Run For Your Life!

Run For Your Life!
Robert Wurtz II


But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. (Genesis 39:11, 12 NKJV)

There are some temptations, which the most effective means of avoidance is not a protracted argument, prayer, rebuking the devil, or anything else: it is to run for it! Joseph understood this. It’s as if the man was fleeing from a thousand pit vipers. Time was of the essence. He was mere seconds away from total destruction. Solomon tried desperately to instill in his sons the wisdom Joseph was moving in. He wrote, For by means of a harlot A man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life (Proverbs 6:26 NKJV). The KJV uses the phrase, “a whorish woman…will hunt for the precious life.” Hunters go to great lengths to conceal themselves in order to ambush their prey and take them unawares. Joseph understood that he too was being hunted; so his instinct was to run.

A Mighty Hunter of Souls

No matter what form it takes, fornication (sexual immorality) is a mighty hunter of souls. The time would fail to discuss how men like Sampson, David, or cities like Sodom and Ephesus had been reduced to a crust of bread by sexual immorality. Sampson carried off the gates of Gaza, but was effectively “slain” by a whorish woman. Sampson was not the type of guy to run from anybody; hence, his downfall. There are some situations where the only solution is to make a break for it; scram; beat it; get out of Dodge; head for the hills; clear out; bolt; or any other imperative verb phrase you can think of. The way you win the battle against fornication is to flee in fear for your life!

Flee Fornication

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body (1 Corinthians 6:18 NKJV).

Although the world makes light of sexual sins, the Bible places the strongest possible warnings against them. Sexual immorality is a sin against one’s own body that effects a person in a way different than any other sin. All of the terrors of Dante’s Inferno do not rival the warnings in the New Testament. Paul writes:

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. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 NKJV)

This is not an isolated passage. In Galatians 5:19-21 Paul gives a similar list and then adds this statement, I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. The great Greek scholar of the late 19th century, A.T. Robertson, gives this comment, “Do not be led astray by plausible talk to cover up sin as mere animal behaviourism. Paul has two lists in 1 Cor. 6:9, 10, one with repetition of oute, neither (fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, or malakoi, abusers of themselves with men or arsenokoitai or sodomites as in 1 Tim. 1:10 a late word for this horrid vice, thieves, covetous), the other with ou not (drunkards, revilers, extortioners). All these will fall short of the kingdom of God. This was plain talk to a city like Corinth. It is needed today. It is a solemn roll call of the damned even if some of their names are on the church roll in Corinth whether officers or ordinary members.”

Making a Break For It

Except for people born with the gift of being eunuch, human beings have a preprogrammed, God-given, natural desire for procreation. It was given to Adam and passed to his progeny in order to replenish the earth. It is a good, natural desire. The problem is when that good natural desire is fed by impure thoughts and images until it becomes an unnatural lust. This is why we must abstain from the very appearance of evil. Lust is a desire that seeks to control you. The more it is fed, the more powerful it becomes. People do not just wake up one day and start breaking boundaries and doing unnatural things. It comes as a direct result of feeding a natural desire until it becomes a controlling lust. Solution? Run! Turn aside! Discipline your eyes and ears! Don’t allow your mind to be filled with impurity. 

The famous last words of a Christian are “I can handle this.” You and I are no match for fornication or anything that would lead to fornication. The only way to fight the battle is to flee! Avoid the source of temptation. If you can’t handle it, get rid of your TV, computer, cell phone, iPad or anything else that the devil is using to hunt your soul. Jesus said if your eye offends you, pluck it out! It sounds harsh, but once Sampson’s eyes were put-out by the Philistines, he could finally focus on God again. I’m not telling you to pluck out your eyes, but I am saying get rid of whatever would lead you into sexual impurity of mind, and or body. Amen. 
    

A Substitutionary (Python) Spirit

A Substitutionary (Python) Spirit 
Robert Wurtz II

Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. (Acts 16:16)

We have the familiar story of Paul the Apostle encountering a woman that was possessed with a demon. A spirit of divination is the Greek pneuma puthoœna. Hesychius defines it as daimonion manikon (a spirit of divination). The etymology of the word is not clearly known (Robertson). Vincent suggests a Python. Python, in Greek mythology, was the serpent which guarded Delphi. According to the legend, as related in the Homeric hymn, Apollo descended from Olympus in order to select a site for his shrine and oracle. Having fixed upon a spot on the southern side of Mount Parnassus, he found it guarded by a vast and terrific serpent, which he slew with an arrow, and suffered its body to rot (puqei√n) in the sun. Hence the name of the serpent Python perhaps means “rotting”; Pytho, the name of the place, and the epithet Pythian, applied to Apollo. The name Python was subsequently used to denote a prophetic demon, and was also used of soothsayers who practiced ventriloquism, or speaking from the bellyBengel suggests puthesthai from punthanomai, to inquire. Certainly Luke does not mean to credit Apollo with a real existence (1 Cor. 8:4). Plutarch (A.D. 50-100) also says that the term puthoœnes was applied to ventriloquists (eggastrimuthoi). In the LXX those with familiar spirits are called by this word ventriloquists (Lev. 19:31; 20:6, 27, including the witch of Endor 1 Sam. 28:7). (see Vincent, A.T. Robertson)

