For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. (Ephesians 5:8-11)

Respect For God’s Inerrant and Infallible Word

In this generation we are currently living in the Lord knows how important it is for us to be willing to face the truth. And in order for us to do this–we need to turn to Holy Scripture. As Jesus says – [Father] Sanctify them by Your truth; Your Word is truth – John 17:17. Daniel Webster, the famous American Statesman and lawyer, a man of tremendous intellect recognized the importance of the Bible when he said: “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering.”

America’s 26th President and Nobel Peace prize winner Teddy Roosevelt said: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” Although to my knowledge he did not know Christ, Roosevelt was wise enough to see the value of following God’s Word. That is a lot more than can be said of so many of our Christian leaders so-called, such as Guru Brian McLaren of the Emergent Church the new cult of liberal theology.

Whether Christian or not these wise men and noble leaders from our nation’s glorious past had great regard for the Bible. And one of the most respected religious leaders of our day takes us even further back when he said of the Pilgrims:

[They] left us the example of their deep, unwavering religious convictions…they believed in Jesus Christ and His Gospel…the Pilgrim fathers were Puritans who were ready to order everything–personal life, worship, the Church, business affairs, political views, and recreation – according to the Commandments of the Bible…The Mayflower Compact, forged by the Pilgrims, was the wedge that opened the door to the Democratic government that has endured in America. Historians agree that The Mayflower Compact was the forerunner of The Constitution of the United States.

Battle Is Your Calling

However, things have really changed in this nation for the worse. Let me quote from a recent article called A New Christianity For A New World – Is the Bible the Word of God? “ ‘This is the word of the Lord’ – That is the liturgical phrase used in Christian churches to mark the end of a reading from the Bible. It is a strange, even a misleading, phrase. Yet Sunday after Sunday it is repeated, reinforcing in the psyches of worshipers a rather outdated attitude toward Holy Scripture. In many of its details, the Bible is–simply wrong!”

These repugnant and false words of blasphemy against the Word of the Lord come not from someone attacking the Church from the outside. Rather, they come from an ordained minister–John Shelby Spong–who was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark, NJ for more than twenty years and is [currently] is one of the leading spokespersons in the world for so-called progressive Christianity. He is also the author of 15 books including the best-selling Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Liberating the Gospels, and Why Christianity Must Change or Die. As I have been warning you here at Apprising Ministries, we in the Body of Christ really need to draw together, as “soon” things are about to get very rugged spiritually here in America.

Recently I felt as if the Lord was saying to me – “The battle lines are drawn.” The observant and discerning Christian can see that wolves in sheep’s clothing are gaining more and more ground inside Christ’s Church. And these words of exhortation from Abraham Kuyper, the great Dutch Protestant theologian and statesman, must begin to ring true for the true Body of Christ:

When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become a sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.

The War Of The Flesh

The root of the current lack of spiritual vigor among professing Christians is found in the Book of Romans chapter 8:

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness (vv.5-10).

Let’s look at the first part of verse 5 again –Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires. Could there be a more fitting statement to describe what America has become? The King James Version of the Bible reads – they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh. This “one Nation under God–indivisible–with liberty and justice for all” – was once filled with a robust people who cherished freedom and who loved to offer opportunity to others.

But today America has become an arrogant, self-centered people enslaved by their own greed, sexual immorality and corruption. Oh, and the people outside the Church community are even worse! Now we may smile, but there is much more truth to this statement than we’d like to admit. But what you think about, and what you desire in your heart, will tell you a lot about your – self. And our culture still uses the word “heart” in the same context as the Bible does–in that when we say – “I believe this with all my heart” we mean: I believe this way down deep inside myself.

The Inner Nature Cannot Be Explained By Science

Many times the Scriptures will use the word heart to refer to the “inner man” – what we would also call our soul or our spirit. Basically this is the “reasoning process” that sets us apart from the animal kingdom. Which if you think about it is yet another reason to reject the theory of evolution. Secular scientists may try and convince us that we are simply the end result of life that began in a slimy pond of algae billions of years ago, but since we have the mind of Christ we need only to take a moment here and think this through.

The key issue is: if the big bang theory were true, then life would have had to begin from non-life at some point. You see how that would work? Inanimate or non-living chemicals – “dead” stuff – to be blunt would have had to begin living somehow. But let’s not miss the real point: If there’s no God to design the “heart” of man – the inner “reasoning process” – then where else could it have come from? Science simply has no explanation as to why man has this conscious inner sense of reasoning that we commonly refer to as the heart. Of course, we who are Christians–we who are theists–know that God designed man with a soul/spirit because God Himself is Spirit.

