"As He was in this world so are we...

" — I John 4:17

"The Church is Christ"
The greatest single need, in this era of religious confusion and apostasy, is a new revelation and vision of the Lord Jesus Christ. Much of today's so-called Christianity is nothing more than cult religion, with many of it's super stars taking on a messianic complex and deceiving millions. As it was in the days of Noah, the creature is exalted above the creator. Society is sick because the church is sick. The world is a natural reflection of the spiritual condition of the church. With that truth in mind observe the sickening moral condition of what the world presumes to be the church. Some of the biggest names, those who are looked upon as being the epitome of spirituality, are being exposed as whore mongers and worse. To compound this deplorable situation other big names of religion are taking to the air waves in defense of these charlatans. Sin, worldliness, love of pleasure, and the resultant loss of power and influence, is a true picture of most Christianity. Instead of love for the power and presence of God, the present day church has turned to entertainment, psychology, prosperity seminars, and the gaudy unholy sound of so-called gospel rock. Having become more interested in the charismatics than character, the twentieth century church is repeating the Corinthian disaster and with the same results. Sins are being committed in the church that are hardly named among the heathen. So called men of God weeping in the pulpit on Sunday and going to bed with other men's wives on Monday. Is it any wonder that the world is morally bankrupt. When practicing homosexuals are held up on religious talk shows as trophies of Grace, when Hollywood bigwigs, whose life styles have not changed are presented as heroes of the faith. When churches have rock 'n roll music nights to attract youth, when the Lord Jesus Christ is preached as your means to worldly success, when strict obedience to what God commands becomes legalism, when professing Christians have no moral convictions, when the church believes that doctrinal purity is not important, and believes that gain is godliness At that point she in no longer a church, she is a religious Dallas. Is it any wonder that this religious Jekyll and Hyde has absolutely zero influence on society. Is there any question in our minds as to why the powers of darkness are destroying our homes, our schools, our courts, our entire nation. Can't we see that the church is sinning against God, and His judgment is being felt in every segment of society. Our sins are finding us out. All of this gives testimony to the fact that the church, as a whole, does not know Jesus, who He is, His power, His glory and greatness. He is pictured as a man, a friend to be used, someone who knows our sins and failures yet will tolerate most anything simply because we profess to know Him. He has become a God of convenience. We obey Him if it fits into our schedule. We refuse to make Him Lord then wonder why He does not answer our prayers. The truth is, we are not living under the conditions of His blessings, but under His curse and judgment. Today the church is suffering, calamities befall Pastors, leaders, and congregations every where. Many big name leaders are being exposed as adulterers and worse, and the question is being raised by the common people: "What is happening?" The answer is evident, "judgment has begun at the House of God." (I Peter 4:17). The second half of the Pentecostal promise is being fulfilled, "...He will thoroughly purge His floors." (Matthew 3:12). The church is being taught every thing but Christ. Instead of love for Christ the people are taught to love themselves. As results much of today's theology presents Jesus Christ as the stepping stone to self actualization. He is preached as a God whose primary function is to minister to creature comforts. Materialism in the cloak of Christianity, worldliness in the guise of spirituality, pandering to the flesh while completely ignoring the greater spiritual requirements and duties, is modem Christianity in a nutshell.

It is imperative that the revelation of Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior be renewed in the church. The church must once more, in the end of this age, be made to know that obedience to Christ as Lord is the manifestation of our love for Him. "If you love me you will keep my commandments," is the message to all who profess to know Him. It is this loss of love for God that is responsible for the abounding iniquity in our society. "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." (Matthew 24:12). Much of today's theology makes no attempt to produce a supreme love for God, but rather promotes a self love. The message is not "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness," but rather, to seek the material things of time. The cry is not for Holiness, but for happiness, and prosperity. Such theology had produced a religion without reality. The Lord Jesus will not share His glory. "No flesh shall glory in His sight." Isaiah wrote, "Let him that glorieth, glory in the Lord." The manipulation of things spiritual, by the flesh, is an abomination to the Almighty, and always leads to disaster. The Philistine theologians attempting to look into the Ark of God brought a curse on the entire Nation. The modern church suffers a curse for the same reason. The fleshly attempt to use the gifts of God, is for the most part, carnal men attempting to prove themselves spiritual. The sad thing is, a vast majority of the church is deceived by these charlatans. In spite of all the false there is hope, for God in His mercy and love for His own is exposing this sham. He is stripping away the spiritual veneer and underneath we are finding lust and every form of evil. Judgment has already begun in the House of God. The paradox of our time is, we are witnessing both a revival and an apostasy. This is in exact keeping with the Word of God. Peter wrote, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh..." (Acts 2:17). Paul wrote, "Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come except there come an apostasy first..." (II Thessalonians 2:3). There is now an apostasy, and there is now an outpouring of the Spirit of God. Caught in this paradox the church must understand that all out pourings of the Holy Spirit are not for the same purpose. We are not in the time of the planting of the church in history, nor is the present outpouring of the Spirit a National awakening. The present outpouring is to open the eyes of the true church to the fact that what we are seeing is not a revival but an apostasy that will end in judgment. The call of the Spirit is for Gold tried in the fire. It is a call for separation not for homogenization. Because the church has failed to recognize the fearful struggle taking place in the realm of the Spiritual she has failed to equip her young to stand. She has allowed to come into her ranks those who taught that Christianity only requires that you be nice, and to keep the flock from staring she has resorted to a whole round of entertainment methods and amusement programs. As a results we have sired a generation of believers who curl up under a hot sun. In her haste to make Christ popular with the political bigwigs and the Hollywood jet set every hedge has been torn down. She has been bitten by a serpent. Into our ranks has come big name entertainers, who are quick to let us little people know how fortunate God is to have them in His church. If the price is right they will entertain in the church on Sunday, but will be in Caesar's Palace on Monday. They will speak in tongues with one breath and entertain the devil with the next, and you are branded a bigot if you suggest that this is not Christianity. No wonder Christians who once walked with God in Holiness, had strong convictions, are now found in night clubs and theaters, yet still profess that all is well. I do not blame the tares, for the most part they are deceived. I blame the pulpit. I am sure that many of these celebrities had a genuine experience with God, and would have followed Jesus if the pulpit had had the courage to speak. To tell a man that he can have Jesus and this world to, is treason. A choice has to be made. Jesus said to the rich young ruler, "sell what thou hast and give to the poor..." it was too much, he turned back. I am sure that if we take our stand on the Word of God many will turn back, but there is no love in telling a man he is right when he is wrong. The early Christians were killed, burned, stoned, and butchered, for the testimony of Christ. Their trouble did not stem from preaching another God. Rome had a thousand gods, and welcomed the

competition of all gods. Their trouble came because they preached Jesus to the exclusion of all other so-called gods. John the Baptist did not lose his head for preaching, he lost it because he dared expose the enemy. The three Hebrew children did not go to the fiery furnace because they professed to believe in God they went there because they refused to acknowledge, or pay homage to any other god. Those early Christian needed no entertainment programs to keep them interested. They were at war and knew it. They lived with the sound of clanking chains and crackling faggots. They knew the enemy was real and his purpose deadly. They knew to give him any place was to virtually lose all. The answer to the present dilemma is for the church to once more be the church. As the Body of Christ she is Christ, and her vocation is to express Christ. If she is to truly fulfill her purpose, as the Body of Christ, she must reject the false both in her teaching and her personnel. She must know those who labor among her. She must understand that God's eternal purpose is that she should be the Vessel through which He can express His thoughts, desires, and will, and under no circumstance can she allow herself to mix with that which violates the Word of God.

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