The call to Purity
Intro- last 2 weeks coming up on SOS leading our spiritual family
As most of you know; the Lord gave a prophetic word to 7 different churches in Asia which is modern day turkey. And 2 out of the 7 churches he didn’t give any correction. Of which is the church of Philadelphia and I believe that what the lord said to Phil is what he desires for us here at the CHOP. I believe he’s extending grace to us for this. I want to highlight a few phrases from this chapter I feel pertains to us and what God desires to do in and through us
In verse 8 of chapter 3 (look). ‘I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, Re 3:10‘Because you have kept the word of My perseverance
Re 3:11‘I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Re 3:12‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God,
The phrase I want to focus on is this phrase “open door”. I believe God wants to put an open door for us.
But we must understand when the Lord opens a door he will require a higher standard in that place or that person that the open door is opened to. When his presence invades that in which we got away with when his presence wasn’t manifest in the way that it is breaking in at. When his presence invades the accountability level goes up in a significant way. (he who’s been given much…).
For example in the book of Acts when the power of God was breaking in liars died at the communion tables (Animas and Safariah) in Acts 5 they died. There’s been plenty of liars since then that haven’t died and that’s because the presence hasn’t been manifest.
The Lord will open a door, a heavenly door and a earthly door, but when he opens that door “your safety is being one who keeps my word. Because if I come into your midst and you do not keep my word I will be obligated to stand against darkness and if the darkness is in you I will judge the darkness that’s in you”.
OK God desires to open a door. Now, I want us to go into the opposite direction and look at 2 other churches out of the 7; Thyatira and Pergamum. These 2 churches were very good churches with one significant failure and when you look at what Jesus said about these 2 churches there both quit impressive churches.
They would be the kind of churches who would want to be a part of. But both of these churches tolerated immorality lets read Rev 2:19-23
‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.
how would you like the lord to say this about us works=ministry/ Love woo I wouldn’t have to hear any more for the Lord to say from heaven “ CHOP you have Love” say no more Lord that’s great! Not quite, it goes on to say you have faith that’s something the Lords into. “you have patience another words you have endurance you have perseverance.
Then in verse 20 he says “I have this against you (How can you be against a church like this). But the Lord is saying “there’s something that you allow that grieves my heart and it’s not Ok with me” he says you allow or you tolerate…(read through 22).
Now the “trouble” that the lord sends is in his zeal to awaken those he loves before the great Judgment. But if they repent God would lift it. Because if they repent I won’t have to wake them up.
Now when it says I will kill her children, it’s her disciples, it’s not talking about in this context her physical children like it was with the OT Jezebel (we covered this in our series of the war…)
Again let me just say as a review she’s teaching a false doctrine of grace. It’s very common today in the church of America to hear taught a doctrine of grace that offers forgiveness with out repentance it’s very common today. You hear it all the time. There’s no such thing as the offer of forgiveness separated from repentance. That makes a glorious message a heresy and a false doctrine.
And what they were doing in context, I don’t want to go to deep into this, but to shed some light on the context what they were doing they were allowing immorality under the guise of under the grace of god they were saying “hey God is really more into the spirit than the natural and if it doesn’t defile our spirit, it’s not that big of a deal because were living at a higher plane.
Now what the lord was telling the church at thyatira; he wasn’t telling the elders that they were involved in immorality he was telling the elders that they were allowing it to go on un-confronted, these elders were not involved with immorality themselves but they didn’t confront it.
Again as we already covered she had a teaching ministry that was well known (to have the Lord address this at this level, tells us how popular she was and that she was having a huge impact, teaching this grace of God doctrine that was allowing this immorality go fourth as something that was normal.
Beloved, the church in America is in this condition right now. And the Lords saying this is not OK with me”. We need to challenge it, but we don’t want to confront it by going with this mean look on our face and were just going to show them in this angry holiness mode and show them how bad this is and how right we are.
The opposite of tolerating Jezebel does not mean were angry about it in that manner.
