Sunday, February 20, 2011

All that Glitters is Not Gold


1 Kings 10:16-17

16 And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target.
17 And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.

1 Kings 14:25-28

25 And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:
26 And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
27 And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed them unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king's house.
28 And it was so, when the king went into the house of the LORD, that the guard bare them, and brought them back into the guard chamber.

Solomon was one of the richest kings of Israel and under his leadership Israel became a financial powerhouse.  He had at his disposal a vast amount of resources and wealth.  One of his many acts of greatness was to commission making three hundred ceremonial shields of beaten gold. 

These shields represented the strength and glory of Israel under God’s power.  Can you imagine how glorious it was for the best soldiers in Israel to march down the streets bearing these shields?  The sun would shine down upon these highly reflective gold shields as the soldiers marched in unison.  The effect would have been breathtaking!  The pride of the nation must have swelled when they viewed this great spectacle. 

On top of the glory and beauty of the shields was the value.  At all times in human history gold has been one of the most precious and sought after substances on earth.  Because of its rarity, gold was doled out piecemeal.  It must have been a grand statement of the wealth of Israel for these three hundred shields to have been made.  The surrounding nations must have been in awe of a nation that could arm three-hundred of its finest warriors with golden shields.
Each shield had three pounds of gold on it.  It is very hard to get an estimate of the worth of these shields today due to the ever changing value of gold, but as of 2011, gold is selling for around $1,400 and ounce.  At this rate the gold alone in one shield would be worth almost $75,000 dollars and that is not factoring in the craftsmanship.  Once you add the craftsmanship into the shield the value of one shield could increase upwards of $200,000 dollars per shield.  This means that the value of all of the shields in this army of three hundred men could well reach over twenty two million dollars!  All just for a martial statement!

So what am I trying to say?  That these shields were of great value.  They were not cheap and worthless, but they were very precious!  Costly!  Valuable!


The shield represents our faith.  We read this great fact in the New Testament when the Apostle Paul penned these words:

Ephesians 6:16

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Gold represents purity and glory – it represents the Divine.  At one time the Church was shielded by her purity!  Our Purity was our Glory!  The Pentecostal Church of 100 years ago believed that Holiness was as much an evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as speaking in tongues was.  Today there is more emphasis on tongue-talking than holy living and look at the condition so-called Pentecostal churches in our world.

The shield was a true shield.  It looked valuable and it was valuable.  It was as valuable as it looked.  Its value was not false and inflated.  It was not a counterfeit but it was true.


Solomon made the Gold Shields, but it was the next generation that lost the Shields.  Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, failed and the shields were lost.  Often the great accomplishments of one generation are lost in the next.

Shishak the King of Egypt came and stole the shields from Rehoboam.  Egypt represents the World.  It was and incursion of Worldliness that resulted in the loss of our valuable faith.  Without True Faith we are defenseless!

1 John 5:4

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

The Shield is defensive weapon.  It protects the bearer.  When our faith is lost then we will be defenseless against this world!  The Shields must be guarded at all costs or we will not be guarded.  When our shield is pure then we will overcome the world but the moment we lose the true shield then we become defenseless. 

Look at the life of Timothy and you will see how the shield of faith was passed on from one generation to the next.  His Grandmother and then his Mother passed the Shield down to Timothy.  Through three generations the shield made a successful transition.

2 Timothy 1:5

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

The word “Unfeigned” simply means not faked or false.  What was given to Timothy was the True Shield of Faith.  It was not a counterfeit!


Brass is only worth about $2 per pound.  I said pound not ounce!  This would have made the value of the material in each shield worth about $6 dollars!  Brass is worthless compared to gold.

Rehoboam was embarrassed by the loss of the 300 shields of gold so he commissioned craftsmen to fashion 300 shields of brass.  He did not have the wealth to make new gold shields, nor the power to take them back from Shishak.  Rehoboam knew that they could polish those bras shields to a high gloss and that many people would think that they were the same shields that Solomon had made.  But, they were counterfeit shields!  They were imitations!  They were worthless pieces of brass!  Brass represents judgment.  The glory was traded for judgment!

