Buckthorn Poisoning

By: Zena L. Mitchell

One of the greatest threats to God’s church today can be well illustrated by what happens to a person who eats the fruit of the Buckthorn plant. Slowly a person who has eaten its fruit begins to have their nerve centers paralyzed. Its effect is so gradual that the person who has eaten it may not even feel weakness for weeks. However, if it is not caught and helped, it destroys your nervous system and eventually will end in respiratory paralysis. Or in other words you will die. There
are no cures for this kind of poisoning, rather, treatment is only supportive, to those who do survive it. If it is caught it can slowly be reversed until all the damage the poisoning caused to a body is repaired. It takes a long time to get back from this kind of poisoning.

This poison is a good allegory of what Satan is trying to do to the church today. He is trying to poison it and steal its pearls, he is trying to get her to lower her standards, just like in the song of “The Great Speckled Bird.” Have you ever thought about the place of a standard in history? The Oxford Universal Dictionary defines a standard as – a conspicuous object, raised on a pole to indicate the rallying point of an army. In other words; it sticks out and shows all onlookers
who its followers are. In a battle it is one of the places of honor and one of the most dangerous jobs to do. While this soldier carries the flag he can not even defend himself, he depends on his commander and brother soldiers for his defense. Yet, this standard is so important
that if the standard bearer was shot down another soldier dropped his weapon and picked up the standard and kept running in the charge. The standard was also used in the Bible to designate who a people belonged to. Isa 49:22 says “thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles and set up my standard to the people:” The enemy hated the standard bearer and tried to strike him down to discourage the opposing army’s forces. Because the standard reminded them of who they were and what they were fighting for. Did you know Satan hates our standard that we bear before the world? The standard that; we the church of God, bear is our Holiness Standards, the world can not see our hearts, all they can see is our outward appearance. Therefore our
standard needs to be distinct. If Satan can get us just to let down a little, maybe just shorten your skirt an inch, trim your hair just a little bit, it will grow faster, (which makes no scientific sense, your hair is dead protein, it doesn’t grow from the bottom it grows from your scalp) or maybe if he can get us to think VCRs are okay. After all you control what kind of movies you get. Sometimes Satan in his attempts to try to get us to compromise may just suggest, why don’t you skip prayer
tonight, you’re so tired and after all God blessed you real good at church last night It won’t hurt you to miss it this once, will it? A slight question just like he asked Eve, did God really say it like that? One of his best lines might be, “If you would let down your standard just a little bit so many more people would come in, and then you could get them to raise their standards and have your cake and eat it too.” What he doesn’t tell you is where compromise will led you. With each
concession against the holiness standards of the Word of God, the next one is easier, and it becomes more confusing to those – who are watching you, i.e. your kids, your lost loved ones, the people you work with, they are watching you because they see something different in your life
and they see it is more then just a convenience. Possibly more important, with each compromise a saint of God makes, they become weaker and lose more and more of their protection. Isa 59: 19 says “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” The standard can’t be raised up by God, if the people who are being attacked are lowering it. It may seem at first so harmless and it will bring in more numbers, (for a while) but compromise
is never satisfied, it will continue on in a person’s life or in a church when the pastor doesn’t hold firm to the Word of God, until there is nothing left.

Compromise is just like the Buckthorn poisoning, if it’s not caught and treated before it goes too far it will bring down the collapse or death of that body that is infected with it. I’ve seen it happen, I know it is true. Compromise won’t help, it will destroy the one who is doing it. It is one of Satan’s lost tools, because it is so easy. The only cure and protection against compromise in a saint’s life is to call on the Lord while he may be found, cut away the desire of the flesh by prayer, fasting, reading God’s Word, doing a life’s work for God. Jesus himself said in the book of Revelation, if a soul is lukewarm he would spew it out of his mouth. The time is short, the day is near, where will your first love be when Jesus comes again, will your soul be on fire? or will it have grown lukewarm through compromise? The time has come that the men and women of God must separate from the world and be the true royal priesthood God has called us out of this world to be. Souls are watching you.

Will they see Jesus?

(The above material appeared in the November/December 1992 issue of The
Apostolic Contender.)

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