Friday, December 17, 2010

WHY ARE OUR WATCHMEN WAVERING?

Its been a theme echoed time and time again in these blog and web articles that Anne Kisly and I have written, since the beginning:

We must stand for Truth, and against deception! We must disallow erroneous beliefs about the Bible and not tolerate the seduction of the church by the world, as well as by seducing spirits, and the doctrines of demons (1 TIM. 4:1).

Did you ever consider that Satan is consistent with his doctrine? That's because in order to oppose the Word of God, which is a constant for and of Truth, he must perpetuate the same lies over and over again, repackaged and redesigned, in his vain attempt to overthrow it.

There really aren't any 'new' lies being created by the devil; just the old lies in new terminology. For example, what used to be called the occult became the New Age Movement, which is now called the New Spirituality (something that Brian McLaren, an Emergent author and leader, says is something that the church needs today- "a new spirituality" (?!).

Just as there is a plethora of Bible translations, paraphrases and tailor made holy books, "Bibles for Plumbers", "Bibles for Lawyers", "Bibles for Housewives", etc. there are now an increasing number of 'Gospel versions', the Social Gospel, the Universalist Gospel, the Green Gospel, the P.E.A.C.E. plan Gospel, etc. This makes the Bible and the Gospel more about YOU than about the Word of God and the Message of salvation it brings, all in the endeavor to make it all more 'relevant' and easier for you to 'relate' to.

Listen! God has gone to extremes in order to make His Word relevant by exposing us to its Truth: we are sinners in rebellion against the Holy Will and Heart of God! Unless we find a way of escape we will be judged by this same God and found utterly guilty and condemned!
Yet God is love just as He is Holy, and so He provided His Son, Who Himself willingly laid down His life and died in our place for our sins; taking upon Himself the full and entire brunt of God's Holy Indignation and Wrath against sin, paying with His own blood, the eternal penalty of our perditious ways. 
He has secured for us eternal life that is infused in every heart by His Spirit that takes up residence within our own hearts, those of us who have repented of our sins and received Christ Jesus as our LORD and SAVIOR. Because of this, we are now, not only blessed with the promise of the glories of heaven for all eternity, but also with His sweet and abiding Presence and the Love that is Himself.
You want to talk about relevance?! There you go!

Jesus, the Word of God, God the Son became a man (JOHN 1:14), and lived among us, He spoke our language, He felt our hurts, He related with our sorrows, He knew the fatigue and weariness that this life burdens us with. He also allowed His pure and holy Spirit to suffer the full saturation of our iniquities and sin - if this isn't 'relating' to us, then NOTHING IS!

This is the simple Gospel; this is God's Word to us. It's effective just as is without any kind of modification, adjustments or embellishments so that it can be 'more easily understood' or 'relevant'. The issue isn't that we must find a way to relate to God, He has already done all that He could so that He could (and does) relate to us!

Still, there are those who are unwilling to accept God's Word or His Gospel; they insist that the Bible and the Gospel must be altered so as to 'reach this present generation' because "the old methods just aren't working any more". The fact of the matter is that such that say these things have summarily rejected the old paths of righteousness (JER 6:16).

The problem is, that pastors and teachers in order to keep their flocks are adopting non-biblical practices and beliefs in order to accommodate and keep this post-modern crowd of people (why the desire for big crowds, and expanding sanctuaries to make room for even more people? Start preaching repentance from sin, and living godly lives of self denial and mortification; talk about taking up our crosses and following Jesus, and watch those big crowds dwindle! It was the same in the days of Jesus!).

These pastors are making alliances with ministries and organizations that see the Gospel as "helping the poor, educating the unschooled, curing the sick, etc." Of course such activities are good and noble deeds, but contrary to what's been said, the church of Jesus Christ is not about "deeds (alone)", but these are founded upon the creeds that establish them! In other words, the Scriptures themselves determine what deeds are to be done and how (such as the preaching of the Gospel, teaching the doctrine of the Word, ministering to the lost both spiritually then physically, etc).
Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. plan involves Christians working together with Muslims, Hindus, Homosexuals, even atheists in order to spread his version of the Gospel, which is not the Gospel but another Gospel (Gal 1:6-7).
Leonard Sweet is talking about a "CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS" that we all, even non-Christians can experience if we allow ourselves to experience Him/It through meditative practices that have been used by Christians from ages past (he is speaking of the desert fathers, monks of the Roman Catholic church that employed contemplative prayer [Hindu-style meditative] practices as a means of 'experiencing God').

Others like Bill Hybels and Pat Robertson are endorsing a Green Gospel. Tony Campolo and Doug Pagitt believe in the social gospel, as does Rob Bell.
We have said it before, and we will say it again: why are pastors being silent about these aberrations of biblical truth? Even more to the point: why are they not warning their flocks and instead are joining forces with these para-church organizations?
WHY ARE OUR WATCHMEN WAVERING?