False Inspiration

It is possible that this slave girl had this gift of prophecy “by soothsaying” (manteuomeneœ). Present middle participle of manteuomai, old heathen word (in contrast with propheœteuoœ) for acting the seer (mantis) and this kin to mainomai, to be mad, like the howling Dervishes of later times. Dervishes were Muslim’s first appeared in the 12th century; they were noted for their wild or ecstatic rituals and were known as dancing, whirling, or howling dervishes according to the practice of their order. (Webster) This young woman was moving in a demonic spirit that was substituting itself for an operation that can only justly and rightly be occupied by the Holy Spirit of God. The demon that possessed this woman was an unholy spirit, in an unholy person, speaking true statements. 

The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. (Acts 16:17, 18b) 

Paul’s reaction? He was grieved after listening many days. Vincent suggests rather, worn out. Both grieved at the sad condition of the woman, and thoroughly annoyed and indignant at the continued demonstrations of the evil spirit which possessed her. It is not fully known why Paul waited to cast this demon out. Certainly it verifies the testimony of the demon that attacked the sons of Sceva, “Paul I know and Jesus I know, but who are you?” The demons knew who Paul was. Paul did not need the affirmation of demons. It was of no benefit to the preaching of the Gospel. The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be carried not under the inspiritation of unclean spirits, but by the inspiritation of the Holy Spirit of God. 

Deceiving the People

At some point in this woman’s life, she became possessed by this demon. That is common sense. She obviously opened herself up to it by being continually subjected to its influence. Every human being on the face of the earth is a temple: the question is, they are a temple of what or who? Not all people are demon possessed that do not know Christ, but they are still indwelt by the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2). Those that are demon possessed have obviously underestimated the spiritual nature of the world we live in. Some have gone far enough to invite the demon to possess them. This is why it is foolish and dangerous to subject yourself to the influence and working of demonic spirits that operate in this present evil age. Multitudes come under demonic influences as they subject themselves to secular activities that move upon the people. The Holy Spirit strives with man, but so do demon spirits. 

Substitution

Paul spoke of the Corinthians being “carried away” unto dumb idols. Music has the ability to “carry one along.” This is why the Israelites danced and carried on before the Golden Calf. Their is a spiritual dynamic to these things, just as there is a Spiritual dynamic when believers sing praises unto God. The Psalmist spoke of God “inhabiting” the prises of the people: do we not understand that the enemy desires to “inhabit” the places where men are being lifted up? The time would fail to give example after example of Rock star, Rap singer, and other genres that admit to having “sold their soul to the devil” or “made a pact with the devil” in order to be successful. Rock bands speak of “feeding off of the energy” that they draw from the crowds as they play. Any desire to venture a guess where this energy comes from? Unclean spirits? This is how the enemy substitutes a spiritual need to worship – with a counterfeit of himself. People “feel” something and it is often more than soulish, it is spiritual (demonic). It is earthly, sensual or demonic or it is earthly+sensual+demonic. In either case, Christians should be vexed by it, even as Paul was. 

Python



All demonic spirits are “pythonian” in nature. That is to say, they want to influence you away from God, to distract you, to squeeze you, until you have no desire for God and His Spirit. He wants to create a scenario where God is not welcome so he can come in and influence in His place. This is the great danger. Once it starts happening the people begin to resent the entire notion of holiness. They have subjected themselves to the demonic until they are in agreement with that demons rebellion against God. That is the simplest way to say it. Any person that resists holiness is under the influence of the demonic whether they know it or not. it does not matter that they cry day and night “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.” The Holy Spirit will always lead us to separate ourselves from these type of things. He cleansed Heaven of them and as Temples of the Holy Spirit He wants us cleansed of them as well. What folly is it that a Christian would want to subject themselves to the spirit that was cast out of heaven? It is because they are under its influence and stand in need of repentance and deliverance. If the desire for God is leaving or is gone; if the desire for holiness and righteousness is gone; if there is a general desire to live in the world and agree with it – there is a demonic influence that has taken hold. Renounce all behavior leading up to this effect! Renounce it forever. God is well able to deliver, but one must not be fooled into believing they can eat at the table and drink of the cup of devils and serve God at the same time. Hell will be full of such people. 

