It hardly seems possible that the apostle Paul’s prophetic warning about dangerous times and men given to his son in the faith, Timothy, I reference in this edited 2013 Commentary could be referring to anyone but sinners of the world (2 Timothy 3:1-9). However, while sinners are referred to by him, these are men of the worst sort; professed Christians that are not led, controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit, but Satan through their sinful flesh. Can they really be pleasing God serving out of the sinful flesh as they would deceitfully have us believe? According to Scripture, no (Romans 8:6-9; Galatians 5:19-21)!1 I have been dealing with such men (and women) among many churches all of my journey and stand yet again to hold up the biblical warning about them.
Originally Published March 2013
The Bible is a book of truth that chronicles and accurately reports the consistent behavior of human beings as fallen sinners from the beginning (and without divine intervention, a hopeless forever). Such has been my painful realization as a watchman/prophet and teacher in the churches as well as an aspiring strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ. For amazing to me but quite in line with the biblical record, up until now, professed Christians have been my greatest antagonists. Still, to the end of saving some and helping others, the Lord has had me laboring over thirty years and intensely so recently in writing about Christianity the religion of men (Revelation 18:4-8).2
Ancient Judah should have known better especially in light of what they had seen happen to Israel, their sister to the North when God, after many warnings through His prophets, brought the foretold judgment with a harshness and finality that was staggering (2 Kings 17:5-23; Jeremiah 3:6-10). However, Judah too experienced God’s judgment for failing to heed the warnings of His prophets and repent from their spiritual adultery and wickedness. The fortunate found themselves captive in Babylon (2 Kings 24:1-25:21). Many of them were outwardly religious, knew what the Law said and had even experienced brief revivals under godly kings--the last, Josiah.
Yet, when God commissions Ezekiel as His watchman/prophet to the captives in Babylon, He calls this religious people "a rebellious house," (Ezekiel 1:26-3:27, NKJV). The Lord greatly encouraged His prophet since in the course of carrying out their God ordained ministries in the past, most of the prophets had been ridiculed, mocked and mistreated. Some of them had been imprisoned, tortured and murdered in the cause of bringing God's love motivated call to repentance and warning of judgment to His people which the Lord Jesus affirms in Matthew 23:29-36. Indeed, He even warns that as it was for the Old Testament prophets, so it would be for His sent servants in the New.
The Lord Himself would not escape the stark reality that the most religious men in Israel--her religious educated elite and leaders--would insist on His death out of the most common of human sins: envy (Matthew 27:15-20). Therefore, He warned His apostles and all faithful servants to come that those professing to know God in the Jewish religion and later, what sprang up as manmade Christianity the religion would be first among their persecutors (Luke 21:12; John 16:1-4; Revelation 17:1-6). The apostle Paul who experienced the painful persecution of those he once stood among likewise warns about this peril from religious men (2 Corinthians 11:22-26; 2 Timothy 3:1-9).
The New Testament record and history to this hour confirm the prophetic accuracy of the Lord and His apostle. Young and naïve in Christ those years ago, I was so hopeful it would be just a very few bad apples I might face in carrying out the ministry the Lord gifted and called me to (Ezekiel 33:1-9).3 However, I have since repeatedly experienced the mostly covert, but at times, openly hostile opposition to my ministry by legions of faithless, spiritually dead, proud, deceitful, corrupt and carnal practitioners of Christianity the religion from various races in the churches.4 Truly, if it had not been for the Lord at my side strengthening, encouraging and ministering to me, I would have forsaken His calling (John 14:18; Acts 18:4-11, 23:1-11; 2 Timothy 4:14-18).
The Lord foretells the time soon fully at hand when in the wake of global persecution, a total breakdown in civility among professing Christians will occur. He says, "And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another," (Matthew 24:10, NKJV). In this breakdown, religious impostors devoid of the Holy Spirit will abandon their charade; unrepentant willfully sinning weak Christians quenching His fire will become apostates in their offense at the painful persecution. Christianity the religion will be exposed for the counterfeit it is as faithful Christians are betrayed to persecuting authorities and greatly hated by those once professing to be brothers.
Surely, we are now in the initial stages of this breakdown as the world's escalating rebellion and hatred forces all professing Christians to make their loyalties known. Christian religionists have done just like their Jewish counterparts historically and rejected those sent by Christ's love to warn and call them to repentance. They fail to realize they are more accountable than ancient Israel for their obstinacy since professing Christians have received so much more by way of the testimony of Christ, the Gospel and the warning of His apostles to give due regard to the biblical record (Luke 12:42-48; 1 Corinthians 10:1-11). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Because the following behaviors I have consistently witnessed over forty years by numerous professed Christian pastors are not expressly listed by Paul in 2 Timothy
3:1-9 or Galatians 5:19-21 and the guilty obviously believe them to be okay, the Lord would have me include hindering God’s people under false pretenses, oppressing,
manipulating for gain sake and lording it over them to be works of the sinful flesh He condemns (Nehemiah 6:1-14; Jeremiah 22:13-17; Lamentations 3:34-36; Matthew
15:1-9, 20:20-28; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
2 Read the two-part, August 2016 post, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, Instruction and Christianity The Religion American Style posted September
4, 2016 under the category, Call To Repent.
