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Friday, December 21, 2007

Cut to the Quick

This lesson from the Restoration Ministries had a profound impact on me today:

Signs of False Gospels

No matter what size faith community you are in, Satan will send as many people as he can who have embraced a false gospel. Since the Holy Spirit does not dwell in these individuals, leaders have to use “prop up” programs to keep them coming:

• If people can’t worship in “Spirit and truth,” they’ll seek worship that entertains them. Worship leaders will try to conjure a “spiritual” mood. Success is measured by the numbers who attend your services rather than on their impact in the world.

• Without the Spirit Who gives life to God’s Word, reading the Bible is a chore. People devoid of the Spirit look to someone else to teach them, someone not relationally close enough to confront them to live its truth.

• In order to attract more people, you rely more and more on programs and services that cater to the carnal nature. You enable husbands to neglect their spiritual responsibilities at home. They “outsource” their wives and children to others for spiritual development, such as Sunday schools and youth programs.

Religious systems that cater to false gospels operate through administrative busyness — keeping all the programs running efficiently. Leaders in the system may be called “pastor” or “elder”, but they are in reality administrators in charge of programs — functioning more as managers than as spiritual role models and leaders.
If you’re a person who has embraced a false gospel, you’ll seek out faith communities that can fulfill any of the above-mentioned needs. When you have embraced the true Gospel, none of the above will be your motivation.
Mission agencies that are still sending missionaries to the same places generation after generation because they failed to raise up spiritual leadership from among the indigenous people should question the gospel they share. Without the Holy Spirit, mission agencies will have to “prop up” the people they serve for generations.
A few years ago we visited a school for Native American children. The missionary principal was proud that he had quadrupled enrollment during his relatively short tenure. I asked him how many Native people had ever taught at the school during its 75 years of existence. “None,” he replied. I asked, “Don’t you see a problem with that?” He didn’t.

Satan is a deceiver. Wherever our Father has shed the light of His love and established Covenant with His chosen, the Adversary will counterfeit that truth with his own false gospels. In the 10 years we have shared the Gospel embraced by the earliest Church at our seminars around the country, we have found that only 3 out of every 100 people have a ratified-consummated relationship with our Father. Most admit themselves that there is no sign of the Spirit’s presence in their lives. They were deemed “saved” by someone when they agreed with a few Bible verses and “went forward.”

Tragically, the majority shared one issue in common that kept our Father from ratifying and consummating the Covenant: bitterness. We’ll deal with this issue shortly.
Always be on guard against counterfeit “Good News.” Even the first-century Galatians were warned to beware of a perverted gospel: “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:8). Any so-called “gospel” of today that differs materially from the Gospel understood by the earliest followers of Jesus is a path to hell.
Satan is shrewd. He doesn’t care how you don’t get to heaven, as long as you don’t get there! Some people mistakenly assume that God will excuse them at the judgment throne for not knowing the true Gospel. The Bible states otherwise.
Entering into Covenant with our Father is first and foremost a heart issue. It’s a step of yearning to live in union with Him, as much a heart issue as a faith issue. Covenanting with our Father is never a mere cognitive act. You don’t enter our Father’s Covenant through your mind’s analysis.

Many of the false gospels ask you to agree with a few Bible verses. Then someone ratifies you as “saved.” Generally these verses are lifted solely from the Newer Testa-ment. No covenant relationship is established, and definitely no consummation. All you end up with is human ratification.

Most likely there was no requirement for repentance, a determination to turn from the sins that needed to be forgiven and come to the Father through Jesus for reconciliation. Thus, the Holy Spirit did not enter to consummate the Covenant because no covenant relationship existed. Yet, others will assume you’re a “Christian.” Deluded, you’ll never be welcomed into heaven without the Spirit.
Human ratification is occurring in this country in epidemic proportions. The false gospels of today banner “getting you saved” or proffer “fire” insurance. How far short of our Father’s goal of intimate relational union they fall!

Put in the context of a marriage analogy, a cognitive gospel would be if someone shared with Sue and me before we ever met a list of personality characteristics about each other. Both of us liked what we read and, as a result of our positive response to the character qualities, we’re told, “You and Sue are married!” Still, we haven’t met, we have no viable relationship, and have definitely experienced no consummation. But we are assured by others, “You’re married!” I know about her and she knows about me, but sadly, we don’t know each other. It’s impossible to live in covenant union this way.

This is the same foolishness of the false gospels. They require nothing more than cognitive assent to Bible facts but bypass the intimacy and devotion of a covenant union with our Father.

3 comments:

Faithful Catholic said...

Amy,

Thanks for posting this. I'd like to say that reading this particular article is quite thought-provoking and I didn't see it as antagonistic in the least. This is the type of article that I believe is useful to people because it is not a condemnation of any particular person or group. Rather, it reflects the beliefs of the writer clearly and concisely and it is obviously written out of love and concern which, in my opinion, helps people to be able to read and consider without feeling defensive. I will say that I agree with it's premise and go further to say that I believe we could all look around and notice these types of things going on around us. I know I have and it is very concerning. We must be on guard. Thanks again.

Diamond to Be said...

This is a good post. The one that gets me is when older children become convicted of their lost condition, and parents tell them, "You're already saved. You accepted Jesus as your Savior when you were five years old. Remember??"

Ref: Your Christmas tree post, thanks for your comment on my Blogger blog; I didn't write that post hoping you would come and read it, lol. Well, congrats on making the break. It can be difficult with all of our adult peer pressure!
Sally

a soldier's wife said...

Very thought provoking post. Thank you for posting it.