New Feet On An Old Path

New Feet On An Old Path
Robert Wurtz II


Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before. (Joshua 3:4)

The children of Israel were preparing to cross over, with much anticipation, into the Promised Land. The people have their concepts of what this new life means, but the reality of the matter is that they have not passed this way before. Their forefathers wasted away and died in the wilderness until only Joshua and Caleb were left to lead. Rebellion springing from evil hearts of unbelief had so plagued the people that they did not enter into His promised rest. God having put all the unbelievers out, He was preparing to lead His people into a place that they could not now conceive of – a place where God would be present in such a way that He would carry all of his enemies before Him. 

Sanctify Yourselves

When God comes near our attention must be arrested and all preconceived notions of God must be cast down – to make way for the God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. It was not time to think of God in a way they had thought of Him before or they had seen their rebellious forefathers think of Him: it was time to sanctify themselves and prepare for His arrival. For had God been with them He had driven their enemies out from before them – but rather the devil ran wild among them even as he does in our day. What shall we do Joshua? “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” Why Joshua? Because you have not passed this way before. You have been a lot of ways, but you have not passed this way. You have tried a lot of gimmicks, but you have not passed this way before. 

By This Shall You Know


And Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites: Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. (Joshus 3:10, 11)

God was about to drive the enemies out from before the Israelites. All He needed was to come – just to show up – in His manifest presence and the enemy would flee. Perhaps you’re already thinking of the passage: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:7, 8) This has always been the pattern of it. When we are finally prepared to submit ourselves to God, we will know the manifest presence of God. But He must be exalted in our eyes. He must be sanctified in our hearts. We cannot think of Him as anything man-made, for He is the only “only one.” There is none like unto Him. Their forefathers perished  having concocted a “god” after their own lusts and imaginations that they might “play” before it. Jehovah (YHWH) was not a demon, whom they were dancing and playing around as if it were the lord. He is the majestic exalted One that holds all power in His hands. When He moves none can ask Him, What doest thou? You will know what the One True God is among you, because He will drive the enemy out from before Him. 

Jesus the True Joshua

When Jesus came into the world and began His ministry he was moving in an authority that was carrying all principality and power before it. Demons would fall at His feet and beg him not to destroy them or torment them before “the time.” Even the Disciples struggled and could not cast a demon out of one dear child that threw him into the fire and the water. Jesus was not happy. He referred to them as a twisted and faithless generation and demanded that the child be brought to Him. Jesus rebuked the demon and the child was healed instantly. (Matthew 17:15-18) Later they asked him why they could not do it – He said because the type of demon vexing the boy came out only by prayer and fasting. It took an extraordinary walk with God to deal with it. We need an extraordinary walk with God in this crisis hour. 

New Feet on an Old Path

The Disciples were often content in those days to allow Jesus to do the fasting and praying. They allowed Him to spend the time in communion with the Father. But as with Joshua so too with the Disciples, they will need to sanctify themselves and prepare for the coming of the Lord (inward and into man). He was not coming this time to take up residence in a building, but in the very Bodies of the people. Sanctify yourself Peter! Sanctify yourself John! For you have not passed this way before. You have walk with the Lord Jesus and you have healed the sick, but you have not passed this way heretofore. When God came in the book of Acts a history broke out upon the human race never before seen in human history. God was among the people carrying all before Him. Sometimes we forget how dreadful these times were. They watched Jesus ascend into Heaven after He had been raised from the dead. There is nothing like unto that in all of the scriptures. The Spirit was poured out and a transformation took place so complete, that it ushered 120 people into the Kingdom of God at once. They were moving in a reality no human being save the Lord Jesus Christ had known to this point. Sanctify yourselves you 120! Prepare the way of the Lord!… for you have not passed this way heretofore. The Lord Jesus had walked in this reality and now the 120 would take it up. Stunning things happened. Fearful things.

When God Comes

 By the time we get to Acts 5 two people had been smitten dead by God for lying to the Holy Spirit. Herod made the dreadful error of exalting himself in the presence of God and was was struck dead where he stood and worms ate him. (Acts 12:23) In the next chapter a pretender named Barjesus decides to act out in the midst of a move of God and the hand of the Lord came upon him – blinding him for a season until he could get some sense. Consider these verses to get a feel for what it must have been like to have lived the “book of Acts experience”:

“And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.” (Acts 2:43 KJV) 


“And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.” (Acts 5:5 KJV)



“And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.” (Acts 5:11 KJV)


“And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.” (Acts 19:17 KJV)

Chapter to chapter there are signs and wonders being performed, even demons being cast out. God was near and He was driving out His enemies before Him. The only limitation to this reality is when the people decide it is no longer necessary to sanctify themselves before the Lord. For Joshua and those that came across the Jordon they refused to throw down the gods and altars that littered the landscape. God warned them in Judges 1 and 2 that he would no longer drive their enemies out. Why? because the people were trying to entertain the very thing God wanted thrust out. So He left the enemies in the land to be thorns in their sides. God has often given the people what they demonstrate by their conduct that they want. 



