6 Articles On Holding Fast To Truth Using Carnal Weapons
By David F. Gray
Taken from a message preached by Rev. David F. Gray at Revival Tabernacle. San Diego, California on August 3, 1975. I Samuel 21:8-12; II Cor. 10:4; Gal. 3:3.
I am not given to dreams or visions. I am skeptical about many dreams and visions that people have. I think most of them come because the stomach is rebelling against what has been put into it. One of the things that Lord told us was that “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy when He pours out of His spirit, and young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams”. I’ll say I had a vision – you might say I has a dream. But I believe it was from God.
I saw a mad man, and he was groveling, tormented, scrabbling in the dust. I was repulsed, yet, I seemed strangely drawn to that man. And instinctively I felt somehow that this piteous, demented creature had something to do with our wonderful United Pentecostal Church. And then I was made to understand that the story began back in the valley of Elah where a ruddy, supple, young man in the bloom of youth, named David dared answer the defiant challenge to Israel of a huge giant, a seasoned, professional champion warrior named Goliath.
All the warriors of Israel were ready to offer him any weapon that he chose. In fact the King, Saul, offered him his very armor and weapons for David to use. The choicest weapons were at his disposal, made of the finest steel, honed razor sharp. These deadly tools were the most delicately balanced, exquisitely wrought and designed weapons the art of warfare had ever produced.
I’m sure if it had been left to us we would have chosen some weapon that had a history of success in bloody warfare. But not David. The weapon that David chose was not even a weapon of war. It was the natural attendant of a shepherd. It was a sling that a shepherd would use to sting some small animal that would try to harry the flock. The shepherd would put a little stone in and fling it, and it would hit the predator and send him howling away. The little sling didn’t have the power to kill. David would be going out with a little pellet rifle against a fellow with a submachine gun.
Why do you suppose that David chose such a little, unoffensive, mild weapon with which to confront this great soldier that was heavily armed, this professional warrior, skilled in the art of warfare, and the man that defied the greatest warriors that Israel had? I believe there are several reasons why David chose this weapon.
First of all, David was not depending upon his weapon at all. Goliath was depending on his arms and his armor. But David’s sole trust was in the Name of the Lord. (I Samuel 17:45). He wasn’t trusting in his sling. He wasn’t trusting in anything except the Name of the Lord!
David had proven and tested this Name in face to face confrontations with wild, blood thirsty beasts. In these battles with wild beasts he did not use a sling. (I Samuel 17:35).
When David recounted the incident to Saul about killing the lion and the bear he gave the Lord all the glory. (I Samuel 17:37) Do you know why the Lord wants us not to lean on carnal weapons or use them? It is so that He will get all the glory. If David had chosen a great weapon of war, he could have said, “Well, this is how I killed Goliath. I had a tremendous weapon of war. I did it.” But he didn’t use a great, carnal weapon. He used a little shepherd’s sling, something that couldn’t do the job, and God did it through him.
If David had chosen Saul’s sword he would have forfeited the opportunity to use the invincible weapon of the Name of God, David would then be limited to his human strength and humanability and thus he would be no match for the giant.
The sling is a type of the Name of Jesus. It’s a shepherd’s weapon, but it can defeat any foe. It’s despised and rejected of men. The great and the might of this world turn from it. The religious world tries to defeat the enemy with carnal weapons, but they’re the laughing stock of the whole world as the satanic forces defy them and they cringe, and cower and finally say it can’t be done. But there’s always a David that steps out and says it can be done in the Name of the Lord.
In Liberia at a certain age all boys must join what is known as the devil bush society. They are taken into the bush and there they are taught witchcraft, black magic, and sorcery. Cruel and inhuman rites are practiced, even to the eating of human hearts. Demons are worshipped. Witch doctors hold the people under superstitious tyranny and bondage. The devil bush society is so strong it permeates to the top level of government.
