Aboutthechurchbody

topics of interest


The Call of God

We read in the NT of Jesus calling individuals to follow him.  Peter, Andrew, James, and John, fishermen of the Sea of Galilee.  Matthew, the tax collector. We read of Jesus praying on the mount all night and then choosing twelve apostles.  In more modern times we hear of individuals like Hudson Taylor, D.L. Moody, and Billy Graham being called to ministry.  Missionaries, evangelists, and many others.

In my own experience I believe that there is a call today to a prophet ministry. One day I was praying downstairs in the basement of our family home.  During those earlier times I was trying to pray an hour a day.  I was not working in a job.  I was a stay-at-home mother of two young children.  Suddenly, during my prayer time I heard a voice that was not audible in the room say ‘prophet’.  I heard it inside my head, or my heart, so to speak.  I was stopped short.  This voice had interrupted my prayer.  I began to cry.  This calling of prophet was confirmed several months later by a visitor to our church.  He laid his hands on me and declared my calling to me.  I had not mentioned my experience previous to this in the church or to my family.  After the service he invited me to go with him to Russia.  He was taking a small group of young prophets to minister to believers there.  I chose to not go because of my young family situation.  This may have been a grave mistake on my part.

What does this mean exactly?  I’m thinking that for me it means something like Jeremiah’s experience in the OT.  He tried to stop being a watchman or give warnings to the people of Israel, but as he watched the Israelites in their error(s) he was compelled to speak out and exhort them.  This caused him a lot of trouble.  Jeremiah had so much trouble that he lamented before God that he had ever been born.  The apostle Paul states that God has placed the apostles last.  It was while they were being beaten down and trodden upon that the church in his day prospered.

I have difficulty when I hear someone in a Christian teaching ministry say that the time of apostles and prophets has ended.  To me, this teaching is just not true.  I think this is due to my own experience and reading in the Bible that the ministries spoken of in the NT are to build up and encourage the saints.  In the book of Ephesians it says that the city is built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles.  We cannot decide that we will accept some NT ministries and make a decision that others listed within the same sentence in scripture are not for our day.

The prophet is never going away as we see demonstrated today.  Many false prophets are abounding in influence and power in the church, in Christian TV, or in other ministry.   This can be partly attributed to the false teaching of our day that we believers cannot judge those among us.  We read in the NT that  believers and elders in the church are to judge and test the spirits of those who lead us.  We read in I and II Corinthians that we are to execute discipline upon the sinful behavior of those in the church.  In Corinthians Paul’s instructions concerning  the gross sexual sins of an individual were to put him out of the assembly.   When and if repentance is demonstrated by the offending individual the church can then go forward with reconciliation.   Today Christian leaders seem to be saying that we don’t need to do this.  Instead, we are to encourage this individual who is committing gross sexual sin to stay in the church. God’s grace has covered over his sin in God’s eyes, and hopefully someday his thinking and actions will change when he sees what a great bunch of people we are.

 


Antichrists

Let’s see if we can digest some of the important teachings in the book of 1 John.
Part of the exhortation in this book is ‘Do Not Love the World’.  The desires of the world, the lusts of the flesh of men,the boasting of the accomplishments of men, are not from God.  There is an admonition that antichrist(s) will come out from the church and lead some believers astray.
(The general teaching in the church today is that church leaders know what they are doing and we as God’s people must be obedient and not challenge them)

This book also states that the world does not know us because it did not know Jesus.
(The world does not recognize Christians as coming from God)

It states that sin is lawlessness.
(Even in our day)

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
No one who is born of God will continue to sin.
(The church today teaches that we will sin, there is nothing we can do about this, that we have to live with it and expect it)

In this book it states that we must love our brother. Do not be surprised if the world hates you.
(The world hates believers in our day. Christians are being systematically killed off in many nations)

Those who live in His commands live in Him, and He in them.
(This is contrary to the teaching of today’s church leaders, where we are told that we simply say a prayer and we have attained eternal life no matter what we do or how we live)

I John says if our hearts do not condemn us we have confidence with God.
(We are taught by Christian counselors that we need to ignore our heart. If our heart is condemning us then we can know that this is coming from the devil)

I John says the test to determine what is antichrist is ‘…every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.”
(Our world, our education,our science, our culture, does not acknowledge Jesus. This is the spirit of antichrist. We as believers are to have no part of it. We live in the world but we distance ourselves as believers from its pleasures, its temptations, its teachings, and its commandments.
We are taught in the church today that we must engage the world, that we must take part in it, that we must immerse ourselves in it to try to influence the world for Jesus. What’s happening today is that the Church as a whole is being overcome by the world)

Chapter 5 of I John goes on to say that we show our love for God by keeping his commands.
(The Church teaches us today that we do not need to keep the commands of God, that grace excuses us from this principle)ƒ

What can we conclude from our look at I John? A lot of what is being taught in the church today is false teaching coming from the systems of the world and not from God.


Can a Believer’s Faith be ruined or lost?

We are living in challenging times as Christians. Our faith is being undermined by  wayward Christian teachers and prophets in our day. How does this happen? I Timothy and II Timothy give some explanation as to how this occurs. Teachers start to wander off the path of truth and are in a position to ruin the faith of others.  For some teachers it is their desire to be preeminent among others.  For  other teachers they have accepted and confessed  beliefs in a worldly knowledge.  These causes are based in inward personality faults that have not been overcome or resisted by someone who is  teaching God’s word.  Through their influence they can shipwreck the godly faith of other Christians.   God’s word says that those who teach will receive the greater condemnation in a judgment if they get it wrong.  We have some Christian teachers in our day that have really gone out on a limb teaching that godliness in conduct and behavior is not needed in the life of a believer.  Others teach that financial gain is what Christianity is all about.   Still others teach mystical, spiritualistic practices interspersed with the Word of God.

The names of some of these men are given in I and II Timothy. Hymanaeus, Philetus, and Alexander are specifically identified by Paul.  To have lived in that day teaching believers and then to find your name written in the Bible as a faith-wrecker would be devastating.  We need to be careful as teachers and as receivers of ‘christian’ teaching.  Many popular teachers of our day teach half-truths or even less godly content in their teaching about the Christian life.  We cannot be enamored with the ‘popular’ at the expense of our faith and eternal life. Paul exhorted Timothy to hold onto his faith and his good conscience.  Contrary to much of the Christian teaching today our conscience means something to us.  If we are feeling guilty, confused or uncomfortable then we need to pay attention to the Holy Spirit and examine ourselves by  the Word of God and what the Bible Scriptures teach.