In the context of God’s declaration of judgment on His people for deliberate and flagrant disobedience, the prophet Isaiah cries out: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter,” (Isaiah 5:20, NKJV)! So, now, in these latter days many pastors, elders and leaders believe God has gone sappy and no longer regards obedience as good, light and sweet. Instead of repentance from it, they call the evil, darkness and bitter of disobedience to His Word good, light and sweet. The Word of the Lord through Zechariah to the returned Jewish captives shows Isaiah’s “woe” was justified then (Zechariah 1:1-6) and is now as I cry out to irrationally deaf hears in this third repost from my 2013 blog series.
Originally Posted August 11, 2013
Like the women in the spaghetti sauce commercials that after tasting the brand better than their own wonder what other bad choices they have made in life, so, we have to soberly consider what other acts of disobedience our guilty pastors and churches are committing if they can willfully disobey God’s clear commands about the exclusive service of men as leaders in the governance, worship assemblies and ministries where men are involved in His house?
One of the universal truths about sin is that once you start giving place to it in one area, it becomes easier to yield to its influence in others. As an expert sinner, I can also testify that the biblical analogy of sin as yeast that spreads from one small point to infiltrate the whole lump of dough is true (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). Therefore, it causes me great concern when I see leaders willfully disobey any command of God and especially when they attempt to justify it by corrupting His Word.
For example, as I write about in The Strong Man Of God, to excuse putting women into men’s leadership roles and responsibilities by declaring the apostle Paul as “not perfect” or a “captive of his historical-cultural milieu” is over the top arrogance toward the Lord’s eyewitness apostle (1 Corinthians 15:1-11) and wickedly questions whether God is truly the sovereign inspiration and Superintendent of all Scripture (Genesis 3:1; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:14-16).
Truly, if any part of what Luke wrote in Acts about Paul and the thirteen books which make up half of the New Testament that he wrote is not expressly of the Lord (except where Paul himself says “I, not the Lord,” see 1 Corinthians 7:10-12, NKJV), then we are all fools and should immediately abandon the faith because Christianity is of fallen, sinful mortal men not the eternal God! It would be better though still bad for you, sir, to just tell the truth: you (for whatever reasons rooted in the flesh) do not want to obey the Word of God as it is plainly written. Given the deteriorating devotion to God we see in the churches today and what is coming, you probably would not lose very many members (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Hear the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ to the 1st century Jewish disciples that sat before Him and those that would come thereafter: ‘“If you love Me, keep My commandments,’” (John 14:15, NKJV). Love for God the Father and Christ is and should be the uppermost motive for the obedience of professing Christians (John 14:21-24). I remind our readers again the love Christ speaks of is not the inferior, conditional love typical of us sinful humans, but the unique, unconditional love of God that flows to and through us by the Holy Spirit who lives in every born again Christian (Romans 5:5).
We love God back and each other with the divine love that is first lavished on and supplied to us! This is certainly the love that fills the heart of every faithful Christian who is also an aspiring strong man as well as great woman of God in the image of Christ. As Christ obeyed His Father’s commandments out of love for Him, so, we obey Christ out of divine love for Him (John 14:31, 15:10)! God does not lower the standard for us as saints under grace. Selective, partial and willful disobedience is sin in the sight of God and punishable by death (Romans 6:15-23).
Just because we are incapable of perfect obedience due to sin, does not mean that we are not to strive with eager, determined hearts to please God and do His will through steadfast obedience. Indeed, motivated by love and helped by the fear of the Lord (fear fills in when our divine love is momentarily diminished for whatever reason), obedience is developed in the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ by Him as a basic and distinctive character trait. Progression toward perfection is accomplished in us by the Holy Spirit through many failures, discipline and time spent in the crucible of painful life experiences.
God is a patient Father and Craftsman; shaping, molding and yes, hammering obedience into our new natures in Christ over time. He is also perfectly fair and does not expect the same level of steadfast obedience from babes in Christ as those that are mature. Those that are maturing as aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ are like the apostle Paul and display a dogged determination to be pleasing in steadfast obedience to Him (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
I want to apologize to anyone that sought to read last Sunday’s post anytime between Thursday, September 18th and Friday the 19th. This past week we experienced a satanically instigated abrupt knocking offline of our Web Site through human agency. We had to repost all of our blogs from the end of June through last Sunday. This is the second time this year the enemy has attacked us in this way. Please pray for us as we continue to repair our Web Site as well as press on declaring and teaching God’s Word! The following blog is the conclusion of a blog repost in my 2013 blog series on obedience.
Originally Posted August 4, 2013
In my book, the Lord leads me to warn that partial obedience is total disobedience in His sight. I cite the example of king Saul in 1 Samuel 15. He was commanded by God to completely destroy the people of Amalek including women, children and their animals (vs. 1-3). Please note that Saul did not demand that God explain why, but rightly “heeded” (NKJV) as the prophet Samuel directed without question in starting out (vs. 4-5). This is because he and every Israelite knew of God’s long standing declaration of judgment on the Amalekites for an unprovoked attack on Israel when they came out of Egypt (Exodus 17:8-16; vs. 6).
Saul went forth on the divine mission but did not destroy everyone and everything as God commanded because he and the people were “unwilling” (vs. 7-9, NKJV). God’s reaction was one of regret that He had made Saul king and assessed his actions as unfaithful and disobedient (vs.10-11). In spite of Saul’s self-congratulatory and deceptive insistence that he had been obedient but only kept some choice animals to sacrifice to the Lord, Samuel disagrees (vs. 12-21) and confronts him with the Lord’s displeasure.
Let every pastor and Christian fully hear what Samuel says to Saul in the face of his partial obedience: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king,” (vs. 22-23, NKJV). Not only did God through the prophet condemn Saul’s partial obedience as complete disobedience, but He also judged it as though it was too since He took the kingdom from him.
While Saul finally conceded he had disobeyed God because he said, “I feared the people and obeyed their voice” (sound familiar?) in what for him was a little thing, God did not rescind His judgment and remained displeased with Saul the rest of his life (vs. 24-35, NKJV). From Adam in Eden and forever, obedience to God’s will is mandatory not optional or contingent on whether we get the full back story (you already know God has made men leaders in their house and His) or agree with it or not (God has not asked any man for his opinion--see Job 38-42:6 and consider afresh Romans 9:20).
Therefore, every pastor and church that believes they have found a loop hole in or a place of permission through corrupting God’s Word to put women in the places of leadership God in accord with His order from the creation of man has ordained for men only are deceived and standing in the place of His severe judgment for your total disobedience unless you repent! Truly, king Saul and Israel in the Bible serve as a sober warning and our example in everything concerning rebellion (1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Hebrews 3:7-19).
And foolish and deceived are those that teach that because of the cross, God no longer punishes His people. You deserve every bit of time you spend in God’s woodshed for telling that lie (Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:3-11) instead of teaching, exhorting and warning Christians that the immutable God will allow no one professing to be a Christian to long make a mockery of the cross through willful sinning. If however, temporal discipline will not lead to your repentance, then He who judges His people will bring on you His eternal judgment (Proverbs 29:1; Hebrews 10:26-31)!
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