Joseph Herrin (06-10-09)
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
In parts one and two of this series I spoke of some of the reasons for which judgment is coming upon the nations and the church. In part one I spoke of the great evil of abortion, and in part two I spoke of homosexuality. As we arrive at the end of the age we are seeing the world coming to a fulness of sin. There is to be at this time a greater manifestation of the beast nature than the world has previously observed.
From before the creation of the world Yahweh has determined to have sons in His own image, who display clearly His character. It has been according to His providence that Satan manifests something very much contrary to the divine nature. We learn through contrast. Satan stands as the great adversary, always pursuing a course that is in opposition to God the Father. His servants in this world are many, whereas the servants of God are few.
In truth, however, the nations and the people of God are not being judged because of specific acts of sin, but rather they are being judged because they have given themselves over to the principle of sin. To understand the judgment that is coming, and the reason that God will direct His people into a wilderness experience, we must understand the root of sin.
All sin, whether it be abortion, homosexuality, or any other thing, derives from the same root. The root is serving self. The root can be defined as self-seeking, or living to fulfill the desires of one’s soul. In contrast, righteousness is seeking only the will of the Father. Righteousness does not seek its own, but is giving and selfless.
It is at times difficult to discern what root a person is operating from. The difference between the divine nature and the beast nature is more readily observed when the use of power is examined. What do men and women do when they have power over another being? Do they use that power selflessly, seeking only to glorify the Father who created them. Do they use their power for the benefit of others, to protect the defenseless and to care for the widow and the orphan? Or do they use their power for selfish ends, caring not whether they kill, steal and destroy as long as the lusts and passions of their flesh are satisfied?
Money is one form of power. Much can be learned about the root from which the church operates by examining their use of money. Is this form of power utilized for selfish ends, or for selfless ends? The prevalence of a doctrine of prosperity and materialism reveals how selfish the church has become. The majority of the people of God are focused upon consumption, upon maintaining a life of ease and comfort. They are encouraged to pursue the things their own souls desire. Such an attitude is the antithesis of the life of Christ.
"I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
Consider how foreign such a confession is among Christians today. Who among the people of God can declare that they are doing nothing of their own initiative? Who can testify that they are not seeking their own will, but are living solely for the will of their Father in heaven? The church is operating out of the soul when they have been called to walk after the Spirit.
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Those who are sons of God are being led by the Spirit of God. To what degree are they to be led by the Spirit of God? The answer should be obvious. Christ said that no man can be His disciple unless they hate their own psuche (soul). Christ never acted upon any desire within His soul. He was fully submitted, directed, and empowered by the Spirit of His Father in all things. Christ is the pattern man for all saints. It is to a fulness of the stature that belongs to Christ that Yahweh has determined to bring His people.
Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
We will only arrive at the fulness of the stature of Christ when we can testify as He did, “I never do anything of my own initiative. I only do the will of the Father.”
We must understand that the struggle of the ages is defined as the life of Christ versus the life of antichrist. The carnal mind of fallen man is contrary to the mind of Christ. The Adamic mind always seeks to satisfy self, and the end of this mind is observed in the life of Satan who comes only to kill, steal and destroy. There is a way that seems right unto a man, but it ends in death. The church has adopted the Adamic mind, the antichrist mind, seeking to satisfy their own soul. God must completely divide between Christ and antichrist in this hour. He must bring each of His sons and daughters to make a clear division in their own lives. It is not acceptable that they serve the spirit of Christ at times and the spirit of antichrist at other times. They must not halt between two opinions, and God will bring all double-mindedness to an end.
Let me state this plainly, if you are serving the desires of your own soul then you are walking after the pattern of antichrist. Christ never served His own soul. He lived only to do the will of His Father. Are not all those ANTI-Christ who walk contrary to His own life?
