What is a Christian?
Is a Christian anyone who has believed in Jesus? Simon the Magician believed but was not saved. Is a Christian anyone who has been baptized? Simon the Magician was baptized but was not saved.
A Christian is anyone who has bowed their knees before the Lord and surrendered their life to Christ. A Christian has been forgiven and made a new creation in Christ. A Christian has the Spirit of Christ dwelling within them, A Christian follows Christ.
If I see aright, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity. The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it.
- A.W. Tozer
Do You Hear
The Shepherd Calling?
Brothers and sisters, we live in the last days. Deception and lawlessness abound. False prophets and false apostles run through the Church like Pied Pipers, drawing away the Children of God. The abominations of idolatry and homosexuality are protected and promoted by both church and state.
The Chief Shepherd is calling His sheep to the safety of His High Place, to the sanctuary fortress, to the Rock of our salvation, into His sheep-fold.
And there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months."
(Rev 11:1-2 NAS)
Now this is spiritually speaking (not denying a physical fulfilment). The place of safety is in the Temple proper, the naos (dwelling place) of God and the inner court. That is, those who abide in Jesus Christ and in whom His Word abides. They are those who shelter under His atonement and in the new covenant. Those who are His royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:4-10)
There will be no safety in Sunday morning (outer court) Christianity. The nations will trample underfoot the outer court and the city for 42 months.
"Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
(Rev 3:10-13 NAS)
Christ Jesus promises to those who are prepared to endure that He will remove us from (Greek: EK out from) the hour of testing. He does not say from tribulation or persecution. That is, He will lead us out into His place of safety, where we will be secure in Him, regardless of the fury of the storm.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (John 10:27-30 NAS)
-(pastor) Stephen Anderson 2/8/14
Lowering the Standard
- Catherine Booth
Therefore, the arch-enemy said, `What must I do? I shall be defeated after all. I shall lose my supremacy as the god of this world. What shall I do?' No use to bring in a gigantic system of error, which everybody will see to be error. Oh, dear no! That has never been Satan's way; but his plan has been to get hold of a good man here and there, who shall creep in, as the Apostle said, unawares, and preach another doctrine, and who shall deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. And he did it. He accomplished his design. He gradually lowered the standard of Christian life and character, and though, in every revival, God has raised it again to a certain extent, we have never got back thoroughly to the simplicity, purity, and devotion set before us in these Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles. And just in the degree that it has approximated thereto, in every age, Satan has got somebody to oppose and to show that this was too high a standard for human nature, altogether beyond us, and that, therefore, Christians must sit down and just be content to be "Oh wretched man that I am" people to the end of their days. He has got the Church into a condition that makes one, sometimes, positively ashamed to hear professing Christians talk, and ashamed also, that the world should hear them talk. I do not wonder at thoughtful, intelligent men being driven from such Christianity as this. It would have driven me off, if I had not known the power of godliness. I believe this kind of Christianity has made more infidels than all the infidel books ever written.
Yes, Satan knew that he must get Christians down from the high pinnacle of whole-hearted consecration to God. He knew that he had no chance till he tempted them down from that blessed vantage ground, and so he began to spread those false doctrines, to counteract which John wrote his epistles, for, before he died, he saw what was coming, and sounded down the ages--"Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." The Lord revive that doctrine! Help us afresh to put up the standard!
Oh! the great evil is, that dishonest-hearted people, because they feel it condemns them, lower the standard to their miserable experience. I said, when I was young, and I repeat it in my maturer years, that if it sent me to hell I would never pull it down. Oh! that God's people felt like that. There is the glorious standard put before us. The power is proffered, the conditions laid down, and we CAN all attain it if we will; but if we will not--for the sake of the children, and for generations yet unborn, do not let us drag it down, and try to make it meet our little, paltry, circumscribed experience. LET US KEEP IT UP. This is the way to get the world to look at it. Show the world a real, living, self-sacrificing, hard-working, toiling, triumphing religion, and the world will be influenced by it; but anything short of that they will turn round and spit upon.
Aggressive Christianity - Catherine Booth
We have fallen so far that even "Oh wretched man that I am" Christianity has died! We are left with "salvation" without repentance and commitment, assurance without the fruit of holiness and a changed heart.
What is the Gospel
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21 KJV)
So spoke the angel to Joseph. "He shall save His people FROM THEIR SINS." God did not announce the coming of His Son by saying He will save from hell, or God's wrath, or sickness or poverty, but FROM THEIR SINS. Note again FROM their sins, not IN their sins.
Most of what is called Christianity knows nothing of a Gospel with the power to deliver from sin, they only speak of forgiveness of sin. We're only [still] sinners saved by grace, whitewashed by Jesus. Yet the true grace of God also delivers from the bondage and power of sin, not just its eternal consequences.
Jesus did not die on the cross so God could pretend we're not sinners but so that He could tranform us from sinners into saints. Any so-called Gospel that does not in fact do this is a false gospel, an accursed gospel. If your gospel does not actually have the power to deliver you from sin, how can you expect it to deliver you from hell?
The Goal of Our Instruction
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion (1 Timothy 1:5-6 NAS)
If the goal of our teaching and our contending for the faith is not "love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith," what are we doing?
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. (1Co 13:1-3 NAS)
Dirk Willems was born in Asperen, Netherlands, and was rebaptized as a young man, joining the Anabaptists. For this, plus his devotion to his Lord and Savior and for baptizing several other people in his home, he was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church. He escaped and while fleeing his pursuers across a frozen river, he looked back and saw one of them fallen through the ice. He turned back and saved the man's life. He was apprehended and burned at the stake near his hometown on 16 May 1569
"to live is Christ and to die is gain"
June 25, 2009
Brothers and Sisters in Our Lord Jesus Christ,
The hour of testing will shortly come upon the whole world. Now is the time to sanctify Christ as truly Lord of our lives. Put your house in order. Sever those ties that bind you to this world. Set your face like flint to follow Jesus even unto death. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
This is a time to be sober-minded, and discern the signs of the times.
Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.( 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10)
The time has come for us in the West to learn the meaning of "take up your cross and follow Me." Do you think God will pull His Church, the witnesses of Jesus and herald of the Gospel out of the world while multitudes eternally perish? Do you imagine that the God who spared not His own Son, for the sake of sinners like YOU, will withdraw those commissioned to proclaim repentance, pardon, salvation and the return of the King? If so, you have not yet understood the love of God.
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. (Philippians 1:29)
America and the whole world is accelerating into the abyss of hell. Apostasy is upon us. Many of those calling themselves Christians and leaders deny the Lord with their words and deeds and openly embrace and encourage even the foulest of sins. Men and women living in open homosexual relationships are ordained as bishops, pastors, and priests. Leaders in the Church commit adultery and remain leaders. The charismatic church calls itself spirit filled, but has not the discernment to see the evil in its pulpits, and chooses as apostles and prophets those who speak a smooth word of blessing on those who despise holiness. The Roman Catholic clergy claim the power to forgive sin yet they cannot even deliver themselves from the power of sin. The denominations are just plain dead. The light is almost gone out. The darkness has advanced so far that evil is now called good and good is evil. Others believe they can build the kingdom of God by carnal means and madison avenue techniques. Money and technology replace the Spirit of God. Most churches show far more interest in maintaining or improving their own comfort on Sunday mornings than fulfilling the Great Commission or loving the brethren.
"Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail;
Let the nations be judged before Thee.
Put them in fear, O LORD;
Let the nations know that they are but men."