In the aftermath of the blog series the Lord led me to write on obedience, He gave me a word of instruction to rebuke the emotional but false notion among many professing Christians today that being called sons of God is His irrevocable pledge to bring all so named into glory without any regard whatsoever to their lives (James 2:14-26). Persistent disobedience in sin is a deal breaker! Professing Christians are not the first people ever to have familial relation to God (Isaiah 63:16; Hosea 1:10) nor to dishonor Him as Father through sin and be judged (Malachi 1:6-2:9). Or is God the delighted Father of disobedient sons? Not according to the only begotten Son (John 8:37-59).
Originally Posted August 30, 2013
In my blog entitled, Whose House? on August 25, 2013 the Holy Spirit led me to write about how God’s Kingdom--His governing rule, authority, will, way and Word--becomes living spiritual reality (as opposed to mere theoretical principle) in the hearts of those that experience the new birth through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:3-7)! When born again individual believers assemble together, the parenting of God the Father and Lordship of Christ extends into our corporate relations and activity as well.
In other words, as I write in The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, every believer and local church are “supposed to be advanced outposts of” the Kingdom of God extant here and now on earth since the Father and the Son are submitted to as the ruling authorities by them. This is a marvelous thing to us who genuinely experience this spiritual reality in our persons and understand it as the incredible answer to the first part of the type of prayer (Matthew 6:9-10; Luke 11:2) the Lord taught His disciples to pray (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4).
In contrast to the often written out and showy prayers of hypocrites whose goal it is to be seen and heard by men in order to impress them with their eloquence, the Lord teaches a prayer template that when God answers, powerfully shows He was listening! As sons of God by spiritual new birth, we acknowledge in prayer “our Father” whose governing throne is in Heaven, yet, is brought into our lives. We pray conscious of this truth daily and moment by moment to intentionally affirm for Him as well as ourselves His continuing welcome in our lives as ruling Head since Satan, sin and self do not cease attempting to get us to turn back to them.
We therefore, also purposely hallow or consecrate His name representing the surpassing greatness of His glorious being (take your pick of the exalted biblical names God Himself gives us to describe His Person) in our hearts, minds and lives. ‘“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is Heaven”’ (Matthew 6:10, NKJV) is not just meant as a petition for future fulfillment, but a very present, right now request for God’s rule to be carried out in our mortal lives as also His meeting of our needs for daily sustenance, forgiveness and deliverances from Satan.
When the mortal sons of God on earth submit to His will, way and Word in seeking to please Him--the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ, the superior greatness of divine rule in nature (ex. love, joy and peace), character (ex. holiness, righteousness and justice), power and glory to be seen fully when the eternally enduring Kingdom is finally revealed at Christ’s Second Coming, shines out from us now as a foretaste! As is true for the individual sons of the kingdom, so, the local churches they assemble in.
Again, this is what is so diabolical about professing Christians and their churches being selectively, partially and willfully disobedient to God’s Word since they are faithfully reflecting not the reign of God, but that of His enemy, Satan, who is the original rebel and uses their sin to blaspheme God’s name (2 Samuel 12:13-14). Thus, when disobedient professing Christians and their churches reject as of the most basic of biblical instruction, God’s order of creation in the roles and responsibilities of men and women for example, it is a rejection of God’s rule; a siding with the world controlled by Satan and a cause for their blaspheming of His name and Word (Genesis 3:2-4; 1 Samuel 8:1-8; Titus 2:1-5).
If the sons of the Kingdom do not remain true--God is not honored as Father, nor is His name set apart as holy, nor His Kingdom displayed or His will done in that man or church as it is in Heaven; if the churches as advanced Kingdom outposts on earth holding ground until the Kingdom is fully revealed at the appearing of Christ rebel, then finally, what is their value to God (Luke 14:34-35; John 15:4-6; James 4:4-5, 17)? For this reason we pray and labor for repentance fueled revival; we proclaim and teach the strong man of God message bound up in the Word of God uncompromised; we rebuke, we exhort with all urgency since the Judge and King, Jesus Christ is right at the door (2 Timothy 4:1-2; James 5:9b)!
And do not say to yourself in deception, “I am a son of the Kingdom, therefore, I can never be lost; God does not abandon His family.” Hear the Word of the Lord not foolish men with their endless sectarian speculations. We stand as sons of God at present only by faith and the continuing, blazing presence of the Holy Spirit within us (Romans 1:16-17, 3:21-26, 8:1-17; Galatians 3:1-9, 26; Ephesians 1:13-14). But if we willfully embrace sin in disobedience without repentance are we acting in faith?
God does not think so and after much grief, many fruitless rebukes and calls to repentance (Ephesians 4:30; James 4:6-10) as well as the prolonged quenching of the Holy Spirit, He gives such a one over to his way and judges accordingly (Exodus 4:22; Ezekiel 9-10; Luke 13:6-9; Romans 1:18-2:11; 11:13-22; Galatians 5:16-21; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Hebrews 3:7-19, 6:1-8, 10:26-39). Faithful sons of the Kingdom and aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ know that only faith displayed in love motivated obedience pleases our Father and stand in it accordingly to the death as all who were before them (Hebrews 11)!