This is exactly what has happened today.  The first generations of Old-Time Pentecostals had the Shields of Gold, but the Devil broke in and stole them from a subsequent generation.  Now Charismatics have shined up brass shields to make them look like gold.  Most people do not know the difference.  They see the glitter and the shine of brass and are lulled into believing it is gold.  They have been hoodwinked!

Their faith is worthless!  It is valueless!  They are defenseless with this false shield.  As long as worldliness reigns in the Church there will be no victory.

Revelation 3:17-18

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  

We must recover the gold shields at any cost.  The Laodicean Church rejoiced over what they thought they had but in reality what they had was worthless.  Jesus counseled them to “buy of me gold tried in the fire”.  The shield they were bearing may have glittered but it was not gold.


It may glitter and sparkle but it is not gold.  It may look like a move of God but it is not a move of God.  They may shout, speak in tongues, dance, and worship in a lively manner but it is not the gold shield.  Most of what we see taking place in the modern Pentecostal Church is brass.  Judgment!

Look at a few of these examples of the counterfeit we see today:
1. People in churches roaring like lions, barking like dogs, and    mooing like cows – and then calling it revival.
2.  A “Laughing Revival” sweeping through America.  What are they laughing about?  America teeters on the precipice of eternal destruction, while one million abortions are performed in America each year (42 million world-wide), homosexuals walk openly in our streets, children are molested, and filth pervades every facet of our society.
3.  Personal prophesy has become all the rage and Churches scramble to get the newest, and hottest, prophet to come to their Church and work their “magic”.
4.  Get-Rich-Quick Faith, Name-It-And-Claim-It, and the prosperity movement has taken over the television and radio air-waves preaching their corrupted and perverted message.
5. Televangelist money raising schemes:  Holy Water from the river Jordan.  Holy Anointing oil from Jerusalem.  Red thread like Rahab’s thread.  Meal in bag to bake a cake.  Dream lists.    
6. One fat-cat preacher encouraged his listeners to anoint all of their money with a cross and then anoint their checkbook and write them the largest check they could and send it to him.  He promised that this would make them rich. 
7. Fleshly worship is at an all time high.  The things done as worship in some Churches today would make Nadab and Abihu blush.
8.  Churches claiming that gold dust and angel feathers are falling from Heaven in the services.  I don’t want the feathers – I want the Dove (Holy Ghost)!

It may look real to the fleshly and carnal man, but to those of us that are spiritual we know it is worthless.  It may look like gold to the casual observer but it is really brass.  It may sparkle and may dazzle but that does not mean that it is gold.  Carefully polished shields brass may look good to the untrained eye but at the judgment seat of God their true value will be revealed. 

All that glitters is not gold.  All that shouts is not God.  All that speaks in tongues is not the Holy Ghost.  All that preach loud are not anointed.  The value of the shield not found in the shine but in the purity of the substance.  Cheap things can be made to shine.  Only that which is valuable will ever provide the protection we need from this world.  Only the pure, unadulterated faith of this Bible will keep us in this last closing hour of the age.  We must recover the shields of gold.

Can I tell you this?  No amount of polish will ever turn brass into gold.  No amount of human effort and cleverness is ever going to produce a true revival.  No amount of education will ever transform that which God has rejected into something God will accept.  We must have the anointing of the Holy Ghost – “Because of the anointing the yoke shall be destroyed.”

The only thing that will protect us is the True Shield of Gold.  We must remove the counterfeit shields of brass and come back to the altars of God and weep and cry for God to give us, once again, the Shield of Gold.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Most Misunderstood Scripture in the Bible


Matthew 7:1
Judge not, that ye be not judged.

The above scripture is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied scriptures in the entire Bible.  Most people have a very limited knowledge of the Bible but this is one scripture that they seem to recall, albeit, with an incorrect understanding.  I have often said that people can be totally ignorant of the scripture but there are two things they know for sure: 1) Jesus drank wine, and 2) We are not to judge anyone.

