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MoreBloodWine

November 02, 2019, 02:37:56 AM
I rarely ever used Tapatalk to log in to the site. Not sure if anyone ever actually did as the issue of it not working was never reported.

But for our mobile uses, certain things like this chat box will not be available through the app as this chat box is an addon itself. But all boards within the forum are available and currently confirmed working.

Ty & my apologies !
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:21:06 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians.

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:20:49 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:20:34 PM
... the abundance of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfected in Him.
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:19:58 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians.

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:19:21 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:18:57 PM
... the abundance of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfected in Him.
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:57:00 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians!  :)

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:56:30 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:55:42 PM
... the abundance of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfected in Him.
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:55:19 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what the abundan
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:54:41 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians!  :)

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant according to the admin

Kamagiply

August 04, 2019, 11:55:58 AM
Hellow Paddy



I wanna wish you a happy 30. birthday.. I still hope you fell fine, where ever you are.. And enjoy it.. I hope you find what you´ve been searching for..

Thanks for alle your songs.. I just love them..

Do you ever read what we write to you??

Best Regards
Lowenti
 

Hidden In Him

August 03, 2019, 05:35:37 PM
This is just a site I use for writing. We gave no one here who goes by the name "Paddy."
 

Hidden In Him

August 03, 2019, 05:34:34 PM
Sure you have the right website there, Kamagiply?

Kamagiply

August 03, 2019, 12:46:31 PM
Hellow Paddy



I wanna wish you a happy 30. birthday.. I still hope you fell fine, where ever you are.. And enjoy it.. I hope you find what you´ve been searching for..

Thanks for alle your songs.. I just love them..

Do you ever read what we write to you??

Best Regards
Lowenti

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Author Topic: James 4:1-12, Part 2  (Read 1626 times)

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Hidden In Him

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James 4:1-12, Part 2
« on: December 31, 2016, 01:13:43 PM »
Calling An Adulterous Leadership To Repentance, Part 2

     What was driving the desire of many of James' readers to become teachers? As he explained in Chapter 2, rich men were coming into church wearing fine apparel and gold rings, and being given the best seats in the church, despite deserving no such honor spiritually. Meanwhile, if a poor brother walked into the church he was dishonored with one of the worst seats in the house, even if he were worthy of far greater honor spiritually. These were carry overs from the way the Jews treated one another, and they were leading to jealousy, infighting and strife. They were causing resentments to build up, and contributing to the contentiousness that was now arising among them during religious debates. One can see how they would have found it "pleasurable" to slander and curse one another during religious debates, given the bitterness and resentments that were building up among them:

     From where do wars and fights arise among you? Do they not arise from here, from your pleasures warring within your membership? You desire yet do not have, [so] you kill and covet. And you are zealous yet not able to obtain, [so] you fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask yet do not receive, because you ask with bad intentions, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
     Adulteresses, do you not know that love for the world is enmity towards God? Therefore, whosoever decides to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the scripture says in vain, "The Spirit that dwells within us yearns with envy"? (James 4:1-5)


     Much of this letter is addressed primarily to those aspiring to positions of leadership in the church, particularly the teaching ministry. Everyone, it appeared, wanted to become a teacher, as James insinuated at the start of Chapter 3:

     My brothers, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation, for we all stumble frequently. (James 3:1)

     But many of these men had a great weakness that was disqualifying them from becoming true teachers of the Lord. It takes wisdom "from above," i.e. wisdom from God to teach His people properly, and unfortunately they were not receiving it as they should have been, primarilly for two reasons:

     You do not have [i.e. wisdom] because you do not ask. You ask yet do not receive, because you ask with bad intentions, that you may spend it on your pleasures. (James 4:2-3)