We have to confront it, but it must be done in tenderness in a biblical way, consistently comprehensively through our fellowship on a regular basis I don’t mean just by saying “it’s bad it’s bad… everybody knows that’s it’s bad. But going after it to where it’s not Ok to allow it to continue. That’s what the Lords interested in, that’s there’s healing, there’s a systematic presentation of this subject and it’s seriousness as well as the way out of it on a consistent basis.
My point is that the Lord is opening a door and immorality must be challenged in the way God wants it to be challenged. The reason why it seems that others can get away with it (nobody gets away with it) is because the Lord hasn’t opened a door of the glory of God upon them.
So you can’t look at the group down the road and say “hey there big there famous everybody’s doing what they do following there model of church; the lord says “don’t go there” I haven’t opened a door of glory on them yet but I’m prepareing to do this”. But you can not in any way tolerate immorality.
Again as we have already covered; what I mean by immorality is all sexual activity outside the marriage covenant. Whether headral sexual or homosexual. If we are stirred up by proposition 8 and the current events of what is happening surrounding this. And we are stirred up and asking God “OH God stop the homosexual sin and activity…
Beloved it doesn’t matter if its homosexual or headral sexual, anything outside the bonds of marriage as described by the word of God is immorality. Whether it’s physical, whether it’s verbal or whether it’s technology, it’s sexual experiences and sexual activity outside of the bonds of marriage and I don’t want us to be talking about it, what I mean by that is, people being loose about it with each other in conversations.
We shouldn’t be joking about it, I do not want that in the midst of this body. But the church down the road doesn’t seem to mind.. I mind how we are to live here.
These may seem innocent enough on the front end but its sexual activity at its embryonic stages.
Let’s turn to Rev 2:13-16 the church of Pergamum again 2 churches that the Lord confronted on the same issue. Verse 13 (read) (I understand you are in a city of such darkness; they were in a city steeped in immorality like San Francisco; cities that have a international reputation for immorality. And Jesus says “I know, I do understand the situation your in I do understand.”
look what he says “you hold fast to my name you love me I see it you hold fast to me this is good” beloved when you first read this you say “yes” there standing in a wicked city holding fast to the word of God” but the lord says the same thing as he did to thyariata (read verse 14),
Now what balam did, first of all balam was a prophet and the balak was a king, so you have balam and balak. Balak is the king of Moab which is the nation right next to isarel. And what happens is, Israel’s at the end of there 40 yrs in the wilderness, there next stop is to cross over into the promise land there at the end of the 40 ys in the wilderness.
Joshua is going to be put in leadership, Israel has one more nation to withstand Moab. Now balak the king of Moab is going “this is terrifying” because Israel has just defeated 5 nations in a row. Nation after nation Gods power upon Israel, Moses is the leader. Balak knows this is bad news for him because he heard about these guys from his grandfather he told me about this group that came out of Egypt this is bad.
So what Balak does is he calls this prophet balam and he says ‘ balam if I give you some money and if you curse Israel, will it work? I’ll pay you, I heard the story that when you curse a nation things go bad”.
So Balaam says Ok I’ll do it” (Balaam is talked about several times in the bible as being a man of error and of greed) so he says Ok and he goes to curse Israel and as he goes to curse Israel (Israel you are destroyed you are finished... ) and out of his mouth right in front of king Balak he before he can curse Israel he declares Israel you shall be the head of all the nations and king Balak is going “what, I paid you good money” Balaam is saying ‘I... the spirit came on me” “what” “yea the spirit of God came upon me”
Beloved he tried it four times, every time he tried it he spoke blessing instead of curses and Balak is so mad he goes, “give me my money back I’m finished with you” so Balaam says “OK I can’t curse them because every time I try the spirit comes on me and I’m compelled to speak life.
But I know how to beat the system; “really” he goes “ya” here’s what you do is since they will be coming across your land, here’s what you do, you have a big feast and you get together all of your beautiful women and invite all the men in the army to the feast and have the women seduce the men.
And if you seduce them then God who’s blessing them will become adversarial and then God will Judge them, you don’t have to defeat them God will”.
Balak the king says “are you sure this will work?’ And Balaam says oh ya the God of Israel is really into purity”.