Before we get into a thorough examination of Matthew 7:1, let us imagine a world without any “judgment”, without any one judging anyone or anything.  What would such a world be like?

First, if there is going to be no judging, we would have to remove all courts, courthouses, and judges - for in a world without judgment they would be unnecessary.  This would require that we abolish all county, district, and state courts and then finally, we would have to disband the Supreme Court of the United States of America and give all nine of its justices (judges) their walking papers.

If there are no courts or judges then next we would have to do away with all of the lawyers, for in a world without judgment, lawyers would no longer be needed.  Does any of this sound good to you yet?  Just wait, we are not through yet. 

Next, we would need to close all of the law enforcement agencies in every country for they would they would now have nothing to do.  Why arrest a person for a crime if they are not going to be tried in a court by a judge?   

Now comes the frightening part.  Anyone could do exactly what they wanted.  The rapist could rape any person that suited their fancy for they could not be judged.  The thief could steal without fear of anyone judging him or her.  The pedophile could molest as many children as he chose to.  Why, you could drive on any side of the road you wished, you would not have to stop at stop signs, you could run red lights, and drive as fast as you desired.  No reason to worry, for in this world no one judges anyone else!

Osama Bin Laden could fly as many planes as he wanted into buildings, and suicide bombers could kill with impunity (why be a suicide bomber anyway?  No one is going to judge you).  Laws would mean nothing.  Crime would not be a crime any more, and no one would be safe in this make-believe world.

Does this sound like the kind of world you would want to live in?  Does it sound like the kind of world you would like to raise your family in?  No!  But this is exactly the kind of world people are endorsing when they say things like, “No one is supposed to judge another person” or, “The Bible tells us not to judge others”, or “You cannot be judgmental” (there are many other variations of the same thing).  Often, after making such a bold statement they will next quotes all or in part from Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged”.

Did Jesus absolutely forbid judgment of any kind with His proclamation in Matthew 7:1?  Is judgment forbidden by the scripture?  Is it a sin to judge?  All of these are important questions and we hope to answer them in the next few words. 

In order to understand any scripture we must examine it in light of its context and in light of other scriptures.  If this is not done then an incorrect understanding is sure to take place.  There is an amusing story that I heard years ago that illustrates this so well and it goes like this:

There was young man that was so in love with Jesus that one day he decided that he would open the Bible up and point at the page and do exactly what the scripture told him to do.  On his first attempt he opened, pointed, and the scripture said that Judas, “went and hanged himself”.  He gasped and said, “Oh, no, I don’t know if I want to do that.  I think I need to try that again”.  He did this the second time and when he read the scripture it said, “Do likewise”. 

This story illustrates how utterly confused a person can get when they isolate a particular passage of scripture.  The only way to correctly understand a scripture is to examine all of it and especially the verses surrounding it.

Now let us look at Matthew 7:1 and the verses that follow:

Matthew 7:1-5
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. 

First we need to ask the question: Who was Jesus talking to in these verses?  The answer to that is not given until the end of this section of scriptures.  In verse five Jesus says, “Thou hypocrite”.  Now we see that Jesus was speaking to hypocrites.

Second, look at the type of judgment being rendered here and you will see again that Jesus was speaking to hypocrites.  Jesus said in this passage, “And why beholdest thou the mote that in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye”.  Here Jesus upbraids the hypocrite because he is trying to remove a splinter from someone’s eye but cannot see because he has a beam in his own eye.  In other words, this person was worse off than the person he was judging!  That type of judgment is called “Hypocritical Judgment” and this is what this passage in Matthew is dealing with.  We are expressly commanded by Jesus not to exercise Hypocritical Judgment.  In terms that we can relate to, this would be like a pedophile sitting as a judge over the case of another pedophile.  Do you think for one moment that this would be a fair trial?