This devil bush society is so strong that the denominations are not able to cope with it. They simply shrug their shoulders, shut their eyes to it, and let their boys be marched off into the bush. Even trinity Pentecost can’t cope with it. They have no weapon to withstand this awful demon power, this system that controls the whole nation. Rut not so those baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ! That Name forever delivers them from the devil bush. That Name is the only Name that has power to take those boys out of that thing.
There’s only one way to victory against the power of the devil and that’s the Name of Jesus Christ wielded by a Holy Ghost filled child of God. Hallelujah! Paul said that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” (II Cor. 10:4).
But tragedy results when we turn from using the spiritual weapons that God has given us and think to use the enemy’s weapon. David made this sad mistake. There came a time when David was fleeing from Saul and met Ahimelech the priest. He had forgotten how God had delivered Goliath into his hands with but a sling and the Name of the Lord. Now he had turned to trusting his sword. But somehow in fleeing from KingSaul who was after his life, he had left his sword at home and so he asked Ahimelech if he had a spear or a sword he could let him have.
“And the priest said, The sword of Goliath, the Philistine whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the Ephod. If thou will take that, take it, for there is no other save that here. And David said there is none like that. Give it me” (1 Sam. 21:9).
Why doesn’t television work with the gospel as it does with burlesque and beer? Simply because it is not made for the hands of the gospel preacher. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal!”
David found that Goliath’s sword stripped him of his power, turned him into a cowardly weakling. If we as a movement capitulate to the voices tempting us to use the carnal weapon that we once defeated we’ll forever lose the the power that made us the distinctive people that God is using in this end time. We will become a weak and fearful people like the denominations. I speak from a burdened heart friends.
Galatians 3:3 asks us a piercing question today, “Are you so foolish, having begun in the spirit, are you now make perfect by the flesh?” We dare not go backward. We must move ahead in the Spirit.
But that’s not all. We’re told in I Samuel 16:12 that when David was anointed he was “ruddy, withal of a beautiful countenance, goodly to look to”. The change in David was dramatic and sad beyond belief. What happened to this beautiful young man, this noble young man, so beautiful in his early faith, so anointed in the hands of God, so empowered by the Holy Ghost, so bold in the Spirit, now that he had adopted the slain Goliath’s weapon? I Samuel 21:13 tells us that he changed his behavior and he “feigned himself mad, scrabbled on the doors of the gate and let his spittle fall down upon his beard, “frothing at the mouth. This is the madman I had seen in my dream.
When David took the weapon he had defeated and began using it he lost what he had. He never again was used of God like he was before. Oh yes, he did become King. But he was never the man he was when he faced Goliath in the name of the Lord. He forfeited something he could never regain when he accepted Goliath’s sword, and even his enemies marveled at the change in him. They said, “Is this not David, the king of the land? Did they not sing one to another of him and dance saying, Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands.” (I Samuel 21:11) What’s happened to him now? Where’s the David that was so great? He’s down in the dust, scrabbling in the ground, frothing at the mouth, feigning himself a madman because of his terror and the fears by which he’s tormented. Nothing is so pitiful as a preacher who once had the anointing and then loses it. He resorts to anything to try and save his ministry. He’s lost something he call never regain when he loses the touch of God. He loses the faith that takes hold of God and allows the Holy Ghost to move through his life. There’s nothing as pitiful as that man.
Pentecost was God’s rebuke to the big showy denominational systems. God was sick and tired of putting on big fronts, of putting on big shows, pageants and programs. He wanted humble, simple people that loved God more than they loved anything else in the world and allowed Him to have His way in their lives. God was rebuking the carnal showmanship of the denominational systems of the world when He began to pour His Spirit out.
God still has a people that love the humble, narrow way, that love the way of the cross, the way that Jesus went, and are willing to pay the price to get what Jesus died on the cross to produce in human lives and hearts. Give me some humble, tongue-talking, holiness people, not trying to be like the world, and we’ll shake our communities for God! We don’t need a lot of worldliness. We need people that love God more than anything else, that are sold out, that cut clean and clear for God, that are willing to take the narrow way, to walk with Jesus no matter what anyone else says. Give me some people like that, and I don’t care how big the giant is and I don’t care how big the devil is. We’ve got more power than the devil’s got when we’re surrendered to God. Again let me ask, could David’s story be the story of the United Pentecostal Church International? With all my heart I pray that it is not so. History is against us. The denominations have all taken the slimy, slippery downward road. But the words of our leader in his great message at Atlantic City ring still in my ears, “We will make our own history!”