God Came and God Went

The majority of people in Israel did not want God. That is why they died in the Wilderness. Had they wanted God, He would have never allowed them to die there. They wanted their sin and they longed to return to Egypt. They took a look at God on Mount Sinai and wanted no part of “that God.” So they fabricated one themselves to play around. This will be the pattern of the people over the centuries. Finally God is preparing to roll-out again. As bad as He wanted to stay – He cannot live in the filth of sin. The more the prophets called them back to the covenant the angrier and more high-handed the people became. Alas God laid it on the line in Jeremiah 6 when he stated emphatically:

Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BA)”>
    who have eyes<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BB)”> but do not see,
    who have ears but do not hear:<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BC)”>
22 Should you not fear<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BD)”> me?” declares the Lord.
    “Should you not tremble<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BE)”> in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BF)”>
    an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
    they may roar,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BG)”> but they cannot cross it.
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BH)”> hearts;
    they have turned aside<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BI)”> and gone away.
24 They do not say to themselves,
    ‘Let us fear<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BJ)”> the Lord our God,
who gives autumn and spring rains<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BK)”> in season,
    who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BL)”>
25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
 your sins have deprived you of good. (NIV)

It might as well read as a newspaper headline. people are committing sin in such high-handed ways that our forefathers would turn over in their graves. Nobody is asking “where is the Lord?” They are dancing around the golden calf of the man-made gods of much of modern Christian TV and radio. When was the last time you turned on the TV and trembled because He and not men were being exalted? When was the last time a mainline minister – ministered a sermon that so exalted Christ that it made you tremble before a holy God? They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BJ)”> the Lord our God. 

Passing this Way

There is a way we need to pass that does not travel through the well trodden paths of the lusts of men; but a path like unto Israel walked when it followed behind the Ark of God or when the Church was born in the book of Acts. We cannot look back to a reference point and say “we will do this” or “we will do that” because you have not passed this way before. You have passed a lot of places and you have heard a lot of things, but you have not passed this way before. The way of separation and holiness. The way of set apart unto God – ness. A place of fasting and prayer. A place where the demons will know who Christians are unlike the bygone years of, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (Acts 19:15) There are no reference points outside of the book of Acts or moves of God like unto that – that we can look to. God has moved in book of acts power in times past, but for the overwhelming majority of us you have not passed this way before. May the Lord lead us into that place of absolute separation and faith that we may do his will in this desperate time. May the Lord speak to us words of direction that we might follow him as they did in the book of Acts. Not falling behind and not getting ahead. May the Lord gives us ears to hear once again what the Spirit is saying unto the churches. 




  

For They Shall See God

For They Shall See God
Robert Wurtz II

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

Our passage on the surface seems to put the future prospect of seeing God completely out of reach for all of us. For if our hearts must be pure in order to see God, who will ever see Him? Reading this passage as a child “purity of heart” seemed to be such a lofty and unattainable thing. Long before the years would come when greater sins and temptations would surface, even a child realizes that their heart is contaminated with thoughts that do not please God. Blessed are the pure in heart? It would seem easier to travel on foot to the moon than to attain to such a place. 

Would You Be Free?

An old hymn asks, “Would you be free from the burden of sin?” This is the great question. Until we are prepared to say “yes” to this question, we will writhe under the bitterness of our sins. When the issues are brought out, we will react defensively. We will seek to hide ourselves from any light that reflects upon our burden, because we have no answer in ourselves. We have done our best; are doing our best; and our best is apparently not good enough. We know we are falling short and we are not happy being reminded of it. We don’t want any help. We want to be left alone to deal with it ourselves. What hope can their be when we are in such a condition? God has to bring us to a place where we want, more than anything else, to be free from our burden.