And last, the hypocrite is told that if he will deal with the beam in his own eye there will come a time that he can help the man with the splinter.  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.  Even the hypocrite can repent and become a judge according to this scripture (splinter removal is considered judgment in this passage of scripture).

All right, now that we have covered this passage, we need to look at other scriptures in the Bible on the subject of judgment.  Now bear in mind that this is but a small sampling because there are so many.  The words: Judge, judges, judging, judgment, and justice appear a total of 568 times in the King James Version of the Bible.  This does not take into account all of the other words and ideas associated with these such as Law and Righteousness.

Genesis 18:17-19
17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. 

In this passage God says that he raised up Abraham to command his household “to do justice and judgment”.  If judging is wrong then why did God say that he wanted Abraham and his children that followed him to judge?

Does God hate judgment?  What do the scriptures say?

Psalms 37:28
For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psalms 101:1
I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.

Proverbs 21:3
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Are there other scriptures that uphold righteous judgment?

Proverbs 21:15
15 It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

1 Corinthians 5:11-13
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

1 Corinthians 6:1-5
1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

1 Corinthians 10:15
15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

1 Corinthians 11:13
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

1 Corinthians 14:29
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

1 Corinthians 2:15
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

It is the wicked that despise judgment.  Look at these scriptures:

Proverbs 18:5
5 It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.

Proverbs 19:28
28 An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.

Proverbs 28:5
5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.

I could go on and on with this but I must stop somewhere.  To be sure, there are other scriptures like Matthew 7:1 that warn against judgment, but a careful examination of each of those passages will underscore that hypocritical judgment is unfair and forbidden.

Judgment must be based on the Word of God and it must be righteous.  Also, judgment must not be exercised by someone that is a hypocrite and is guilty of the same or worse. 

People that cite scriptures to try to prove that all judgment is wrong are grossly misinformed and are being hypocritical as well, for they judge natural matters every day.  I asked one that claimed we could not judge any thing or anyone, “Did you vote in the last presidential election?” and they replied that they did, “then”, I said unto them, “you judged that one candidate was better than the other.  You judged!”

Why is that people in our society are so resistant to judgment?  There is one simple reason and it is this: they are guilty themselves and do not want anyone telling them so.  Their resistance to judgment is a resistance to self-judgment.  To admit that something is wrong, that we are wrong, is to allow judgment to bring us to Christ.  To resist judgment is to resist Christ’s dealing with us to bring us into conformity to the will of God. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Imaginary Kingdom of the Religious Man


2 Timothy 4:1-4
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Luke 11:17-20

17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.
19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

1 Timothy 1:4

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

1 Timothy 4:7

But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

Titus 1:14

Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

2 Peter 1:16

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.


There are many different Kingdoms in this world but we know that in reality there are only two different kingdoms.  There is the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the Devil.  These two Kingdoms are in opposition to one another and will never be in agreement.

The enemy would love for people to believe that there are more than two Kingdoms and he works relentlessly at attempting to convince mankind that there are many different ways to Heaven.  No matter how you read the Bible there is still only two Kingdoms – not three!

Look at this scripture where Jesus mentions both the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan:

Matthew 12:25-28
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Again I want to reiterate: there are only two Kingdoms!  Further reading of the scripture underscores this dichotomy of Kingdoms:

Matthew 7:13-14
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Notice that there are only two gates, two roads, and two final destinations.  There is no third legitimate option.   Third options are a fantasy!  Third options are a fable!  Third options are a myth!

I want to ask this simple question before we move on to the next section: What will happen if someone believes something false as being true?  The answer is obvious: they will suffer the consequences of their misguided belief.

Most people today believe, or they live, as if there is another Kingdom.   They believe there is a third (3rd) Kingdom.  They will tell you they believe there is a Kingdom of the Devil and then there is the Kingdom of God, which is for people that want to go to Heaven.  Unfortunately it does not stop there, for they have created their own religious rules and feel that they will go to Heaven living by these misguided missives.   This third Kingdom is a Kingdom of Fables!  It is make-believe!  It is not the true Kingdom of God!  It is a fantasy of man’s own imagination!