Then I heard a voice as it were the voice of triumph shout, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7), and the vision ended.
Why Do Men Turn Away?
By: Calvin L. Rigdon
“This knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me” II Timothy 1:15.
Humanity has a habit and has always had the habit of getting lost on the wrong road. It seems that for some unknown reason we human beings find it easier to believe error than truth. While the doctrines of fundamental truth are denied, rejected or neglected; these dogmas and commandments of men are accepted with great eagerness. Men are easily duped, and often deceived and strangely bewitched. Those who once were tireless defenders of Apostolic doctrines sometimes drift from the way and become the most avowed enemies of the truth. We need not be unduly alarmed if we see those who once followed truth pull off on these side-roads. Undoubtedly we now live in period just prior to the Lord’s appearing and will see more of this drifting away, backsliding, deception and complete apostasy. Men will abandon themselves to fleshly doctrines and man-man ideas. Humanity has always been basically the same, and these departures from the faith are not new. People left the tried and the true to follow new things in the days of the Old Testament. The early church to which we look with such appreciation and reverence, was also severely plagued by these men who having attested allegiance to Christ and his ministry, later became estranged from its principles and became its most bitter enemies.
The eternal question remains, why do men go astray? Why will men be so foolish as to leave the highway for by-way? To leave the Inter-State for the country crossroad? What is it that possess men to leave the “Through Street” to glory for the “Dead-End” to nowhere? What is it that causes such strange and irrational actions. Godly shepherds and sincere ministers, like Samuel of old are still deeply concerned and greatly saddened by disobedient and erring Sauls. They still weep sorrowfully, search for a reason for such tragic cases where men wreck their eternal souls on the rocks of their miserable decisions.
These are reasons and causes for such fatal and foolish mistakes! Let us consider some of them.
First – The feverish ambition for fleshly exaltation – pride! In several of Paul’s letters to the churches you will find that he is battling against an insidious infiltration into the church of something called Judaism. Spearheaded by a few zealous, selfish, carnally ambitions men, they which came down form Judea taught the brethren, and said, except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. Circumcision thus became the test of salvation. These Judaizers told the early church that the gospel which came by grace was not sufficient. They demanded “that something more be added to the experience of salvation as taught in that early church. They demanded something more than repentance, baptism in water in the Name of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. They attacked authority in the church, and even called themselves apostles. They professed to be farther along and more spiritual than Paul, and paraded their self-made glory before the church.
Paul tells the Corinthians the naked truth about these apostates and hypocrites who have made so great an effort to impress the church with their exceptional holiness and special power. He says, “But what I do that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion, that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” II Corinthians 11:12-15. “They professed to have a great liberty. A greater experience that Pentecost to offer unto the people, but in reality those who followed after them found themselves in bondage.
This unlawful ambition led Eve to accept Satan’ as temptation in the garden of Eden. Believing that she would be opening a gate to great blessing, she found that she had shut the door through which God’s blessings had come. Uzziah’s desire to overstep authority made him a hopeless leper until the day of his death. It was pride that caused the arch-deceiver, Satan, to lose his exalted place in heaven. This desire to be more than he could he, to loose himself from all authority, and a burning desire to surpass everything that was above him. This was the same evil principle that caused Simon the Sorcerer to approach Simon Peter with the request and offer of money for miracle working power. If only he could get something in his hands, some peculiar power that would electrify his audience. It made no matter to him how the power was gotten, so he offered to buy it. It was purely a commercial deal with him. He would buy the power, and make merchandise of it. But he found that commercialism of God was a heinous crime, which placed him in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity. So grave was the error that there is no promise of God’s forgiveness. This has led many to the dead-end street, the lack of humility and sincere desire to pay the price, and a desire to get God’s best without paying God’s price, the desire to get the Pentecostal blessing without the Pentecostal price. The desire to accept a part of the truth, while having no love nor interest in other great truths that should accompany.