The Cleansing Power of the Blood

The New Covenant affords us a new heart, but there are times when our hearts need to be cleansed. The writer to the Hebrews offers us tremendous insight into how our hearts can be purified and the burden lifted. We read, How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14) Only the blood of Jesus Christ, applied by faith through the Eternal Spirit, can answer our sins. Only the blood applied will cause our conscience to lie down so we can get back to business serving God with a pure heart. John agrees,  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2) Jesus Christ was the price paid to remove the sense of offense that existed between us and God. Without propitiation; without the blood of Jesus Christ poured out in death; there would be no means of ever looking God as it were “in the face” again. We could not come boldly into His presence and eye to eye. Without the blood all we know to do is to flee from God’s presence. 



No Conscious Sin

God’s will is that we repent of all known sin and that we walk before him with a clear conscience: that is to say, with no conscious sin. We are to walk before the Lord without any unrepented sin. If we are continuing in a behavior we are not repentant, nor is our conscience clear. Our conscience is designed to alert us when we are doing something against what we know is right. If we are entertaining the possibility of sinning or looking for opportunity to sin, we are unrepentant. The Lord came to save us from our sins not in our sins. We all must come to God as sinners, but we cannot remain sinners. If He is truly our Savior He will save us from our sins. The Holy Spirit will make war with anything in our heart that does not please God. Paul said it this way, This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. (Acts 24:16 NKJV) and Peter said it similarly, There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21 NKJV) When we are in Christ we are to walk before the Lord with the answer of a good conscience. If we refuse this path then we risk what the Psalmist reveals, If we regard iniquity in our heart the Lord will not hear us. (Psalm 66:18) Godly sorrow, that is, a sorrow that is “God-wards” comes as a result of our response to God dealing with us. When we know that our sin is against God and in His sight then we will sorrow from a right perspective. Once by God’s grace we truly acknowledge, renounce and forsake our sin, we are enabled by the Spirit to maintain that attitude towards it so as not to turn back to it. 

Knowing the Balance 

Once we reach the place where we are unwilling to allow God to lift our burden and cleanse our heart, we are in a bad place. Sin can have such a hold on a person that they hold to it as if it were a lover and will resent a call to repent as sure as a person counseled to abandon a dangerous relationship. This is what God told Israel, Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. (Ezekiel 23:9) God had reached out over and over and in many splendorous ways. But the occasional sin had grown to be a lover. Sin can become a “personal sin” if we are not careful. No one can speak to us about it and we have no intention of giving it up. We have to be careful. Many people have abandoned their relationship with God and trod over the blood of Christ out of a refusal to allow God to “free them from their burden of sin.” Once a sin replaces God in the life – God and his presence become expendable desires.  

The Blessing of a Pure Heart 

There is a confidence that comes with knowing our hearts are pure before God. What a blessed (happy!) place to be. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. (Psalms 24:3,4) What a wonderful thing to know the presence of the Lord! But it was from here that Satan was lifted up with pride and was cast down. In our happiness and zeal we must also guard ourselves lest in our excitement and zeal we forget that we were once purged from our old sins. It was His shed blood, not our works that afford us this blessedness. God was patient with us and we must be patient as well. This does not mean that God excuses sin, He does not; nor does it mean that we leave the impression that it is OK to “sin that grace may abound.” Our confidence is in God and our right relationship with Him, not in the fact that we have victory over sin in our lives. Our confidence is in the fact that our names are written in heaven. God resists the proud – He gives grace to the humble. If we can walk in humility in the times of victory, we will have victory.


 

Does Time Sanctify?

Does Time Sanctify?
Originally Published July, 2011
Robert Wurtz II


But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. (1 Corinthians 10:20)

We live in an age where almost everything is being redefined; good is being called evil and evil is being called good. Indeed, three hundred years of Christian influence in the West is fading fast. Full-on paganism is resulting. This means that things that were obvious just 40 years ago are no longer obvious. The 1950’s and 60’s ushered in a rebellion that threatens to overthrow any semblance of good and right. That was over 50 years ago now.

Paying attention to the demonic

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1 Timothy 4:1)

There are many ways this passage can be applied in the circumstances of life and history. Yet, as time goes on this passage rings more and more true. ‘Some’ indeed are departing from the faith and others are fellowshipping with devils. You may ask, “What are you talking about?” The only reason you would ask that is because society has become so dark that many Christians can’t even tell the difference between the things of God and the earthly, sensual, and demonic. They have been seduced by devils into entertaining evil things until they can no longer make distinction between what is good and what is evil. They may carry all the same tags, “Christian, ‘Spirit-filled’, believer, leader, disciple, pastor, teacher, Pentecostal, etc.” and not even have the ability to discern when something or someone comes of evil. They are seduced and being seduced. In fact, they may have become a host for the propagation of more evil, diabolic doctrines and ideas. Evil spirits are animating these false teachers adding to their power to deceive.

Time Sanctifies Sin and Satan?