And as I have just pointed out that science just does not have any natural explanations for why we have emotions–why we love–or why man even has a conscience in the first place. But the fact remains that man is a cognizant ego. This simply means that we are cognizant – “mindful/aware” of our ego–the Greek for where we get our word “I” – or myself.

You and I are each aware of our own personalities. In other words, we all recognize that we are not each other. And it is an over-emphasis about the awareness of self that is actually at the root of our dilemma of sin. Our sinful human nature housed within our body-the flesh-all wrapped up together with our heart is what we are powerless to harness on our own and is what leads us to rebel against our loving Creator.

In the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology we read:

In the biblical perspective, sin is not only an act of wrongdoing but a state of alienation from God… It signifies the rupture of a personal relationship with God, a betrayal of the trust He places in us…sin (harmartia) is not just a conscious transgression of [God’s] law but a [weakening] ongoing state of [hatred of] God…sin…can be thought of as [an evil], personal power that holds [all of] humanity in its grasp

The Detaching Christian Of The Emergent Church

Oddly enough, though Dr. Walter Martin was speaking about Zen Buddism back in the late 70’s, he has some real truth for those who are trying to solve this dilemma by submerging within themselves through the misplaced contemplative mysticism of the Emergent Church:

The sad fact is that today people are looking at themselves and trying to see into–to understand and to comprehend their own nature apart from the Bible. However, the deeper you go into your own nature, the more you find out that God’s Word is true – the heart [of man] is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9. You can sit cross-legged on the floor and have all the late night pseudo-intellectual conversations that you want to. You can study all the philosophy you want–and contemplate stones–and contemplate pools of water or spiders spinning webs. Hey, you can contemplate an old sack of potatoes if you want to; whatever it is you want to concentrate on.

But the truth is you are never really going to understand what’s wrong with you, and why you keep doing things that hurt others and that hurt yourself, until you recognize that man fell from his state of fellowship with God in the garden of Eden. And that this fall is not remedied by looking inside yourself, that fall is remedied by outside yourself to God–who in Jesus Christ on the Cross reconciled the world to Himself. You see, [from the influx of] these eastern cultic structures, which forms the basis for this New Age-type thinking everybody now is looking within themselves.

In Christianity God has us look out to the Cross and to the Resurrection. That is our only deliverance-through faith in Jesus Christ. The end result of this other selfish kind of philosophy is that man is taught to float along like a ping pong ball skirting over the “troubled waters” of life. What a magnificent picture of self – the sinful nature! The world around us is a churning cesspool of depravity, and do we then plunge into this filthiness with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring men and women and young people to a redemptive knowledge of the Master–and to freedom from sin–and the power to walk with God?

Or do we tell them that the ultimate in life is to so detach oneself from humanity and its concerns as to rise to the top of the cesspool and float along like the proverbial ping pong ball?Which way really is both practical, meaningful, and that which will produce the most for mankind? Quite obviously it’s going to be the productive world of plunging in preaching, living, answering, proclaiming and then seeing the power of God the Holy Spirit touch the lives and the souls of people and to bring them out of the cesspool of sin to glory and eternal life in Christ Jesus (adapted from Zen Buddism, cassette).

Should We Journey Within For Spiritual Enlightenment?

As we are coming to further understand here, there is a spiritual world, which is yet another thing that science can’t explain–nor can they ever find out about it through natural means. It is a super-natural world in a different dimension of reality. And why so many young people are throwing away their time with fantasy and role playing games when they can have a real relationship with Jesus of Nazareth–the Creator of all these dimensions of reality–is beyond me.

The insoluble problem naturalistic scientists have is this: If evolution were true, then all man would have ever known about is the natural world. He wouldn’t have had any reason to have ever thought beyond this world. Let me illustrate: Have you ever come across a pack of dogs as they are reverently gathering for Sunday worship at Our Lady of Alpo? Or how about looking our your kitchen window and observing a flock of birds as they set down on your lawn to hold a candle light vigil for this year’s crop of earthworms?

And if so-called postmodern man really is supposedly evolving to an even higher plane of spiritual existence, then why is it that he still worships in the exactly the same ways that he always has? Men and women, my primary field is Comparative Religions and non-Christian cults. As I have studied these various faiths and organizations for the past 15 years I can testify from firsthand experience that the following verse from God’s Word is absolutely true:

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9.)

