The Ultimate State of Mind

The Ultimate State of Mind

Robert Wurtz II

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Philippians 1:21–24 NKJV)

 

“Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8 ESV)

 

“Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”  (2 Timothy 4:8 ESV)

I have selected three passages in Paul’s writings to demonstrate a pattern of what I call, “The Ultimate State of Mind.” That is to stay, it is the best possible state of mind and cannot be improved upon. Paul’s ultimate desire and focus were on Jesus Christ. He said it most succinctly when he stated, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” It was not death that Paul sought it was being with Christ in the literal and final sense. Matthew Henry once said that “death is a great loss to a carnal worldly man; for he loses all his comforts and all his hopes: but to a good Christian it is gain, for it is the end of all his weakness and misery and the perfection of his comforts and accomplishment of his hopes; it delivers him from all the evils of life, and brings him to the possession of the chief good.”

 

The “chief good” is that Eternal Life — to know Christ in His very presence. Since the Garden of Eden man has been estranged from God. The Gospel makes it possible to be reconciled to God and to return to know His manifest presence. It is our final and most blessed inheritance of which the Holy Spirit is the guarantee (2 Cor 1:22, 5:5, Ephesians 1:14). In modern language we would say that receiving the Holy Spirit is the down payment or deposit; it is to secure an eventuality: when “we shall see Him as He is” or in Paul’s words to be “at home with the Lord.” 

For me, the true test of my spiritual state is the strength of my longing to be with Christ. Do I love the Lord enough to long to be with Him? This is more than being loving a doctrine or concept. Most believers seem content to express their faith along these lines. But do we love His appearing? That’s the question. I have preached along these lines before and have wondered if the hearers grasped what I said. It is unnatural to want to leave this earth. I get that. But at the same time, it ought to be our deep-seated desire — our constant longing — to be with Christ. How do we know that? Because Paul implied as much when he spoke of receiving a crown of righteousness as a consequence of “loving Christ’s appearing.” The Greek tense demonstrates that the crown of righteousness is for those who love, who have loved and still love his second coming (A. T. Robertson). 

 

If we consider that 2 Corinthians was written in 58 CE and 2 Timothy in 66 CE then we know that Paul felt this way at a minimum of eight solid years. In fact, prior to going to Jerusalem, he gave this testimony… “I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:22–24 KJV). Nothing moved Paul because he knew that the worst that could happen to him was that he die: and to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. 

 

How do you frighten a man like Paul? He can’t wait to get to Jesus. Again, he stated, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy. Generally, modern translations omit the word joy (charas). Commentators rarely pass comment on it. I suspect that it’s because they can’t see how it fits into Paul’s remarks. Yet it’s clear that he was simply saying that if he was worried about dying all the time, how could fulfill his ministry joyfully? Fear of death has a way of hindering our joy. But Paul didn’t fear death. He longed to be with Jesus and in that state of mind he could face anything with joy. He could look physical death in the face as if to say, “Death, don’t do me any favors because I can’t wait to get to Jesus.”   

Run For Your Soul

Run For Your Soul

Robert Wurtz II

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.


Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:15–20 NKJV)


If there is one sin that is almost guaranteed to send your soul to Hell if left unrepented of it is the sin of sexual immorality (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, etc.). I understand that those are strong words to start an article with, but it’s true and we might as well get to the point. There are numerous times in the New and Old Testament when we are warned about sexual sin in the strongest possible terms. This means sexual activity of any kind beyond the sacred institution of Biblical marriage. And just in case we may have somehow overlooked all of the solemn verses related to this topic… we have two final warnings among the epithets in the direful lists of the doomed and the damned at the end of the Book of Revelation (Rev. 21:8, 22:15). 

With such dreadful warnings in mind I wish to focus on Paul’s imperative command to “Flee sexual immorality.” Our Greek word translated as flee in English is found in many places in the New Testament where a person is running from present danger. Perhaps the most familiar example of this concept in action is when Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife when she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. (Genesis 39:12 ESV)

 

Why run? Because we are no match for sexual sin. It’s the one thing that the longer we entertain it the more likely we are to participate in it — and it’s too late once the enemy gets a foothold in the mind and ensnares us. If we entertain the possibility of sexual sin we are already under his delusion. Run for your soul! Not as Lot’s wife who turned back to see one last time. God is warning us to turn and run while there is still hope and we are still reachable. 