The world is under the influence of Satan. The Kingdom of God is a place where the people are under the influence of Jesus Christ. These kingdoms are mutually exclusive and not compatible. That seems like common sense, but obviously it is not. The enemy has used subtle means to infiltrate Christian culture (if there is such a thing). Main stream Christian radio today in the United States is so secular sounding that I struggle to tell the difference between it and its songs and it and the world. Its as if the masses are so duped, that they will swallow down almost anything that the devil puts the label ‘Christian’ on. If its says ‘Christian’ it is suddenly sanctified, no matter how worldly or diabolic it was before. In fact, the things we were taught as children were evil are now in vogue. It is in vogue to dress like a prostitute, for example. All it took was about 30 years for the props, figures, and means of identity to become sterilized by time itself (I guess). I mean, does time sanctify a thing? Time seems to have sanctified Rock and Roll and all manor of secular music. Time seems to have sanctified worldly and diabolic TV and movies. Time sanctified the Ouija board and vampirism. Just give it time and hell itself will be sanctified I suppose. And no one dare say anything! Can time sanctify? If it was evil 50 years ago it is STILL evil. Time sanctifies nothing.

Expressing Affection for the World

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)

The first thing we have to do is get the leaders and influences in the mainstream right with God. How can a local guy preach separation and holiness when so much of the so-called Christian mainstream emulates the world at almost every turn? Seriously. Do we somehow think that because such and such Christian band or such and such ministry is doing a thing that God is letting us off the hook? Would you jump off a cliff if someone else was doing it? But today the AUTHORITY is in the POPULARITY. This diabolic mentality runs contrary to everything in the scripture from Genesis to Revelation. But you have to read the bible to know that. You have to detox from all things secular, get alone with God and recalibrate your spiritual senses. The more nonsense my comments are to you- the more influenced you probably are by the secular world. You are under their spell man. Snap out-of-it! Are we to follow a multitude to do evil and then mock the lone voices of descent? Shadows are gathering and deathbeds are coming. We will answer to God for what we allow in to our sphere of influence.

From Preaching Against it to a Ministry Tool?

How on earth could something that was not allowed in the life of a believer 50 years ago suddenly become commonplace in ministry? Why in the world have we allowed our time and tested Christian hymns that were based on the scriptures be replaced with Rock and Roll, or watered down sensual atmospheric music? Why in the world would we make our worship services look like a rock stage? Have we gone mad? Seriously. Could you imagine Ozzy Osbourne dressing his concert stage up like a church? There is no way unless he did it to mock us. What diabolic influence has came in to make us think this stuff is sterile and can be used to worship a holy God? Nadab and Abihu would be horrified, and yet this madness goes on like its free. Where is the shame? Then we wonder why kids are leaving the churches in droves. Stop giving them the world with a Christian label stuck to it. Turn the lights back on and act like children of light. Preach the truth to them. Do what we did 10 years ago. Have we gone to hell in a hand-basket in 10 short years? Sober up and get that devilish stuff out of the churches while you still have breath in your lungs. Repent of this wickedness.

I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils

People do not offer blood sacrifices to the devil today- they offer their bodies as living sacrifices to him. they mark themselves up and dress themselves up and then fill themselves up with every possible evil thing that will identify them with anything and everything except Jesus Christ. They are living sacrifices for the world. They worship through the giving of their bodies. This is as plain as anything. To do similarly, no matter what our profession, is to have fellowship with devils. To engage in this type of worship, through the identification of ones person and the submission of ones affections is effectively devil worship no matter how it is sterilized. The result is full-blown enmity with God. The solution? And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4) The world is headed for total destruction. Why would we want to partake of and entertain these type of things on any level? A line of demarcation has already been drawn. The time to sober up and get on the right side is now. Away with demonic influences that confuse the mind. Away with conformity with this world. If you conform to this world (Romans 12:1) you will not offer your body to Christ as a living sacrifice- you will offer it to this world and the devil. You are going to offer it to someone. We all have to burn for something. Would to God that a clarion call to come out from among this world unto a place of separation to God would be sounded from the housetops while the churches of God still have a distinct identity and the world can still tell a difference betwixt us and them.


