Fighting For The Spirit 21st Jan 07
Last week – looked at religion, rapidly changing face of Christianity in NZ – in particular Bishop Randerson -- agnosticism – that’s bad enough, but the fact that he remains in the position, unchallenged, without censure from his denomination or the church at large is fearful – the fruit of our post modern world. No absolutes, the right to express views -- opinions, no wrong.
I believe we must see a new reformation – a return to the Bible as the absolute, infallible and only W.O.G. without error or mistake or misinterpretation – it has become so easy to accept compromise in the church, and our own lives, because so many others are doing it -- it’s interesting how if we see other people doing what we would like to do, even if we know it is not right before God – the “common practice” seems to allow us!!
I find being a Pastor very challenging right now because there is such a tension between a compassionate shepherds heart, the desire to gather, heal and protect – and mercy – and the reality of living to please God not man. After 15 + yrs in ministry and all the wonderful things we have seen in God, there is such a liberality come in, apathy and complacency. I find it difficult to relate to many other Pastors with my desire for holiness.
We must not ignore or gloss over the things happening in Christendom in NZ – nothing happens apart from us all – it is one Church in His eyes. But I really believe we are living out the prophetic W.O.G. we seem to be increasing speed as we hurtle towards eternity. When the disciples asked Jesus when the end of the age would come He said this : --
Mt 24:4-14 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
There are literally thousands of “Jesus” cults with many followers all over the world even here in NZ – we don’t have to talk about wars and rumours of wars too much – America and Iran etc. – famines, pestilences and earthquakes – no one can deny this REALITY of this age and this year!! The world wide attack against Christianity – in this nation also – all the legislation etc. – Christians are hated here! False prophets – I preached about this recently in Thames.
Lawlessness – everywhere – middle-night graffiti – drugs, mayhem – many Christians have fallen away saying “Where is God?” “What is this all about?” “How can this be?” etc. the love of many has grown cold. --- We cannot deny these signs – these things are evident and so we must see them aligning with the W.O.G. – God also warns us about deceivers and being deceived and lying spirits and antichrist. – We must take our guard!! --
1 John 2 : 15 -- in this book the Holy Spirit is teaching about false teachers, heresy and the denial of the incarnation of Jesus – He emphasises the centrality of Christ in salvation and addresses various aspects of error in Christian life – the tendency to acquire “Knowledge” and especially a type of mystical hidden truth (exactly what is being promoted again now the Hidden message of Christ) – and a sort of exclusivism – only the special and favoured can join!!
1 Jn 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Prosperity, wealth and material possessions. The way we look, our appearance, success etc. I don’t want to major on this stuff right now – we know it. But Church buildings and number of people and showing the world how successful Christians can be – all this stuff – everything that appeals to PRIDE – if we pursue this, The Love of God is not in us. It is suppressed and shut down we lose sight of eternal things and get caught up in this temporal life.
1 Jn 2:18-19 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
One of the evidences of the time in which we live is this manifestation of those who have been in the church – who have proclaimed Christ – but have now gone out from us. The truth is that if they had been of us they would have remained -- the Holy Spirit declares them antichrist!
1 Jn 2:22-23 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
This is quite clear, undeniable – those in the church who begin to proclaim a different gospel, that deny Jesus is the Christ – born of a virgin -- is antichrist. Those who say there is still secret hidden knowledge to be discovered, actually deny the simplicity that is in Christ and imply they have a secret mystical revelation and only a few can get it – systems, numbers, formulas, programs – these are antichrist! We don’t like to say it but it is true. (Deny Cross)
1 Jn 2:20-21 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
In the middle of this here is a most startling statement – wonderful – but you! Those who hold fast to the truth, those called/chosen, those who resist loving the world and the things in it, who stay on the narrow path, uncompromised by anything antichrist – YOU have an anointing, an unction from the Holy One – it is immediately implied those who are antichrist do not have this anointing – those in error, deception, loving the world and the things in it do not have unction!
What is this unction? – this anointing – this is important for us to consider often. In the OT those God chose for a specific purpose, to represent Him, were anointed with oil. They were smeared with oil and sometimes it was poured over them – it was a symbol of Holiness and Authority – and those anointed demonstrated their call and appointment by the things they did. With the anointing came a divine enabling – Saul, David, Samuel, Elisha – Solomon etc.
