In my previous post there is a graphic that shares the Bible verse from 2 Corinthians 4:6.
For it is the 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.
Notice that the verse in the graphic version begins with, “For God, who said.” In the NKJV, the verse reads, “For it is the God who commanded.” This is instruction for us feeble humans – that we are to let the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ shine out of the darkness that surrounds us within our own hearts, as well as with the lost in this fallen world.
In this verse, we read where the light comes from, and through Whom it is manifested:
2 Corinthians 4:6b – who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
You see, Jesus Christ, the second member of the Trinity of God is the Son of God, Savior and Lord of all. However, each individual must come to the knowledge of this fact. That is what is meant by the phrase “to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Previous verses in 2 Corinthians 4 inform us:
For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.
Within Matthew Henry’s complete commentary of 2 Corinthians 4, we read:
III. A proof of their integrity is given, v. 5. They made it their business to preach Christ, and not themselves: We preach not ourselves. Self was not the matter nor the end of the apostles’ preaching: they did not give their own notions and private opinions, nor their passions and prejudices, for the word and will of God; nor did they seek themselves, to advance their own secular interest or glory. But they preached Christ Jesus the Lord; and thus it did become them and behove them to do, as being Christ’s servants. Their business was to make their Master known to the world as the Messiah, or the Christ of God, and as Jesus, the only Saviour of men, and as the rightful Lord, and to advance his honour and glory. Note, All the lines of Christian doctrine centre in Christ; and in preaching Christ we preach all we should preach. “As to ourselves,’ says the apostle, “we preach, or declare, that we are your servants for Jesus’ sake.’ This was no compliment, but a real profession of a readiness to do good to their souls, and to promote their spiritual and eternal interest, and that for Jesus’ sake; not for their own sake or their own advantage, but for Christ’s sake, that they might imitate his great example, and advance his glory. Note, Ministers should not be of proud spirits, lording it over God’s heritage, who are servants to the souls of men: yet, at the same time, they must avoid the meanness of spirit implied in becoming the servants of the humours or the lusts of men; if they should thus seek to please men, they would not be the servants of Christ, Gal. 1:10.
Read that last part again. “If they should seek to please men, they would not be the servants of Christ.”
Right there is just one of the reasons to run from any ministry that seeks to please men rather than, (or over) pleasing God. Note Henry’s example of pleasing men: “they [we Christians] must avoid the meanness of spirit implied in becoming the servants of the humours or the lusts of men.”
How do we know the difference?
The Bible instructs us on every “humour” or “lust” of men; so we are without excuse for not recognizing them.
The concept of elevating a person (or self) above God has plagued man from the time of the Garden of Eden. Even before that, an angel of God named Lucifer desired to be worshipped, rather than worshipping the Creator, so he was cast out of heaven along with the rebellious angels who became his demons. Their goal? To attempt to steer mankind away from God. Satan knows he is doomed and misery loves company.
We have examples throughout history of people who would deem themselves some type of god. When such a person gains followers, it becomes a cult. Recall just two of them. The People’s Temple run by cultist (and crazy-man) Jim Jones who forced his followers to drink the poisoned Kool-Aid and die, and the Heaven’s Gate cult that ended up committing group suicide fifteen years ago.
What do they have in common? Several factors. But above all, they didn’t heed what the Bible tells us here:
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Jesus Himself tells us:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Cults (or anything else) that seek to “steal, kill and to destroy” are not of God – they are of the thief – who is attempting to take people away from God. Thus, the examples of The People’s Temple and Heaven’s Gate are cults that took away the lives of those who foolishly and disastrously, followed the lies of men.
There are also more subtle types of cults. And, the different kinds of cults are growing more and more apparent with each passing decade! We are warned about them in the book of Jude:
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God [fn] and our Lord Jesus Christ.
But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.
The list of examples could take days! However, I want to share one of them.
In Todd Starnes new book, “God Less America” he entitled Chapter 5, “So Absurd it Could Be True: The Gospel According to Barack Obama.” He asked to meet with Miles O’Leary, who was given a position in Obama’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. He writes:
There was a time in Daytona Beach, Florida, when thousands of the president’s followers chanted, “Hail, Obama. Hail, Obama.” Pubic school teachers across the fruited plain instructed boys and girls to raise their hands to the sky and proclaim, “Barack Hussein Obama, mmm-mmm-mmm.” And who can forget when actor Jamie Fox called him “our lord and savior Barack Obama”? Oprah Winfrey called him “the One.”
Miles told Todd that when the crowd of atheists and God-haters at the Democratic National Convention (in 2012) booed God (because delegates in Charlotte had previously voted God out of the party platform) when He was reinstated into the Democratic platform, God’s approval rating was only polling at 10 percent.
Therefore, they decided to immediately implement a top-secret program–code name G-O-D.
“It stands for Get Obama Deified,” Miles said in a hushed voice. “We decided to create a national religion based solely on pResident Obama. Our internal polling data on the deification of the president is spectacular.”