Second, another trait that tends to start people away from God is the hatred of government. Simon Peter spoke of those “Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.This utter disrespectful attitude toward leadership caused Miriam to get leprosy, caused Korah to be swallowed up by the earth, and will cause any person to be lost.
Third, unstable souls are never sure whether they are on the right road or not. Every new thing that comes to town attracts their eye, and they are afraid to take a stand against anything, lest they should be speaking against “what God is doing. Peter says of them, ‘which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest as they do also the other scriptures unto their own destruction.” These are the ones who are tossed about by every wind of doctrine. One can never know just exactly what they believe, for they are ever changing.
Fourth, the scriptures speak of those who are “willingly ignorant.” II Peter 3:5. There are no doubt many who like Ahab of old, “have sold themselves to do evil.” They have lost all sense of right or wrong, they do not care, but merely are after that which will benefit them most.
Fifth, there is the sensationalist. Here is the person who is always looking for something dramatic, and sensational to preach or believe. Their minds concoct new and weird ideas that are hard to find in the Bible, and are merely the thoughts of an overworked and imaginative mind. The early church had such, for Paul spoke of Hymenaeus and Philetus, “who concerning the truth have erred saying that the resurrection is past already.” I am sure that they fascinated many simple minded folks with their “Glorious” revelation, for Paul says “that they did overthrow the faith of some.”
Sixth, another reason that some folks leave the old paths is because they are just too straight. The standards are too high. The road is too narrow. Alluring pleasures of sin, and glitter and tinsel of the world appeal to these. Even the aged and consecrated Paul could not offset the craving for pleasure was too near, and heaven and its promise was too far for Demas. Once faithful Demas, now fanciful Demas.
Seventh, another cause of shipwreck is the division that comes between men. I think that a great cause of Alexander the Coppersmith’s trouble came because he had built up great hatred against Paul. He held a personal hatred for Paul and withstood and hindered him in every possible way. II Timothy 4:16, I Timothy 1:20. This root of bitterness that can spring up in our hearts has thrown many off the path of truth. May we realize that we are human, and love one another.
Eight, Fear has caused many to err form the truth. We find that even the noble apostle Peter was swayed at Antioch. The force of public opinion was almost more than even such a staunch man as Peter could withstand. The stately, unflinching Paul saved Peter the further results of his weakness by immediately withstanding him. I wonder if there are those who know more than that they are doing. I wonder if there are preachers who know more truth than they dare preach, for fear of the congregation that they serve. I wonder if there are churches that are dry and worldly because of the trembling ministry, fearful to preach the whole truth as God has revealed it. I wonder if there are not many people who know the truth of the mighty God in Christ, the revelation of baptism in the name of Jesus who worship in churches that do not preach the full truth, because of fear, because of something that keeps them from the full truth.
Ninth, I should like to speak of one other condition that envelopes some men. Paul speaks of those, “Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as god, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Wherefore God also gave them up. . . And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind.”
Again he speaks of the same group, “because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
By: Rev. William Schaffner
(Acts 2:40) And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”
Webster gives this as the definition of untoward; hard to manage or deal with, perverse, stubborn, unruly. Attributes that would hardly be desired in a child of Jesus Christ. Since Today’s Church must exist in today’s world, even though not a part of it, we are much affected by it. Romans 12 tells us “be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed.”
