“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-12 KJV)
Christians who fall short of the glory of GOD don’t fall short because sin is so dominant and powerful, they fall short because they lack faith, and they lack faith because they resist the truth, and the truth is what YAHWEH has given to liberate us from the power of sin. YESHUA teaches that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. When Christians reject the truth, they are turning away from the path of salvation. When YESHUA ascended into heaven, He gave gifts unto men. He sent the gift of the Holy Spirit. He also gave us vessels of the Holy Spirit in the form of apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and teachers to help perfect our understanding of truth for the strengthening of our faith unto maturity.
Christ saved us from death by given us resurrection life, however that is only the beginning of salvation. The Holy Spirit was given to lead and guide us into all truth that our minds and hearts might be renewed, which liberates us to know and understand GOD that we might walk in His ways. That is a huge truth that is often warred against by darkness, but by faith in the Word we can possess it.
3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7 NKJV)
I have been told by several Christians that they don’t need me or any other man speaking truth to them because what GOD wants them to know He will tell them Himself. So, they reject the gifts of Christ in pride becoming unteachable. Consequently, they remain dull. Dull of hearing and dull of understanding the truth. Men often speak about iron sharpening iron but in practice they often reject the sharpening when it comes. It is not the messengers that these prideful Christians reject, it is the truth they carry. I know this because even when you give them the word of GOD, chapter and verse they reject it as well. I have come to understand that the devil persecutes and denies Christ through double minded men. Satan sows just enough leaven in their soul to contaminate their knowledge of Christ, so that they profess a savior that is actually anti-Christ.
Here are two characteristics that are anti-Christ which are frequently championed by the double-minded:
- Jesus is always so gentle, loving, and kind that everyone finds him irresistible, and if we would only embody him in this way then we would be more well received and effective in sharing his message and saving souls. That is the anti-Christ that denies and persecutes the real Christ. The real Christ teaches that as the world hated the light in Him because of their love for darkness they will hate the light in you also, and that strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and few there be that find it. The real Christ is also firm, uncompromising, and straight forward. He also rebukes, reproves, and corrects when necessary. Love is not one dimensional.
- Jesus loves and receives everyone and requires nothing of you to be saved, so just come as you are and receive your free pass. That is another anti-Christ that denies and persecutes the real Christ. The real Christ requires repentance, which is why John the Baptist came before Christ crying repent and make way for the Lord, the baptism of repentance is still required. Christ said you must deny yourself and take up your cross in order to follow Him.
So, the preaching of the real Christ is more precious and important than most people realize, and it is needed for those within the church as well as without. Sharing the truth in love does not mean sharing the gospel in a way that makes the hearer feel good, it means sharing the truth in obedience to GOD in order to be pleasing to Him, not the hearer. If the hearer receives the truth well then praise GOD. If the hearer gets in an outrage praise GOD for His mercy anyway. It is better that men be offended by the knowledge of the truth than for them not to have an opportunity to escape the darkness which causes them to fall short of the glory of GOD. The glory of GOD is the power to walk in His likeness as the children of His heritage, bearing the fruit of His Spirit. For men to be saved, the true Christ has to be preached.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:13-17 KJV)
There are many people and organizations in this world that will feed you, and give you shelter, and some will even tell you that you are special, but even pimps will do all these. If they hold back the truth which liberates you and acts to bring you closer to GOD, then it is not love and there is a selfish agenda. The biggest strongholds that keep people from GOD are the shackles of darkness in their minds, founded upon lies and deception. It is by the mercy of GOD that the light of truth shines from His face into the earth to liberate us as we are right in the practice of idolatry, honoring things above Him. It is YAHWEH’s combination punch of mercy and truth that brings people to their knees, and truth is the right hand.
“He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.” (Psalm 57:3 KJV)
“Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” (Psalm 89:14 KJV)
“All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” (Psalm 25:10 KJV)
“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” (Proverbs 16:6 KJV)
Servant’s of Christ, endure hardship as good soldiers, and do not be discouraged or deterred at the contempt for truth held by the world or those which are called brothers and sisters. I share with you the same encouragement the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy.
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering 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.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 KJV)