Todd was dumbfounded and wondered how in the world they could do something so brazen, so blasphemous, so unconstitutional?
“Todd, we’ve already done it,” Miles said. “I was just put in charge of President Obama’s new Office of Theological Repatriation. We’re in the process of destabilizing other religions so that we can recruit more followers. Why do you think we’ve been marginalizing Christianity within the armed forces and public schools?”
“But why make the president a god?”
The answer was that Obama is a young man and will need to do something to earn a paycheck after he leaves the White House.
Miles went on to say that a few hours after Obama signed an executive order declaring himself to be America’s lord and savior, the earth started shaking.
Todd asked how someone even goes about creating a new religion.
“Well, as I said, I head up the Office of Theological Repatriation,” Miles said. “Once the Christians and Jews renounce their faith, they are assigned to a six-month session of theological conversion therapy. After they complete the appropriate coursework, the new followers are then turned over to the Office of Spiritual Indoctrination.”
“What about the Muslims?” I (Todd) asked.
“Um, yeah, we’re not going to touch the Muslims,” Miles said.
You need to get the book to read the rest of the chapter. The “good back story” being used to fool people into such a political cult is truly ridiculous. But it serves the point that the media of mass deception is so far out in the leftist propaganda ozone, they would actually print up front page covers that espouse Obama as ” The Second Coming,” and “In Obama We Trust,” and history should be named “Before Obama” and “After Obama.” With the MSNBC (messianic savior named Barack channel) being bought by the badministration, no wonder only 10% of the public in a recent poll trust that particular cable news channel!
I don’t need to list all of the anti-Christian bigotry and lawsuits being hurled at individuals and their businesses. Here’s a link to an article about seven of them:
Todd Starnes has several chapters on gay activist hate against Christians. Please note that I AM NOT IMPLYING that this means that all homosexuals are activists of this type. But the most vocal ones are the most discriminating bigots and haters that I have ever seen in action on the cultural and political stage.
For those who may not be paying attention, the gay rights vs. religious rights war is escalating towards a terrible degree; wreaking havoc and horrible results across our nation. Like this particular topic or not, it’s front and center in culture and politics. Just put “gay rights vs. religious rights” into the StartPage search engine, and over 21 million results come up!
Jesus told us that the signs of the times would be as “As In the Days of Noah,” and “As In the Days of Lot.” If you read those posts, you will find the subject of homosexual sin (as well as other immorality and sexual sins) evident both times in biblical history.
[Update on 6/30/14: Found the following PDF essay online – Brandeis Education: Judaism Docs/Essays/Same-Sex Marriage which reiterates my previous writings and links regarding the Babylonian Talmud and Rabbinical passages that tell us that homosexual acts are sinful and homosexual “marriage” is an abomination to God and is to be soundly rejected.]
I try to stay on top of this topic, but Todd Starnes reports (in his book) many more startling examples of how religious rights are being taken away by activist judges who side with the radical homosexual agenda movement. Perhaps you have heard or read about some of these listed and discussed in Starnes’ book:
* Judge: Bakers Must Make Gay Wedding Cakes
* Militant Gays Force Christian Bakery to Close
* Court: Photographers Must Film Gay Weddings
* Professor Orders Students to Support Gay Rights
* Gays Target Superman Writer
* Teacher Punished for Refusing to Attend Gay Celebration
* High School Teacher Investigated for Opposing Homosexuality
* Worker Placed on Leave for Supporting Traditional Marriage
* DOJ: Affirm Gay, or Else
* Gays Target Catholic University Chaplain
* Church Faced Eviction for Position on Homosexuality
* Church Camp Punished for Refusing to Hose Gay Wedding
* Owners of B&B Guilty of Discrimination
* Professor Investigated for Opposing Homosexuality
* Teacher Suspended for Supporting Traditional Marriage
I can’t wait (sarcasm) to read the next chapter: “Macy’s Kinky Thanksgiving Day Parade.”
At my former Talk Wisdom blog, I have been warning about the militant homosexual agenda for over 10 years. People have pooh-poohed the idea that it would ever get so bad that religious rights would be taken away, and/or people of conscience and faith in biblical truth would be fined in courts or even jailed as a result of adhering to their religious beliefs. And, it’s not only in the public or political spectrum where Christians are being persecuted on this issue. It’s even gone so far as to affect the churches! To see it advance as far as it already has is very troubling, scary, and disconcerting.
There are so-called “Christian” churches and/or groups that affirm homosexuality, and their goal is to silence the Bible-based believers and churches. The following video was posted at my former blog back in 2005.
[Note: One homosexual who attended that particular service where the gay militants tried to silence the Pastor ended up repenting of his sin and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! Praise God!]
When I read Dr. David Jeremiah’s book “I Never Thought I’d See The Day – Culture at the Crossroads”, I came to realize that the three D’s – deception, division, and destruction are Satan’s favorite tools in the spiritual war against those who believe in Jesus Christ.
