Gods #1 Enemy - The So Called "Church"
Right From the Start
When Jesus walked this earth in the flesh who was His greatest enemy?
Sinners? No. They flocked to Him. What did He do with them? He forgave their sin, and said, "Go. Sin no more".
So then, who really was Jesus' #1 enemy?
The answer: the religious leaders
Does that surprise you? To many people, "Jesus" and "God" are two words that go hand-in-hand. How then, could those who claim to be specialists in God (the religious leaders) be His worst enemy?
Statement of fact:
Most of the religious leaders today are the same. They still oppose Him.
The religious leaders in Jesus day were proud, as He put it, arrogant vipers that had not the Spirit of God. Tragically, many of the religious leaders today are the same way.
The religious leaders in Jesus day did not understand the scriptures concerning His first coming. Likewise, most religious leaders today do not understand the scriptures concerning his second coming.
Just as in Bible days, Jesus finds His worst enemies in those who claim to know God. Christ finds His worst enemies in the so called "church".
What is the "so called church"?
The word "church" simply means "called out ones". The true church are those who have heard the voice of the Lord, those who have come out from the world system, those who have truly been born again, those who truly follow Him with all their hearts, and endeavor to get to know Him more and more intimately.
When I say, "so called church" I am NOT referring to the true church. I am referring to a dead, dry, organization that is more like a religious social group, as opposed to the kind of "church" you see in the book of Acts.
In the book of Acts you see a people that are full of grace and power - vessels of His glory, shining into the world with the demonstration of the Spirit and power. This is the true church - the Father's children whom He dearly loves. These are the true representations of Christ in this world. And yes, as few as they are, "Book of Acts"-type churches are still around today.
But more specifically, this article is directed to the leaders of the "so called church" because they are ultimately the ones that will be held responsible.
Are You Trying to Say that the so called "church" is worse than Satan, himself?
Satan is the master of evil. He is evil personified. "Satan" and "evil" are virtually synonymous. For the most part, people expect evil, lies, deception, death, and destruction from Satan.
But people do not expect evil from the "church". The so called "church" is synonymous with Christ and God. Most people trust the church for righteous, and Godly guidance. Because of the way people view the church, it is Satan's greatest prey. This is Satan's greatest channel of deception. If Satan can get the church to compromise its view of holiness, righteousness, spirituality, and God's power, then he knows he can directly attack individuals, families, nations, and eventually the world influenced by that church. Unsuspecting people are the easiest target.
But the so called "church" supposed to know better. They are supposed to be vigilant regarding the schemes of Satan. They have a great responsibility to represent Christ in this world. They have a responsibility to represent the true Christ - the supernatural Christ.
Many so called "churchs" have fallen in this regard. They have grown stale, dull, dead, and boring. And because of this they bring reproach to the name of Christ.
I am not saying that every church is like this. But what I am saying is that there are too many buildings with the word "church" on the sign, which do not reflect the true church as seen in the Bible.
One of the greatest misconceptions that people have is that one can know God through intellectual means. They falsely assume that the more a person knows about God, the more a person knows God.
This misconception implies that if a person gets professional religious training from institutions such as bible schools, or seminaries, then they will know God more than the "average Joe".
This misconception is diametrically opposed to the Spirit and the Word of God.
"No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord." (Jer. 31:34)
- Man shall not teach his neighbor saying "Know the Lord" because the Lord Himself will make Himself known by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.
"All your children shall be taught by the Lord" (Is. 54:13)
- Note this does not say they will be taught by man, rather by the Lord, Himself
Jesus said, "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son
except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." (Matt 11:27)
- Again, this is clear - NO ONE can know the Father except the one to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. So then it is not up to man to teach the knowledge of God, but God Himself. It does not matter how many degrees you have. You cannot know God no matter how much intellectual knowledge you have. The true knowledge of God only comes through divine appointment, and divine experience.
Jesus also said, "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me." (John 6:45)
- Again, Jesus makes it clear - In order to TRULY come to Him, one must come by the initiative of the Father, by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus also said, "I
have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word." (John 17:6)
- Yet another instance of the fact that the "manifestation" of God comes through Jesus, by the Spirit of God - not by mere religious teachings, but by spiritual revelation.
Jesus also said, "For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the
face of Jesus Christ." (John 17:3)
- God is the one who commands the light to shine in our hearts, dispelling the darkness - NOT man through intellectualism.
"But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things." (1 John 2:20)
"But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him." (1 John 2:27)
God is a Spirit.The only way we can know Him is by the Spirit. We cannot know God through mere words on paper, or screen.
You cannot know God by the carnal mind.
The "carnal mind" is a biblical term referring to the natural human mind. The scriptures say that the "carnal mind" is an enemy of God. Sadly, most mainstream "christian" ministers operate in the realm of the carnal mind. They do not operate in the realm of the Spirit (although they like to believe they do).
"Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be
My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart." (Jer. 24:7)
- Keep in mind who "them" are. They are the people to whom the scriptures were given. They are the people to whom the law of God was given. They are the people who are "educated" in God. Yet they do not know Him! The Lord, Himself says, "I will give them a heart to know Me." It is important to note that He did not say that He will give them a "head" to know Him or a "mind" to know Him but a heart to know Him... BIG difference.
Most of the clergy do not know the true dynamics of the Kingdom of Heaven. All they know is the dynamics of the kingdom of religion as defined by their denomination, certain deadhead scholars, and personal misconceptions.
God is Disgusted!
In Proverbs 6 the scripture declares that there are six things that the Lord hates, seven things that are an abomination to Him. The first and foremost at the top of the list is PRIDE.
The original Hebrew word that is translated "abomination" is "Tow`ebah", which means "a disgusting thing". To sum it up, God hates, and is disgusted with human pride.
In fact, the scripture says over and over again that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Pride is the life of all sin. Every evil of mankind ever committed can be traced back to pride. Right from the garden of Eden, when Eve saw that the fruit was "desirable for gaining wisdom" the Devil tempted her with pride.
It says, Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. We live in a world where the love of many are growing cold just as prophesied by Paul. The "information age" tends to puff us up with pride just as prophesied by Daniel.
More and more people are putting more value on the head, than on the heart. And this is sadly true in many churches today. They put more value on the things that glorify them, and not on the things that glorify God. They do good works, and have so much head-knowledge, but there is no true heart of intimate eye-to-eye love for Jesus. They lost their first-love as spoken of in the book of Revelation. No matter how much of a "form of godliness" they appear to have, they "deny the power thereof" and their end is destruction.
God is disgusted with their religion, their lack of heartfelt love, and lack of personal, intimate time with the Lord. They are puffed up with knowledge, but they are not built up in the love of the Father. They are puffed up like balloons. One day God is going to POP them and there will be nothing left of them.
"Arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected." Proverbs 29:23
"Your pride has deceived you." Ob 1:3
"Your pride has deceived you." - Jer 49:16
God is absolutely determined not to allow anyone to boast about anything but the true knowledge of Him.
"The Lord says, "The wise should not boast of their wisdom, nor the strong of their strength, nor the rich of their wealth. If any want to boast, they should boast that they know and understand Me" (Jer. 9:23-24)
"God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised , hath God chosen , yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are : That no flesh should glory in his presence . " (1 Cor 1:27-29)
I have heard how proud, arrogant, and conceited the people are, how much they think of themselves. I, the Lord, know of their arrogance. Their boasts amount to nothing, and the things they do will not last. (Jer 48:29-30)
Service-Only Christianity: An Accessory to Stinking Pride
When I speak of "knowing God" I am not talking about carnal knowledge
- I am not talking about informational knowledge. Our God is not data.
The kind of knowledge that I am talking about is intimate, personal knowledge.
For example: The Bible tells us that God "knows" you so well that He has every hair of your head numbered. BUT the Bible also says that many people will be refused access to Heaven, as God says this to their face... "Depart from me, you worker of iniquity.... I NEVER knew you!"
How can the Lord say He knows us so well that he knows every hair on our head, and yet turn and say, "DEPART from me! I NEVER knew you!"?
The first kind of knowledge is surface knowledge, informational knowledge - simply put, He knows all about you.
The second kind of knowledge is intimate, personal knowledge. This is the kind of knowledge that you get only by spending quality time with someone - looking them eye-to-eye. This is more than a friendly kind of knowledge. This is an intimate and loving relationship.
What Jesus is saying is in effect, "Forget your works! You never spent intimate quality time with me, looking me eye-to-eye. You never sat at my feet like Mary did. I have never TRULY known you on a personal and intimate level. It doesn't matter if you did all these mighty works in My name. AWAY FROM ME! I NEVER KNEW YOU!! "
Many people are going to die, and face the Lord and He will say, "What have you done with your life?"
They will say, "Lord we have done all these great things in your name. We have reached out to the poor, fed the hungry, clothed the naked, housed the homeless, and we did all sorts of mighty works!".
He will look at them and say, "But that glorifies YOU"
"But, Lord, this is your work in the world"
He will say, "That is YOUR work in the world"
"DEPART from Me. I NEVER knew you!"
"...all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..." (Is 64:6)
* In the light of the great glory of God all of our good works mean nothing. In fact, they look like filthy rags when compared to His presence and glory. God is determined that no one would be able to brag about any work they did.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that God wants an intimate relationship with you. That is at the top of His list - not service.