     As already stated, the "pleasures" James was referring to here were in intellectually humiliating those they resented during theological debates. The ultimate revenge would be to shame their enemies by assuming religious authority over them by being "lifted up" by the early Christian community as great "Rabbis," much like Greek philosophers were exalted among the Gentiles. But pride, arrogance, and a vengeful spirit had no place in the kingdom of God. He was giving wisdom purely by grace, which made all self-exaltation totally unjustifiable. Moreover, their arrogance was actually undermining their chances at acquiring true wisdom from God, for by longing only to give place to the Devil by engaging in strife (Ephesians 4:26-27, 28-32), they were making requests of God He could never answer. Though they desired to be adorned with the treasures of wisdom like a wife adorned with fine jewelry, they were in reality not seeking to beautify themselves for the Lord's sake but for the world's. They were attempting merely to use Him in order to satisfy their pleasures of shaming others while pursuing their love affair with the world, all of which made them more than merely spiritual adulteresses; it made them potential enemies of God, and at risk of incurring His wrath.
     This is why James now told them they would be wise to turn their laughter into mourning, weeping and heaviness of heart. Like an adulteress caught in her sins and shamed before her husband, they now needed to repent in earnest. Only if they humbled themselves again under His hand would His grace return to them in the form of true wisdom, and genuine intimacy with God: 

     Adulteresses, do you not know that love for the world is enmity towards God? Therefore, whosoever decides to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the scripture says in vain, "The Spirit that dwells within us yearns with envy"? But He gives greater grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you whose affections are divided. Be miserable, and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:3-10) 

     Unfortunately, there are many Christian leaders today who are exalting themselves before the eyes of men just as much as in James' day. Many are even amassing great fortunes by glorifying themselves and their own personalities. They claim to be motivated purely from a desire to serve the Lord and His people, but the multi-million dollar homes they're accumulating at the church's expense suggest otherwise.
     As we shall see, the problem of Christian leadership committing spiritual adultery with the world began increasing nearly two millennium ago, when the early church first began to be overtaken by a philosopher-class of ministers. In the second and third centuries after Christ's resurrection and ascension into Heaven, men began to assume leadership who, like philosophers in the Gentile world, were blessed with great intellects and well capable of humiliating others in heated theological debate. But because of their intellect, they too began to feel no need to seek God's grace, which caused biblical ignorance and spiritual blindness to gradually overtake the church. This ignorance has persisted to this day, and has now opened the door for a multitude of fame-hungry "ministers" to take advantage of the church because the body of Christ is now so poorly educated in the word. But as during the time of James, the Holy Spirit is now prophesying that they are becoming His enemies, and unless they repent they are at risk of eventually being removed from their positions of influence over the church. If they refuse to hear His voice, a prophesied time is coming when He will stop speaking to them altogether, and their fate will then be sealed. Like Israel before them, His "wrath will come upon them to the uttermost" for having rejected true intimacy with God in favor of their love affair with the world.


Visions On The Importance Of The First Commandment

     To understand the spiritual adultery James was alluding to in these passages, one must first understand what it truly meant to "love the Lord your God with your whole heart, whole mind, whole soul, and whole strength." As explained in Part 1, along with prayer and worship, meditating the scriptures was the primary way of keeping the first and greatest commandment in Old Testament Judaism. To not do so constituted spiritual adultery, because you had made something else your "first love" instead.
     Thus, not only did devout Jews meditate on God's word in their own personal lives, but the wise men of Israel also gathered together on the Sabbath to discuss how God's laws applied in various situations, and delve into the prophetic mysteries of God.
     Jesus likewise taught that meditation on His word was the primary means of keeping the first and greatest commandment, which is why He had in essence been sent. He was the Living Word Himself, and able to open up the scriptures to the minds of any believer who sought Him:

     Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. (Luke 24:44-45)

     After His resurrection, He sent His Holy Spirit to continue this ministry among believers:

     But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26 + 1 John 2:18)