Paul offers us insight into how he dealt with his own natural appetites when he remarked, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. ”(1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV) At first glance this doesn’t seem possible. Could the great Apostle to the Gentiles really be disqualified (Gk. adokimos) because of sexual sin? That’s right. He was as human as you are and I am. It was an ever present threat in this sinful world. Temptation often presents itself in subtle and not so subtle ways. Keep in mind too that the Greek word adokimos is frequently translated as reprobate. At the least he could have been disqualified from ministry… but more likely meant, based on his own frequent warnings along this line, that he could have lost his own salvation (Romans 1:28-29, 1 Cor. 6:9,10:8, Galatians 5:20-21, Ephesians 5:3-5, 1 Timothy 1:10, etc.).

   

The natural body has appetites that answer to these temptations. Paul’s solution? He took control of his own body and brought it into subjection. This means he refused to come under the control of the bodies appetites and rather pushed back with the utmost intensity and control. The Greek words are strong and mean to hit under the eye. This is not literal, but it shows the level of discipline he exerted upon himself. In other words, he was in the habit of telling his body “NO!” in the areas of natural appetites (eating, procreation, etc.). He refused to find fulfillment in the exercise of his glands. He controlled his body at all times and never allowed it to control him.

 

Deception and Separation

 

There are professing Christians in the world who are so deceived by sexual sin that they are fully convinced that flirting with the opposite sex is a valid form of expressing Christian love. They see no problem with texting other peoples spouses and speaking to them in a seductive manner. I know this because I have met them and counseled with them. It is total deception. As Christians we need to keep God’s word ever before our eyes particularly in relation to sexual sin. What did the Psalmist say? “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalms 119:11 ESV) James tells us that once lust has conceived it will bring forth sin and when sin is finished it will bring forth death. In scripture death does not mean annihilation it means separation. When sexual immorality is committed it causes death to relationships — most of all our relationship with God. 

 

Moreover, sexual sin can cause the total destruction of a local church. It can enter in to the life of one person and spread to the whole congregation. Stories abound of this sin entering churches and before it’s over the people are exchanging marriage partners and all kinds of inexpressible evil. These are not fairy tales as I have personally known of it to happen. This is why Paul warned about it so often and even told the Corinthians in Chapter 5 to turn an unrepentant fornicator over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. Why? To save the church and to save the man’s soul. He also warned the married couples not to fast for too long a period of time because in doing so it could actually open the door to Satan to lead one of them into sexual sin (1 Cor. 7:5). This could apply to any reason that a couple abstained from one another for an extended period of time. 

 

In summary, we need to do whatever it takes to make sure we do not become involved in sexual sin. I am persuaded that nothing puts a person in jeopardy of hell fire quite like sexual immorality. Why should we fool ourselves? Understand that Satan’s objective is to destroy as many lives, marriages, and souls he can with fornication and adultery. Apart from the risk it puts our souls in it also brings extreme suffering and pain to the minds of the people who commit the sin or are on the receiving end of a transgression. It defiles the person in ways we cannot comprehend and impacts the union that we have with Christ (1 Cor. 6:16ff). For one who is caught in the sin the admonition is to repent and renounce the behavior. For those who are in the throes of temptation — flee sexual immorality! And as a matter of general maintenance on our spiritual lives we need to discipline (our) body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others (we ourselves) should be disqualified.   

Circumventing Church Discipline

 

An Examination of “Touch Not the Lord’s Anointed”

Expanded Edition

Robert Wurtz II



Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him. (I Kings 2:28-29)



Joab had conspired against Solomon to bring Adonijah into power. Fearing for his life he made a last-ditch effort to save his skin. What did he do? He ran to the tabernacle and took hold of the horns of the altar. This was a practice established under the law as a means of offering temporary asylum to those who had killed someone until it could be rightly determined whether the act was accidental, justified or murder. If the act was accidental or justifiable the killer was instructed to flee to a city of refuge where the avenger of blood could not pursue them (Numbers 35:10-34). However, if a person presumed to go into the tabernacle to take hold of these horns to avoid just punishment they were to be taken away even from the altar (Deuteronomy 19:4-14 Exodus 21:14). In other words, Exodus 21:14 kept Numbers 35:10-34 from being abused and Exodus 20:13 (Thou Shalt Not Murder) or any other capitol offense from being circumvented. Joab clearly abused the practice of “taking hold of the horns of the altar” so Solomon commanded that he be struck down- even before the altar.


