Statement of Faith Current Teaching Teaching Index
The Changing Church - Part One
January 2014

As we look around us at the world and the Church of Jesus Christ one thing stands out; Christianity and the world are in an all out war.  Let me give you some examples just from the year 2013.

The legalizing of gay marriages - June

US supreme Court changes definition of marriage - June

Canada makes prostitution legal - December

Utah legalizes polygamy - December

Florida Professor Demands Student Stomp On Jesus - April -   Even after the governor Rick Scott got involved, Deandre Poole still kept his job and suffered no consequences.  The student Ryan Rotela had formal disciplinary action taken against him, which was later dropped.

Air force Veteran Faces a Court Martial for Opposing Gay Marriage - September - Under Barack Obama, the military has become aggressively anti-Christian and pro-gay to such an extent that the troops are no longer allowed to privately oppose gay marriage.  Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk found himself at odds with his Lackland Air Force Base commander after he objected to her plans to punish an instructor severely for expressing his religious objections to homosexuality.  After the commander ordered him to share, his personal views on homosexuality, he said, "I was relieved of my position because I did not agree with my commander’s position on gay marriage,” he told me.  “We have been told that if you publicly say that homosexuality is wrong, you are in violation of Air Force policy.”

Colorado Baker Faces Year In Jail For Refusing To Make Cake For Gay Wedding - July - You can support gay marriage or you can be Christian, but you cannot do both.  You can pretend to do both, but you are giving up your Christian beliefs to be more palatable to people who are hostile to Christianity.  The folks at Masterpiece Cake shop simply declined to make a cake for a gay wedding because it conflicted with their Christian beliefs.  They learned that is now illegal.

California Christians Found “Not Guilty” of Reading Bible Near Government Offices - August - "A court has said that a pair of Christians were ‘allowed’ to read the Bible aloud outside the Department of Motor Vehicles in Hemet, California.  Was it not so kind of the government courts in California to say that these Christians were allowed to have their rights to free religious expression?  Back in 2011, Mark Mackey and Bret Coronado were arrested and charged with misdemeanor offenses for reading the Bible outside the DMV location.  However, on August 13, Superior Court Judge Timothy Freer found the men ‘not guilty’ of any offenses.  Interestingly, the judge also pointed out that the law prosecutors tried to invoke was likely unconstitutional as it gave law enforcement overbroad powers to quash public gatherings in the first place.  

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: Obama’s IRS Was "Targeting and Attempting to Intimidate Us" - May - It's well known that the IRS targeted Obama's political enemies in the Tea Party, but the IRS also targeted his Christian enemies in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the family’s international humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse, said that the IRS notified the organizations in September that it was conducting a “review” of their activities for tax year 2010.

"While these audits not only wasted taxpayer money, they wasted money contributed by donors for ministry purposes as we had to spend precious resources servicing the IRS agents in our offices,” Graham wrote in the letter, which was shared with POLITICO. “I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us.  This is morally wrong and unethical – indeed some would call it ‘un-American.’”  Graham said that “in light” of the IRS admission that it targeted tea party groups for added scrutiny, “I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations last year is a coincidence – or justifiable.”

Florida Ministry Told To Choose Between Jesus And Helping The Poor - September - "For the past 31 years, the Christian ministry has been providing food to the hungry in Lake City, Florida without any problems.  However, all that changed when they said a state government worker showed up to negotiate a new contract.  A state agriculture department official told them they would not be allowed to receive USDA food unless they removed portraits of Christ, the Ten Commandments, a banner that read 'Jesus is Lord' and stopping giving Bibles to the needy."  When the government tells the Christian Service Center, it has to give up on Christ or quit using USDA food to help the poor, which is religious discrimination.

Duck Dynasty star is released after comments that homosexuality is sin - December - Robertson, the 67-year-old head of a Louisiana family that makes duck-hunting gear, was suspended indefinitely last week by A&E Television Networks LLC after telling GQ magazine that homosexuals were akin to adulterers, the greedy, drunkards and swindlers and would not “inherit the kingdom of God.”  A&E is co-owned by Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corporation.

These are but a few examples of how the world and the church are at war.  There are so many more examples that it would take hundreds of pages to reveal all of them.  This should not surprise us however.  Christ predicted these wars and they are necessary for the purification of God's true church.  Why do you think that God is shaking things up!  Why do you think He is making major changes in our nation, in our world, in our climate, in our churches and in our views of God?  God is using earthquakes, strange weather, wars (both spiritual and physical), tribulation of all kinds, the educational system, television, radio, magazines and newspapers, to make these changes in order to prepare the world and the church for His soon return.


In the church today, a great divide is developing; on the one hand, we have a churches polarizing and isolating themselves from the main stream of Christianity.
  This movement based mostly upon a strong and unbending personal doctrinal belief, which does not factor in the love and grace of God.  You must believe the way we do!  On the other hand, we see small isolated groups of ministers and ministries all across the world preaching unity.  This movement of unity within the body of Christ based on the belief that Jesus must be the chief cornerstone, and that the body of Christ should be one body and act just like our natural physical bodies, in which each part interacts, helping every other part.  This group is looking for and establishing prayer meetings between congregations, denominations and faiths.  These pastors are not restrictive, they do not isolate their congregations, they allow their members to go and take part in other services.  This is the type of Church Christ will come for.

