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Though it is repeatedly taught in the New Testament that what is called “Christianity” cannot be lived out through the natural will and strength of human effort as a religion, from the first century until now sinful human beings have kept trying in futility and shame.1 Of course, Satan delights in this reality since it helps sell his lie that what God has gloriously accomplished in Christ to save mankind from our sins is really just another of the many equally valid religious inventions of men. Those of us that know and love the truth grieve with the heart of God that a counterfeit form of Christianity exists competing with the real thing either ruining or turning away earnest seekers (2 Timothy 3:1-9).
The Person and work of Jesus Christ crucified, buried, risen, ascended, glorified and coming again to rule this earth forms the biblical core of “the faith” (Jude 3-4, NKJV). He and the Father have sent the Holy Spirit into the earth to actualize the divine will to save souls through the preaching of the Gospel about and witnessing of Christ (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:8). Still concerned about how Satan has confused things, I wrote this edited 2012 repost as the Spirit led to stress again how He in life changing residence and power is the central and essential superior factor that distinguishes an authentic Christian from one that is a mere professor (John 3:1-8,14:15-18; Acts 19:1-10).2
Originally Posted March 11, 2012
One of the major reasons the history of the churches on earth is filled with confusion, stained with human blood and pot-marked with evil corruptions of all kinds is the deadly, formal appearance of Christianity as a flesh driven religion not long after the first century eyewitness apostles passed from the scene. In fact, the Lord Jesus apparently deals with a church in the onset of religion first in messages He gives to seven churches of Asia through John, most likely the last living eyewitness apostle (Revelation 2:1-7). The reality that Christ not only has first-hand knowledge of what is going on within, but judges every local church in all generations accordingly should be totally sobering to us.
The once spiritually vibrant church at Ephesus had been nurtured by the apostle Paul who also foretold the devastation that would come by corrupt shepherds (Acts 20:17-31). Still, by the time of John’s recording of His Revelation later in the century, the Lord Jesus commends the church’s resistance of false apostles and teachers along with their persevering labor for His name sake. But He then calls for the individuals making up this church to repent from the one thing He had against them: they had left their “first love”--Him (Revelation 2:4, NKJV)! This matter is so serious to the Lord, He promises to remove the church from among His churches unless they repented! Why?
Is it not because our individual relationship with and corporate devotion to the risen Lord in Holy Ghost fired love is His highest priority for us (Luke 14:25-26; John 21:15-17; Romans 5:5; 1 John 4:19)? And had it not been the loveless, flesh driven works of Jewish religion that put the Lord on the cross (Acts 2:22-24, 3:11-17)? Besides all of that, the Christian life is a supernatural life that cannot be lived in the flesh nor can flesh works please God (Romans 8:6-9). All throughout the biblical record whenever men turn their hearts from God, sin and the rigor mortis of outward religion soon set in to His great displeasure (Isaiah 1:10-15; Matthew 23:1-33).
In my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics,3 Jesus Christ is shown from the Bible as a Man full of the Holy Spirit and power for His service from the time of John’s baptism (Matthew 3:13-17). Having the preeminence in all things and blazing a trail of example for us who would believe in Him thereafter, aspiring strong men of God and the churches they assemble in are all likewise baptized in and live full of the Holy Spirit. This means the Spirit initiates then leads, controls and empowers the aspiring strong man of God’s life moment by moment. It also means God’s power through the Holy Spirit not human effort characterizes his life in all things.
There is no substitute for the Holy Spirit. Not even studying and knowing the entire written Word of God can replace the Spirit’s priority and manifold work in the life of a believer. Indeed, it is of the highest form of futility to know the Word, but have no power to do it (Romans 7:14-24). But now, fully related to Christ Jesus in faith, the aspiring strong man of God is able to love, obey and serve Him in power through the agency of the Holy Spirit (Romans 7:25-8:5)! This is the Christianity of the apostles and New Testament of the Bible. Anything else is an empty knock off of manmade religion destined to destroy its practitioners and be destroyed (Revelation 17:15-19:4)!
1 See the August-September 2016 posts on Christianity as a powerless religion of human invention beginning with the two-part, Christianity The Religion Of Men on
August 21st under the category, Instruction.
2 Read my March 1, 2015 post, The Mark Of A Genuine Christian and those that follow through March 22nd under the category, Instruction.