Home teams all over the world display such a loyalty to their religiously devoted, fan filled sports fields and arenas they call them “our house.” As in war among nations, these warriors set about to defend the honor of their house by winning. If it is so among fallen, sinful men in their world of play, how infinitely greater in sincerity and loyalty is the living God to defend the honor of His house by insisting on the obedience to His will or judgment of those related to Him by covenant (Jeremiah 11:1-17; Hebrews 8:7-13, 10:5-18, 26-31)? Like ancient Israel, professing Western Christians today do not want to hear the truth about God’s displeasure with the disobedience in and unfolding judgment of His house (Jeremiah 11:18-23). It showed early and fully by the time I shared this fifth and concluding blog of the 2013 series on obedience--you have done much better this year.
Originally Posted August 25, 2013
Judging by how our number of readers temporarily plummeted after the Lord led me to start talking about obedience and relating it to the issue of women in the churches, I know that I hit a raw nerve. This is not surprising since not only do I sit on the sidelines of shepherding a local church because of holding true to what God’s Word says on these two related topics, but my book is also considered controversial.
Hallelujah! I have been counted worthy to follow in the footsteps of all God’s Old Testament prophets, the Lord Jesus and His apostles in holding true to the written Word against the corruptions of impostors, the selectively, partially and willfully disobedient, backsliders as well as religious folk that are more concerned with their traditions practiced in a manmade form of Christianity. Therefore, to those who have come back again this past week, thank you for your Berean heart that no doubt found after carefully reading the Scriptures (our absolute final source of authority for the faith and its practice), that what I have been writing--however unpopular and disobeyed in these latter days--is true (Acts 17:10-12).
Those of us who are in Christ individually and corporately assembled belong to God! His Kingdom come arrives in our hearts at the moment of new birth (John 3:1-8). Each of us spirit, soul and body instantly become a temple or if you will, house where God lives and rules. God by right of purchase and rule owns us so that we no longer do as we please, but as it pleases Him (John 2:19-22; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:9-20).
Indeed, we each are also made members of the “household of God” and are brought together and being built together by Him “on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone…into a holy temple…for a (eternal) dwelling place of God in the Spirit,” (Ephesians 2:19-22, NKJV). So, whether it is our individual person or when we assemble together in local churches on earth, we are God’s house where the Father is the Supreme Head and Sovereign, Jesus is Lord and the Holy Spirit in power enables our experience of these realities! As a result, the churches and members that make them up are rejecting the rule of God when they willfully disobey His Word.
Twenty-first century Western Christians and their churches in large measure are taking their cues from and following after the world so they can be liked and fill auditoriums. But we were never called to be liked by the world or fill auditoriums. In spite of the world’s hostile opposition, we were commanded to make, baptize and teach disciples as Christ’s heralds proclaiming the Gospel and witnesses (Matthew 10:16-26, 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
And while we are certainly to care enough about lost souls to be winsome in finding a convenient way to connect with them in our proclamation and witnessing (1 Corinthians 9:19-23), we were never commanded to corrupt or compromise God’s Word to win them. This is what happens when we forget whose house we are and start operating in the flesh rather than in the Spirit to be a house unto ourselves. Now, in these latter days, the world’s will, way and views hold sway in so many professing Christians and their churches to such an extent that when the truth of God’s Word is declared these folk get angry because their sin is revealed; or did you not know that all disobedience is sin?
As it concerns our cause to restore men, you cannot do so properly unless you also restore them fully in their roles and responsibilities in the home, churches and the larger worldly society if they would have it. Our priority in restoration is the individual man followed closely by the churches they need to be a part of to grow in the faith and their understanding of the life of the strong man of God. If the churches are messed up in confusion and disobedience, then how will these men make any headway toward growth and developing into aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ?
Those that have come to this blog, considered my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, our Web Site etc. and applaud the attempt to restore men without also appreciating the important role the local church has to be a facilitator in obedience rather than a destroyer in disobedience have missed God. He seeks to restore men, their families and communities which include the local assembly of believers that form His corporate house where in obedience to the divine commandment, men serve in leadership!
Rather than anger and offense, then, let every pastor, church leader and professing Christian reading this recognize pleasing God is the uppermost aim you should have in life and repent if you and the church you serve are in disobedience. It is hypocritical and an incomplete restoration of men to teach them that they are the heads of their families, then have them come to church where their wives, daughters and other women usurp them contrary to the order of God’s house (Genesis 3:1-6, 16b, 17a; 1 Corinthians 11:3, 14:33-40; Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; 1 Peter 3:1-6).
It should not be astonishing that in a final explosion of lawlessness and rebellion against God foretold for these latter days that women and their male sympathizers should be among the ranks of the rebels (Psalm 2:1-3). Be that as it may, I exhort every man and woman professing to be a Christian to give serious consideration as to whether you really want to be among them when as is also foretold, God begins to respond in ways that are indisputably coming from Him (Jeremiah 30:23-24). Time is getting short; for the sake of men, their families and communities repent from disobedience to God’s Word in worldly compromise in the churches and return to Him who is the faithful Son over God’s house; “whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end,” (Hebrews 3:5-6, NKJV).
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