Long lines of men formed on the sidewalks of the cities, towns, and the villages through out the United States. From east to west and from north to south they came. The rich and the poor, the big and the small, the old and the young, married and single they came to form the lines. Lines that poured into the recruiting offices of the armed forces of the United States of America. WHY?? Pearl Harbor!! War, Vengeance, Patriotism was their cry! They felt so strongly that the young lied about their age and the handicapped tried to hide their disabilities and often went from one branch of the service to another trying to be accepted. Those left behind worked long hours and the housewives went to the factories to supply the material to fight with. Children scoured the fields for milk weed pods to make like preservers of and old iron and tin cans to supply metal for arms and ammunition. Blood was given by multitudes. War bonds were purchased and rationing was endured as the United States put forth a united effort.
Twenty-Five years later and once again the United States was plunged into war. Where are the lines? Are they lined up at the recruiting office? No!! They gather in massive demonstrations and burn their draft cards in protest. They fled the country and became deserters to avoid Viet Nam. Why?? Were they cowards?? No, they just couldn’t feel patriotism to a country where integrity and sincerity were questioned from the home to the highest office in the land. Untoward of parents, schools, governments and of God is the nation we live in. Bible scholars are quick to realize this had to be if the people of the U.S.A. were ever going to bow to a world wide ruler and accept the one money system that is soon to come.
Today’s Church can do but little to offset these conditions in the world but must do all we can to see that they do not penetrate into our Church!! Paul wrote in his second letter to the church at Corinth chapter two verse eleven “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” What will the Church of tomorrow remember of the Church today? This is by no means an original thought with me but is being recalled from a passage, some 15 years prior, that my pastor taught. We talk of the good old days and what use to be and that’s a condemnation that we’ve allowed the change to happen when God is the same yesterday, today and forever. What kind of memories will Today’s Church leave tomorrow?
This generation of demonstrators and anti-establishment era has never known anything but freedom and the American affluency. The cost paid by the preceding generation as of leaving homelands and immigrating to the U.S. is forgotten. The not so plentiful days of the thirties is not ingrained in the personality and character of this generation. They have always had and without the cost of attaining.
We have in our churches today second and third generation Pentecostal. They don’t know the misery and bondage of the world. Affluency is plaguing us till we very seldom, if ever, experience real sacrifice. We advocate it and talk about it but have very little experience of it. Something that is attained without cost doesn’t have the value or appreciation of that gained by endeavorment.
Today’s church can look back at Spirit anointed men preaching the Word, singing that was not just beautiful but used of the Spirit to speak to hearts. Saints as they gathered around an altar and travailed in prayer. They danced in the aisles and spoke in tongues but even deeper than this was the love and their attitude about church and walking with God. We need all of this along with a sincere trust worthy leadership for tomorrow’s church to follow. We must not give them a form. “Having a form of Godliness but denying (not knowing) the power there of” II Tim. 2:5.
The untoward spirit permeates the very air in this Laodicean age and is the very aggressive usher of the Anti Christ spirit of the endtime. We must combat this spirit by “Drawing nigh unto God”Jas. 4. Our love for the Lord, which includes His body, the Church, must be strong enough to emanate out from us for all to know the truth of our experience. That experience must be indelible; marked in the midst of the Church, and so deep in their heart as to withstand all that Satan can must to oppose them.
Thank you Church of yesterday for that which you have delivered to us. Thank you Lord that your presence is still among us and by your grace we will give those who follow, in this way, something that they can look to for an example. Today’s Church!!
HOLD FAST TO TRUTH
Why is it that men always resist the truth? Steven, when addressing the elders of Israel commented, “Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the just one; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”
It seems that even today, those who would stand up for the truth of God’s word and live it are persecuted and branded as the ones that cause division in the church of the living God. Little wonder, for the Bible states, “Yea, and all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” None would dare to call Jesus or the prophets negative for the truth that they preached, even though it contradicts popular teachings today. How interesting that when men of God repeat the same words they are then branded with the title “negative.” But how ironic that those who compromise themselves in the preaching of an adulterated, watered-down gospel that doesn’t NAME sin or demand the thorough repentance that the word of our Lord teaches; escape the scrutiny of their peers and are the very ones to cry the loudest about the divisiveness of those who preach, teach and write good sound Bible Doctrine.