     But the modern church has all but forgotten the first commandment. Many ministers today teach as if God's highest priority is simply for believers to show up at church a few times a week and give tithes and offerings. I actually heard one local preacher tell his congregation that what God expects is 10% of our time and 10% of our money. But the Spirit of God is prophesying that those who teach such versions of "Christianity" are in danger of being removed from their positions of leadership unless they repent. Such teachings are leading many of the faithful into a very false sense of security. 
     The following was a vision related by prophet Sadhu Selvaraj during a message before the Christian Missionary Fellowship International in Westminster, Maryland, as recorded in the video Revival 2015 (Session 2): Warning About The Judgment On America (Part 1):

     One of my staff had a near death experience. This girl and her husband and her two year old baby went to another town to attend a marriage, and they were returning home… In the middle of the night, just before daybreak, they met with an accident. The car was totaled. And this girl and her husband were clinically dead for two minutes. When she died, she found herself up in Heaven. Her husband was standing beside her, and they were walking towards this angel, and they saw a lot of people standing in line by twos - they were going up [towards the angel] - and the angel was asking them one question. When they answered correctly, they would say, "Ok, go to the right." If the answer was not the right answer, they would say, "Go to the left." So she was wondering, "What's happening? Why are some going to the right and some to the left?" And when it came time for her to answer the questions, though she and her husband were standing side by side, she was made to understand in the vision that she could only answer for herself, and her husband must answer for himself… the angel asked her one question. "Have you learned to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind?" That was her first question. And before she could answer anything… the angel posed a second question. "Have you learned to love your neighbor as yourself?" And before she could say anything, all the sins that she had committed, they all [appeared], like on a screen, all over the walls… LYING, THIEVING, COMPROMISING, SELFISH, SELF-CENTERED, those words seemed to be floating. And she saw them and she knew all her sins were all put up on a screen, and she thought, "Oh, my God. I am doomed."
     Now who was this girl? This girl was a blood-washed Christian, baptized in the water, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, had the call of God on her life… [yet] now there was no hope for her to pass through the angel and enter into the narrow gate. She didn't know what to do now. She couldn't answer any of those questions. And behind the angel, she saw God seated in a huge throne. She couldn't see His face, but she saw the outline of a Being seated on the throne. And she cried out to God, "Lord, give me a second chance!" She cried, and she cried. It doesn't happen all the time, [but] then came a loud thundering voice from the Being, "Go back! Your time has not come. Go back!" And then she opened her eyes on the earth. She and her husband were clinically dead for two minutes. (Youtube, Revival 2015 (Session 2): Warning About The Judgment On America (Part 1), 1:13:30 - 1:18:42)       

     Why is the average believer not keeping the first and greatest commandment? Because many are simply being told that a few minutes a day with the Lord will suffice. It is because of this lie that few have time for God at all. Everyone parrots the familiar excuse, "I want to, but I'm just too busy to spend time in the word right now." But those who love God with their whole heart, whole mind, whole souls and whole strength build their lives around Him, first and foremost. God gives them sufficient time for other responsibilities, such as work and family. But the primary focus and priority of every day is to fulfill the greatest commandment: Loving God with the very best of their time and energy by spending time with Him, especially in His word, regardless of all other responsibilities of life.
     Instead, most ministers today water down Christianity so badly that it is as if God need only be an afterthought to every day. They preach an inoffensive and undemanding message because denominational or church marketing methods and fads tell them that's the way to build a big congregation. And since this is now the measure of a "successful" ministry, they simply copy whatever is most popular or appears to be working the best.
     I have seen a number of fads blow through Christianity. One of the most notable was Purpose Driven Life. Like many fads, its teachings were based on something other than actual scripture. The passages quoted from were out of paraphrases like the Message Bible, and were so loose in translation that I couldn't recognize what verses were actually being quoted. I remember thinking, "Where in the world is that in Ephesians?" I brought my Interlinear Bible the next week and found out, it wasn't.
     As a result, the church is barely surviving on a very low grade spiritual diet. And this is not just me saying it. It is what the Spirit Himself is now testifying through visions and dreams. As Anna Rountree recorded in The Heavens Opened regarding this issue: 

