Why I Do What I Do….

…and what it is that I do is insaciously study God’s Word, and those who proclaim it.  Many times I am asked, “why?”  “But you have been a christian for many years, you have read the Bible forwards and backwards, what does it matter?”  What does it matter?!  To ask me that very question is like running sharp finger nails across a chalkboard.  If you are too young to know that sound, well lets say you are very very lucky.  To me is is a matter of everything.  It’s my breathe, to be able to study.  Now, while this degree of study may not be for every Christian, it is for me.

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2Tim 2:15 KJV

To be a Christian in the Biblical sense is to be a disciple of Christ.  A disciple is a “learner”.  The disciple, as the name suggests, is to be a disciplined studier of the things of God.  It is of great concern that I have for many of today’s believer that have bought into an easy road of what I call “believism”.  “Just believe, and you will be blessed….Just believe and you will know the things of God…..Just believe…..”  Another easy out is isolation and misapplication of a single verse (Isn’t this the root of  most errors in theology begin?)  They justify having “Childlike” faith, to keep it simple.  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.  Mark 10:15 KJV .  If one would continue to read on in the chapter they would grasp that there is much more to it.  There is a monumental 5592881485_8a8b8980ff_zdifference between having “childlike” faith and “childish” faith.  Having faith LIKE a child is that of absolute trust.  It is not about voiding out your responsibility to grow your knowledge of God and His ways.  God deserves to be implicitly trusted.  No question about it.  It would be outright foolish not to.  He is all together trustworthy.  The mature Christian never outgrows this childLIKE faith.

Another point that leaves me with a “what were they thinking” look on my face, is when I hear the excuse that further study would only lead to skepticism, there fore they are protecting their faith by avoiding it.  But to that I say this, to reject all theology and theological education in order to avoid bad theology is to commit seeker suicide.  To reject all study of theology is to reject the knowledge of God.  This is NOT an option.

Want to see my pants get in a bunch, then tell me that Christians argue too much and I do not want to be a part of that or that it just causes controversy.  Study no undoubtedly will lead to controversies-No question about it.  The Bible also forbids us from heated …. divisive, argumentative, and judgmental controversies.  Sure we have all heard that in order to keep peace “Never discuss religion or politics…”  Discussions about religion or politics generate more heat then any other topic.  But Christians are to avoid controversy is to avoid Christ.  No that was not a typo.  If you are for Christ you will be controversial.  It’s not theology….it’s who you proclaim as Lord of your life that is controversial to the world.  However, very important we are called to avoid “Godless” controversies like they are the plague.  One positive aspect of Christians debates is that they understand that truth, truth that is of eternal consequences.  Passions will rise because the stakes are high.  You can not put God’s truth in a bottle and set it upon your mantle.  To do so would be outright denying His Lordship.

The very source of these Godless-divisive arguments is not because of an overzealous amount of study, but from the contrary.  It’s their lack of knowledge that begins the divisive tone to their point.  It’s the failure to discern the difference between worthy matters of debate and minor points that were never meant to divide.  The more on becomes competent in the Word of God the more one can discern what issues are negotiable and to what ends to make a point.

But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach,[Or everyone, skillful in teaching] and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth.  2Tim 2:23-25 HCSB

Lastly, but most importantly….and this is truly the heart of why I do what I do….We can not feed our hearts if we are not feeding our minds.  The absolute purpose of God’s revelation attainable thru study is that we understand it with our minds so that it may penetrate our hearts.  There can not be anything in our hearts without first filtering thru our minds.  bible-heartWhile it is all together possible to have proper knowledge in our head without is ever penetrating our soul.  It is impossible to pierce the soul without first being grasped in our minds.

A person can have a very sound theology and yet not live a sound life.  But how could one have a sound life without ever having a correct theology?

Our knowledge of God,as disciples of Christ, is our foundation.  His Word.  Stop seeking Him…and we commit suicide to our faith and eventually our hope becomes poisoned.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Ro 15:13 HCSB

We Are Called To Test!

Latter Rain Movement / Third Wave is alive and well.  While participants and leaders in this movement profess to be apart of a great revival, they are in fact fulfilling prophecy  of the great apostasy in the end times, also known as the great falling away.  These false doctrines are permeating into many now “main stream” denominations.

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him:  We ask you brothers not to be easily upset in mind or troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has come.  Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way.  For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.  He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s sanctuary publicizing that he himself is God.  2Thes 2:1-4

There are 5 core Biblical principals to test teachings of any “New” or “Enlightened” View.  “…do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1John4:1  “Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow”  Hebrews 13:8

1. The Trinity: God is one “What” and three “Whos” with each “Who” possessing all the attributes of Deity and personality.
2. The Person of Jesus Christ: Jesus is 100% God and 100% man for all eternity.
3. The Second Coming: Jesus Christ is coming bodily to earth to rule and judge.
4. Salvation: It is by grace through faith alone in Christ alone.
5. The Scripture: It is entirely inerrant and sufficient for all Christian life.