In the NT Anointed One refers to Christ – the anointed one of God and the anointing is not oil but the Holy Spirit : --
Lk 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
Ac 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Then at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out – the enduement from on High, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and power – that anointing, that unction of the Spirit of God filled all who believed on Christ.
2 Co 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Ro 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Now this scripture in 1 John is, I believe, of utmost importance to consider in this hour – for if we are captivated by the world and the things in the world we cannot have this anointing. The Holy Spirit is very clear about this in verses 18-19 --- it is one of those questions we don’t like to really contemplate – but
Ro 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
So this is emphatic – the love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit yet 1 John tells us : -- If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. So there is a place where if the Holy Spirit does not withdraw altogether He certainly withholds His influence to guide and to glorify Christ. Like Samson and Saul remember ---
Jdg 16:20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.
1 Sa 16:14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him.
I know there is a belief that says we cannot lose the Holy Spirit – but look at these examples. And we can certainly grieve Him and quench Him – that is like effectively shutting Him down. And we can blaspheme Him – God forbid, for it is the unpardonable sin – O that we might appreciate just how Precious this anointing is – this Holy Spirit we have been given – Jesus told us it is to our advantage that He goes away because if He didn’t go we could not
receive the Spirit – we could only receive Him, if Jesus died – if Jesus made a way for the Holy Spirit to come to us – If Jesus removed the sin issue, the sin problem, the separation from God – for the Spirit searches the deep things of God – the Holy Spirit is not just a power, or a blessing, or the means by which we know gifts and spiritual things – He is God the Spirit – the Spirit of Jesus Christ – He is glorious and Holy as God is Holy – He cannot be part of sin!!!
Jn 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
The Holy Spirit is in conflict with the world – right from the moment of Pentecost! So He cannot deny Himself – if we deny Jesus the anointing cannot abide within us! So that raises this enormous question about what spirit it is, that is motivating and guiding and empowering those whom we have mentioned – it is the spirit of antichrist! Just as we have seen here in 1 John. The thing is how can this be the case and no one seems to discern or even care?
1 Jn 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
We have the Holy Spirit in us and we KNOW all things – this is the W.O.G. and we KNOW ALL things – not just some things or a few things but ALL things! Because of the indwelling Spirit of God –so why O why are we not convicted and appalled at our own apathy and compromise. Why are we not in a state of Holy Fear waiting for judgment to begin at the Household of God?
Why are we not compelled to prayer – God desires that none are lost!!!
1 Jn 2:24-27 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
We must learn to live consciously and determinedly in that place of our first salvation! Our first love! When we first KNEW Grace – even though it may not have been by name – we must be ever thankful and grateful and contrite that the only reason we are saved is because of Him!
We must let the understanding of Grace and calling and election sit uppermost in our hearts – that whole thing of “But there except for the grace of God go I” – grace has brought us, grace has kept us, and it is only grace that will lead us home. WE live by and in Grace. This which we have had from the beginning must abide in us!! – This is the place of the Father and the Son, this is how the love is poured out in our hearts – acknowledging, appreciating!!
This is how we avoid the deception which is increasing and abounds all around us, just as the W.O.G. says it will! – and all of this is by the anointing we have received from Him – the Holy Spirit – if we acknowledge and live in the grace given to us we begin to KNOW the Anointing!!
The Holy Spirit who will then begin to guide us into all truth – He will give us the way of escape – He will teach us how to avoid vain babbling and deception –
and we will begin to know the mind of Christ! We must learn to know a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit like never before – more then ever before in all history I think – so that we might discern the lie and abide in Him.
So how do we do that? –
We must not assume because we have been baptized in the Holy Spirit that that is all there is we must be continually filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18)
We must resist grieving Him – quenching Him
We must be always developing a sensitivity to Him – increasing all the time by being transformed from glory to glory
Jud 20-21 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
This is what I do – W.O.K. – etc.
Is 40:28-31 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Wait = twist with twining
How I do it – yield, submit, listen, feel, etc.