     As I viewed the surrounding mountain range, a string of very large paper dolls floated by. The great Eagle [Jesus] spoke, “So much of what is happening now in the body of Christ is like paper dolls - one copying the other.” The paper dolls disappeared, and an eagle of pure gold flew by. “I am looking for an eagle of gold, Anna - rare beyond measure.” As He spoke, power like a surge of electricity ran all over the eagle of gold. It became pure white, like the great white Eagle. “The golden eagle becomes like Me,” He said.
     Then a line of large, paper, cut-out eagles floated across the mountain range. They were hooked together just as the floating paper dolls had been.
     He continued... “The golden eagle’s nest is in Heaven. The golden eagle does not even eat earthly food. It feeds above. The paper doll eagles catch fish, kill snakes, chase rabbits; but the eagle of gold breathes the ether above. It does not seek after or eat carrion. The golden eagle eats from the hand of God until it looks and smells and is like Me - pure white. There are many that look like Me, but you must eat from the hand of God to be like Me.”
     His eyes were aflame now. “Will you fly with Me, Anna, over streets of gold? Will you fly with Me over lakes so clear that the bottom is as the top? Leave the snakes, the bugs, the rabbits running rabbit trails. Come with Me and feed from the hand of God.”  (Rountree, The Heavens Opened, P.46-47)

     The "earthly food" being referred to here is earthly spiritual food. "Bugs and snakes" are just plain bad food, "carrion" is dead food (i.e. like roadkill), and "rabbits" are very hard to get food. Thus, the meaning here was as follows: If you choose to get your spiritual nourishment from men, expect very low grade or completely dead teachings, or teachings that are very "hard to follow," as they say. With some teachers, you can listen for days and still not get anything out of it, due to the teachings being very vague, rambling or convoluted.
     "Eating from the hand of God," on the other hand, refers to receiving revelation directly from God. Is not the Spirit of God using the exact same terminology in this vision as James was using in his letter? “The golden eagle does not even eat earthly food. It feeds above." Sounds a lot like, "But if you have bitter jealousy and contentiousness in your hearts... this is not the wisdom coming down from above, but is earthly, soulish [and] demonic" (James 3:14-15). The parallels are no coincidence. The church today is receiving the same earthly, low-grade, and spiritually dead teachings the early church was from these would-be leaders who were lovers of the world more than lovers of God. The result is that great ignorance of the word of God now plagues nearly the entire body of Christ.


The Rise Of The Philosopher-Class In Christianity

     Whereas asking God with bad intentions was the primary reason many were not receiving wisdom in the first century, by the third century the problem became far more one of preachers no longer even asking God for wisdom. A philosopher class of ministers who relied on their own intelligence arose to assume leadership of the church, and with this the power of spirit-filled congregational participation eventually became a thing of the past.
     This transition from congregational participation to pastoral monologues was well described in Chapter Four of Frank Viola and George Barna's, Pagan Christianity:

     In the Old Testament, men of God preached and taught. But... active participation and interruptions by the audience were common. In like manner, the New Testament letters show that the ministry of God's word came from the entire church in their regular gatherings. From Romans 12:6-8, 13:14, 1 Corinthians 14:26, and Colossians 3:16... [meetings were] also conversational (1 Corinthians 14:29), and marked by interruptions (1 Corinthians 14:30).
     How did the Greek sermon find its way into the Christian church? Around the third century a vacuum was created when mutual ministry faded from the body of Christ... Open meetings began to die out, and church gatherings became more and more liturgical... As this was happening, many pagan orators and philosophers were becoming Christians... [and] many of these men became the theologians and leaders of the early Christian church.
     Thus, the pagan notion of a trained professional speaker who delivered orations for a fee moved straight into the Christian bloodstream... a new style of communication was being birthed in the Christian church - a style that emphasized polished rhetoric, sophisticated grammar, flowery eloquence, and monologue. It was a style that was designed to show off the speaker's oratorical skills... The sermon became the privilege of church officials, particularly the bishops. Such people had to be educated in the schools of rhetoric to learn how to speak. Without this education, a Christian was not permitted to address God's people. (Viola And Barna, Pagan Christianity?, Revised And Updated, P.87-93)

