the falling away.) Two things are going to happen prior to the coming of Christ. There is going to be a great falling away, and you know the reason for that falling away from our text in Matthew 24 and in 1 Tim. 4:1. It is because they’ve been misled and they are falling away from the truth. The falling away and the revealing of the lawless one must first take place. Now, jump with me down to verse 8.

 

Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders.

 

            Satan has his hand on the deception, the misleading that is going on in that age. Actually it’s been going on from the beginning, hasn’t it? But the reason it’s such a great falling away at the end of the age is because of so much deception.

 

   Verse 10. …and with all deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

 

            The reason Christians are deceived is because they will not receive a love for the truth. You can not manufacture it. It’s something received. I would suggest to the church in this age as well as this prophesied age, if they are different, that they receive a love for the truth. And who do you suppose is the one who gives such a gift? And who do you suppose is called the Truth? But it is receiving a love for the truth that keeps us from deception.

 

Next – A Deluding Influence

The Laodicean Church

October 23, 2008

 

            I’m going to begin with a premise in our opening scene, and the premise is this: it may not be that we are the last generation or at the end of the age or are that Laodicean church spoken of in Revelation 3:14-22; that may or may not be true. But, what I believe is true is that the American church is manifesting all of the signs as if she were that Laodicean church, that end of the age church, that last generation church. In this first introduction it is our intent to share with you from the word in such a way that you can determine whether or not you want to continue with the words that follow. I believe everything that we are sharing has to do with a woman who wants to make herself ready. There are really two things at the end of the age: the bride making herself ready, and a church that is so deceived that she does not even know where she is.

            Let’s look at that Laodicean church just to use it as an illustration. I’m not saying that we are that church. I am saying it would seem that all of the manifestations of that church are with the American church or the church particularly in the west.

            Verse 14 of Revelation 3:

 

    To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: Christ is speaking, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.”

 

And neither a cold or hot church is this Laodicean church. It’s not our objective or our point here but it is something you can put back in the corner of your heart. Jesus is speaking to all 7 of these churches on the basis of “I know your deeds. Not your heart, not your intentions, I know your deeds.”

Verse 17.  The reason why you are lukewarm is:

 

   “Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”

 

            This Laodicean church is a church that thinks she has it together, and is wealthy and rich, perhaps at least in the things of God. But she is so deceived that she does not know that she is wretched and miserable – poor – naked – blind. Now that’s deceived.

 

Verses 18 & 19.    I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and the  shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”

 

            Christ’s solution and answer to this church is that she become zealous and repent and buy gold that is refined by fire, and buy white garments. And she has great needs. She thinks she is rich. She’s seen by Him as very poor, wretched and miserable. I wonder what she’s going to buy these things with. I wonder where this gold comes from. I believe we will discover the answer in the body of this study. The point is, there is a purchasing that is necessary; a purchasing of gold, a purchasing of clothing, white garments, and the purchasing of eye salve, so that you may see.

            Within the body of this study there will be a spiritual exercise around each of these. There are many exercises in the scriptures which are those things that enable us to turn toward God, enable us to break through the flesh, the natural man, so we can touch the things of God.

            The Laodicean church is totally unaware of her true condition. She is lukewarm, neither hot or cold; she believes she’s rich – she’s poor; she believes she’s clothed – she’s naked. It’s the Emperor who has no clothes. What is the cause of this church being so far from the mark and not even knowing it? Actually the cause is found in almost every prophecy concerning the church at the end of the age.

            If we were to look in Matthew, chapter 24, for example, and we’ll go through these very quickly. I’m just laying a foundation here for our theme.  In Matthew 24, is the text where Jesus is answering three questions: when will the destruction of this temple be when there will not be left one stone on another, what will be a sign of your coming, when will be the end of the age.

            You might think that these three questions all point to the same time but they do not, as we know, because history has proven to us that the temple was destroyed some 35 years later. In this text there is a common denominator that is found in every major text concerning the end of the age.

            And in verses 4 & 5 we find it.

 

   And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ.’ And will mislead many.”

 

            This is the Laodicean church – misled.

            Verses 10 & 11:

 

   “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.”

           

            This Laodicean church is misled – deceived.

            Verses 23 & 24. 

   “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”

 

            There is a misleading going on. And there is a falling away. If it were possible, even the elect would be falling away.

 

Next will be The Apostasy Revealed.

Be It Unto Me –

October 21, 2008

           

            Our opening exercise is taken from the Gospel of John. And, this is a spiritual exercise. Its purpose is to turn us from our “old man” to the new man in Christ. It’s to cause us to be in a place where when the Spirit is speaking, we can hear Him. In John, Chapter 7, verse 17, there is a principal expressed. It is expressed in many places in both the Old and New Testaments. But, this is the clearest place I have found in the scriptures. In John chapter 7, verse 17, Jesus says, “He that is willing to do he shall know of the teaching whether it is of man or of God.” (This is not a quote.)