Any group that deviates from these 5 core doctrines is a cult.  “A cult of Christianity is a group of people, which claiming to be Christian, embraces a particular doctrine system taught by an individual leader, group of leaders, or organization, which (system) denies (either explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the central doctrines of the Christian Faith as taught in the sixty-six books of the Bible.” (Alan Gomes, Unmasking The Cults, Zondervan, 1995)

Most apostasy will not directly outright speak against 5 basic doctrines.  However I do believe the Holy Spirit sets alarms with us.  LISTEN! and be true to the Holy Spirit and test.  Does a message just not sound right?  Does a movie make you sick to your stomach.  Does a speaker make your head throb?  Look at their doctrine, who they associate with, and history.  If you find them to be questionable FLEE!  Do not return.  Too many times I have heard…but their music rocks, or well the message was not “all” bad.  All you do digging thru garbage is get dirty.  God tells us to stay away!  Why do that to the Holy Spirit…why desensitize your self?  Why possibly compromise your ability to discern?

Here are some quotes from proven false teachers:

BILL JOHNSON:  “He performed miracles, signs, and wonders as a man in a right relationship with God…not as God.  If he performed miracles because he was God then it would be unattainable for us”  Bill Johnson  page 29 When Heaven Invades Earth.  ~~ This is known as Kenosis heresy, that Jesus laid aside His divine nature.  He has many quotes spewing this heresy.  This is a gross misuse of Phil 2:7.  Christ emptied Himself of his prerogatives, glory, and privilege.  If divinity can be laid aside then it is not divinity to begin with.

RANDY CLARK:  “The theme of this conference is “Equipping Church Leadership With Power”. Each Pastor and Worship Leader will participate in three workshops. The workshops are: 1) 5-step Healing Prayer Model, 2) Worship, 3) Small Groups. The workshops have a three-fold purpose. There will be teaching, impartation and practice. The workshops are designed to be interactive and involve the participation of the attendees. We believe this is the most effective way of impartation.” This was from a letter to set up the “Catch The Fire” conference in Russia for church leaders. Several things are askew in the above scenario. (1) Only God can equip church leadership to do what He wants done, whether in power or in humble persecution. The “with power” statement is egotistic and false advertising. (2) If the desire was to “equip church leadership” then wouldn’t subjects like “authority under Christ”, “leadership through humility”, and “servant hood” serve this purpose much better than supposedly teaching people a model of how to heal (ie. “the emphasis will be on understanding and using the 1 Cor 12 spiritual gifts in praying for the sick and unsaved. Pastors and Worship Leaders will have the opportunity to practice what they learned both in the workshop and the evening session ministry time”), a legalistic plan of worship to get people ready for the “impartation” (ie.“the emphasis will be on understanding the power and presence of God to move on His people during intimate worship”), and how use small groups to get people indoctrinated into techniques of “intercession” and “impartation” (ie.“the emphasis will be on imparting the life and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in home group settings. A secondary emphasis will be on identifying, recruiting, training, mentoring, observing and deploying home group leaders”), etc.? (3) Teaching people how to receive the “impartation” (let’s get to the bottom line here, folks), giving the “impartation” and practicing by passing it on to others is not a Scriptural model of how to be a leader in church or do evangelism. We are not to preach and spread some sort of “impartation”, no matter how holy it makes people feel. We are to preach the gospel and to remain in sound doctrine. (Randy Clark, “Letter Of Invitation” to churches in the former Soviet Union inviting them to the “Catch The Fire” conference in Moscow, 25-27 March 1996, 1/18/96; with commentary by Deception In The Church)

More very dangerous quotes:  “I don’t preach doctrine, I preach faith.” “The basic principle of the Christian life is to know that God put our sin, sickness, disease, sorrow, grief, and poverty on Jesus at Calvary,” “Christ “had no innate supernatural powers. He had no ability to perform miracles until after He was anointed by the Holy Spirit.”

Let me be clear with what I am about to say next.  Many of the deceived are truly seeking, truly wanting to know God.  However, they are either new in the faith (brought to a commitment to Christ under these false teachers), unread, or hurt-broken-having “itchy ears” — “For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves (ie:  Supernatural School of Ministry) because they have an itch to hear something new.  They will turn away from hearing the truth (God’s Word) and will turn aside to myths. ”  2Tim4:3-4

We have a duty to examine all that is taught to us.  If you are not willing to get into God’s Word, if you are not willing to investigate any “new” or “enlightened” or “emergent” theologies, then you are willing to be led astray.