Worldly Sorrow And Godly Sorrow–An Eternity Of Difference

Back to text in Romans 8 verse 9 – You, however – [if you are a Christian], are controlled not by your sinful nature but by the Spirit – [God the Holy Spirit] –if – [there is a condition here] – if the Spirit of God lives in you. Dr. John MacArthur was right when he said: “The biggest mission field we have right now unfortunately is the Church.”

And this is exactly why we must remove ourselves from the “Christianity-lite” of the modern Church Growth Movement which has infested the Body of Christ. When will these leaders finally come to understand that no one can be saved until they understand their hopeless position before the perfectly Holy and Righteous Lord God Almighty and are truly sorry for their sins? The Bible clearly says – Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death – 2 Corinthians 7:10.

And here is precisely where far too many within the apostatizing evangelical camp have widely missed the mark, they have confused worldly sorrow with Godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow is nothing more than the self-centered person – who is still controlled by the sinful nature – feeling sorry for himself because of the consequences that sin has brought into their life. Can you see that?

Whereas Godly sorrow is the deep anguish of the soul–when the Holy Spirit enters in–and we become grieved that our sin hurts our loving Creator. Godly sorrow is where we finally begin to care about how the Lord feels about our sin. We’ve all seen the person who is caught in a difficult situation–the tears rolling down the face–saying how sorry they are. However, too often those tears only reflect a worldly sorrow, for as soon as the situation is cleared up, that person quickly returns to the very same lifestyle.

What Kind Of Soil Are You?

One of the most telling passages of Holy Scripture in the Bible is the parable of “The Sower.” Here the Master Teacher–Jesus of Nazareth–reveals much about the fickle, shallow, wish-I-were follower of Christ who is always the end result of preaching a compromised message concerning the Gospel. This parable ought to frighten you a bit and to cause you to carefully check yourself about where you really stand before Almighty God.

Listen to what the Lord tells us this parable of the sower means:

“when anyone hears the message about the Kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places” – [for instance like where I am in New Hampshire–aka the Granite State maybe] – “is the man who hears the Word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time.”[Don’t let this be you].

“When trouble or persecution come because of the Word – [when he finds out there is a real commitment required to follow Jesus–that the true Christian must really live what he professes] – he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:18-22)

That’s why the Bible tells us to – Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test? – 2 Corinthians 13:5. To be effective witnesses for Christ today we’ll need to come to see that we are living in communities that are full of spiritually proud, smug and self-righteous people who feel they have no need to accept the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

They cannot see that they are on “the path” and that they are sometimes living in places which have been held by enemy forces for centuries. We in the Body Of Christ must also come to realize that these demons are not about to give it up without a fight. But let us take heart: Great is our Lord and mighty in power (Psalm 147:5) – so let them hear the Word of the Lord: “Here I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it – Matthew 16:18.

Have Nothing To Do With The Fruitless Deeds Of Darkness

My brothers and sisters, we are not doing anyone any favors with this seeker sensitive “Jesus lives to make you happy; come along if you want to” – pop-Christianity. Look closely at the last part of verse 9 in our text – And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. And so, he is not in our God’s Church. Which means he does not belong teaching in Christian seminaries, and he certainly does not belong behind our Lord’s pulpits teaching these doctrines of demons! The time has arrived to throw these “devils” out!

Beloved of the Lord, now is the time to – Test everything. Hold on [tight] to the good. Avoid every kind of evil – 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22. We cannot have anything to do with compromise, nor we can we just stand here and say nothing as we hear people spreading false ideas about our precious Lord. And our opening text of Holy says – Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them – Ephesians 5:11. But how can you do that if you don’t – take up the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) and then Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, who correctly handles the word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV).

And this is the Lord’s plan for His Church in America–right here–and right now! We are to become a powerful platoon of spiritual Soldiers of the Cross who will follow our Master Christ Jesus as He teaches us how to use this Sword of the Spirit to truly evangelize and rescue those being led away by the Devil to be slaughtered. We are to stand boldly–wherever our Lord places us–and then to use His Word–the Bible–to cut to pieces these false ideas about our God and His Christ. Let us take up His Sword and pierce through the flesh, that hardened sinful nature of those who are stumbling blindly through life along “the path” – which is strewn with rocks and thorns.

You see, to slice through their false beliefs is not harsh–judgmental–or unloving at all. On the contrary, it is the most loving thing we can ever do for them. But we must never let the blade of our Sword–the very Word of the one true and living God Almighty–ever become dulled through any kind of compromise with purpose driven pragmatics. Instead we must always keep it soul-piercing sharp with the pure truth of the Gospel of Grace. We must never change Christ’s message for the lost. O no brothers and sisters, we must let the message change the lost!

…he who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Church…and obey. To obey is better than sacrifice…