3 The book is available at all major internet book sellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
How grateful I am to the God of the Bible who patiently pursued, drew and convinced me as a sinner of my need for what He had to offer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Though I had been introduced to the biblically based language and culture of Christianity as a religion in childhood and was baptized, I did not really know Christ until in my messed up life at 20 years old, He brought me into relationship with Himself through repentance, faith and spiritual new birth (John 3:1-8). Aside from momma Lee leading me in the prayer to receive Christ and my grandmother, Eunice Campbell’s counsel, the work to mentor me as a new believer my first three years was done directly by Him using His Word.
Thank God, thank God, He allowed no sinful human agent of Christianity the religion of men to interfere with His work of teaching me as a son, training me as a disciple and preparing me as a servant. And when I did have association with churches, I was so fully inoculated by the Holy Spirit, I was not, nor to this day have I been ruined spiritually by folks practicing Christianity as a religion. Religion is so seductively appealing and no wonder; it is expertly drawn out of susceptible fallen men by demons that specialize in it as a deceitful means to destroy them. The demonic origin of manmade and practiced religion was disclosed by Jesus Christ to 1st century Jews (John 8:37-47).
The spirit of religion down through the millennia has captured the hearts of and destroyed many souls. From Eve’s pursuit of forbidden knowledge to make herself wise like God (Genesis 3:1-6) to the final effort at self-deification by the Antichrist through forced worship of him and Satan’s power (Daniel 11:37-39; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 9-12; Revelation 13), religion is among the most deadly and effective devices in the arsenal of evil for the diabolical cause of destroying mankind (Revelation 14:9-11). Satan succeeds because religion plays to mankind’s pride (Ezekiel 28:17; 1 Timothy 3:6), fears and ignorant attempts to satisfy the God planted yearning for Him in sin.
Inspired of demons, men in pride either invent things spiritual, moral and ethical or corrupt what God has already decreed through their attempt to be religious. The apostle Paul well exposes the futility of and rebukes both respective approaches to practicing religion in his proclamation to those at Athens and his so not coincidental letter to the church at Rome (Acts 17:16-34; Romans 7:14-8:4). With fears stirred up by demons, fallen men create gods out of any number of inanimate and animate sources for protection among other fear arresting reasons which the only true and living God rebukes (Psalm 115:1-8; Isaiah 44:6-8; Romans 1:18-25).
It is of God that men would seek Him since it is written, “He has put eternity in their hearts,” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NKJV). Of all the things this statement may mean, it certainly indicates God has built into men awareness that there is something more to this life beyond what meets the senses. God is eternal Spirit (John 4:24)! Made in God’s image and likeness now marred and separated from Him by sin, men in spirit still yearn to reconnect to their Maker (Zechariah 12:1; Hebrews 12:9) despite not quite understanding it is Him they seek. God bids all to seek Him in the way He has prescribed and He will be found (Isaiah 55:1-7; Luke 11:9-13; John 7:37-39, 14:6; Acts 13:26-41).
Deceived by the spirit of religion, however, fallen men corrupt even the noble desire to reconnect with God by the invention of their own methods, doctrines and actions to please Him. All of the New Testament Gospels record how the 1st century Jewish religious establishment dogged, persecuted and eventually instigated Christ’s death on the cross deceived by Satan in practicing religion (see for example, John 8:48-12:19). The spread of Christianity from Christ’s resurrection by His apostles met with equal resistance from Jewish and pagan religionists. After the apostles, the foretold multifaceted form of Christianity as a corrupt invention of professed Christian men emerged and was ultimately headquartered by the 5th century at Rome (Revelation 17:1-9).
Exactly like the spiritually blind, carnal, proud, stubborn and hypocritical 1st century Jewish religious establishment as I have written over many years, demonically inspired Christianity the religion of men down through the centuries to this hour has been very wicked.1 From endless heresies and all manner of immorality, to the persecution, casting out and murder of internal foes along with sanctioned wars against other religions and secular enemies, Christianity the religion of men in all of its manifestations is among the most dangerous threats to genuine seekers of God, biblical Christianity and faithful Christians now and going forward. The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 A partial listing of related blogs dealing with Christianity the religion of men to be found by dates include The Falling Away, February 2, 2014, Re-defining Sin, November 9,
2014, Worshipping God Without God, Parts 1-3, January 2015, Strong Through God Not Religion, Parts 1-2, February 8, 15, 2015, and Babylon Is Fallen, August 23,
Truly, in full character with those of history, Christian religionists today would have you bend to their corruptions rather than repent at the presentation of God’s Word! I have long endured the treachery of such persons among the churches in common with all of the prophets of the Old Testament, the Lord Jesus, His apostles and prophets after them. Indeed, mostly gone are the days the Lord’s New Testament prophets were welcome in the churches to bring a word of revelation, prophecy, exhortation, reproof or instruction (Acts 11:19-30, 13:1-2). Threatened religionists and their pastors want nothing to do with hearing, being taught or brought back to His Word as it is written!
