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Belly of The Matter

Underscoring the need for the crucified life Jesus calls us to, Debbie Lord writes:

“It’s so easy to forget that in this day and age with all the subtle AND the blatant ‘commercials’ (all around us, all day, every day), telling us that ‘number one’ is the one we’ve got to look out for — at all costs. And, not to do or say anything that would jeopardize our most important priority — ourselves!!! YUCK!!”

When is the last time you heard these warning words of Jesus Christ preached?:

“And he said unto them ALL, If ANY man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it…For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:23-26

     (also see Mark 8:34-38; 9:42-49, etc.)

Why is it that most of the leaders in christendom purposely avoid these disturbing words? Why are they not loyal to declare the words of the One whom they claim to serve? This was the very same sin of the Jewish leaders whom Jesus said were going to hell. (See Matthew 23) Why do they refuse to declare the Gospel that the Son of God preached?

Could it be due to their self-serving hearts?

“(For many walk, of whom I have told you OFTEN, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly (appetites), and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things).” Philippians 3:18-19

“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his (own personal) gain, from his quarter.” Isaiah 56:10-11

We are told that in the last hour before Christ returns, there will not be a worldwide revival, but rather, a worldwide apostasy:

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…” 2 Thessalonians 2:3 

What precedes apostasy in every generation that departs from the Lord, is wicked leaders, most of whom are hard to discern unless measured against the holy standard of God’s written Word. (see Matthew 7:15; 1 John 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:12-4:5)

“For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” Isaiah 9:16

Of this kind, the Son of God said:

“Let them alone (abandon them): they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, BOTH shall fall into the ditch (destruction).” Matthew 15:14 

In the face of God’s command for them to “preach the word”, we hear everything but pure Biblical substance from American pulpits today. We see entertainment, hear jokes, and are fed with foolish pop psychology, but we starve for the lack of Biblical truth. This time was foretold:

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” Amos 8:11

Those who preach a “gospel” which is not according to the whole counsel of God found in holy Scripture, are preaching “another gospel” and are of “another spirit” and are “accursed”. Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:1-4

Warning: If you are going to be one of the few wise virgin believers who endure to the end, make sure you are in the Word of God daily for yourself. (2 Timothy 2:15; John 5:39; 1 Peter 2:2) If you are to be one of the remnant you must also keep your lamp full through intimate daily prayer communion with your Savior. You must serve God in the very face of those leaders who refuse to live in the fear of his holiness. “From such withdraw thyself.” 1 Timothy 6:5b (KJV)

The Cross in Our Doctrinal Determinations!

We must acknowledge the truth of Scripture – that what we choose to believe is a matter of our own hearts, reflecting their condition. Watch closely and especially verse 3:

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4

In this foretelling of the last days, the Holy Spirit informs us that many who have a mere “form of godliness” will listen to false teachers due to their own evil, un-repentant hearts! (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

The cross must be in the center of our doctrinal determinations. We must in Christ-like humility, be crucified with Christ, truly, to lean not to our own carnal understanding and upon study of the whole of Scripture on all matters, simply declare with Paul “Let GOD be true and EVERY man a liar.” (Romans 3:4)

“O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” Psalms 96:9 

For more in-depth study on what God says about deceivers in leadership positions, study Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 34 and Matthew 23.

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