Lk. 1:38

            The principal is, he that is willing to do, he shall know. With God, knowing only comes to those who are first willing to do. With man, we want God to say what it is He wants us to do so we can judge whether or not we will do it. God does not speak to that man. God speaks to the man or the woman or the child who first presents to Him a heart that says, “I’ll do it!” Not “I’ll do it for the John Brown’s of the world or of the church” but will do it for the Lord God. Be the one who can say, as Mary, “Be it unto me as you have spoken.”

            The interesting thing about the mother of Jesus and her encounter with the angel is the angel did not ask her permission because the angel already knew the answer. And that was why she was most favored. The angel knew in Mary’s heart, she was already available to God. Her question has nothing to do with her judging whether or not she will do it. She doesn’t ask the question, for example, “What about the Pharisees and the Sadducees, won’t they stone me?”  “What do I tell my husband to be?” “What do I tell my family?” That never enters into it. She has a single question and that is, “How are you going to do it?” And so, the angel was directed by the Holy Spirit, to say, “Favored one,” of Mary. Her response, when she understood how was, “Do whatever the Lord wants.”

Lk. 1:35

            Would you have understood this as a woman or a man for the angel to say how you are going to get pregnant? “The Holy Spirit is going to overshadow you.” Oh? All Mary needed to know was that it was going to be a work of God.

            Now, what’s the exercise? If you are reading this to hear me you’ll be disappointed. I suggest you never come to hear men. But, if you’ve come to hear God, if you’ve come expecting to hear the Holy Spirit speak, present to Him a heart that is willing to do and you shall know what it is that He is going to speak to you. It may be out of my mouth but it may not be out of my mouth. It may be in between the lines. It may be as you are looking at the scriptures. It may be as you are carried off in a thought about a situation that some how relates to something that’s been said. And the Holy Spirit will speak to you. He that is willing to do he…shall know. 

            We’re going to begin with that exercise. We’re going to present to the Lord a heart that says “amen” at the beginning. We will present a “So be it!” and an “I’ll do it!” to God so that man can hear. Will you join me in that?

            Gracious Father, it is a wonderful thing that You have done that we shall be called children of God by Your Spirit for that is exactly what we are. Father, as sons and daughters, we are presenting to You tonight, hearts that are saying, “So be it, Lord! We will do it!” You speak. Be it done unto us that for which we’ve been created. Be it done unto us that for which we’ve been chosen. Be it done unto us, Father, that for which we’ve been elected. To Your praise and glory, we pray. Amen.

The Basis of Teaching

October 16, 2008

For the past several years John Brown has been teaching a series called “The Way, The Truth, The Life.” This blog will be based primarily on his teaching from a unique perspective of the Kingdom of God. The first posts in this blog will be taken from the book that has been written from the transcription of “The Truth” that has been titled, A Revolutionary Gospel.  This Revolutionary Gospel that John speaks of is not revolutionary because it is new, it is revolutionary because it is the Gospel that Jesus preached that is the “power of God unto salvation.” 

The Basis of Teaching

Salvation as we know it in the evangelical church is not the end; it’s just barely the beginning. And, it is not complete until either the coming of Christ or being called up to meet Him in heaven. So I see my self still in the making. Christ is still being formed in me as He is in you. And, I will be sharing from the inadequacies of one who is still partially formed, not fully formed.

Test The Spirit –

And, as a little opening exercise, I suggest to you something that I believe is important. There is a text in the first letter of John – “test the spirits.” We’ve not been called to test each other’s doctrine. There is a place for knowing the doctrines of those who are ministering to us. In terms of knowing each other, we’re to know no one after the flesh, which means, if you were to know me, not after the flesh, you would see that I am partially formed. Don’t judge me on what has not been formed. Our divisions are over our judgments of that which is not yet complete. That is why we are so divided. And, I will be encouraging that. I’m not suggesting that you ignore doctrine. But the role of testing doctrine is not the role of determining fellowship, or determining whether or not we will listen to one another.
If we wait until he who is speaking or preaching is fully formed before we listen, we will never be formed. You can see that makes sense. I have been surprised – I keep thinking I’m about there but my life has been a life of doctrines changing, maturing. And if I were to judge who I was 10 years ago – 15 years ago – 20 years ago, and that judgment be the basis of my fellowship with Him or my hearing Him, I could not have listened to myself because I’ve changed so much.
The issue is test the Spirit. Is Christ there and is Christ speaking? Is He moving in the Spirit or in the flesh? I often move in the flesh. If you are with me any length of time or have heard me teach or have read anything I have written, you will hear my “old man.” Don’t judge the Holy Spirit on the basis of my “old man.” You tune into the Holy Spirit and you cannot miss Him, even if I do. He will teach you. We have no need of any man to teach us because we are sons and daughters. But God uses teachers and evangelists and prophets and apostles and pastors in the body as an avenue where by the Holy Spirit might teach us. That’s why we need to listen to the Spirit.

Hello world!

October 16, 2008

 I was thinking that the best way to get the message about this “Revolutionary Gospel” out to as many people as possible would be through a blog.

You have to realize that I really don’t have a clue about what I’m doing. As a matter of fact I do have a post-it note on my desk with this: “God help me! I don’t know what I’m doing!”

So I’ll just start slow and see what happens.

If you have any comments about how to do things, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Blessings,

–JeraldD