     This transition was natural, but also a complete soulish disaster for the church. The above authors' assertion that pastoral sermonizing emerged to fill the vacuum when mutual ministry began dying out is correct. Additional quotes from the early church fathers show that the gifts began fading out by the third century specifically because they had stopped giving themselves over to PRAYER, corporate prayer in particular. And once the gifts of the Spirit were no longer in operation, congregational participation quickly faded out with them.
     How amazing that the apostle Paul's clear teaching to the Corinthians against the practice of philosophizing got so quickly cast aside. It was a danger amongst all Gentile congregations, but particularly the Corinthians, because Corinth was a city filled with lawyers and debaters. Thus, Paul dissuaded them from giving themselves over to factiousness, with one boasting he was a "disciple of Peter" and another claiming he was a "disciple of Paul," as if they were training under different schools of "wisdom" (1 Corinthians 1:12-13). Pride based upon one's "credentials" had no place in the body of Christ, for the gospel was intended to completely eliminate all pride amongst believers. In His wisdom, the Lord deliberately predestined that the gospel, i.e. the message that the God of Heaven and earth would die for man's sins, would sound so foolish to the world that no man would ever think of it, and as such no man would ever be able to boast of having been "wise" enough to come up with it before God. The gospel destroyed all pride in human intellect, especially that of philosophers and "wise men":

     For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to we who are being saved it is the power of God. For it has been written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and repudiate the intelligence of the intelligent." Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Did not God render the world's wisdom foolish?... And having come to you, brothers, I did not come announcing the mystery of God unto you in accordance with the excellency of rhetoric or wisdom. For I decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him having been crucified. And I came before you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and power, that your faith might not rest in human wisdom but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18-20, 2:1-5)

     Nevertheless, despite Paul's teaching here, the early church turned back to relying upon a philosopher class of ministers. And because they prided themselves on their intelligence, they quickly began falling victim to ignorance, and what Paul referred to as "not holding fast the Head," i.e. not receiving their teachings directly from Christ Himself (Colossians 2:18-19). They were more interesting in investigating into "revelations" they themselves were coming up with. And as a result, the church began devolving into spiritual blindness, and a scriptural ignorance that has lasted to this very day.


Evidence The Church Has Been Reduced To Ignorance

     Scholars teach the pastors, who in turn then teach their congregations. Unfortunately, scholarship nowadays is far more at a loss to accurately explain many scriptural texts than most realize. Don't believe me? Take a look at the following quotes from modern scholarship on how well they understand how the Book of James should be outlined. These are not isolated examples. They are the commonly held opinions of the vast majority of biblical scholars in the world today:

     "James is notoriously difficult to outline, because the author moves rapidly from topic to topic. Sometimes he spends a paragraph or so on a topic, but often he changes subjects after only a few verses." (Lesson 10, Lecture 2, Parsons Universe.com)

     "The epistle itself does not herald any clear structural plan concerning the organization of its contents. Hendriksen well remarks, "A superficial glance at this epistle may easily leave the impression that every attempt to outline it must fail"… The brief paragraphs, the rapid shift of thought, and the apparent diversity of themes further support the impression that the epistle is disjointed and lacks a unifying theme.
     The disjointed character of its contents is stressed by scholars who view this book as simply another example of "parenesis." "It was characteristic of parenesis," Songer remarks, "to place together in loose organization a series of exhortations without any concern to develop one theme or line of thought in the entire writing"… Those who view the Epistle of James as typical parenetic literature hold that no unifying theme should be expected; it should rather be accepted as a collection of miscellaneous exhortations devoid of any intentional unity. Thus Goodspeed describes the epistle as "just a handful of pearls, dropped one by one into the hearer's mind." And Hunter, recalling that the epistle had been called "an ethical scrapbook," concludes that "it is so disconnected, as it stands, that it is the despair of the analyst." (The Unifying Theme of the Epistle of James, D. Edmond Hiebert)