What most people today believe about the Kingdom of God is really an imaginary Kingdom of Fables and dreams that has no basis in the Bible. 

When I was a child I loved to read about knights in shining armor doing battle with fire-breathing dragons – of leprechauns hiding underneath toadstools - of elves creeping through the forests – of nasty trolls hiding underneath bridges to charge tolls on those that wished to cross over.  But these were all fables!  They were make believe and without one ounce of truth!  It would have been peculiar for me to grow up and continue believing these myths. 

This is what people believe about this Fabled Religious Kingdom:
1.                 This Kingdom has no set laws and absolutes.  No clearly defined right and wrong.
2.                 In their Kingdom people can do whatever they want and still go to Heaven. 
3.                 In this Kingdom they can live rebellious and disobedient to God’s will and in the end God will still take them to Heaven as his dear children.
4.                 Their ruler (God) is so loving he will not punish anyone for wrong behavior.
5.                 In this Kingdom there are very few things that are considered a sin.  About the only thing considered sin is some churches is murder.
6.                 In this Kingdom no one judges any other person. 
7.                 In this false Kingdom preachers are deified as little gods.
8.                 In this Kingdom people can dress however they please.
9.                 In this Kingdom there is no such thing as worldliness.

Beloved this is a fable!  Their kingdom is no different than one made up of elves, gnomes, trolls, and houses made entirely of candy!  It is all make-believe!  It is not based on the reality of God’s Word!

God’s Word makes it clear what the Kingdom of God is really like and it is nothing like the Imaginary Kingdom I just described to you.  God’s infallible Word sets the parameters of what is and is not acceptable. 

The Bible tells us clearly that in the Last Days there would be those that would believe in an Imaginary Kingdom.  The Apostle Paul said that men’s ears “shall be turned unto fables”.  As a “True Church” we have to battle this “Imaginary Church” all the time.  We are constantly telling people “There is no such thing!”  It is just as ridiculous as telling a thirty year old man that there is no monster hiding under his bed!

Paul told Timothy that in the last days there would be a strong “Fable Movement”.  Paul told Timothy, “For the time will come…  Beloved the time is now here! 

He went on to give us these three defining characteristics of this movement:
1.                 They will not endure sound doctrine- This fantasy loving religious bunch will not adhere to sound doctrine.  They cannot even “endure” listening to a true preacher preach the unadulterated Word of God.  The Apostle Paul further said that they would turn their ears away from the truth.  Have you ever tried to talk to one of those misguided souls?  It is an exercise in futility!  They will not listen to you!
II Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.
2.                 They will love teachers and teaching- Even though they will not listen to us they will listen to others, as a matter of fact the Apostle Paul said that they would “heap to themselves, teachers, having itching ears”.  They are going to travel from meeting to meeting to hear the latest fad and fable.  Today we are seeing just this: there has been explosion of conferences, retreats, seminars, and books/CD’s on every conceivable topic that is “spiritual”.  The shelves of the “Christian Bookstores” are jam-packed with the latest and greatest from “In-Crowd” of preachers and teachers, who make millions of dollars of a gullible public.
3.                 They will turn to fables- The word fable here is the Greek word “Mythos”.  This simply means that they will completely embrace the lie.  They will embrace a false teaching, belief, and lifestyle.  Today, people find it easier to believe a lie than to believe the truth and the more outlandish the lie the more “churchy” people seem to like it.  Benny Hinn claims in his teachings that there are nine persons in the Godhead and that Adam was a Superman and could fly to the moon.  Folks, if you think that is outlandish, I want you to know that there are thousands of other examples just as foolish and some even more so.  People are so caught up in wanting to hear something new that they will accept any teaching as relevant.  This is the generation that the Apostle Paul was writing about.
II Timothy 4:4
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

The ancient Hindu mythology taught that the whole world rested on the backs of four elephants that in turn stood upon the shell of an enormous turtle.  Does this sound pretty silly?  Sure it does!  It takes more faith to believe that than it does to believe that our God created the Heavens and the earth in six days.  This fantasy kingdom of worldly churches is built upon a foundation just as ridiculous as the ancient Hindu’s view of creation.