No Light

For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:20, 21 ESV)

Light hurts the eyes of those that are used to darkness; this is commonly known. The light exposes or manifests the reality of what things are. Darkness conceals reality. Ephesians tells us that whatsoever does make manifest is light. It only stands to reason that a person that is not willing to deal with their evil behavior will avoid ‘light’ being cast upon them. They will not acknowledge their sin so that it may be reproved. They hide it, make excuses for it, justify it, etc. In this state he/she will not read the Bible, will not come to church where Holy Spirit conviction can be felt, and they will not pray in a meaningful way so as to touch God. The Holy Spirit will not always strive with man in reproving and convicting. (John 8:46; John 16:8). This is a fearful consideration. The Spirit of God will utilize the Word of God to bring conviction of sin and drive home the reality of a future judgment. This disturbs the person’s personal peace; that is to say, it disturbs the scheme they have set up within themselves to ignore their consciousness of their estate before a holy God. They build a fortress of self-deception designed to keep God from disturbing them in their selfish life. Light breaks in upon this scheme as the rising sun through the window of a sleeping man. To escape this unpleasant intrusion and exposure, the evil person cuts out the light of Christ. In effect, they pull the shade.

Pulling the Shades

We discovered that the reason why individuals don’t want any form of light is because their deeds are evil and they plan on remaining evil. Simply put, they don’t want God dealing with them. This is a dangerous state to be in. They avoid light. So what are we to make of Christians that want to always tone down the light supply (as it were) that is cast upon the churches of God and replace it with some lesser thing? Based on our passage, we can only conclude that they are hiding something. They are not wanting the full light of Christ to illuminate, lest they be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God. The scheme that men use to protect themselves from the light of Christ suddenly begins to influence the light in the meetings of the churches of God. Leaders hold more influence over the amount of light in a meeting than anyone. If the leaders are backslid, you can forget God moving in most situations. We would see a wholesale change in many circles if the leadership would simply get right with God and repent of their thirst for evil. Seriously. It is a sad day when those being led have to rebuke the leaders for their compromise. Where are the leaders that would challenge the people to rise higher in God? Where are the leaders calling the people to a higher level of righteousness and holiness? Where are the leaders raising the standard and leading the people as salt and light into this present darkened world? Judgment has to start with the house of God and in the House of God it has to start with those that are in the lead. That is as simple as anything.

Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard. (Proverbs 13:15)
It only stands to reason that compromise and ministry do not mix. Imagine this, all the cares of the ministry added to the hard-way of being a transgressor. That would amount to a stress no one can handle for long. The true peace that comes with knowing things are right is invaluable. A leader in compromise is surely a pitiful case.

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

In the Kingdom of God, Christ did not choose a half-in, half-baked, half-backslidden group to preach the Gospel to the then known world. Sure, they may have failed Christ miserably early on, but a case can be made that they really loved Christ and when given opportunity were restored and filled with the Spirit of God. They became new creatures FULL of the Holy Spirit and Fire. You could tell it in their speech. They overflowed with the wonderful works of God. Their minds were bent on God. Serving Christ was not a hobby. Christ was not the result of a brainstorm in the formation of a new social club. He was not an excuse to get together and flirt with some of the opposite sex, rub elbows with young people, or ‘hang-out’ and have fun. He was the very CENTER of all that was going on. He was not the hole in the donut. In fact, these men and women were the ‘real deal’ and because they were the ‘real deal’ they got real results. God moved powerfully among them. When they rose up they spoke of Christ and when they did lie down they spoke of Him. The whole ministry was Christocentric (Christ-centered).

I recall as a young person getting together with a bunch of youth and young adults for a cook out. Being the ignorant young christian I was, I actually brought my bible. Someone says to me in effect,’ look, the spiritual guy- he brought his bible.’ I came there ignorantly thinking we were gathering together in the name of Christ for a Christ-centered gathering. I figured the food and fun would be peripheral things, and God would be the main subject. I was terribly wrong. When I left a bible discussion did break out I’m told and it ended up in an argument. I say God deliver us from this type of lame Christianity. That could have scarred me for life. But fortunately I was stoking my own fire as the old-timers used to say.

Everyone who does wicked things hates the light

It is a sad day when a Christian is in bad reputation for always taking their Christian walk too far. But there it is. Can there be such a thing? Or rather, is the life of one that genuinely desires to serve God too much light shed upon the corruption of the lukewarm and backslidden? Just asking. I mean, why on earth would a Christian ever be criticized for trying to do and teach what is right and good? If I didn’t have any better sense I would think the people with this attitude are double-agents. Why not? Could you imagine Paul or Peter telling a young brother to tone down his love for Christ and step up and get a little fun-loving self-desire going? That is insanity. As if Jesus Christ is not worthy to be burned for and we need to relegate some of that fire to some worldly thing. But this is rife in young adult and youth ministry today. It is a bible-less, ramped-up, hyped-up, noisy mess in many cases. Seriously. Its as if a generation that loved this world and the devil has found a way to morph together serving God and serving the devil until they do all the same things sinners do, except they direct them towards the object of Jesus Christ or ‘God’ instead of this world and the devil. This satisfies their inward desire for worship, but it is a pseudo spirituality. It is emptiness. Vanity. It is a devilish mixture.

