Here is the first message entitled “Greatest Deceptions in the Churches today.”
Bible Conversion: People have been taught to believe that a profession of religion, and belief in the truth constituting the phrase “I’m saved”, equals salvation, however the bible doesn’t teach that any outward form of religion be it an in depth understanding of the scriptures, holding a degree in religion, having the position of an elder, or pastor, or any other manifestation other than the one truth Christ expressed equates with the genuine process of being saved. So what is the manifestation that a person truly has entered into the process of “being saved”. Let us look.
- How to be Born Again: Here is a truth that is not being taught. The uncommon article of genuine Bible Conversion is the reason why their are so many problems in the churches, and people do not understand that genuine bible conversion is a transaction where the sinner by faith lays hold on divine power. When a sinner truly receives that divine power then he begins trusting in heavenly resources, and not to himself to change the life, and character. Then the Holy Spirit will accomplish for weak sinner what he could never do in his own strength. The proof that we are being saved by Christ is that the life reflects His life, our principles of operation are the manifestation of His principles. It is the character traits of Heaven that rule the life.
But many people automatically disqualify themselves to be true followers of Jesus because they don’t believe that they can really live a life free from wrong doing. Their lifestyle is plagued with habits that control them which they have never gotten the victory over. They live defeated lives therefore they turn to a religion that is purely emotional. They get a sermon, and music that makes the feel good which excites, and stimulates the scenes and the people today accept that thinking that because they felt something it must have some level of authenticity.
But the true christian lives by faith, and faith and feeling are not equal. Faith penetrates the darkness, believes when all appears hopeless, leaps into action when no opportunity is apparent, leans fully upon God to accomplish in the believer acts which he could have never done on his own, but are now accomplished by divine power. Yet feelings awaits an external stimulus to respond according to the circumstances, and this is why the devil is so busy seeking to control circumstances where people confuse faith, and feelings. For if Satan can cause Christians to live by feelings, and not faith then he can destroy them. Trusting to emotions they move from a faith experience of bible understanding, and await the next opportunity for feelings of rapture.
2. Self Sufficiency: This is the greatest opposition to the the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for by it the professing Christian is confident in his own strength, in the experience of his church, in his pastor, and this self sufficiency creates opposition to Him who is above all things. If you are to receive Christ every other agency must be moved out of the way so that Christ’s influence alone can reach the soul without interference, and voices of other agencies silenced. Men’s on opinions often in themselves are the greatest hindrance to receiving the Spirit of Truth. They think higher of their own opinion, stronger in the books of their scholars, and commentaries on the bible, than a thus saith the scriptures. Jesus said, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me”, for Christ had fulfilled the requirements for the gift of the Spirit.
3. The Requirements to Receive the Gifts of the Spirit: What were the actions Christ had taken to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, or was he just endowed with the Holy Spirit arbitrarily because of His relationship to God by virtue of the fact that He was His Son? This is very important question because if the Father just poured out the Holy Spirit upon Christ without Jesus conforming to the same requirements that we must conform to for the reception of the Holy Spirit then Christ could not be our example in all things.
Then He could not be our pattern for the truth in what we must do to receive the Holy Spirit. Today people say they don’t know how to receive the gift of the Spirit, and many people act as if they are exasperated because they have tried all things, and have never gained power to get the victory over all sin by the Spirit of God working in them “to will and to do of his own good pleasure. Philp 2:12-13” This concept causes doubt in the goodness of God to “give good gifts” and the Holy Spirit is the best of all good gifts. But Jesus said, ” If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luk_11:13″ God’s promises are sure, so lets look at the life of Christ, and receive the gift.
Jesus was baptized as our example, and to fulfill all righteousness. He was not baptized because it was necessary for Him in His own life, but to live a life of perfect righteousness that could stand at the judgement in the place of our unrighteous life He fulfilled all things required by man perfectly, and every act in His life was without fault. Therefore when your sinful life comes before God then Christ’s life is presented to the Father as your substitute for sin, and without trusting one iota in yourself, and in your own works you can ask the Father to fulfill His promise in you by giving you His Holy Spirit.
A. Requirement #1 to Receive the Holy Spirit:for power to gain the victory over all sin, ” Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Heb_12:1 We must put aside, and remove everything that is in opposition to Christ alone. We must know Christ personally, and not what people tell us about Him, but we must know Him for ourselves if we are to follow Him. Christ first words to those he was calling when He walked the earth were “follow me”, Jesus didn’t say go and get knowledge from your Priest about who I am, but He said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. Joh_7:17 ” That is, we learn of God, and who He is by willing to do his will above all others, but man has a way of weaving his own will into religion.
This Christ warned the church leaders of His day because the were walking in darkness, and were unable to comprehend that standing before them was God hidden under the life of the Nazarene yet they refused to believe because He opposed their methods, practices, and exposed their falsehood before the people. He warned them of their next steps yet they again rejected the truth that they were capable of murdering God Himself, and would when opportunity provided kill God’s own Son. This blood thirsty desire arose from a desire to hid their evil practices, maintain their position before the people, and silence the life that exposed their life. The blood thirsty revenge of evil against the purity of Christ will always arise again when when God’s people reveal Christ own character in theirs.