The Lord had made good on His word to the 1st century Jewish religious establishment when in the gifting mix of His apostles and servants were “prophets, wise men, and scribes“ He sent to them to prove their unregenerate hearts by the murderous treatment they gave the men and God’s just judgment (Matthew 23:34-36; Acts 5:27-41, 7:51-8:3, 12:1-3, 14:19-22, NKJV). How can men that profess to know God lift a finger to harm anyone? Again, the father of religious men is not God, but Satan who Jesus declares is the original murderer (John 8:44). The satanically deceived heart of the religionist causes him to believe he does God a favor to murder opposition (John 16:1-4).
So, it has been the case down through the centuries since that Christianity the religion of men has used every possible means including murder to silence real or perceived opposition. Only in recent years have Catholics and Protestants in Ireland called a truce to bloody open warfare. And while warfare has been less violent in other Western nations including our own, nevertheless, denominational and church legal battles are legion; those labeled divisive in legitimate disagreement with a pastor or elders because of the Word, at their whim are cast out of churches as easily as the Pharisees excommunicated the man born blind that Jesus healed (John 9:26-34).
Amazingly and at Satan’s delight, the Word of God is nearly always at the center of religious contentions. Having deceived religionists to depart from faithful obedience to God’s Word in spirit and fullest implication as it is written (John 6:63), Satan instead inspires endless covenants, creeds and activities in accommodation to the sinful flesh that in form appear God approved, but are far from it (Matthew 15:1-20). In fact, because God is not really in what the religionists in carnality do no matter how outwardly splendid, pious, emotionally charged or pleasing to them, there is no spiritual power from the Holy Spirit just as the apostle Paul warns about these last days (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Please note that he also warns to “turn away” from such people (2 Timothy 3:5, NKJV); people that read and instruct from, but do not obey the Bible; that practice Christianity as a religion majoring on self-effort, sentimental, human love and the externals of manmade rules, rituals and traditions in all spiritual deadness pleasing not God, but Satan (Colossians 2:20-23; 1 Timothy 4:1-5). This is why I do not preach or teach religion to men, but Jesus Christ in the Gospel, His Word and the Spirit in all power to do God’s will in pleasing Him! Gifted and called one of the Lord’s prophets to the churches, I also call religionists to repentance and revival (Ezekiel 33:1-9; Ephesians 4:7-16; Revelation 3:1-6).
I call religionists in the churches to repentance because they need it to escape captivity to Satan (2 Timothy 2:24-26). Revival is necessary because the “new wine” of authentic, biblical Christianity must be poured into hearts made “new wine skins,” (Luke 5:33-39, NKJV). I also call religionists in the churches to repentance and revival for the sake of those seeking and won by hard labor to Christ as babes who need the spiritual nurture of His Body in Word with the Spirit’s life and power, but cannot get it from them! I am deeply grieved and burdened with the heart of Christ about this since religionist churches are pervasive in our nation. They stifle the spiritual growth of initially sincere men eventually ruining many that adopt their ways (Matthew 23:13-28).
Such religionist run churches in America spawned those that have now fully turned their backs on biblical family order and morality. They boldly re-define God and sin. Their equally satanically deceived politically correct and tolerant offspring will shortly in great intolerance join with atheists and all others hatefully embittered against God and His Christ, to unjustly and violently silence the voices of His faithful (Mark 13:11-13; John 15:18-25). Throughout history God has made a distinction between those that are His and those that are not. Unrepentant religionists never make His cut (Malachi 3:13-4:3; Matthew 7:21-23, 23:29-33). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
After coming to salvation Resurrection Sunday 1977, in the wisdom of God and without realizing it then, I officially began my service to Him in the predominantly black American Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Seaside, CA, Reverend C.L. McFadden, Pastor in the fall of 1979. I taught third graders in the same classroom I had just fifteen years earlier been taught and sat baptized but unsaved. The work of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. which I was led by the Lord to found in 1985 until today has included my burden for black folk and the churches among us. Thus, no one can tell me, “Preacher, first go preach to your own.” This Black History Month, I repost the first of an edited two part 2013 blog in keeping with my burden as a son of slaves to use the spiritual gifts God has given me to continue serving my own and any others helped to His glory!