This is no sillier than the “Imaginary Religious Kingdom” of many modern day church-goers.  So, what exactly does their imaginary kingdom rest upon?  Well, you guessed it: on four imaginary elephants!

The First Elephant: Tolerance.  Today, intolerance is considered one of the greatest sins of all.  Why, we are expected to be tolerant of every lifestyle, belief, and individual.  We are told over and over, that no matter how outlandish or degrading their lifestyle, we must be tolerant of them for we are not their “judge”.  The mantra of this imaginary belief system is “Judge not lest you be judged”, which is found is Matthew 7:1, but is so grossly misinterpreted and misrepresented that very few people today even know what this scripture means any more.  Here is the scripture in the context of the other scriptures around it:

Matthew 7:1-5
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. 

As you read the other scriptures you begin to realize that Jesus was not talking about righteous judgment at all, but rather He was talking about “Hypocritical Judgment”, which of course is wrong.  Certainly, we do not need adulterers judging adulterers, or murders judging murders.  Righteous men must judge righteous judgment.

The Bible clearly encourages us to righteously judge.  Here are scriptures that prove this point completely:

1 Corinthians 6:2-5
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

Does God hate judgment?  Here is another scripture that reveal God’s attitude about judgment:

Psalms 37:28
28 For the LORD loveth judgment… 
Isaiah 59:14-15
14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. 

These scriptures in the New Testament make it clear that we must judge righteously.

John 7:24
24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
1 Corinthians 2:15
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

You see the unpardonable sin of this imaginary, make-believe, third Kingdom is intolerance.  You hear this mantra chanted over and over from the religious circles to the political circles: “We have to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs and differences.  You can’t judge anyone.  You must respect their lifestyle”.

We are told to tolerate the homosexual, the lesbian, the transvestite, the trans-gender.  We are told that we must tolerate the abortionist.  We are told that we must tolerate adultery in men and women because it is just a genetic flaw in the cerebral cortex.  We are told that we have to tolerate the youth “fooling around” (fornication) because “kids will be kids”.  Body piercing? According to these misguided abusers we must tolerate it.  There is only one thing these fable-believers will not tolerate and that is intolerance!  They will not tolerate anyone standing up and saying that there is only one way and it is the Bible way!  How dare we to think that our “narrow way” is superior to someone else’s way!

Their kingdom is not the true Kingdom of God.  These worldly religious church-goers claim they are a part of the Kingdom of God but what they are really a part of is an imaginary kingdom that does not exist.  It is a fantasy, a myth, it is not real!  It is no more real than four elephants standing on the back of a cosmic turtle holding up the world.

The Second Elephant: Adjustable Truth.  The second foundation of the imaginary kingdom is adjustable truth, or situational truth.  False believers of today believe that truth is something that can be adjusted to each individual and each changing situation.  They believe that multiple ideas and divergent beliefs can all be true at the same time.  With this false idea they believe that two diametrically opposing viewpoints can both be right, or in other words, nothing or nobody is wrong, everybody is right. 

Can two opposite things both be true?  Can black be white or white be black?  Can a lie be truth and the truth be a lie?  No, of course not.  Something has to be wrong and something has to be right.

First we must understand that Jesus did not come to bring us the truth.  The Bible tells us that Jesus is the truth.  The truth is not a thing, the truth is a person and that person is Jesus.

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus is the truth!  What mankind needs today is so much more than just learning facts and figures.  They must intimately and personally know Jesus as the Lord of their life.  There is no way you can memorize your way into salvation – salvation comes as a direct result to my submission to His Lordship through repentance. 