PSALM 127:1
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

The LORD has built the house, the church of Jesus Christ and established it-

MATT 16:18
And I say also unto thee . . . upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Because He is the builder, the workers need not work in vain, for the LORD is with us, laboring together in this tremendous Commission which He Himself gave to us (see MARK 16:15, 20; MATT 28:19).

And our Father is keeping us securely so that the watchmen need not watch in vain; just as the LORD Jesus prayed for us in JOHN 17:11. The LORD preserves those of us who are His (see PSALM 16:1-11).

So the work of these watchmen, those whom the LORD has established to watch over the saintly souls in the church (HEB 13:17) need not be in vain, or unsuccessful because of the tremendous, nigh overwhelming influx of apostate teachings, beliefs and practices. God will enable them, if only they seek Him and yield to His perfect will in all matters and not compromise or become slack; even if it means that many will take offense at their biblically accurate teaching and holy conduct, and as a result leave, taking their tithes with them.

What exactly is a 'watchman' anyway?

In former days in which castles, fortresses, and ancient cities were around, the rulers of such places would have guards standing on duty on the walls of that place, keeping watch for approaching people, parties and armies; they were on duty for the sake of keeping the city, protecting the people within, and sounding alarms (usually trumpets) if danger presented itself.

Just as they had walls that surrounded the citizens within, protecting and securing them within their borders, and kept the enemy outside, we the church also have the walls of wisdom, and biblical borders surrounding us as found in God's counsels of the Word; these protect and secure us. If any enemy were to cross those borders or climb up those walls (some way other than 'the Door') the alarm is to be sounded by those whom the LORD has called to be watchmen in the church!

Whether New or Old Testament, these watchmen were to follow after God's own heart, whose care and concern for His people are paramount in His Holy mind; for an example of how God cares and watches over His own, consider the following in PSALM 121:1-8.

And here you can read about the true heart of a faithful watchman:

ISAIAH 21:4-6, 8, 12
My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.
Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.
For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.

And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights: 

The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.

(See more good examples here: ISAIAH 52:1, 8-12; 62:6*)

* Note also that these watchmen were involved in the preparations for the arrival of the King; in those days roads easily fell into disrepair and were in need of maintenance, especially when visiting dignitaries were announced to come for visitations (See ISAIAH 62:10-12).

Yet how many watchmen today are faithfully proclaiming the soon arrival of our coming King?! Its being taught that we are not to concern ourselves with prophecy and when the LORD is coming back (that its "none of our business"??!), and those who have a high regard for the second coming are considered a "threat to the 21st century church"??!

Emergents are telling us that we are to be busy about God's business in establishing His kingdom here and now (entirely disregarding the truth that the Kingdom is established by none other than the KING HIMSELF, not the church [see DAN 2:34-45])!

Scripture tells the church the very opposite of the admonitions she receives from Emergents and Apostates:

COL 3:2, 3-4
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Yet the watchmen (in their case, the prophets and the priests, not merely literally the watchmen or guards) in the Old Testament became slack in their duties:

ISAIAH 56:10-12
His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.

Note that these watchmen are mute, they are not talking. much less warning of impending dangers; rather they are sedate, sleepy, unaware and un-alarmed for the sake of the people they are sworn to protect and tend for their safety. Their motives are not toward the Messiah and His message but apparently for money and are therefore self-centered. They have no discernment or understanding.

Its a heart-wrenching reality that today a growing number of pastors in churches are resembling this portrait; they are comfortable with power but with none of the responsibilities. They've grown accustomed to being beyond question or being accountable for what they do. They feel that they are entitled to partake of 'the dainties' (not merely the comforts and luxuries of this world, but also the dogma and practice of unbiblical beliefs that are anti-Christ) of the King of Babylon's table rather than the simple "pulse" (the simplicity of the Gospel and of the pure milk of the Word) that godly Daniel and his three brethren subsisted on.

Beyond this, they are insisting that such dainties are fair provender for the church and if any criticize or seek to expose it, they are divisive, unloving, un-Christ-like, Pharisaical and are in need of being excommunicated!

In the book of Ezekiel God said to the prophet:

EZEK 3:17
Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

God explained to Ezekiel that if the wicked was warned by him to turn from his wickedness, and that wicked person refuses, they will perish, but because the prophet gave him warning, his own blood would not be required. By the same token, if the prophet failed to warn the wicked man of his wicked ways, that man would perish, but so would the prophet because he refused to warn the wicked.

EZEK 3:20
Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Here is the same picture but in reverse; here it speaks of a righteous man who turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity; if these are not warned, then the prophet is held accountable for this!