The greatest commandment is "Thou shalt serve the Lord with all of the work of your hands" (Deception 1:2 in the "Ever So Errant Translation")
Oh sorry, I was reading from the wrong bible...
The greatest command is "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." (Deu. 6:5)
Work does NOT equal love. I can work for somebody without loving them.
Don't misunderstand me: I believe that lovers outperform workers. But we must never confuse work for love.
The Bible is clear:
- we must seek the Lord with all our heart - NOT our head or hands.
- we must love the Lord with all our heart - NOT our head or hands.
Don't misunderstand: Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and doing mighty miraculous works is great! If you are truly saved, then these kind of works naturally follow. But these kind of works must NOT take center stage in a person's walk with God. God is a God of the heart, not the hand. We are not saved by works, and our relationship with God is NOT based on works. Works are periphery.
It's like a man and a woman getting married. They prepare a wonderful marriage ceremony. They spend lots of money, and the place is dressed up extravagantly. After they say the vows the woman looks at the man and says, "I'll serve you. But don't expect me to spend intimate time with you. My service is sufficient. I don't want to spend time looking you eye-to-eye. My relationship with you is shown in my works for you. I don't know about all that intimacy stuff".
What kind of marriage would they have? Not much of one.
What kind of relationship would they have? Not much of one.
That's how it is with those who serve God, but never spend quality time with Him heart-to-heart.
Intellectual Churchianity: An Accesory to Stinking Pride
The scriptures declare that, "God is ok with pride." and "Thus saith the Lord, 'Pride is not so good at times but thou shalt not be too concerned about the removal thereof" (Decption 1:1 as found in the 'Ever So Errant Translation')
Please disregard the previous quote. God is not easy on pride. God Forbid!
If there is one characteristic in a person that God HATES above all others it is pride.
Intellectual "Christianity" takes the immeasurable God and reduces Him to a mere theology, or a concept small enough to fit in a finite human brain. Intellectualism builds pride. Even in the religious sense - Christian Intellectualism religion builds pride, and God hates it.
Jesus said, "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me."
It doesn't matter how much of the Bible you know, it doesn't mean you know God at all. Nor does it mean you have a personal relationship with Him. Take Satan for example: He knows the scriptures inside and out. He quoted the scriptures to Jesus in the temptation.
"But I'm a believer" you may say. The Bible says that the demons believe and tremble.
Therefore simply believing is not enough to ensure salvation. We want to have a better standing with God than the demons, don't we?
But it goes further than that. We must go further than just knowing the scriptures. Jesus said that our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The scribes are those who wrote and copied the scriptures. They are "scripture specialists", if you will. Our knowledge must go beyond the intellectual knowledge of the scriptures. Even Satan obviously knows the scriptures. We want to have better standing with God than Satan, don't we?
Fact: You can go to 100 seminaries, graduate with the highest honors, and still go to hell.
Fact: You can go to 100 Bible schools, obtain perfect grades and still have NO knowledge of God.
Its like this: You can go to every library within driving distance of your house. You can read everything you can about the Royal Family. You can quote encyclopedias. You can even work for their government. But try going to the Palace. Try knocking on the door. See how far you get when you say you are there to visit the Queen.
That's the way it is with God. You can go to every bible school. You can learn everything about Him. You can quote the Bible. You can even serve Him. But try knocking on Heaven's door when you die. Try knocking on His door! See how far you get.
The idol of intellectualism has invaded too many churches. A well known Pastor once said, "When we submit the things of God to the mind of man, unbelief and religion are the results. When we submit the mind of man to the things of God, we end up with a renewed mind that enhances a life of faith. The mind makes a wonderful servant, but a terrible master."
Don't misunderstand: God gave us an intellect, and we should use it to its full capacity. But we should know its limits. The human intellect is very finite, and very limited. It is absolutely impossible to truly know God through your intellect.
Pastors in Hell
I have spent the past 18 years studying those who claim to have died, went to hell, and then came back.
Shockingly enough, a good portion of those who said they died and went to hell have said that they have seen pastors in hell.
Frankly, too many pastors are just plain ignorant and unbelieving. It is time to call pastors to good old-fashioned repentance.
- If you are a pastor I implore you to take a moment to re-assess your standing with God. Double check to make sure that you fear God more than man. Double check to make sure you fear God more than the board members of your church. Double check to make sure that you actually have a personal, intimate, heart-to-heart relationship with Jesus... and that you are spending time with Him, personally, eye-to-eye, and heart-to-heart.
- If you are not a pastor maybe you should forward this page to a pastor you know. Be blessed!
More by this Author
Is "speaking in tongues" real? Or is it a fraud? Find the answer right here
This is the most exhaustive teaching on tithing found anywhere on the Internet. Dig in, and read every argument for and against the practice of tithing.
Ethiopia houses some of the worlds most fascinating mysteries. Find out what they are right here