Truth is not an adjustable commodity.  Truth is not an opinion.  We do not preach Christ because He is our opinion.  We preach Christ the Word of God.  Why?  Because He is the only hope for this world!  If you want to know what is God’s will for your life then read God’s Word.  The Word of God clearly expounds the mind of God on all matters of faith and conduct.  To love the Word of God is the love Christ.  To reject the Word of God is to reject Christ.  To despise Truth is to despise Jesus!

This fantasy kingdom of deceived religious people is built upon a faulty foundation that does not exist.  Their false idea is that all religions, all creeds, and all people are going to Heaven that each person has to make his own path to Heaven.  No!  Jesus is the only Way!  There is no other way to the Father but through Him.

The Third Elephant: Lawlessness.  These people are often referred to as anti-nomians, or “Against the Law”.  Many of the modern churches of today believe that they can live any way they choose to because the Bible does not teach any rules to live by.  This is absolutely incorrect!

Can you imagine the chaos in this world if there were no laws to govern by?  Just think about the roadways that you drive a car on: what if there were no speed limits?  What if there were no stop signs at the intersections?  What if there were no laws telling cars which side of the roadway to drive upon?  What if there were no laws governing licensing, vehicle inspections, and safety?  It would be complete chaos on the roadway!  It would be unsafe to travel on the road.  My friend, if we do not have laws then this world in its natural setting could not function. 

The same is true of the Church.  Without laws, rules, and directives to live by then chaos will ensue.  This is exactly what is happening today in churches all over the world.  Most believe that God is so loving that he would not tell them what they can and cannot do.  They believe that God would not dare tell them anything that would make them the least bit uncomfortable and the moment anyone tells them that God expects obedience out of them they cry, “Legalism”.  Well, I would rather be “legal” than “illegal”!

This imaginary kingdom that people think is God’s kingdom has no laws.  You can dress (or undress) any way you want to.  You do whatever you like.  You can drink, curse, view pornography, listen to worldly music, hate you neighbors, and anything else you want to and at the end of your life the great imaginary ruler of this Kingdom will take you to Heaven and heap more pleasures upon you.  Nonsense!  You might as well believe in tiny fairies flying around your house at night will you sleep than believe that any kingdom of God exists as the one I just described.

There is law in the true Kingdom of God!  There are absolutes, meaning, there are things that are absolutely right and absolutely wrong.  God did not give us suggestions.  God has given us commands! 

Jesus said this about the Law of God.
Matthew 5:17
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

This scripture, along with others, makes it very clear that Jesus did not come to eradicate the law as so many claim today.  The modern day anti-nomians claim that grace removes the law but Jesus never made no such claim.  Rather, the grace of God enables us to live an obedient and victorious life over sin. 

This leads us to the next conclusions of the anti-nomians that inhabit this kingdom of trolls, elves, and fairy godmothers: no one can overcome sin, everyone is a sinner, and you have to sin every day.  One once-saved-always-saved (OSAS) preacher was asked on national television if he was committing adultery at the time the Rapture took place would he go to Heaven.  His reply was without hesitation and he unequivocally replied, “Yes”.  When asked by the interviewer to explain he replied, “Well if my sins are this high”, and he held his hand up to his chest, “the grace of God is this high”, and he held his hand over his head, “so no matter what I do the grace of God covers my sin”.  This is a lie!  And the saddest part of this is there are millions upon millions of people that believe this.

I want to make it clear that no such Kingdom of God exists!  God will not excuse unrepented sin.  A moral failing as I just described will damn a man’s soul to Hell for eternity.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:8
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

On the subject of sin the Bible clearly teaches us:
Romans 6:1-2
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

1 John 3:6-9
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 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.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

John 8:34
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

This mythological kingdom that some men call church or religion today does not exist as far as God is concerned.  They may claim they are a part of the Kingdom of God but their Kingdom in no way resembles the Kingdom of God described in the Word of God.  Jesus did not save us so we could continue in sin but he saved us to free us from sin.  It is possible for you and I to “walk in the Spirit” so as to not “fulfill the lusts of the flesh”.  There is a complete victory over sin for the Christian!  Perfection is not a pipe-dream but a reality and all Christians are striving for perfection in Christ. 