Satan is the great deceiver. John 8:44 records Jesus’ reply to a group of Jews who were resisting His message. Jesus boldly told them that they were children of their father the devil, and that they were not hearing the truth because their father’s native language was lies.
Revelation 12:9 refers to Satan as the one “who deceives the whole world,” which he does by imitating the work of God with counterfeit and camouflage.
The key thing to realize is that once people fall for those who do Satan’s bidding, they are led astray and away from God.
Spiritual deception may be Satan’s most insidious weapon in his guerrilla warfare against us. Jesus and the apostles speak of it nearly thirty times in the New Testament. One of Satan’s greatest deceptions today is leading people, even Christians, to believe he does not really exist or that he isn’t as bad as he’s made out to be. The problem is, deceived people don’t know they’re being deceived! Undetected deception makes us extremely vulnerable because we do not know the enemy is even there, which means we neither watch for nor erect defenses against him. The continual deception of the great deceiver requires constant vigilance and dependence on the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
If a person has not been born again – as Jesus told us was necessary in John 3:3, then THE most powerful weapon against spiritual deception is missing in that person. The Holy Spirit indwells believers and helps to guide them unto all truth through discernment strength when studying the Bible.
I hear people often say that they don’t “understand” the Bible, or they “disagree with” some of what the Bible teaches. Why? Because they have not submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Until that happens, the revelation in the Bible that points to Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Messiah will just sound like a “horrible (crucifixion) turned nice story (resurrection) to them.
When I grew up in the Catholic church, Bible study wasn’t emphasized as much as the catechism of what the church taught. That is why I was personally confused about the crucifixion of Jesus. I can remember looking up on the front wall of the church, seeing the huge image of Jesus Christ being crucified on the cross and thinking, why did he have to die such an awful death?
My confusion about this remained until I was invited to a Pentecostal church by a friend I had met at work. Previously, I had not known what it meant to be born again.
Years after I took that step, the Lord led me to a Bible study in my neighborhood. It was during the inductive study of the book of John that I re-dedicated myself to Jesus Christ.
Back to the topic.
Satan is the great divider.
Satan has always been a divider. When he was cast out of heaven he divided the angels, taking a third into rebellion with him (Revelation 12:4). He divided the first couple, bringing sin and disharmony between Adam and Eve. He divided the first family, pitting Cain against Abel (Genesis 4:8). In the early Church, Satan influenced the heart of Ananias, dividing his loyalty between God and money (Acts 5:3).
Satan continues all three of these deceptions today. Deception against the goodness of God through dividing people away from Jesus Christ through various ways (i.e. false religions, mocking Christ, atheism, the LGBT agenda, etc.) is increasing at an alarming rate. Dividing couples is seen through the breaking of an oath to a spouse through the rampant divorce rate, adultery and other forms of sexual sin (including homosexuality, bisexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism), the killing of babies in the womb through abortion, and the list goes on and on. We see the greed of people and their nefarious activities through the evil use of wealth, which is a sign of division between such a person and God. We know the truth of the saying, “the love of money is the root of all evil.” When a person loves money and what he/she can do with it for their own purposes rather than God’s purposes, then we see how deception, division, and destruction can occur all around us.
Satan is the great destroyer.
The Bible likens Satan to five different animals:
He is a serpent trying to deceive God’s people.
He is a bird trying to despoil God’s harvest.
He is a wolf trying to defeat God’s flock.
He is a lion trying to devour God’s children.
1 Peter 5:8
He is a dragon trying to destroy God’s Son.
Satan is consumed by his obsession to destroy the work of God in the universe, and specifically on Planet Earth.
Dr. Jeremiah goes on to say that Satan will do anything – destroy, wreck, ruin, kill, inflict grief, disease, pain, and anguish – to cause the victim to blame it all on God. Unfortunately, such a strategy often works. But the faithful can stay steadfast through it all because they know Who wins in the end.
Recall all of Satan’s attempts to embitter Job? He destroyed everything in Job’s life – except Job’s faith in God. And when Satan couldn’t achieve that, God restored everything that Job had lost.
The thing to remember is what Dr. Jeremiah states here:
“all the evil and destruction inflicted upon us have their ultimate source in Satan, the great destroyer. His evil presence in our world is not God’s doing; it is ours. We open the door to him by yielding to his temptation.”
The account of Job is an illustration of what we must do today. No matter what happens, we must be steadfast and strong in our faith. I know it’s hard – especially when we lose a loved one. But the promises of Jesus Christ lift us up and give us a hope that is beyond anything that this world could possibly offer! Jesus told us that “he is not of this world” (see John 8:23) Jesus also told us, “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world” (see John 16:33).
Jesus Christ overcame the world at the cross! Confession and repentance of sin and simple faith (like that of a child!) in Him and what He did for the redemption of mankind at the cross is all that is needed.
Every person who ever lived has this choice:
Jos 24:14 “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD!
Jos 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Hat tips to all links.