Preserve The Heritage
By Elder Bill Yandris
Joel 2.17 . . . Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach
The word heritage is defined as that which is inherited as a possession, being handed down from times past. Through generations past this heritage has always been well preserved, being carefully guarded by the Lord’s watchmen, who have been set in for this defense. They cried aloud the warning that certain things would creep in to bring our heritage to reproach: trying to prevent them from happening, even in this generation.
But that cry is not being heard today often enough and loud enough because things are creeping in–things seemingly innocent and almost altogether unnoticed at first. But isn’t this always Satan’s tactics? Any breakdown must begin in a subtle manner, in a small and unnoticeable way so we will be unaware of the danger.
The apostle Jude forewarned us of what would come in our time. He sounded the alarm then–it’s time for us to do it now. He urges us “. . . that we should earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3). In Greek the word contend is rendered as strenuously defend. PRESERVE THE HERITAGE.
He continues: Jude 4Ä”For there are certain men crept in unawares”– “ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness” (that which is lewd, lustful, wanton or impure).
Jesus warned that the enemy would come and sow tares among the wheat while men slept. (Matt. 13.25) The enemy is sowing his own among the people of God.
The Lord gave the 5-fold ministry (Eph. 4:11) to perfect the church. Evangelists, pastors, and teachers are God’s watchmen to oversee and feed the flock (Acts 20:28). Thereby preserving the heritage. But read on! Acts 20:29 warns of grievous wolves entering in among you, not sparing the flock. These watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark–they are shepherds that cannot understand. Isaiah 56:10 and 11.
Watchmen! Brethren! Let’s look at the time! The clock of the century is pointing at the 11th hour. Look around and see for yourself what’s happening in our very midst. Things are creeping in. You may say there’s nothing to be alarmed about and besides “everybody’s doing it”, so we might as well get used to it and accept it.
The prophet Joel said, “Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly” (Joel 2:15). WHO IS IT THAT WILL BLOW ‘THE TRUMPET NOW??
The spirit of the age is sounding the drumbeats through the corridors of the world. The world cries “Times have changed” and the world must change with the times; so it is with the spirit of the age. But do we have to follow the change of the world? We are in the world but not of the world. God has not changed; however, some still say the Church must also change with the times. WHO IS READY TO STAND AND BLOW THAT TRUMPET?
Watchmen, let’s face facts! God holds the ministry responsible first. (Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock). The people never live above the ministry. The shepherd feeds the flock–not vice-versa; even though al] the feed is the same Ä the Word of God. Jesus said “Feed my lambs–feed my sheep.” What are we-feeding them? The pastor is the example and there is no such thing as a double standard in the Bible.
Let’s examine some things closely. No deviation begins big, for if it is extreme from the norm it is not readily accepted. When long hair for men was first displayed by the hippies, the ‘establishment” despised it. The same with flares and wide bottom pants which originally were associated with the drug culture. All these variations represent and tie together a beaten generation who reject established guidelines and cling to a way of life which leads to a blind alley. But the world, supposing this to be just a fad for a season, laughed it off. But it blossomed!! It has become the fashion of the day. It is the accepted mode of dress and it s here to stay. Now, when it comes to dress anything goes! If it’s your “thing,” put it oh! (Mod fashions go from one extreme to the other).
Most people who have been conversed within the last ten years toJesus Name remember when Sonny and Cher were born on the rock and roll scene in the early ’60’s. The mod fashions introduced by them were at first shocking but quickly accepted by an easily bored society that is always seeking something new. At first it was accepted only by the young generation but now age is no barrier–you can still “do your thing.” For the men: Long hair, sideburns, Beards, moustaches of every size and description are the topping for flare or bell-bottom pants and open front, ruffled shirts (unless going bare-cheated meets your fancy). For the women: A nice wig of a variety of colors tops a pantsuit or boots and a mini-skirt with a see through body shirt. You may prefer a granny dress to the ankles but be sure to choose one with a plunging neckline or one with the entire back out to give “interest”. If a bikini sounds good–that’s OK, too. You can wear them down any public street now without any fear of being called indecent. Law and order has changed, too!!
Now, to be sure the above fashions are not too boring, another feature has been added Ä wild psychedelic colors and endless design and pattern variations, including tie-dye. Stockings of bright colors draw attention to the legs, as do the variety of boot styles.
Men and women can dress exactly alike if they prefer. Some shops carry unisex clothes–nothing being labeled “his” or “hers”. All fashions of the day accomplish the purpose of body awareness.
You may wonder what this run’ down of fashion highlights has to do with us. (U.P.C.) Don t say that the aforementioned can’t happen to us! Look around–it’s happening NOW. SOMEBODY BETTER BLOW THE TRUMPET NOW-AND LOUD!
We need to wake up to the fact that there are spirits about this thing. Giving in to this spirit of the age invites unclean spirits that prompt men and women to lusts they never thought themselves capable of. The spirit of the world is moving slowly but very surely. Scripture tells us whet the world is not and it is not of the Father. (For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. I John 2:16).
Ministers and ministers’ wives – how is it with us in our apparel? Are we rightly setting the example? It really does begin with the ministry.
Watchmen, Brethren and Laymen, it’s here–it’s now! It’s been creeping in rather spasmodically but it’s be ginning to rush in. WHO IS GOING TO BLOW THE TRUMPET? Who is going to raise their voice against it? WHEN ARE WE GOING TO BLOW THE TRUMPET? When it’s too late?? Who is going to preserve the heritage?
Take a long look at the ‘now” Pentecost, Brethren. Hemlines that flirt with the world and long to be “just a little” higher. Hairdos–so high–so over-emphasized–so much worry over a hair out of place–worshipping the Lord is almost a nuisance. Sister, your vanity is a shame. And the constant cry is “What’s wrong with that?” “What’s wrong with this?” Well, what’s wrong with anything? Where is it all heading? Where will it stop? Can it be stopped? WHERE ARE THE TRUMPETERS??
Let it be remembered that at any time and in any age, be it past or present, there has always been a mod way and manner of dress that is either worldly or archaic. The Lord does not want His people following after the fashions of the world nor does He expect you to be “back-number” and repulsive. His reasonable service gives us a position to take that does not classify us in extremes. If our hearts are right and we have a desire to please God, we will be an Example of godliness and holiness.
What a terrible thing it would be, fellow Watchmen, to have the Lord say on, that day “. . . where IS the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful lock?”. (Jeremiah 13:20) GET YOU TRUMPET AND I’LL GET MINE. LET US BE ALARMED TOGETHER AND BLOW THE TRUMPET NOW.
God help us to preserve the heritage!!!
The Above Material Was Published By Christian Newspaper, August 1998. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.