Christmas . . . or Truth . . . in the Crosshairs Part 3
Paganism Is Everywhere
Although the choice of terminology might not be the most accurate, that which is contrary to the nature of God IS everywhere ! We agree most wholeheartedly with that statement. It’s everywhere. In the schools, at work, at play, in the economy, even in the church. Nathan is correct concerning the modern-day accepted terms for names of the days of the week and some of the months on our Gregorian calendar and even a name on the jewish calendar. By the way, for some unknown reason we seem to hold the jewish people to some arbitrary ‘higher standard’. But yes, even they have a pagan name on their calendar. Our entire society, world wide, is up to it’s proverbial eyeballs in this mess. And why ? Because it was prophecied. Our forefathers ( Eph, 2: 11-13 ) because of their sin and idolatry ( which can include ‘pagan’ ) were exiled into the nations and forced to deal with ‘gods’, practices and customs contrary to the ways of Abba until such a time when He would bring their spiritual and physical progeny home. (If I belong to Christ, then I am Abraham’s offspring and therefore an heir to the covenants of promise. Galatians 3:29) Remember, our Father is not above making an example to prove His point. If you don’t think so, ask Uzziel, Nadab and Abihu or Korah, or how about Ananias & Sapphira.
The following is a quote from Nathan’s article. “Folks, we are living in very perilous times right now. The coming future is not going to be easy for the Christian who desires to be a part of the remnant. But what is the remnant? The answer could also be a long sermon, but in summary, the remnant is made up of people who keep the commandments of God.”
We could not agree more with this statement. Allow us to provide some clarification.Every born-again blood-bought believer keeps the Commandments of God to some degree, whether they realize it or not or intend to or not (because it is written on their hearts if they have truly been born again). The problem is we are taught to not keep them by our denominational dogma (we are no longer under the law) which is a direct violation of the words of Jesus.
Matt 5:18 “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means pass from the Law until everything is accomplished.
19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of the commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches the commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
The above are Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount. By the way, obedience is not a matter of salvation, but it is a matter of ‘standing in the kingdom’ according to Messiah. The ‘commands’ are the ‘Good Works’ spoken of by Jesus in Matt 5:16 and by Paul in Eph. 2:10, the keeping of which is the evidence of our love for our Heavenly Father and one another. 1 John 5:22 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
Faith which is evidenced by the things we do – the willful obedient submission to our loving Father because of His mercy and grace.
I think I remember James – Jesus’ brother – saying something about ‘faith and works’ . . . hummm, maybe he understood something we’ve missed ? Abraham’s faith was evidenced by his works according to James 2:21-ff . . . “ Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
Please understand that ‘salvation is by grace through faith’, period. The word ‘justified’ in the James passage also carries the concept of ‘that which evidences’ . . . the justification is evidenced by the ‘good works’, walked-out by the grateful believer. Faith is not just something we have, it is something we do, that which we ‘show’ on the outside because of what is on the inside, that ‘outward garment’ if you will . . . the original ‘outward sign of the inward change’ ( to quote my baptist upbringin’).
There is also another term used quite frequently in these discussions – ‘idolatry’. In simple terms, ‘idolatry’ is anything that comes between us and God; anything that breaks that ‘line of sight’ between us and Him and keeps us from coming ‘face to face’. An ‘idol’ can even come straight from the mouth of God; it all depends on what we do with what He gives. Example ? Take a look at the ‘snake on the pole’. It was a mandate straight from the mouth of God for the deliverance of the people. What did they do with it? They turned it into a shrine and started worshiping it. They took a word from the Mouth of God and turned it into an idolatrous practice. Are we capable of doing the same today ? Sure we are .
The article quotes the following passage and makes the statement ‘the celebration of christmas’ is not on the list.
“1 Corinthians 6:9,10
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
In reality, christmas is on the list, we just don’t recognize it for what it is.
Now, with all that said, where does it leave us ? We are saved by grace through faith. Are the ‘commandments a matter of salvation ? No, but they are a matter of obedience which is what we are called to after we are called to repentance. I am not born-again by works. I am born again by the Blood of the Lamb and faith in the Word of God.
Once I become a ‘child of the Father’, he has the right to expect a certain level of behavior just as I have the right to expect a certain level of behavior out of my children and also have the responsibility, as a Godly parent, to ensure they obey . He, God Almighty, has the right to set the guidelines for His children. I have a choice, either to be an obedient child or a disobedient one. Either way, I am still His child. But if I truly love Him, should I not desire to walk according to His guidelines ? Should I not be willing to love Him in the way He has asked me to evidence my love for Him ? It has taken a long time, and Abba has exhausted much patience, for us to come to the understanding that He is not interested in what we think or desire or believe unless it lines up with what HE has said and what He expects of us as His children.
One responsibility of this ministry is to expound the Truth of the Word, for in these last days, understanding and walking-out that Truth will make a difference for believers. . . possibly a life-or-death difference for some. And it must be coupled with a fullness of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God. ( the balance of the worship in Spirit & Truth )
Malachi 4:4Remember the law given by my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers ( Abraham, Isaac & Jacob ) , lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” ( parentheses & italics added for emphasis )
Isaiah 24:1 See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants– 2 it will be the same for priest as for people, for master as for servant, for mistress as for maid, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor.3 The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The LORD has spoken this word.4 The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish.5 The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant.6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.
We love God’s people wherever we find them, even if we don’t always agree with one another. But we love God more, and must share the Truth, even if it’s hard to swallow, as we fight hard for the faith which has been once and for all entrusted to God’s holy people.
Blessings to you and yours as we sail head-on into the storm to come, for we know the Captain of the ship, and more importantly, He knows and cares for us.
Shalom U’vracot – Peace & Blessings – J & R