Originally Posted February 3, 2013
Without a doubt as I labored before the Lord writing The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, I had the men and women of my own race and culture in mind in terms of needs and benefits as much as anybody else. As our elders say among professing Christian black Americans, “God has brought us a mighty long way.” While this is certainly true in terms of the physical chains of bondage that used to shackle the arms and legs of our slave forefathers, I have spent nearly all of my journey as a Christian seeking to get us to move further down the path of spiritual maturity the Lord has laid out for all of His born again children with limited success. Greater spiritual maturity would lead to stronger, more fruitful and satisfying personal lives enjoyed beyond church services as well as make a wider, desperately needed renewing impact in the black community. As I have learned through over thirty years of painful experience, though, Christianity the religion of men is the giant stumbling block.
Christianity the religion came to blacks early in the business of slavery through first the missionary efforts of colonial Anglicans followed by the desire of many slave owners to subdue in their slaves the natural and universal inclination of men to be free. In fairness, some of the slave owners were genuinely concerned for the eternal souls of their property and shared the Gospel accordingly. As much as any other non-Christian men on earth (including the Europeans that conquered Rome and were called “Barbarians”), most Africans came to the New World practicing the native religions of their ancestral tribes and a few, the religion of others such as Islam.
None of us that are truly born again Christians today would begrudge the sincere slave owners that shared the Gospel with our slave forefathers and treated them in accord with biblical righteousness. It is the evil owners that insincerely used Christianity as a religious tool of oppression not unlike the cold, dead, rigid and oppressive experience they had with Christianity the religion of men themselves that stir up righteous anger. Few slaves warmed to the dry, colonial Christianity the religion spoon fed to them.
Only after the Holy Spirit led and empowered “Great Awakenings” and revivals that swept through the forming then fledgling nation did slaves in large numbers begin to come to Christ and become part of denominational groups such as the Baptists and Methodists. But maintaining the privilege of racial superiority, white churches segregated slaves and free blacks into special sections or they were directed to gather among themselves under the authority and watchful eye of whites.
It was not long before free black preachers purposely started their own churches and having no other models, patterned them after what they had seen, heard and/or been taught by professing white Christians. Hence, while blacks were racially separated from whites in their assemblies, the external forms of authority, organization, programming methods etc. of Christianity the religion whites practiced were mostly adopted without revision. The distinction came culturally in the preaching emphasis and uninhibited, emotionally charged way blacks expressed themselves in services.
Adopting the outer forms of Christianity the religion practiced by the people that introduced it to them without much question is understandable for men completely cut off from the familiarity of their homeland. Unfortunately, this has not well served those black churches and denominational groups that did not recognize the spiritual deficiencies of just swapping their native religions for another.
Rather than the Bible (which many could not and were purposely kept from learning how to read to prevent any illumination), in great numbers they allowed their masters’ practice of Christianity the religion of men to be the final authority for their own faith and practice. This they did even after seeing and experiencing how the practice of Christianity the religion divorced as it is from the Bible and the Holy Spirit by professing white Christians, brought so much harm to them. Of course, there were a few without being able to read that knew then and who can now read the Bible that know Christianity the religion practiced by anybody is not the real deal. The only ones fooled are the practitioners!
Christianity the religion of men among blacks has brought forth all of the predictable outcomes such as churches full of impostors and weak Christians willfully sinning with impunity. Indeed, “black owned churches” are a badge of pride in our community meaning first, white men are no longer controlling every aspect of black life. However, as a second meaning and most important unintended consequence, neither is Jesus truly honored as Lord!