Today there are many that claim to be righteous in the Name of Christ, when they know nothing of repentance; they've merely raised their hand and received their 'Gehenna-inoculation' or a 'Get-Out-of-Hell Free Card' and once given, they are free to go about their carnal, sinful lives unconcerned and unhindered because well, they "received Jesus as their Savior and are saved by grace, so what's the use of living such a restrictive life? Where sin abounds, grace does much MORE abound, right?"

Others are indeed born of God, but because they are untaught, and undiscerning they have the same liabilities towards deception as the first example above. We all need those 'biblical borders' and 'walls of wisdom' from the scriptures, from the Holy Spirit and from faithful watchmen who will proclaim such, and protect us, the church.

Our churches are full of babes in Christ as well as unregenerates who have a religious handle and talk like Christians, but can't walk as Christians. If in either case they start getting involved in non-biblical conduct and are not warned about the Rick Warrens, the Bill Hybels, the Robert Schullers, or the Brian McLarens, Rob Bells or Doug Pagitts, and their teachings then God will hold such pastors accountable for that persons downfall! What a tremendous weight of responsibility hangs about the shoulders of pastors and shepherds, yet few seem remotely concerned about protecting the saints, the sheepfold of the LORD! Yet God's admonition cannot be ignored! Look at what the LORD tells Ezekiel in - EZEK 33:1- 22

Few will stand against such false teachers, and false brethren and catagorically deny these false doctrines that are permeating the church!!

There are some, thank God! We still have the Dave Hunt's, the Roger Oakland's, the Warren Smith's, the Brannon Howse's, the Jan Markel's, the Berit Kjos' and others whose writings and materials are a refuge in as much as they extol and honor the Truth of God's Word and protest the errors of bad doctrine where ever it is found.

Please pray for each of these, and any others you know who are teaching the Bible accurately, who are unwilling to compromise its Truth and refuse to alter one letter, (much less entire doctrines concerning things like salvation, the kingdom of God, eschatology, and the Person of Jesus Christ Himself in His deity and humanity) of the scriptures.

Please especially pray for Roger Oakland (http://www.understandthetimes.org/) as he has suffered many physical ailments, spiritual assaults (most of these from other believers?!?), and is even now working on a book that will relate the history and gradual downward spiral of the Calvary Chapel Movement. This book is written not by an observer from without, but from one who stood shoulder to shoulder with others in this ministry for 30 yrs. and has himself witnessed from within the gradual slide into erroneous and compromising teachings (for example, both Chuck Smith Jr [son of the founder of this movement] and Jon Courson Jr. [son of one of the foundational pastors of this movement] have endorsed Emergent theology!!). Here is an article by Roger Oakland that deals with this subject. Also the book by Paul Smith (pastor and brother of the late Chuck Smith) entitled New Evangelicalism - the New World Order and The TRUTH Under FIRE's own review of this book. 

As Roger himself stated, this doesn't mean that all Calvary Chapels are going wrong, there are still many that are good, solid, Bible teaching and Bible practicing fellowships; but the number of Calvary's that are gravitating towards Emergent theology is on the increase, and Christians needs to be discerning and earnestly praying and fasting for their pastors and church leadership! Its his hearts desire that this book, while heart breaking to write, will aid the saints in discerning which fellowships have compromised and which have not. From the e-letter he sent, this book should be finished in about one year's time.

Please pray for Roger!

Now before we wrap this up, lets have a look at one more portion of scripture found in JOHN 10:1-16:

JOHN 10:1
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

Emergent authors and pastors are increasingly disparaging the idea that there is only one way to heaven, one way into the kingdom of God. Yet here Jesus Himself states that any that enter not by the door, are quite simply thieves and robbers: they are not true pastors, they are not true teachers, they are not godly men or Christians; they are thieves and robbers. There is only one way, there has always been one way, and there never will be another way other than the One that God Himself gave us: JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD and HIM CRUCIFIED, RESURRECTED, and ASCENDED to GOD the FATHER!

JOHN 10:2
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

Jesus Christ claimed that He Himself is the Door (vs. 9) that leads into the sheep fold (the church, kingdom of God), and He is also the Shepherd (1 PET 2:25). I believe a secondary application could be any under-shepherd or pastor that leds the flock of God through Jesus Christ the Door, and into pasture.

JOHN 10:3
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

Many see the porter as the Holy Spirit as He guides us into God's Word (the grazing pastures of the sheep) and likewise points the sheep to Jesus (the Door into the sheep fold). Note here that God's sheep hear His voice, and He knows (and calls us out) by name! We recognize and respond to the voice of our LORD, the true Shepherd and this is vital to understand in regards to those who would feed us improperly, or guide us in a way that is not good!