     I once heard David Pawson, a respected Bible teacher, admit in a Youtube video that trying to follow the train of thought in James was like trying to follow the train of thought of a woman, the clear implication being that the letter was scatter-brained and seemed to go all over the place. After uttering these words, the camera conveniently panned to his wife, who weathered these comments well, but with a certain chagrined dignity. No small wonder that video was eventually taken down and replaced with another revised version.
     Another passage that scholars admit to having great trouble interpreting accurately is 2 Thessalonians 2:7, an admission that goes all the way back to St. Augustine in the fourth century:

     "[The apostle Paul] left his allusion so general that commentators through the centuries have been baffled as to exactly what he meant. Many conjectures have been put forward… but we cannot feel at all sure that we have the clue to the situation, and it is best to face that fact." (Morris, NICNT, The First And Second Epistles To The Thessalonians, P.224-225)

     "Many attempts have been made to solve the riddles of our passage but it is impossible either to enumerate them in full or examine them critically… No theory can be held to be satisfactory, and as Augustine realized long ago (De Civ. Die 20:19), we must acknowledge our ignorance." (Ernest Best, Black's New Testament Commentaries, The First And Second Epistles To The Thessalonians, P.301)

     The exact quote from Augustine, himself a former professor of rhetoric, was as follows in The City Of God: "I frankly confess, I do not know what he means." Thus, for more than 1600 years now, Christian scholarship has remained baffled as to the proper interpretation of this passage in Second Thessalonians. I recall reading another Bible commentator similarly waving the white flag by stating, "We must accept that some things must remain a mystery, hidden in God." No, sorry, we must not. We have the same Holy Spirit as was sent to them as their Teacher, and God meant for us to understand His word today just as He meant for them to understand it then. Those who consent to defeat like this are simply too lazy to remain determined in prayer until they receive answers from God.


God Is Again Calling Church Leadership To Repentance

     How will this situation be corrected? As the Spirit is prophesying repeatedly, an army is coming, an army whose primary function will be to restore the years the cankerworm has eaten, i.e. restore the harvest of spiritual food which demonic spirits stole from the church over the course of not only many years but many centuries:

     The word of the Lord which came to Joel, the son of Bathuel. "Hear these words, you elders... The leavings of the caterpillar has the locust eaten, and the leavings of the locust has the palmerworm eaten, and the leavings of the palmerworm has the cankerworm eaten... Mourn, you priests who serve at the altar of the Lord, for the plains languish... Mourn your property on account of the wheat and barley, for the harvest has perished from off the field. The vine is dried up, and the fig-trees are become few. The pomegranate, palm-tree, apple, and all the trees of the field are dried up, for the sons of men have abolished joy."
     "Therefore," says the Lord your God, "turn to Me now with all your heart, and with fasting and weeping and lamentation. Rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God… and because of the years which the locust, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, and the cankerworm have eaten, I shall recompense unto you My great army, which I sent among you. And you shall eat abundantly and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God for the things He has wonderfully wrought among you. And My people shall not be ashamed for ever. And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel… I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. And I will pour out My Spirit upon My servants and My handmaidens in those days. And I will show wonders in the heaven and on earth, blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and glorious Day of the Lord comes." (Joel 1:1, 4, 8-12, 2:12-13, 25-31 LXX)