The Fourth Elephant: Humanism.  This fourth elephant is highly visible in the deceived churches of this hour. 

The Kingdom of God in the Bible is built around Christ.  Jesus is the central figure of the true Kingdom.  Everything is about Him and for Him.  Our service is not to ourselves but to Him. 

Today, in the modern fantasy kingdom of the religious man, everything is about people.  One preacher I know made this statement in a service where I had visited to hear him preach, “The Church is all about people.  People are the most important thing in the Church.”  This may sound good to you up front but this is a total error.  The Church is not all about people!  The Church is all about Christ!  To be sure, there are people in the Church and they are important to God, but our focus should never be on people, our focus should always be on Christ.  When you make the Church all about people then the Church becomes humanistic.  This is exactly what has happened today.

Today everything in Churches is about making the people comfortable.  If the pews are not soft enough they will add another layer of padding.  If the temperature is not pleasant enough they will adjust it to your satisfaction.  Is it too loud?  They will turn it down!  They will put a gift shop in the Church so you can shop before service or during bathroom breaks.  They will put a Starbucks coffee shop so you can enjoy a latte on the way in. 

This imaginary kingdom panders to every want and whim of its deluded subjects.  We refer to this as the “Seeker-Sensitive” approach and it is the way of doing “church business” in the 21st Century.  Their goal is to make the Church a completely benign and pleasing place to visit.  Research firms are hired to poll the community to find out what the neighborhood wants from a Church.  Psychologists are put on Church payrolls to advise the leaders on how to appeal to a larger audience.  Interior decorators are brought in to make sure all of the colors and decorations in the building create a blissful environment to lull the senses.  The Church staff is routinely sent to training classes to be taught how to engage the populace in their kingdom.  No stone is left unturned in the attempt to make the human comfortable.  Are they kidding themselves?  Nothing in that Kingdom is about Christ!  It is all about the flesh!  Can you imagine how John the Baptist or the Apostle Paul would have fit in those churches?

The pampered, perfumed, petted, and powdered leaders in these seeker-sensitive churches do not preach the Word of God but they preach a trimmed down Gospel that has been sanitized from all references to sin, repentance, and holiness.  The message of their false gospel is not what you can do for God but what God can do for you.  The prosperity message of today is completely humanistic.  By their estimation man was not put on earth to serve God but put here so God could load them down with blessings.  The tables have turned!  God is no longer the focus of the Church – now people are the focus!

Look at the titles of the books by the ever-popular Joel & Victoria Osteen and you can clearly see what their kingdom is all about:
1.     Your Best Life Now
2.     Becoming a Better You
3.     It’s Your Time
4.     Love Your Life (Victoria Osteen)

There is one word that all these books have in common: You/Your.  Who are they kidding when they say it is all about Jesus?  No it is all about “You”.  Christ is not the center of this nefarious gospel, “You” are!  This is humanism pure a simple.  The human has become the center of this kingdom.

My friend, hear me loud and clear: most of what men call “Church” and the “Kingdom of God” today is not the Kingdom of God.  The followers of this illusory kingdom do not resemble the Christians of the Bible that left all to follow the Lord and many of them were martyred for it.  The leaders of this third kingdom are not following the New Testament pattern of the Godly, holy, and serving ministry that was willing to face death and dismemberment to preach the Gospel.  The one law of this fantasy kingdom is “If it feels good do it”.  This false kingdom does not exist. 

When I grew up a realized there are no giant beanstalks you can climb into heaven upon, I realized that Goldilocks did not eat all of the porridge, and that the big, bad wolf did not talk to Little Red Riding Hood (Wolves talking?  I may have to take another look at that!).  All of those were myths, fantasies, and imaginary.  The false kingdom of “religious ideas” of our modern day is just as ridiculous as the bedtime stories of our childhood.  If you want the truth then you need to turn to Christ the Word of God.

Search This Blog