To their credit historically, predominantly black churches have served their congregants well as a “safe house” from not only white control, but abuse. Black men forced to give white men the respect they demanded but were otherwise humiliated by being called “boy” or the “N” word, came to church and became Reverend, Deacon, brother and Mr. so and so. All black attendees found a place to give full vent to their emotions in church services that had been pent up outside in a white dominated world professing to be Christian that severely penalized any act of resistance or insistence on receiving the most basic of human dignity and treatment.1
1 Click here to be taken to another Web Site of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. and learn how to obtain the Commemorative Cassette of the Angel Award
winning docu-drama I wrote, produced and narrated featuring creatively presented music and sound effects that tells the story of Black History and interprets it from
from a biblical worldview.
I join with all laborers that can in taking an extra day off from my labor on Labor Day. For me (and I hope all faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ), the day is also a time to thank God for work and very important secondly, work that is exceedingly meaningful, rewarding and a blessing beyond words! This is so for me in spite of the intense spiritual warfare I regularly face in the Lord’s causes to include crying out to the churches that outwardly profess to belong to Him, but that resist His Scripture rooted call to repentance through me and others as though we as His messengers are the enemy rather than Satan (James 4:1-10; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
Since the same spirit of religion is involved, Christianity as a religion of men in America is no different than what it has been since it came forth not long after the passing of the Lord’s apostles. Brought to the “New World” in all of its many varied expressions, but uniformly legalistic1 dogmas by Europeans beginning in the late 15th century, the major distinctive of real and counterfeit Christianity was the political and related cultural context both developed in. After the 1783 end of the Revolutionary War for independence in what was now the United States of America, both types of Christianity evolved for the first time in a democratic republic rather than under human monarchy.
While purposeful steps were taken by the nation’s founders to protect its predominant Christian religion from government meddling, as evidenced by history, most professing Christians in their churches took no serious similar steps to guard themselves against freely adopting the secular political, economic, social and cultural ways of the society. Initially, since a basic faith in the existence of Christianity’s God and its moral and ethical system held dominating influence in the new nation, the dangers of cultural conditioning were clearly not considered a major issue. In fact, the secular and religious components of society as I have written in other places worked very well together.2
In the wake of God initiated revivals, the secular and religious components of early America worked so well together clergy were urged to bring their unique skill set to bear in government proceedings with prayers, exhortations and Bible readings. Settled down in and foundational to the fabric of the young nation, Christianity the religion of men easily blended in alongside of that which was real because so many of the majority white citizens were nominal in their faith and undiscerning or simply chose to look the other way in silence as such evils as slavery with all of its immoral abuses were deemed acceptable to God by corrupting Scripture. Civil War revealed the true divine stance.
While most churches aligned with the mother Roman Catholic Church or bodies in their countries of origin retained their authority and organizational structures and doctrinal systems in America, they with emerging Protestant groups such as the Baptists wholeheartedly embraced the democratic spirit of the new nation and reveled in self-governance. Blacks as slaves and later freedmen adopted some of all the ecclesiastical patterns displayed by their oppressors. So ingrained in the Christian black psyche that everything white is right and superior, to this hour many uncritically cling to the unbiblical religious tenets, covenants, creeds, practices and ways of their former masters.
Many black churchmen as proud American, independent, Christian religionists in their own segregated houses have kept for themselves their former masters' proclivity to corrupt Scripture to justify sin. As a result, Jesus Christ is not Lord over an American church, but only a relative few churches that actually submit to His authority, Word and priorities in the Spirit’s power! Blinded by Satan as his captives and in deafness hardened into their sinful ways, God’s call to repentance and revival through me and other prophets to American religionists largely go unheeded. Indeed, after much labor preaching God’s uncompromised Word through media and in person among the churches in obedience since 1985, I have seen little positive response and mostly hostility.
While the Lord is pleased with His faithful remnant as it were, those religionist churches not dying in judgment holding onto their own form of Christianity are well on their way despite evil attempts at survival through carnal self-effort, worldly compromise, marketing and success models. It is late; a post-Christian America is not just statistical conjecture, but reality! Nevertheless, I continue to cry out as the God of mercy (Ezekiel 33:10-11; 2 Peter 3:9) who called me has commanded because the results belong to Him and there is still hope for some due to His success with a proud religionist recorded in His Word (Acts 26:1-23). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Having been accused of legalism many times for calling Christians and churches to obey God’s Word as it is written, it is important here to note that these groups as true
legalists were ready to kill to defend their humanly devised systems of theology and distorted appropriations of the Old Testament Law along with extreme and rigid
rules of conduct based on it. Faithful Christians easily discern what is to be literally obeyed from the heart in God’s Word as led by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 5:17-20;
John 14:15-18; Romans 10:1-4; 1 Corinthians 14:33-37; Galatians 2:11-3:14, 5:16-25).