     I would not classify modern Christian scholars as "adulteresses" so much as simply spiritually irresponsible. But through their irresponsibility, i.e. in failing to teach and expound the word accurately, the church has now become dumbed down to the point where those who indeed are lovers of the world more than lovers of God can assume leadership without anyone noticing they are fraudulent teachers of the word. Everywhere you look now, on TV especially, you see Christian preachers who are openly seeking fame, fortune and notoriety. They resemble stand up comics more than expositors of the word of God, because they spend more time entertaining than actually teaching the scriptures. The reason is simple: They are patterning themselves after entertainers in the world, and as such seek similar notoriety and acclaim.
     All such leadership is heading for judgment unless they repent. Like an adulteress caught in her sins, the Spirit is calling them to repent, or they will eventually be removed for their sins:

     Listen, you ministers of My Holy Word. Do not teach My people to sin against their God. Remember that judgment begins at the house of God; unless you repent, I will remove you for the sins you have taught My people. Do you think that I am blind that I cannot see and deaf that I cannot hear?… Awake to life and live. Repent to the people you have led astray and taught false doctrine. Tell them you have sinned and that you have scattered My sheep. Repent to them.
     Behold, I am preparing a holy army. They will do mighty exploits for Me and destroy your high places. They are an army of holy men and women, boys and girls. They have been anointed to preach the true gospel, to lay hands on the sick, and to call the sinner to repentance. (Baxter, Divine Revelation Of Hell, P.139-140)

     By "they will destroy your high places," the Spirit is speaking directly to the current church leadership here. In essence, many of them have elevated themselves within the church as idols, but they will soon begin to be exposed for what they truly are. The soldiers in this coming army will be teachers of the true word, and preachers of the true gospel. Interestingly, just as God had to turn to the Gentiles in New Testament times - those who were looked down upon by the Jews as nothing spiritually - so, too, will God once again turn to those who are likewise currently counted for nothing: 

     This is an army of working men, housewives, single men, single women and school children. They are common people, for not many noble have responded to My call. In the past they have been misunderstood and mistreated, abused and rejected. But I have blessed them with boldness in holiness and in spirit... These are they who have turned to me with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. This army will awaken many to righteousness and purity of spirit. I will soon begin to move upon them, to choose for My army those I desire. I will search for them in the cities and in the towns. Many will be surprised at those I have chosen. You will see them begin to move across the land and do exploits for My name's sake. Watch and see My power at work. (Baxter, Divine Revelation Of Hell, P.140)

     For those training to become soldiers in this army, the following passage of scripture in First Corinthians will become highly relevant once again:

     For you see from your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many are powerful, not many are of prominence. But... God chose those who have no prominence in the world, and are despised, and not esteemed, that He might depose those who are, so that no flesh might boast before God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)


Without Repentance, Judgment Now Awaits The False Church

     Unfortunately, it is also prophesied that most of the church will not repent. As a result, like "Edom" in ancient times, the false church will eventually experience the wrath of God:

     As the chant in heaven continued, Jesus spoke, “Edom will be judged. To the world she looked pure, but she will be stubble before the wrath of God. The children of the living God will see Him on His holy mount. But to the church of Edom, He will hide Himself in darkness, never to reveal Himself again. The mountain of Edom will melt like wax before the flame of the Lord... Fear, O you who lie with the adder, you who drink the venom of vipers. The day is coming and now is when the Word of the Lord will cut you in two, and you will writhe in the agony consigned to those who embrace idols. (Rountree, The Heavens Opened, P.74-75)

     How God's judgment will be executed against the false church is described vividly at the beginning of this vision. God is going to allow Satan to use the world and the enemies of Christianity to destroy much of the church, specifically that part of it which has degenerated from a living, spiritual temple into a dead and empty temple made of stone:

     The sound was ancient and terrifying. Startled, I spun around to see a colossal battering ram relentlessly moving under its own power across a desert basin. Its wooden wheels were at least sixty stories high, and they groaned and yawned under the extreme weight they bore. Blasphemies were carved into its black battering arm, the end of which was the iron head of a goat.
     Although it moved slowly, people on the desert floor seemed helpless to avoid its path; they were crushed as it rolled over them. Screams filled the desert valley and ricocheted off distant rock formations, filling the desert basin with terror.
     Slowly the battering ram topped a sandy hill and began to pick up speed going down the other side. Breathless from shock, I clawed with my hands and dug with my feet into the deep sand of the hill in order to reach the top and watch its path.
     It picked up tremendous speed as it plunged down the other side of the hill into a deep valley. In its path at the bottom of the hill was a walled city. Both city and wall were the color of the sand and seemed to be half sunk into it, almost reclaimed by the sand from which they had come. In faded lettering on the side of the wall, I could read: THE CHURCH.
     The battering ram was massive, and the adobe wall of the city did not look strong. With brutal impact, the goat’s head smashed into the wall and continued through it. It plowed through houses and buildings, losing little of its speed. When it broke through the wall on the opposite side of the city, it slowed to a stop, settling into the sand.
     A strange silence fell. Occasional screams broke this silence. They came from those who had been mutilated or from those who recognized that a loved one had been killed. But stranger than the silence was the fact that few sought to escape across the rubble of the wall - few.
     Then slowly, all by itself, the battering ram turned and began to start up the hill again, moving in my direction. The goat’s head on the end of the ram was laughing, exhilarated, as if drunk with blood.
     I thought it might see me, so I left the top of the hill and began to run in the opposite direction. As I ran, I frantically scanned the desert basin for a hiding place. I could hear the huge wheels laboring as they carried the battering ram toward the top of the hill again.
     Suddenly an angel began to fly beside me. “Where can I hide from the battering ram?” I shouted as I ran. “The battering ram rolls relentlessly over all the earth now. Up high,” the angel said, “up higher than it can see is the only safe place. Let me show you.”
     With a wave of the angel’s hand, a stairway appeared, touching the earth and reaching beyond my view into heaven. I moved to the base of the stairs and looked up. I was still heaving from running. The angel flew beside the stairs, higher than its base on earth, and waved me upward: “Come on!” the angel shouted. “The ram is coming, and we don’t want him to see this stairway. Come on!” There were no hand rails on the narrow stairs. The stairs were clear like glass, which can be slippery. I could hear the battering ram rolling; although I was still panting, I began to run up the stairs.
     “Faster!” the angel called.
     I kept my eyes on the stairs. In his hands the angel had a scarlet cord fastened to the stairs at the bottom. I could hear the battering ram getting closer, but the angel pulled the cord and brought up the first section of the stairway, like attic stairs that can be lowered and raised.
     “Hurry!” the angel urged.
     I continued to run up the steps, breathless. The angel pulled the thin rope, and another section of the stairs rose.
     “Keep climbing,” the angel said, although now his tone of voice was less urgent. With a mighty effort, I completed the stairs and turned to make sure I had indeed escaped. The battering ram was directly below, rolling beneath us as the third section of the stairs was pulled up.
     “You were safe after climbing the second set of stairs; but to be really safe, you needed to pass the third,” he said. As the battering ram rolled past, I tried to catch my breath and settle myself. Only then did I look around...
     “What was that?” I asked.
     “The great enemy of our Lord and of His church.”
     “But it was destroying the church,” I exclaimed.
     “Some of it may be destroyed - that which calls itself the church,” he continued. “It has a sign saying it is the church, and many live behind that sign. But the church - the real church - escaped; the real church is alive and can run faster than any battering ram can roll. It’s clumsy, really; but if you are dead stones, if you are not alive, then of course it is more than any man-made structure can resist. However, the real, living church of Jesus Christ can hide in caves, float on the water, or climb into Paradise. A member of the real church will know where the hidden stairs are located. That person can call for help, and we will let down the stairs so that he can escape. The real church is more agile than the battering ram. Living stones have feet.” (Rountree, The Heavens Opened, P.1-5)



Sources:
- http://www.parsonsuniverse.com/csbs/Online/NT2S10/Lec2S10.pdf
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e134/7e0e9b821ba992a05f8e6803402240133a8f.pdf


« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 12:33:43 PM by Hidden In Him »