The prosperity doctrine of this hour is antichrist. Christ never sought His own will, or comfort. Had He done so, He would never have consented to the cross, or to the daily trials and sufferings that were His portion from the Father. Do not be deceived! If you are pursuing the desires of your own soul, then you are walking as antichrist!
It is easy for the church to point to Barack Obama and declare him to be a type of the antichrist, but few are discerning that they are operating by the very same principle. The church today is also largely antichrist. There are few overcomers in this hour.
It has been noted that the day the election results were announced declaring Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States that the pick 3 lottery in his home state of Illinois came up as 6-6-6. A few weeks later the news announced that a new heavily armored Cadillac had been created for the new President, and the Secret Service had nicknamed it “The Beast.”
Men who are granted power while lacking the divine nature will perform acts of great atrocity. Yahweh has testified through His holy apostles that pure religion will protect the weak and defenseless members of society. Yet the current President has repeatedly refused to defend the weakest members of society. He voted four times, while an Illinois congressman, against a law that would protect babies born alive during a failed abortion, a law that would have mandated that they receive medical care.
Yet it is not the President who is alone responsible for the cruel and diabolical treatment of the weakest members of society. Millions of women who also lack the character of God are freely walking into these abortion clinics and asking the staff there to rip the living being from their body and to discard it that they might continue on in an uninterrupted pursuit of selfishness.
Nor are the women alone responsible, for the women are not impregnating themselves. It is the lust of men that is responsible for the murder of over fifty million children in the past 36 years since abortion was legalized in this nation. All abortion is the product of lust. Serving the passions and desires of the soul is a manifestation of the beast nature, which is antichrist.
Undoubtably, there are multitudes of men and women who have objected to the wickedness of killing babies in the womb of their mothers who are themselves acting lustfully, and selfishly, in many areas of their lives. Such ones protest the symptoms of mankind’s malady without addressing the root. If men and women were conformed to the divine nature, if they were to cease lusting and acting out of selfish desire, then abortion would instantly cease.
The same thing could be said of homosexuality. Homosexuality is a physical parable of a spiritual condition. Homosexuality is a parable of mankind in love with his own image. It is the sin nature at the fulness of maturity.
We have a President who has done what no other President has done. Before he has been in office six months he has declared homosexuality, this vile manifestation of the mature beast nature, to be a virtue. He has said it is to be praised, honored and protected. What he has done is to proclaim that selfishness is an human virtue, while daring anyone to say it isn’t so. Yet the church has been proclaiming the same thing for many years. The church has been proclaiming selfishness, a pursuit of the desires of one’s own soul to be a virtue as long as there has been a prosperity gospel. This gospel was manifested in the first century of the church and is epitomized by the church of Laodicea. It has found its fullest expression in this hour.
Homosexuality (love of self) doesn’t profit society in any way. Those who practice it receive in their bodies the due penalty of their actions. They also call down upon themselves and those around them the judgment of a holy God. Is not the body of Christ suffering the effects of its self-love in this hour? Is it not the body unable to defend itself against sickness even as those who are affected by the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)?
People of God, do not be deceived! That which the church reviles and condemns, they also practice. The body of Christ has lost its ability to defend itself against the ravages of sin because it has given itself over to a love of self. The church has fulfilled the words of Paul:
II Timothy 3:1-4
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self... lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God...
The church has incurred the same consequences in its body as have those who practice homosexuality. Why? Because the church is spiritually practicing homosexuality. They are lovers of self, lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God.
The church at this present hour is marked greatly by the beast nature. There is little evidence of the divine nature to be found among them. The same sins that are in the world are manifested among those proclaiming to be Christians, at times even exceeding that which is observed in the world. Yet, it is not the outwardly egregious transgressions that are such a snare to the body of Christ. It is the inward attitude of the heart, and an innate selfishness that is the greater danger.
I recently had a discussion with my daughter Kristin about this topic. I love my daughter very much. Kristin is 21 years old and has a very sincere love of the Lord. She is growing in conformity to the image of Christ, and I am well pleased with her.