3 See the October 2, 2016 post, Gifted With A Prophet’s Heart under the category, Call To Repent.
4 Read my April 9-May 7 posts reflecting on being a Christian for forty years under the category, Glory To God! Also, get a copy of my book, The Strong Man Of God:
Back To Basics, wherein the last chapter I write to exhort the repentance of compromised pastors as professed Christians that have preeminently been among those
resisting our strong man of God message and cause. The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in
the Strong Man Store.
If as a professed Christian you read through the November 25, 2018 post, “Standing In The Evil Day,” under the category, Encouragement, with skepticism and scoffing, then you may not be a Christian at all or deadly unbelief has a grip on your heart. By express divine will, faith in God is to characterize the lives of those professing to be Christians since through it we are saved and live before God (Habakkuk 2:4; Matthew 21:18-22)! Just because amazing works of power may not pop off every day through us who have faith, does not mean we are not to believe they are possible anytime we look to our God to speak or act in accord with His will. Not to live with such expectancy of faith is to automatically limit what God can do through us as I write in this edited 2013 repost.
Originally Posted March 17, 2013
Reflecting further on what the Lord led me to write last week about my journey and encounters I have had with fearful, this present world focused professed Christians who are silent in the face of evil,1 I have seen how many such persons also walk in a spiritually debilitating cynicism regarding the genuineness of Christians like myself that are truly zealous for the Lord and His Kingdom. Because they never had or long ago quenched the Spirit’s fire (of course, some in the flesh are simply envious or threatened), they refuse to believe anyone else could be so passionately “sold out” to Christ and attempt in some way to either discourage them through negative acts or obstruct their ministry efforts.
The churches and their pulpits are filled with these professed Christians that live in cynical unbelief not only concerning the genuine commitment of other Christians, but most devastatingly, the power of God! Since biblical Christianity is about faith in God from beginning to end (Romans 1:16-17), unbelief for a professed Christian would surely have consequences. First and foremost among the consequences of unbelief is the impossibility of pleasing God (Hebrews 11:6).2 Lack of faith in God by His people not only displeases Him, but their deeds (sin) born of unbelief grieve Him (Psalms 78:40, 95:7-11; Ephesians 4:30). Unbelief also limits the display of God’s power among His people (Psalm 78:41-42; Mark 6:1-6).
Now, while the context certainly shows the unbelief of the people in His hometown was influenced by their familiarity with Jesus and His human family (Mark 6:1-4), the end result is the same for not believing: the Lord could not do any “mighty work there,” (Mark 6:5, NKJV). The Jews of Nazareth in the 1st century had done just as their forefathers in history and limited the power of God being displayed in their midst by Jesus through unbelief. Please note the Lord’s reaction: “And He marveled because of their unbelief,” (Mark 6:6, NKJV). The Son of God who knows the hearts of all men and the history of His own people, Israel, still walked away in stunned amazement at the unbelief He encountered in Nazareth that day.
No doubt our Lord continues to be amazed by the many Jews and Gentiles since those days to this hour that profess to know Him personally, intimately as Christians and yet, do not believe in Him. Indeed, surveying the earth at the time of His return, the Lord with sober amazement concludes, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth,” (Luke 18:1-8, NKJV)? Today, to counter the many sensationalist charlatans who act as if they have harnessed God and His power to do their commanded bidding (and are mixed in with the authentically gifted which has been the case from the 1st century--Acts 19:11-17), those of cynical unbelief go to the other extreme and teach God is no longer doing any works of power through men.
To be sure, the men at both ends of these extremes displease the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23; 23:13-15; 2 Timothy 3:1-9). However, those that walk in and teach cynical unbelief are far more wide spread in the churches; destroying the faith of some and discouraging many by their own unbelief smugly presented. Faithful Christians; aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ understand the continuing display of God’s power through the Holy Spirit is how we live in faith every day (1 Peter 1:3-5).3 God responds to our prayers for miraculous intervention to heal, deliver, breakthrough or alter circumstances on our behalf (Mark 11:22-26; Luke 11:9-13). But even when He does not, the knowledge of His good end and joy of His living presence sustains us (1 Peter 1:6-9)!
We also pray for each other in expectant faith as dear children (James 5:13-18; 1 John 3:21-23, 5:14-15). Finally, we successfully engage in the family war against Satan in the strength, armor, weapons and resources the Father supplies to us as His sons through faith (Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; 1 Peter 5:8-11)! Rather than limiting God through unbelief, through our child-like faith we completely free Him up to do whatever He wills in the display of His power on our behalf and to His glory! Nonetheless, professed Christians walking in cynical unbelief among the carnal practitioners of manmade Christianity the religion has led the way into apostasy unfolding for centuries and leading to the foretold full blown major event shortly to come.4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 See the August 9, 2015 repost, Silent Endorsers Of Evil under the category, The Faith.
2 Read Easy Belief, reposted on July 8, 2018 under the category, The Faith
3 Learn more about the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at all major internet book-
sellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
4 See the February 2, 2014 post, The Falling Away, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
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