So Israel’s army comes through and they send the women saying; “hey lets have a feast together lets eat together lets relax (this has never happened to Israel before a nation holding a feast and inviting them to come and feast with them).
So the women begin to tell the men how much they like them and how there so handsome, your so this and that etc and there guard is down and these women, and the men begin to commit immorality and in there immorality they begin to marry these women (this is not a one day deal it goes on for a little while).
And then these women tell them if you really Love us then honor our gods and Israel enters into this idolatrous feast and in the immorality. And sure enough the wrath of God came and smashed them. And King Balak is all happy he goes “hey it worked” and he goes to give Balaam money and he goes that was brilliant it was worth the money we paid you”. And the army of Israel was defeated. (Numbers 25)
And what the Lord’s saying here in Rev 2:14-16 is that I’m stirred up, you have people in your midst that are allowing immorality like Balaam. You see Balaam had a doctrine the doctrine of Balaam was it really isn’t that big of a deal, that’s what it means in our contemporary context.
The Lord says in verse 14 “ I have a few things against you” (read) you think it’s ok to do this sexual immorality thing. Lets jump to verse 16 (read) (I will come and fight against my own church with the sword of my mouth) just like with the Balaam’s story the sword of the Lord came against Israel (just like the description of his feet in verse 18 is in direct correlation with the horse trampling Jezebel. His feet will crush jezebel that’s why the description is important he’s referencing the demise of Jezebel in the OT and it he will do It again.
Just like he’s refreshing the sword here because it’s a reference to what happened to Israel in Numbers 25 and he’s saying “I’ll do it again, Listen I understand where you are living I understand and I see, but you can not do this.”
This shows us how devastating the spirit of immorality is in the eyes of God. We explained satins ultimate agenda in using immorality as the first front of appeal to people...
Beloved God’s sword that he will release to free his people but if the people do not brake there agreement with immorality the sword that is meant to free you that sword will injure you for the purpose of restoring you, so that you will repent.
We all know that the sword of his mouth means he speaks His word. The sword of his mouth is the utterance of his word that looses consequences that are powerful. It’s not a literal sword going out of his mouth it’s his word going fourth in power.
I believe the lord desires to release the sword of his mouth to free us. He will release the sword to our conscious, that’s the positive redemptive way, he will release the sword against circumstances as a way of escape. But if we hold on to that darkness that same sword that is to free us will injure us.
The sword of his mouth is initially for us, but he told John here in Revelation 2:16 John tell them I will bring my sword against them to awaken them and to call them to repent. His sword is to free us from sin and bondage. But it will also injure us if we live in rebellion, if we live in disagreement with him. This is all because God desires to open a door to us. But we must not allow immorality to be in our midst.
Now let me just say, there will always be immorality in out midst. Here’s why; our doors are opened and we’re inviting a sinful people to come in. unbelievers will come in, new believers will come in and still be stuck in it, as there getting free. Even older believers will come who still have issues because of a number of different reason. So we can deal with that as long as, we as a people do not condone it and we aggressively on a regular basis address it in the gentle straight but bold way to heal it in the way that we said earlier.
Beloved we my have thousands come and have issues of immorality and the Lord want to say “come and feast at my table freely”
we welcome them in but know it’s not normative for them to hold on to it. So I’m not concerned that we may have people like this come into our midst I’m against the lack of zeal to confront it and heal it in our midst in a biblical manner.
If God opens a door the glory will increase, and we want the door and the sword. Now with the door of glory there will always be hassles in the flesh, persecution, and trouble with the door of glory, but the sword of the Lord will be a friend, helping us, liberating us, the sword will not be against us it will help enable us in freedom.
Some of you are not involved with anything remotely that touches this but it doesn’t trouble you that others are either.
Gods not calling us to be a police state, but he is calling us to carry his heart in this.
God desires that we move forward in this with confidence in his affection for us and how he views us this very moment in our war with immorality
His confidence is essential to our spiritual vitality.
Beloved do not allow the enemy to terrify you with this word because you have secrets and you feel like you would rather quit, I can’t go forward and rejoice, I can’t go to the communion table; I tell you rejoice in Gods desire and ability to forgive you and give you amnesty.