2 See for example, my December 2014 reposts, Culturally Conditioning The Faith, Part 1 and 2. Also, read the and multi-part 2003-2004 Journals, The White Man’s Reli-
gion and The Black Man’s Religions at https://fromslaverytovictory.org/Journal-Archives.
Of the Persons that are the triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), none perhaps, has been more widely misconstrued and corruptly misused by sinful mortal flesh since the first century A.D. than the Holy Spirit. His promised arrival for His special mission among believers in Jesus Christ came exactly fifty days after the Lord’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension on the Jewish “Day of Pentecost” in 33 A.D. (Luke 24:46-49; John 20:19-23; Acts 1:4-11, 2:1-4, NKJV). In spite of ample biblical instruction about who He is and what He does, many professed Christians down through the centuries have created countless made to order falsehoods about the Holy Spirit’s Person and work.1
One of the major falsehoods is the erroneous teaching that the Holy Spirit is only a New Testament phenomenon; on earth since the first century exclusively for the indwelling and benefit of Christians. This falsehood has led directly to another which asserts that the Holy Spirit removed from the earth, also necessitates the removal of Christians He indwells. Others well intended and correctly over the centuries have written in detail on the Person and work of the Holy Spirit drawing as we all should, straight from the Scriptures. I write the following brief introduction of the Holy Spirit who like the Father and Son cannot be made to order, to expose the falsehoods I address in this post.
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the three Persons that are the “one,” “true God,” (Deuteronomy 6:4; John 17:3, NKJV)! He is first identified in the Bible as “the Spirit of God” at work in the creation of the physical universe, the earth and all its creatures as well as the plurality of “Us” at the creation of man (Genesis 1:1-26, NKJV). As marvelously seen first at creation, the Spirit of God waited on the Word of God to speak what were their purposed unified plans with the Father to bring it into existence through the exertion of divine power! He is therefore, the actualizing Agent of the will of the triune God who always moves in harmony. He is holy because God in nature is (Daniel 4:1-9)!2
For this reason He is identified as the “Holy” Spirit to also distinguish His divine, eternal Person from the spirits of men and angels He has created (Genesis 2:7; Numbers 16:20-22; Psalm 104:4). Beyond creation, the Holy Spirit is the source of every mighty miracle not performed by angels at His direction including for example, the judgment of the flood, confusion of human languages, plagues on Egypt and Red Sea parting in the Old Testament (Genesis 7:11-24, 11:1-9; Exodus 8:16-19, 14:10-31). He was also the source of wisdom and abilities among those used in and inspiration of the men who wrote it (Genesis 41:1-16, 37-40; Exodus 31:1-11, 35:30-35; Daniel 2:1-23; 2 Peter 1:16-21).
The same Holy Spirit was in the earth overseeing God’s activity leading up to and enabling the foretold miraculous incarnation of the eternal “Son” and “Word” of God in the womb of a Jewish virgin (Isaiah 7:10-14; Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-5, 14-18, NKJV); initiating the New Testament of the Bible again, written by men carried along by Him (Luke 1:1-4; 2 Peter 1:12-15, 3:1-2, 14-16; 1 John 1:1-4)! He came from Heaven on Pentecost not as if for the first time, but in a special, dramatic way to fulfill the words of the prophets and Christ who taught new birth by the Holy Spirit was required to “see” and “enter the Kingdom of God,” (Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 3; John 3:1-8; Acts 2:5-39, NKJV).3
While the eternal life of believers and His manifold ministry in and through us hangs on Him, the Holy Spirit is also busy in the world with other divine assignments (John 7:37-39, 14:15-26, 15:26-16:15; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, 12:1-13; 2 Corinthians 1:20-22). His work includes restraining lawlessness until God’s perfect time to allow the rise of the Antichrist, greater evil and deception before the return of Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).4 He does not leave the planet. He simply steps out of the way of restraining.5 This work of the Spirit is independent of Christians though, He certainly uses us in the war with Satan to be salt and light as well as preach the Gospel, make, baptize and teach disciples in all the earth as Christ has commanded (Matthew 5:13-16, 28:19-20; Jude 20-23).
