Hashkama: 15th February 2017: The Voice

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.  The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.  The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.  He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.  The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning.  The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.  The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare.  And in his temple all cry, “Glory!” (Psalm 29:3-9).

What we are hearing and seeing in the world is the voice of Man and the spirit of Antichrist.  There is much preaching in the Church; there is the writing of articles and books, CDs and all kinds of resources at our disposal; but it is not always the voice of God that is heard through these various vehicles.  There are many voices but little sound of water.  Whereas, “…And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory” (Ezekiel 43:2); and, “And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps” (Revelation 14:2).  We often hear and read that what the world needs is this or that.  What the Church needs is to hear the voice of the Lord.  He is speaking, but more often than not, we are not listening and we are failing to see and understand. God speaks and acts, but remaining in a fixed mind-set we don’t recognise that God has moved on.  We have become so accustomed to the things around us, the cedars are broken and we have not noticed; and the cedars of Lebanon are broken in pieces at His voice, but though we have eyes to see, we do not see – I am speaking metaphorically.  We remain unmoved and unshaken, ever hearing but never understanding (Matthew 13:14-15); ever seeing but never perceiving (Mark 4:12; Isaiah 6:9).  The way we see and perceive it, the cedars are not broken (even though they are) and God has not spoken; and if He has spoken we don’t want to think and understand what it is He has said.  And life goes on…except for a large proportion of the unborn.

The World Winks at Legalised ‘Genocide’

The communists seized power in October 1917, and the Soviet Union was based on an atheist Marxist-Leninist conception of society.  The USSR became the first state to have, as an ideological objective, the elimination of religion and its replacement with universal atheism.  Since abortion was first legalised in what was the Soviet Union in 1920, there have been over one billion babies killed, we might say, murdered, worldwide.  Man-made laws in our post-truth culture, made without the influence of Scripture that lights up our path (Psalm 119:105) means that the world is in darkness which leads to death.  “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).  We are witnessing the death of society as it stubbornly refuses God’s truth and His gift of life.  First to be dehumanised and killed is the defenceless unborn; then comes the weak and vulnerable, the disabled and the elderly; next on the hit-list are the dissenters, those that disagree with authority and the status quo; and the people of God, those that love truth and hate evil.  All of this is happening already, but it will become even more widespread.  It will increase and intensify, until the time when evil incarnate will kill all those that will not bow down to him.  Love will decrease as will honour and integrity, honesty and truth, faithfulness, kindness, and gentleness.  Truth and justice, righteousness and holiness will become evils in the post-truth culture.   The hour is approaching when God’s voice will sound, and He will pour out His bowls of wrath and judgements upon the earth.  Organised chaos and destruction will result as each action from Heaven reaches and affects earth; but astoundingly, man will still refuse to repent; unbelievers will rather curse God – “They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him” (Revelation 16:9); “People gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven” (Revelation 16”10-11); “And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail” (Revelation 16:21).

The appalling figure of one billion babies aborted and killed, was presented in a new report by the Global Life Campaign (GLC).  The report’s authors called it “the Greatest Genocide in history”.[i]

The report is the first to systematically track reported abortions on a global scale from as early as 1920.  The blood of these children cries out to God, but the world continues with its murderous programme of death to the unborn.  The blood of Abel cried out to God.  Cain, the murderer of Abel heard God’s voice, but still went on to kill his brother (Genesis 4:8).  He could have responded to God by doing what was pleasing to the Lord.  Cain chose instead to do it his way.  I am reminded of Donald Trump’s inauguration where he and his wife danced to, “I did it my way”.  This section of Scripture in Genesis also reminds us that we must not only be hearers of God’s Word, but we must be obedient doers of God’s Word too (See also James 1:22).  Having heard God’s voice, we must obey what He says.  We cannot pick and choose, add to or take away from Scripture.

Closing down Christian influence

New figures have revealed Muslim pupils outnumber Christian children in more than 30 church schools.

According to the latest available statistics, one Church of England primary school has a ‘100 per cent Muslim population’.

It has prompted leading education experts to urge some church schools to become secular institutions because it is ‘confusing for children’.[ii]

God is not a God of confusion.  If church schools are allowed to remain faithful to their foundations and not change their beliefs to suit the world, there will not be the confusion that appears to reign at the moment.  If Muslim parents choose to send their children to Christian schools, they should expect their children to be taught the Christian religion and Christian principles for life.  They should find a secular school otherwise, not pressure church schools to become secular institutions.  This is another situation where Christianity is being pressured to give way to Islam.  When it is in a strong enough position, Islam will make its move to take over the structures and institutions of the nation, until the nation is under Islamic control.  It is all achieved democratically with a nation weakened by PC and secular humanism.  Those that hate the true and living God will eventually be ruled by a false god that hates them, and that will despitefully use them.