In the Church today we see ministries and ministers that are cookie cutter copies of each other.  They look alike, talk alike, preach the same messages, and sing the same songs.  Even the format of the programs is for the most part the same.  Their ministries are based on their past institutionalized learning and experience, not from fresh manna that is new every morning.  They feel that if the idea or plan worked for another ministry it will work for theirs.  These ministers are depending on presentation to attract people instead of on Jesus' anointing, power, love and grace.  They substitute form, packaging, and advertising to cover up for the lack of power their ministries demonstrate.  They produce their services and preach their messages so that it neatly fits into a certain timeframe.  They do not allow the Holy Spirit to take as long as He wills, and to have His way, whatever the result.  In fact, the Holy Spirit is not even invited to join them, nor is He recognized in their services.  Their major concern is; how many people can they reach, how large can they grow.  Their concern for growth in itself is not wrong.  However, what are they offering the masses?  A good program filled with great sounding music and an emotionally uplifting message.  Brethren, Jesus is not concerned with the number of people that hear and recognize the preacher, but the number of people that hear and respond to the life changing power that only He can give. What can be accomplished for the spiritual life of an unbeliever or the believer if the anointing of God is not present, or if the Holy Spirit is not allowed to operate in a service, or the life changing Gospel is not preached in all aspects?

Many more people will respond to the Gospel if these ministers would spend more of their time in communing with God, then in board meetings discussing all the how too's.  Does not James, the Lord's brother, tell us that:  "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5)?  

 

Now there is nothing wrong in asking for wisdom or direction in a board meeting

(Proverbs 11:14).  Nevertheless, the final word is that of God, not of man!  It is the prayerful opinion of this minister that God is not limited to one style or program format.  If these so-called "men of God", were truly seeking God's direction, would not they be taking these discussed ideas to the throne of God and then doing what the Lord would have them to do, the way the Lord would have them do it?  God is a God of diversity; He is as diverse as the number of stars in the sky or the number of grains of sand on our beaches.  How can so many ministries and ministers be doing, saying, and preaching the same messages the same way repeatedly if they were truly in touch with and obeying the Almighty?  Now some might say that the messages are the same because the message of the Gospel never changes.  That is true!  However, when reading the Word of God you will discover the same message preached throughout its sixty-six books, but in a myriad of diverse and interesting ways.  For example, how many different ways did Jesus use when He taught?  He used imagery, confrontation, parables, straight forwardness, stories etc.  Too many ministers are trying to be all they can be in the ministry.  They are getting their glory and satisfaction out of the size of their ministries and the positions that they hold.  Let us face one truism; as long as Christians are concerned about whom they are in Christ, Jesus can never become who He is in them! 

Text Box: As long as Christians are concerned about whom they are in Christ, Jesus can never become who He is in them!          In today's churches, we are seeing God making great changes especially in the believer.  He is doing it by shaking us to the very foundation of our faith.  Let us get ready for it and accept it because if we do not, we will be shaken loose from the true vine.  The only way one can prepare for, and maintain a firm grasp on Jesus and not be shaken loose, is through an intimate relationship with the Him.  He is the author and finisher of our faith!  This relationship comes through spending time, a lot of time, with Him in the quiet stillness of prayer (John 15:1-8).

 

This intimate time with God will give you the ability to recognize God's direction for true Godly change and the strength needed to follow His directions.  Brethren, be aware that the evil one will always have a false call for change to counterfeit the true call of God.  Prayer gives us the ability to discern the true from the false.  C.C. Colton an English cleric and writer once said that; “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."  The devil will undoubtedly imitate God’s movements.  Christians must be aware of it and be ready for it and recognize it if they are to survive in these last days. 

 

God's ordained shaking will produce and establish a very different church, a church that is active, productive, strong and healthy, one, which will be very evangelistic, and world changing in nature.  However, we will see a small remnant of the formal church still present in the future, but it will be very small and weak, because it will be kept alive only by the devises and wisdom of man.  It will be form of faith without the substance (2nd Timothy 3:5).

 

We must all be ready to be molded into a unified, devoted, moving, powerful, army making war against the devil and his principalities, under one general;  Jesus Christ.  God is going to reestablish the Church the way He originally planned it to be.  The same way the church was in the beginning of the first century A.D. (Ref. to the Book of Acts).

 

At first, these changes will bring about greater polarization and isolation in the members of the body.  People that have walked together for years will no longer associate one with another.  This also is in God's plan because we are not called to walk with the world but we are told to walk with and follow Jesus and Him alone.  Two people will be walking together or working together, or even in the same bed together and when the Lord makes His final call one will go and the other will be left (Luke 17:33-36).  Make sure you are the one that goes!

 

We will continue this teaching over the next two months.  Until then have a blessed New Year.  Do more for Christ this year than in any year past.  His coming is imminent. 

 

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