Our Father in heaven continues to labor to bring all of His sons and daughters to maturity. I observe patterns in people’s lives, and they often reveal the particular area that the Father is working upon. In the past few months my daughter has spoken to me about wanting to get a dog. She adored the Cairn Terrier (think of Toto in The Wizard of Oz). She began looking at them online, and was considering getting one. They are quite expensive, and none could be found locally, which gave her reason to pause and consider whether the Lord would have her to get one.
Not long afterwards there were several young men who expressed interest in Kristin. Many young women would be swept away with the desire of their soul in this area, and Kristin was led to consider the attractiveness of being married and having companionship. She has a strong commitment to knowing the will of the Father in the great decisions of her life, and God is leading her to have the same commitment in the small decisions of life. Her foremost desire when approached by these young men was to know the mind of God and His desire for her.
Last week Kristin went horseback riding, which she occasionally does. She was told by a friend that she could buy a horse from her for only $50. The horses were beautiful, and once more Kristin’s soul was stirred to consider a desire that was resident within her. I am blessed to say that Kristin is much more patient in considering whether acquiring something her soul desires is the will of God than I was at her age. She has waited in each of these situations to know the Father’s will.
Few are the people of God who have been willing to subject the desires of their soul to the will of the Father. Self-love has trumped the love of God in most Christians’ lives. Kristin is learning that when a desire of the soul begins to get stirred up, if one fixes their attention upon it, the desire grows stronger. When Kristin began considering getting a puppy she began looking at pictures of them online, and the desire to have one increased. The Adamic nature is contrary to the nature of Christ. The Adamic nature sees something and desires it, and will ultimately pursue that which it desires.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
Our soul is greatly stirred up by the things that it focuses upon. How difficult it is to turn away from the world that is all around us. The world around us provokes the soul to lust, and the works of fallen man serve only to increase this desire. Advertising is all about grabbing a person’s attention and increasing desire. Images are prominently displayed on every hand. Men and women practice this advertising individually as well. They dress and behave in ways that will provoke desire in others. Daily the people of God walk through a world that cries out to their soul with ceaseless enticements. A great many have not understood that it is NOT the will of God that they give themselves over to the pursuit of the world and all it offers. Pursuing the world and the things in it is the spirit of antichrist.
I John 2:15-17
Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
In my younger days I allowed myself to be convinced that the requirements of Christian discipleship were not the same as they were 2,000 years ago. I knew that Christ did not own a house, or have possessions in this world. I knew His apostles lived the same way. I read about the early church in Acts selling their possessions and laying the proceeds at the apostles’ feet to be shared with the widows and the orphans and the stranger in need. I knew of Paul’s words to Timothy:
I Timothy 6:7-8
For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
Yet, I knew no one in my sphere of existence who lived with such contentment. I was raised among people of God who sought after many things of this world, who accumulated possessions as fervently as the unregenerate citizens of the nation we lived in. Material acquisition was lauded in the church in which I was raised, and my soul fully agreed with this pursuit. If it were not for the patience and perseverance of God on my behalf, I would still be walking in a manner wholly displeasing to Him, seeking many things of my own initiative, living to do MY will, while paying lip-service to God.
As we approach the end of this age, our Father is allowing mankind to see the full and mature fruit of the beast nature that seeks its own will and is never satisfied. An entire nation that calls itself Christian has murdered over fifty million babies in a single generation in order that their pursuit of selfish pleasure may not be interrupted. Those who console themselves with the thought that they have not been a party to an abortion should realize that all abortion is the fruit of the spirit of antichrist. At its most basic level the spirit of antichrist is self-love, and a majority of Christians are ruled by this spirit. When one gives themselves to a pursuit of the things their soul desires they are practicing the same root principle that leads to abortion and homosexual relationships.