The voice of Man – Changing God’s Word to accommodate today’s world

We have populist preachers in the Church as well as populist politicians in the world, both promulgating post-truth.  One mistranslating the Word of God and misrepresenting the character of our Father in Heaven; the other presenting his own form of truth in the political arena.  Both are deceiving their hearers.  Some in the Church are watering down God’s Word, robbing the Word of its power, and the fact that it is only those that persevere to the end that shall be saved (Matthew 24:13).  That is what is driving people to despair!  The world is being presented with a god made in Man’s image; a god that cannot save, heal, and deliver from bondage.  Oasis and Steve Chalke preach a perverse gospel that allows people to remain trapped in their sinful desires, believing this is freedom in Christ.  They are turning against true followers of Jesus, while teaching a gospel that comes from the pit, and will take those that receive it back to the pit for an eternity in Hell.  They are, “…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:4-5).  Chalke teaches his flock to do the opposite of what Scripture teaches.  Chalke’s way is to “fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  God’s way is: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:16-26).  Read also Romans 1:21-32.  “For although they knew God” (Rom 1:21); “…since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28).  They knew God but He meant nothing to them.  Because gays have homosexual desires and drives, it does not mean they are of God.  It means that if they persist in their sin, God does not alter His Word to accommodate their sin as Chalke does; He gives them over to it; He strengthens them in their choice.  Read God’s dealings with Pharaoh in Exodus.  Pharaoh hardened his own heart against God before God hardened Pharaohs heart.  God established Pharaoh in his chosen course.  Those with a depraved mind cannot discern the things of God. As the Apostle Paul said: “And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.  The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:13-14).  God likewise gives those that preach a false gospel over to their chosen course.  False teaching is a sign of the times (2 Peter 2:1-3).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 15:16-25).

A report on the Anglican Mainstream website states that: The Church is driving homosexual people to suicide because of its negative and discriminatory attitude towards same-sex relationships, a major Christian charity has concluded.

A report by Oasis warned that churches must take a ‘disproportionate share of the blame’ for the mental health issues of people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual.

The charity found that every denomination of the Christian church in Britain, except for the United Reformed Church, held positions which actively discriminate against people with same-sex partners.

Rev Steve Chalke MBE, Founder of Oasis, said, “It is no secret that the negative stance taken by the Church, and so many individual local churches, has a hugely distressing impact on large numbers of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and leaves countless numbers of them living lives of forced secrecy and dishonesty.

“Tragically, it is also common knowledge that the resultant anguish and distress often leads to spiritual, mental and physical harm, and in the worst of cases to people making the desperate decision to take their own life.[iii]

An oasis should be a place of life and refreshment where all around is desert.  But in this case Oasis has become part of and is no different from the desert.  The Church should be involved in saving the lost, not losing the saved.  Those homosexuals and lesbians that confess Christ should be taught how to live in God’s world in God’s way; not pampering them in their sin.  The Oasis leadership is not speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).  They are not giving a clear message (1 Corinthians 14:8) because those in leadership do not understand the character of God, nor do they understand His Word.  Jesus came to free us from the power of sin and death, not to establish us in it!  Narrow is the road that leads to life.  Wide is the Chalke road that leads to destruction.  “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.  Beware of false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing…” (Matthew 7:13-15).

Because the politicians have decreed that it is lawful for a man to marry a man, and a woman to marry a woman, Chalke declares that the Church should follow the dictates and statures of Man above those of God, and thereby will be loving and sympathetic to the homosexual and lesbian brethren.  Let us deny love as God has declared love to be, so that we can be more loving to a certain section of people.  We no longer have to love as God loves; it is outdated and outmoded.  It is not suitable for the modern world and doesn’t meet the needs of today’s man and woman, particularly if they are gay.  Chalke doesn’t understand that it is the modern laws of the land – gay marriage and so forth – that have increased the anxiety state of homosexuals and lesbians; he would rather blame the obedient people of God.  Chalke, a populist preacher, preaches a populist, corrupt, futile gospel (Matthew 15:14) – a gospel that does not include the hope found in Jesus; and it is not the Word of God.

There is an important and interesting report by GAFCON chair Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, who has raised “serious concerns” about the recent House of Bishops report on marriage and sexuality.  See the link in the endnote below.[iv]

Romans 6:1-23

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His.  For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him.  The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness.  For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace?  By no means!  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:2

“…because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” By His death, Jesus opened a new and living way for us.  (Hebrews 10:20).

Blessings and shalom

Malcolm [15.02.2016]