Paul wrote to Timothy and warned him that the day would come when they would not endure sound doctrine. Surely that day is upon us. Men would rather shout and run the aisles than prepare themselves for the soon coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s easier to delude the people, about their decaying spiritual state than it is to face the opposition required to preach the truth. So instead of purifying ourselves even as he is pure the tendency is to heap to ourselves teachers having itching ears and rejoice in the realm of the spectacular miracle working power of God only rather than in the miraculous sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit of our Lord. When is the last time you heard someone shout when repentance or holiness was preached-and it was really preached rather than just alluded to? Is it possible that we have become a mixed multitude seeking only the loaves and fishes of the blessings of God and not really interested in true Bible salvation and service? Are the lambs of God being prepared by Baalam to be deceived by the lying signs and wonders of a false spirit?
Examination of the scripture reveals that Israel was in a terrible state of moral and spiritual decay when the Lord came in the form of man. The scriptures give the account of his second coming as being a time similar to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. Those days are here. While sinfulness becomes more brazen and vocal the voice of those that would cry against sin is silenced by the very ones that are supposed to be their allies. The peer pressure of the very ministry itself has become a limiting factor in the life and death struggle against sin. Soon we will be in the place of having no judge to put sin to shame. This silence itself causes those who would live righteously and godly in this present world to reexamine their views and even to doubt their
sanity and understanding of God’s Word. The Word of God says, “The soul that sinneth it shall die.” Friend, it is not wrong to seek righteousness even if those around you brand you as a pharisee. Examine your own heart by the Word of God and see whether you are following the truth or not.
In the end of the dispensation we are now in we will also face judgment as did those who lived in dispensations before us. Judgment will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet as the Word of God is stretched forth upon our lives. Do we line up to His Word? Or do we trust in the doctrines of philosophy, psychology, logic, etc.? No flesh will glory in his presence. Those whose lives are built upon the ROCK SOLID FOUNDATION of JESUS CHRIST will be the ONLY ONES who will enter in and hear the words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” We are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have NO CONFIDENCE in the flesh.
WOULD YOU WANT TO SIT UNDER YOUR OWN MINISTRY?
This question was recently posed in our ministers’ magazine, the Forward, and has caused me to visualize myself, my wonderful wife, and our two precious boys, as lay members in a local United Pentecostal Church congregation.
Understanding Hebrews 13:17, we as a family would want to sit under a strong and able minister of the New Testament. To know the spiritual security of a faithful watchman on the wall, and not some blind leader that Isaiah describes as dumb dogs that cannot bark or warn.
In order to form a holy relationship of obedience and submission based on confidence, sacred trust, spiritual love and respect, we would want our pastor to follow the spiritual directives given in Ezekial 3:17-21 and Isaiah 58:1. Placing our spiritual well-being and the eternal destiny of our children into his care, we would expect him to reprove, rebuke, exhort, admonish, nurture, correct, and instruct us in righteousness.
We would hope that our pastor would never be pressured by his peers to feel that strong Bible preaching is negative or indicative of a bad spirit and a wrong attitude and that sound teaching produces a pessimistic unbelief that hinders world-wide revival and evangelism.
We just could not afford to yield and subject our minds to a pastor that was so polished and smooth in the are of diplomacy that he would tickle our ears with plastic platitudes from contemporary christianity–until he would cause us to wander and lose our love for truth and becoming as sheep having no shepherd. God would choose our delusion, and we would believe a lie.
We could not commit our family to a pastor who was so very interested in attaining popularity and position in the ministerial fellowship, and so busy striving to become one of the select elite special speakers at ministerial functions, until he would be begin in our own pulpit to shun to declare unto us the whole counsel of God. Until, despite the grand ideal that the Pentecostal movement still has an unfettered pulpit, he would master the art of railing against sin, but never having the courage to call it by name.
We would have to refuse to make ourselves available to a pastor that was so interested in numbers, money, and building a name in the organization, until he would receive unrepented homosexuals and adulterers from neighboring U.P.C. congregation and immediately put them up and bill them as talent recently delivered from an overly- holiness-minded, pharisaical church, that God has sent for us a love and nurture and restore.