Given the level of sophistication attending to much of the false teaching going on within professing Christianity in these latter days coming from what are supposed to be trusted “Christian” sources in the media and many church pulpits, it is imperative that you and I know God’s Word for ourselves. This is accomplished through purposely studying the Bible which every Christian ought to be doing as a matter of daily spiritual discipline. The Lord by the Holy Spirit leads me to challenge men that would be strong men of God in Christ’s image to do this very thing in my book, The Strong Man Of God Back To Basics.6 I now, challenge all Christians to adopt this discipline and teach how to make Bible study more profitable in our new Strong Man Virtual Institute video course.7
1 The greatest of all falsehoods (and insult) is to describe the Holy Spirit as an “it” which this first paragraph plainly counters by speaking properly from the Bible of His
“Person and work.”
2 Hence, it is also accurate to say “Holy Son” and ‘“Holy Father’” to the glory of God (Luke 1:35; John 17:11, NKJV)! Too, in eternal nature and character as God the
Holy Spirit is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, righteousness, and truth” among other divine attributes (Gala-
tians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9, NKJV).
3 That the Holy Spirit had filled and come upon mortal flesh among those used in the Old Testament for God’s causes has already been established in this post (see also
Numbers 24:2 and 1 Samuel 10:9-13). A few men were even indwelt by Him lifelong (Numbers 27:15-18; Deuteronomy 34:5-12; Joshua 1:5, 24:14-31; 1 Samuel 16:
11-13; Psalm 51:11). However, the new birth the Lord Jesus speaks of and requires is for all the redeemed beginning among the Jews as took place in the first century
with a still later fulfillment to come and is what the prophet Ezekiel also spoke of as “a new heart” in connection with God’s New Covenant; the indwelling presence and
working of the Holy Spirit intended to be with His beneficiaries forever (Jeremiah 31:31-34, 32:36-41; Ezekiel 11:16-21, 36:24-28; John 14:16, NKJV)!
4 While some would like to believe the mortal Church on earth is powerful enough to restrain lawlessness in the world originating from Satan (1 John 2:18), the lawless-
ness that has been displayed among our guilty, unrepentant members and local assemblies throughout history to this very hour fully discloses this haughty belief as
false (1 John 3:4-24). As such, we just like ancient Israel have brought grief to the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 63:7-10; Acts 7:51-53; Ephesians 4:25-32; 2 Timothy 3:1-9). No,
only the Holy Spirit eternally greater and mightier than Satan can and has restrained his lawless plans and works until now!
5 The mistaken teaching the Holy Spirit leaves the earth moving out of the way of lawlessness arises from among those who also teach His departure is tied to the rap-
ture of Christians before any have to suffer tribulation resulting from the increase in evil. This being so, how does anybody get saved (which those who teach this doc-
trine assert people will while previously unprepared, backslidden Christians also return to Christ) since the Holy Spirit convicts of sin and brings to new birth or after, get
the help Jesus promises from Him if He is gone from the world with the Church? As I write this, lawlessness continues its uptick as the Holy Spirit gradually relaxes His
restraint and we are still here on earth with Him. How glad I am about that since without His companionship, comforting, helping and strengthening presence in me, I
would not be faring very well as I am sure our persecuted brethren suffering all over the world concur (Romans 8:26-28)!
6 The book is available with the companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study in the Strong Man Store, at your
favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore.
7 View the first session of the Fruitful Bible Study Self-Paced Video Course to get an overview on the Virtual Institute’s YouTube Channel. The video course replaces and
expands on the one sheet free download, Seven Principles Of Bible Interpretation, the Ministry previously offered. An optional Study Guide for the video course is now,
available for free download in the Strong Man Store.
At the mid-point of the last century, God once again exposed the evil under belly of ostensible Christian America to the world. In the historically documented brutal response to the quest of its black citizens for justice, equality and voting among other rights in the Civil Rights Movement, America was seen to be significantly filled with spiritually unregenerate citizens. The hypocritically selective love, morality, ethics and works of race propagated and propped up so long by decidedly white faced Christianity as a religion in the land was rendered powerless as a moral authority nearly overnight and has not recovered its prominence to this day; to the contrary, its churches are dying.