God doesn’t want us coming to him afraid because of yesterday he wants to cover you. He doesn’t want you to be fearing because of yesterday, he doesn’t want you in the shame he doesn’t want you to let go of your calling, god wants you free from this diseased mindset he wants to give you a new beginning.
The hopelessness of yesterday will keep us from connecting with the Lord today.
The fear of the skeletons in the closet will keep us from encountering the Lord.
We’ll be saying “Lord Jesus I promise I won’t do this I won’t do that” it’s all negotiating and the Lord is saying you need to understand That I can make you clean
And cleanse you from the diseases of yesterday’s sins.
And I believe God is telling us to go forward clean from the infection of yesterdays defilement. Because we will not be able to be free tomorrow if this is weighing on you today. Because were going after this thing hard.
And what the Lord does not want is, the shame and the fear of rejection in the way. He wants us to connect with his heart and you can’t connect with his heart if your negotiating ten other things.
Beloved this war won’t lesson it will get more intense. Lust and perversion will increase in our culture not degrees but we will grow in power and authority over it as well. And we will do that as we stand together and we need the whole body here to stand together in solidarity Beloved our commitment to this is important but we have to be confident as well in Gods grace.
Our commitment will never stay steady if were not confident in God. Because the assault from hell will come against us in this area, we have to stand together and cover one another in this.
I’m not calling a police state, I’m not calling the one that proves that there the most this or the most that. Were calling for tender but comprehensive consistent bringing fourth of the grace of God in this area. I don’t want us to shame any body that wants to repent. Anyone who repents there is no shaming of them.
I want you confident. God is asking us to war against this spirit of immorality and make a covenant “small c”. But I want to take it up a notch. Were going to pray this a butch of times from this point on.
I’m going to ask that God release to us a Door the door of glory, opportunity (This is connected to the word emerge) open the heavenly door, the natural door will follow. Or we bow down tenderly humbly confident or send your sword. We are going to invite the sword of the Lord into our midst or the door of glory to be released thats what were doing as a spiritual family.
Some of you might say this isn’t for me, I understand that, but we have to do this in unity as a spiritual family.
Now those that don’t want to participate in this; it’s your business, but it doesn’t mean that if immorality emerges it will not be confronted in your life.
Some people have bought into this idea that as a believer your life is private. Yes your lives our private to a degree. But the minute you made a commitment to Jesus and became part of his spiritual family your morality is public business, that doesn’t mean we prey into peoples business.
But if a person lives in persistent immorality it is the business of that church to deal with that. Some people say that’s my thing” no, no, no, not if your born again your in the community of God. There’s an element of your life that is no longer strictly private (Todd B, Ted Hagert etc).
I’m not talking about your struggles, It’s not the struggle, the struggle can be private, but the yielding and the deciding to campout in the immorality is not a private issue the Lord confronted pergumum and thyariatri “you did not take a stand and it’s not OK with me that you did not take a stand”. OK Hand out book markers
Ok let’s look at 7 aspects of this commitment. I’m asking all of us to make 7 personal commitments before the Lord in the grace of God.
Now at the very core of this commitment is the grace of confession, the sacrament of confession if you will. If you confess your sins you get healed, the confession of sin is a critical part of healing.
Please understand I’m not talking about indiscriminate confession of sin.
Where you’re invited to come forward and confess your sin publicly because were the church and you can trust us just come forward”. Where have you been living? I would never go up to an alter and indiscriminately confess my sins to some guy that’s supposed to be trust worthy.( I really recommend you not do that) here’s why; if that person betrays you, you will never confide in people again and that is a Hugh set back. Don’t be naive about this.
Confession is very powerful and it’s really important that’s it’s done right. Because the power of shame and the power of betrayal
is so intense. I have seen and experienced many people make an inner vow and say “I will never confess again but they have 50, 60 70, yrs left on the journey on this side of the age.
And that can actually set people back in their journey. We have to have a careful thought through OK. “well I don’t have a trusted friend” well go get one “how do I get one? Go and be friendly somehow and don’t pick the people who have the highest visibility in the ministry