Hear the words of Jesus to the church leaders: Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. John Chapter 8:37
Why are you attending religious services with leaders, and people who are mocking the power of God to give the victory over sin. Who are doing just what Paul foretold of: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2nd Timothy 3:1-5
These are they who deny that Christ will give power to save from sin. They reject the idea that a Christian can live a life free from sin. They are leading the people in error, and apostasy as they mock the power of God.
Grace is pardon, and power. Grace is forgiveness for sin, and redemption from sin. Grace saves from the history of a sinful life, and saves the sinner from committing evil acts right now. The life of Christ given to the believer “is that grace which empowers the believer with victory over sin.” Anything other than this is to “deny the power of God”. The sole purpose of Jesus was told by the angel Gabriel to Joseph, “Mat_1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Unless we renounce, every sinful thought, and action we will not be saved. Every sin we commit grieves the heart of Christ, and no one will be saved while grieving Christ. Does this high level of compliance with perfection cause you to doubt, and fear that you could ever accomplish this. It is suppose to, for it is to drive the sinner to the feet of Jesus with tears, and yearning desire for a power that he doesn’t possess in himself.
4. Here is the power!
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
Here is the secret in verse one, “like precious faith”, we must obtain that. We must learn to believe like Peter, and the other disciples believed, and taught. Anything less, is a perversion of the gospel and will lead to destruction, and Paul marveled that so many were lead astray by a false belief in a perverted gospel.
Paul said in Galatians 1:6, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
Friends Paul said that these people who have another gospel are troubling you, and will trouble your hope of being saved, and he said let them be accursed. That is leave them alone. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Eph_5:11” That is don’t attend their assemblies because those that are cursed will curse you, they will cause you to doubt the truth, believe lies, and go down the broad road to destruction.
Then Peter continues with the secret to the power filled life for he says, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,” That is this grace is going to duplicated, and given to you over, and over again. It will grow and multiply. Here it is, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Did you get that! Divine power is given unto us for all things, for every thing we need. God never intended for us to rely upon ourselves for victory over sin it can’t be done. He plans on us relying upon divine power. That’s why all are efforts to begin again, all our resolutions for a new life are worthless without the power of God working in us. When Paul advises us to “work out your salvation with fear in trembling”, he doesn’t end the verse there, but many people stop there and say o.k. I’m going to try harder. But trying harder is worthless without a complete reliance upon Jesus Christ, and the reception of the life of Christ. There must be a transaction where the divine power of God literally comes into the life of the believer. That alone is true Christianity. That is what it mean’s to be born again, as the Holy Spirit totally remakes a human being.
The born again process is not taking something bad, and making it better. Salvation is not a modification, or alteration of the life. Being born again is a whole new life where the old life has passed away, and is dead. Then the divine power makes a new human being. And where the mind of the sinner with his old filthy habits once ruled on the throne of the heart is overcome. The will has submitted to God, and Christ has dethroned the old life with the old man living in the heart. Christ alone can defeat the perverted will of the sinner who has exercised his will in perverted ways for all the selfish years of his life. Christ alone can recreate the soul in the image of God.
2Co_5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
So, the promise of the gift of Christ’s own divine power is so precious. It is everything to the sinner, and without it he will retain a life in which he is “Dead in trespasses and sins” regardless of his profession. Which is why Peter said, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4″.
What promise could be more precious than the promise of receiving Christ’s divine life! Can this divine nature fail of giving you victory over sin and cause you to escape corruption. Peter says no! There is no way, the reception of the divine nature totally eradicates the old man, his old habits, and he hates sin. Then what is the number one problem why their is no power in today’s churches for victory over bad habits, and sins which cause people to live defeated lives? We have discussed some, and will share more but if God’s people would morn over their sins, and cry to God for deliverance they would receive it. However most the people today don’t have daily devotionals, they don’t take time out with God in the morning before they rush to work, and they put everything but God ahead of their Christian walk. We must take time with God to pray, and receive this grace.
“Blessed are they that morn for they shall be comforted”. Mat. 5:4 This morning is conviction of the deadly effects of sin, and it will accomplish its purpose. But we must morn over our own sins, and also the sins of others. This will remove the selfishness in the heart where people don’t have a burden for others, and don’t feel sorrow for those people who are lost in their sins. You can ask yourself the question, “are you weeping for souls” if you lack the hunger for souls to be saved then it’s because you are not fulfilling your role in prayer for others. Jesus wept for others, and our hearts must be broken if we are ever going to reach others.
God says, in the book of Eziekel, ” And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. Eze_9:4″. Here we see men burdened, crying for the wrongdoing done by those who were lost.” If no one would have prayed for me I’m sure I’d be lost today. But I know that when I was lost, and in the world there was a old woman who had been praying for me. And one day at the time of her appointed time in prayer where she always stopped everything she was doing, laid aside her work, and knelt down in prayer a terrible conviction overcame me that I was in trouble, and that I was lost. And there was no reason for it for I was in the world, no reason for me to be overcome with those thoughts. I was lost, and I had no idea where the thorough conviction that my life was in desperate shape came from, until later I understood this woman’s lifestyle of prayer in the evening.
Those people who don’t feel grieved over there own spiritual weakness, and the spiritual decay in the lives of others are maintaining their selfish character, and will be lost unless they are born again!