When we as a family take home our Pentecostal Herald and read an article for wedding rings, written by a man that once taught against them, and knowing that our dear pastor still teaches against all jewelry, we would want our pastor to help us by explaining that there are differences in personal convictions in some minor matters, and that we should have a good spirit and never manifest a holier-than-thou attitude, or self-righteous attitude, they would pressure visiting guests to resort to the hypocritical exercise of taking their ring off here and putting it back on as they leave. Let their conscience be their guide everywhere.
However, surely the pastor would explain, that it would only be honest policy and fairness, that if the magazine printed an article for wedding rings, and sent it into the homes of people who are taught otherwise, eventually they would give equal space for the differing view in the same Pentecostal Herald.
Please, Brother Pastor, tell me that Jesus will come for us, before the trends that are leading to more compromise, overcome us, such as: Christian school’s competitive sports opening the door for our youth involvement in public school sports; VCR paving the way to more televisions in the U.P.C. homes; culottes and gauchos leading to ski pants and ladies’ slacks; frizzed up cut-looking hair and light make-up leading to more and more sin; wedding rings leading to all jewelry in the Isaiah 3 catalogue becoming accepted among us. Shall we continue to drift ever so gradually until we would assume an ecumenical stance on evangelism, assuming more and more characteristics of the charismatics, until we become deceived that we could more effectively reach our world if we would drop all this separation business that is fast becoming recognized as legalistic bondage, from which we need christian liberty? Pastor, help!! We are trusting you!!
WOE UNTO THEM THAT CALL EVIL GOOD
RALPH M. McGUIRE
Our Society today is being duped and brain washed in the giant mold of humanism. Its stigma is everywhere today. The present day media is so powerful that it is schooling the minds of men into a stereotyped, fleshly pattern of ungodly thinking. The impact of constant exposure of the media TV, Video, Radio and unwholesome printed matter is the very enemy and the accomplice of crime and wickedness of our generation. The consequence must not be underestimated. It is the devils business to inoculate and indoctrinate society with the strange carnal and temporal wisdom of this world. In so doing he can blind men from simple unadulterated wisdom and truth of God. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy, and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17.
The minds of men are being tutored into one stereotyped mind of worldliness. The mold of Hollywood and the entertainment world of “Rock” and comedy is being cast effectively and deceitfully. The film and video craze is spreading like wild fire with its pornographic lure.
Men are feeding their minds on baser elicit materials that unquestionably will bring decadence and degeneracy in the generations to come.
“When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin when it isfinished bringeth forth death” James 1:15.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in theworld; if any man love 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” John 2:15.
Free thinking, so called, is so prevalent today that it is unparalleled in all of history and is being found not only in our colleges and educational systems, but also among the ministry. The ungodly avalanche of “Brain Wash” that is cast upon society must be stemmed with the “Sword of the Spirit”, which is the word of God. The preaching of the word of God is the only power and authority that can stem that tide. Jesus warned us to “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees”. We as Apostolics are being constantly exposed to this “leaven” we must set up bulwarks and strengthen the walls against this assault of the worldly influences about us. The infiltration of such influences must be safeguarded against its penetration into the church. Men are so compassed with media exposure of falsehood that they no longer can distinguish between right and wrong. “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” Isa 5:20.
God speaks of the “prophet” and the priest being out of the way through strong drink. Not alcohol, but the strong drink of falsehood. Some of the leadership today is astray from the old land marks and unable to lead the people in paths of truth. “And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” Matt 15:14.
God has called His people to a place of separation from worldliness. We can not blend and conform to convention but must separate unto God as a holy, peculiar little flock with the identity of Jesus Christ.
Our peculiarity is primarily in our thinking, for “We have the mind of Christ”. “For as he thinketh in his heart so is He” Prov. 23:7Let us forsake the giant “mold” of convention and lay hold to the word of God that never changes with the times or the generations. For “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”.