JOHN 10:4
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

Here is a fact that was pointed out to me, especially in light of the Emergent teachings of Rick Warren, and his Purpose-Driven dogma: sheep are led by their shepherd who goes before them, whereas goats are not led, they are driven by those from behind! Indeed, we the church are to be Spirit-led, not Purpose-driven!

Remember the judgment between the sheep and the goats (see MATT 25:31-46); who are the sheep there in that parable, and who are the goats? Interesting!

The question many must consider is, Will we heed the voice of the Shepherd and follow Him, or remain steadfast in our allegiance to our denomination or church fellowship regardless of who they may endorse, whose books they quote from, what they may teach, or how they may begin to contradict scripture? What course of action we take will inevitably reveal who and what we are: God's sheep will follow His voice! Those who don't belong to the Shepherd will ignore Him and His faithful witnesses (see JERE 6:17). Many who warm the pews of our churches will refuse the Truth and as a result will be judged by God and fall into deeper deceptions!

JOHN 10:5
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

This is why I believe that God's genuine sheep ultimately will not be deceived, though for a time, they may get side-tracked into unorthodox or worse, heretical teaching; the faithful Shepherd will bring them back, for as it states, the voice of strangers they will not know: they will flee from them!

Nevertheless its vital that we Christians know the Word of God and prevent such deceptions and heresies from entering our lives and the family of God, for though the LORD will deliver us from them (those whose hearts truly belong to Him), they can work many grievious and unnecessary hurts and wounds, from some of which we may never fully recover while on this earth!

JOHN 10:6
This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

I guess these were some that couldn't hear (understand) His voice!

JOHN 10:7-9 Here the LORD reiterates what He said previously; then:

JOHN 10:10
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Modernists of the 19th and 20th century, and post-Modernists of the 20th and 21st century, as well as New Age, and Emergent teachers have stolen the pure Word of God from people by questioning its authority, denying its veracity, and substituting their own versions of 'truth' and 'gospel'; thereby they are doing the work of Satan by stealing, killing and destroying. When all is in shambles and ruin, there is no evidence of abundant life, which could be theirs through Jesus Christ and abiding in His Word!

This thief Satan is working diligently through apostates, post-modernists and Emergents to steal the haven that is the church (the gathering of saints within the context of ministry at a facility for this express purpose), away from the saints. Infiltration of these sanctuaries without so much as a single word of protest, but rather praise from pastor's (watchmen) who are blind and dumb as the passage in Isaiah (56) states.

JOHN 10:11
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Contrast this verse and the actions of the Shepherd with those of the hireling in the following verses:

JOHN 10:12-13
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

What stands out the most to you?
The fact that the Shepherd sacrifices all, even His own life, for the sake of the sheep which He loves; whereas the hireling will flee at the first sign of trouble because he doesn't love (care for) the sheep?

Hirelings are interested in financial security and will willingly sacrifice sheep who confront them for their errors and unaccountability, and will throw them to the wolves so that they themselves are spared; true shepherds will willingly sacrifice themselves for their sheep, defend them from wolves at the expense of their own lives (see vs. 14-16), and care nothing for financial security, knowing that their security is in the LORD, not the bottom line of the collection roster.

Wolves are intent on devouring, just as Satan himself is (1 PET 5:8) and it seems that pastors (who reveal themselves as mere hirelings) "care not".

These watchmen, these pastors, these shepherds are accountable to God, as are we ALL, and will one day stand before the JUDGE, the LORD Jesus Christ and give an account for their stewardship of His sheep.
Therefore let us be steadfast in prayer, intercessions, yes, even fasting and weeping before God on behalf of these, that the LORD would do a tremendous work of repentance in the hearts of some of these; that they would recant of their apostate, emergent beliefs and teachings, and lead their sheep to the safety of our Refuge and His Holy Word!

May we also be busy about the work of the LORD is sharing God's Truth with our fellow saints who may be caught up in such error as well, for they likewise will face judgment for what they have partaken of and promoted.

And as stated previously, please keep those watchmen who are being diligent and faithful in their office in your prayers!
**This article entitled "ASLEEP On The WATCH" is very worthy of your time -


Yours in the battle,
NIKAO AIONIOS AVRAS!

brother James Fire

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

rightly said Jman alexander the great for Jesus here. me likey and i hope others start paying attention yes you can pay with that.lol but its awesome to have a bro like ya Jman says hi to my lil meatball bro squashit aka as josh hahahaha anyways love you all your bro in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Tony Kiar said...

There is so much in this world that can entice us away from following Jesus. We do need to keep watch every day – looking for His return. The Bible warns us; “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

If you find yourself on the broad and easy freeway headed for destruction take the first off ramp and get on the road to life. Get a Bible and start reading the ‘roadmap’; “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life.” (Proverbs 16:17)

https://stepsdowntheroad.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/he-is-coming-back-so-live-like-it/