Meanwhile, in rebellion against God and His Anointed since, the nominally professed Christian en route to becoming fully secularized culture has created its own form of Christianity complete with the gods, morality, ethics and works it wants founded upon political correctness and tolerance. Seeking to be relevant and survive, many churches have fallen away in defection to the culture as foretold (2 Thessalonians 2:3); serving up and paying homage to the new gods of cultural Christianity. Incredibly, the Lord first made me aware of this national situation through my crying out for repentance and revival among black American Christians and churches heading into this century.2
So, now, in the main, Christianity as a religion in America is a captive servant to the culture as its religious comforter in crisis and otherwise, must perform in accord with the delineation of an existence and legal dictates required by the government as its enforcement arm contrary to God’s will and the Constitution. So much for religious liberty and there is no other nation to run to for it since as foretold by the Lord, hatred of Christians is rapidly going global (Matthew 10:22, 24:9)! Thus, the stage is set for an inevitable showdown between American culture and God’s faithful that will not bow in denial of Christ or compromise His Word for it. Many will suffer and be martyred (Luke 21:12-19).
Contrary to the scoffing of patriot professing Christians that call what I am about to say “gloom and doom,” all of us that are of the faithful and care deeply first not for the humanly constructed entity called America, but our fellow citizens must snap out of denial. We must face the reality that America the “great experiment” devoid of godly citizens in the majority to help it work is failing just as the founders warned.3 For the ungodly of the culture have not only divorced themselves from the counterfeit form, but openly rebelled against the God of real Christianity and His Word entirely; inviting His assured wrath upon the nation as His Word warns (Psalms 2:1-5; Proverbs 14:34-35).
Our nation has no special exception in God’s Word exempting it from His wrath upon earth’s nations when it comes (Isaiah 40:15-17; Jeremiah 25:15-33; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Revelation 6:12-17, 16:17-21). Already God’s painful remedial judgments on the land are evident as is America’s slip in world standing so far from being that “shining city upon a hill.”4 This year’s wicked race for President, the nation’s continuing moral slide, growing lawlessness, hopelessness and despair are among many other plain indicators it is slowly crumbling. No sinful mortal, new social order, political or educational system, economic plan, return to the old time religion or any other can save the nation.
There is only one Person and Name Heaven has given for salvation, God’s Son, Jesus the Christ (Psalm 2:6-12; Acts 4:8-12)! Therefore, if there would be any hope of prolonging America past any premature point of demise, repentance and revival must take place now among needy Christians of all hues (Psalm 51:1-17)! Or do not American professors of Christianity as apathetic, hypocritical religionists understand God holds them responsible in major part for the current state of the nation and disdain for Him as the Jews of old (Romans 2:17-24)? For sin always has known and unintended consequences! Without any event or fanfare then, professing Christians that are guilty must begin to seek a personal encounter with Christ like unto the apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-9; Philippians 3:1-11).
In this encounter, all sin must be earnestly confessed and repented from so that with His forgiveness, needed revival will come from God! After this, rather than a place at the table of culture and comfortable status, with His heart for the lost let the salvation of our lost fellow citizens mean more to us (John 11:45-48). Not any longer the feeble attempt to build a “Christian nation”--the Kingdom of God on earth that singularly awaits the return of Christ, but the revival fed, passionate return to preaching the Gospel and witnessing Him to make disciples as He has solely commanded (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)! This work our God has never left undone as Billy Graham, for example, was conducting evangelistic crusades at the height of civil unrest in America last century.
The Graham team and effective evangelists such as Luis Palau and Greg Laurie continue at this hour. They, however, are not to be alone since the Lord’s command is to all of His disciples. So, let us with the courage and zeal of ancient aspiring strong men of God in Christ’s image such as Joshua get after it because the end of all nations save Israel fast approaches (Joshua 10:6-15; Jeremiah 46:27-28). As I am led by the Lord to write in the booklet, The Scourge Of Racism,5 repentant and revived American Christians can go out like Samson who also failed to fully please the Lord. In mercy, he was granted an opportunity by God to finish well (Judges 16:23-31). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
3 See Wall Builder's Web Page: Importance Of Morality And Religion In Government.
4 A phrase used by President Ronald Reagan in his farewell address January 11, 1989 with Puritan and ultimately biblical roots (Matthew 5:14).
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