Identification With the World

Much of what is called contemporary ministry today is nothing more than worldliness with a christian label slapped on it. I remember the day when our beloved 88.5 FM changed formats to compete, apparently, with K-LOVE. Out went the wholesome music that we all grew up with that are older than 40 years. Out went the hymns. Out went most anything until even Keith Green was too radical for mainstream programming. They must have been losing market share. What did they exchange for? “Positive and encouraging.” Notice a key word missing- edifying. The litmus test for all we do in the churches of God needs to be two things; 1) does it truly glorify God 2) does it edify the churches (the people). People may testify that they feel ‘up-lifted’ but this is a temporary fix for a long term need. Its like a sugar fix when you need complex carbs and a balanced diet. You need spiritual sustenance that builds you up.

I kid you not, I have done this exercise several times. I have turned on the radio in my car and asked my teenaged kids if they could tell me ‘Christian’ or ‘Secular’ as I flipped through the dial. They were often wrong. The sad thing is, it was almost impossible to tell the difference in many cases. But there it is. Soon the whole city was without a means of having wholesome singing. In fact I have had exercises with brethren where we pulled out the hymnal and just read the lyrics to compare them with ‘contemporary Christian music’ so-called. It was a shocking disgrace. It’s was like grape juice compared to watered down Kool-Aid. For real. May as well admit it. We had lost our way and are at risk of losing Christianity.

“The Heaven Function Not the Presence of God”

At the risk of being labeled a heretic I must add that ‘strings’ or the so-called ‘heaven’ function on a keyboard is NOT the presence of God. Often these things are akin to New Age Meditational music, masquerading as God’s presence. When the Holy Spirit truly comes He convinces the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. He don’t come to bring nice fuzzy feelings that don’t challenge our lifestyle. I recall meeting New Agers traveling to be in Benny Hinn’s meetings in 1993 because they had a ‘spiritual feel’ or a ‘mystical feel’ to them. That is not to paint all things of this kind as evil, but we need to know what the presence of God is and is not. If the power goes off and the ‘feeling’ goes away it was not the presence of God. Period. End of discussion. Our God does not need strings to make Himself known. He don’t need a keyboard. You might say, “David played a harp and demons would leave.” This is true, however, David was a man after God’s own heart and it was the worship of the man that drove off the demons. It was God in David, not the instrument. Keep that clear.

Getting Back?

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:12-14)

I’m sure that some people think that because I reject what is going on today that I’m just some morose spirited guy that is just looking for a reason to gripe. They see me walk in the meetings and walk back out. They hear my comments and say, “There he goes again.” Or better yet, “Don’t mind him, that’s just how he is.” But I want to ask you the reader to consider this passage. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness. If you knew you would stand before Jesus Christ in the next 3 seconds would you want to be found in a high state of expectation or in some place of compromise? Do you really know who it is that you will stand before some day? I know we focus a lot on love these days, and maybe even to a fault. But consider the Divine revelation that John saw; And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (Revelation 20:11) The heavens and the earth are going to flee from the face of God into oblivion; because the truth is they can flee but they cannot hide. All things are naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. This is not Bambi Jesus. This is the Lamb of God as it had been slain ready to tread the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God Almighty. If you had and I had a revelation of God as He is we would play far less games than we do, I’m certain of it. We would take this Christian life a lot more seriously. Even as the Rich Man in hell wanted to warn his family, but was told that those on earth have the Word of God- let them hear that. One second into eternity and we hear with our own ears the doorposts tremble, as the Cherubim cry HOLY HOLY HOLY, and our minds are going to sober up as if we drank down an ocean of coffee in a moment of time. Gone will be the foolish ramblings and the cynical attitudes. I’m asking those mine accusers to find me ASAP when we all get before the throne and tell me then that I took Christianity too far. Tell me then that I should have taught young people to have more fun. Tell me then that all this reading the bible and prayer was unnecessary.

The night is far spent, that is to say, shadows are gather and death beds are coming, they are coming for you and for me. This is a picture of the Sun about to arise on this wicked world. No one can stop it just like no one can stop the sun coming up in the morning. We should live as if the Sun were already up and we were already before the Throne of God. The old hymn asks, “why should we linger and heed not His mercy, mercy for you and for me.” We need to put away the watered down Kool-Aid, friends, and get some hymns and sermons with some meat on them. We need to get what we need that will compel us to cast-off the darkness that so many are in love with. It’s Time. It is high time to awake out of sleep- for now our salvation or damnation (which ever we choose) is nearer than we think.

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