Do not judge by appearances. God sees the heart. Seeking anything apart from the will of the Father is a manifestation of the spirit of antichrist. Whether that which one seeks is a heterosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship, whether one seeks sex outside of marriage or a relationship inside of marriage that is not the will of the Father, if a person is living for self and for pleasure rather then for the love of God, then they are manifesting the spirit of antichrist. The Spirit of Christ is succinctly stated as, “I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
God will force His people to make a choice in this hour. They will be brought to choose between Christ and antichrist. Ten years ago when the Lord directed me to begin following Him wherever He would lead me, He began by stripping me of the accumulated possessions of 38 years of living. I was directed to leave my home, furnishings, entertainments, and a mass of possessions behind me. The Lord then directed my family and I to a much simpler walk in this world. We were directed to be content with having food and covering. God was faithful to provide these things, but He did not provide every desire of our souls as we had formerly been accustomed to seeking after.
I have often encountered the argument from people that God has not called them to live as I do. Some have argued that such a lifestyle is totally impractical. I can agree that people are not to model their lives after the specific circumstances of my own, but they are to live by the same principle, for the principle is that of Christ. It can be summed up in the following words, “I can do nothing on My own initiative. I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
This is the same Christ who spoke to a Scribe who desired to follow Him by declaring, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” In essence, Christ was telling this man, and all who would hear His words, that He required nothing from His Father. Beasts demand a home, some dwelling place and possession in this earth, but Christ lived only to do His Father’s will. Christ was content with whatever provision His Father chose for Him. So too must ALL take as their own the same attitude toward this world if they would be Christ’s disciple.
Some might argue that God has not chosen for them to live a life that is markedly different from their neighbors. I too might have once argued the same. It is difficult to divide between soul and spirit. Quite often, those things we attribute to the leading of the Spirit of Christ were actually done at the leading of our own soul. Do you desire anything other than to know the Father’s will and to do it? What then is the source of these other desires? Occasionally the Spirit will place in our hearts a desire for something that He desires to give to us, but in the vast majority of instances our desires arise from our own soul. We must differentiate between soul and spirit.
In the past ten years I have learned to be content with whatever provision the Father has chosen for me and my family. At times we had no home of our own and lived with friends. At times we lived in rented quarters. At times we lived in a motorhome. We moved about frequently, and had no permanent dwelling we could call our own. This experience is soon to become that of a great many Americans, and especially those among a remnant of God’s people who are called to walk as overcomers in this world.
The Bible declares plainly, if you do not hate your own soul then you CANNOT be a disciple of Christ. There is a cost, a very high cost, to being a disciple of Christ, but none who choose to forego the temporal pleasures and comforts of this life to follow in the footsteps of Christ will ever come out the loser.
II Corinthians 4:17-18
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The people of God are being asked to forego the things which are temporal in order to gain things which are eternal. The things which are temporal are the only things the eyes can at present see. This is why we must overcome the lust of the eyes. We must not give ourselves to pursue those things that our eyes gaze upon. We must pursue that which is unseen.
We will only walk away from this present world system if we set our focus upon that which is unseen. My daughter has blessed my heart as I have witnessed her turning away from the things her soul desires in order to not fall short of the will of her heavenly Father. She is willing to delay, and even forego, sating her soul in order to attain to a far higher goal and possession.
I Peter 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yahshua Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Yahshua Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you...
God is determined to have sons who share His character. What then must He do to accomplish this end? He will have to separate His people from the world, by violent means if necessary. He must then lead them to take up the cross that alone can bring an end to the beast nature and cause a spiritual creation to arise within them. He must take them down a path of suffering where the flesh with all of its passions and desires is put to death.
The Spirit is testifying that there is an arduous path to be trod by the people of God. It will require tremendous endurance to see the journey through to its end. A difficult trek lies ahead of the people of God. It will be a marathon, not a sprint. It will require perseverance and endurance to see it through to the end, but the grace of God will be abundantly supplied to all who are willing. Our Father is committed to losing none of those who have been appointed to salvation.
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