A Satanic Doctrine


Likewise, in the churches of God, we are commanded and expected to deal with threats to the churches and to do so with the utmost care and resolve. God (not man) established the doctrine of church discipline and He expects that doctrine to be carried out. Why? For the protection of the saints and the salvation of the sinner. Understand that no matter who a person supposes themselves to be — they are subject to church discipline. That means everyone without exception. There are no special people in the Kingdom of God who are above the laws of God. In fact, we are told in Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, and Galatians 2:6 that God is no respecter of persons no matter who they are promoted to be.


Believe it or not there are people who move within the churches who think they are special and chosen — insomuch that God has their back and will curse those who speak against them. To most of us this sounds like lunacy and devilry, but nevertheless they are there. How do we deal with these self-styled “special” and “chosen” people? We deal with them the same way we would the janitor in the church or the sinner who just joined it. God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t have a set of laws for the “chosen ones” and another set for everyone else. 


No doctrine can be allowed to circumvent church discipline. Many may call themselves ‘prophets’ of ‘prophetesses’ or even apostles, but that proclamation is no exemption from church discipline. There are no free passes for deceivers and sinners in the Kingdom of God.



Touch Not the Anointed?


We have all heard the stories about some poor soul who dared to “touch the Lord’s anointed” and his house caught on fire or he fell over dead the next day. Nonsense! If we were to sit down and draw a line from tragic events to people in this way we could make the Devil look like a saint and have a story to prove it. These falsehoods not only need to be rejected… they need to be repented of and renounced utterly. The anecdotal justifications for such false teachings abound and poor ignorant souls sit and tremble in fear lest they be cursed for touching one of these self-styled anointed ones. 


What happened? Circumstantial horror stories are used to spark the fear of God in people so that that fear can be transferred to a man (or woman) making them untouchable. The people teaching it don’t even have the wisdom to see that the doctrine itself has brought a curse. The old timers used to speak of lies that were “hatched out of hell.” This is one of them. I suggest that one of the most destructive and diabolical lies of our generation is “touch not the Lord’s anointed.” It has produced scores of false teachers and sinners who believe they are above reproach, church discipline or even criticism. Understand that people are all too willing to pull snippets of scripture and doctrine from the Old Testament that are convenient for their purposes. If “touch not the Lord’s Anointed” was merely a typical example of such nonsense it would be one thing, but this is far more severe and dangerous. 


Every scripture has a context and without it… you have a pretext. Consider this line of reasoning from three snippets from the New Testament … “Judas went and hanged himself” … “Go and do thou likewise” … “Whatsoever you do — do quickly.” This may seem comical but this is how the Old Testament is frequently abused. What about “touch not the Lord’s anointed?” God set in order a precept in the Old Testament to protect prophets, priests, and kings from abuse. He issued a warning against those that would come against the ones that He had ordained to His service (Psalm 105:15). 


However, when David sinned with Bathsheba he understood that he deserved the death penalty. Kings were not exempt. Prophets were not exempt and priests were not exempt. In fact, if a so-called prophet were to give a false prophecy he was to be put to death (Deuteronomy 13:5). Just like the case of Joab, God’s word has within itself safeguards to make sure that no principal or truth can be abused or exploited. For the false prophet and the adulterous king “touch not the Lord’s anointed” did not apply to them and could not save them in the day of their sin no more than the horns of the altar could save Joab.   



Heretical and Sinful Leaders



“Touch not the Lord’s anointed” is creating monsters in the church. We are commanded in Titus 3:10-11 to reject a heretic after the second warning and to note and shun people who do not follow the doctrine Paul set forth (2 Thess. 3:14). Don’t fellowship with them or eat with them. Paul warned us in 1 Corinthians 5 to put wicked fornicators out of the church until they repent. In other words, these destroyers of the churches don’t need just ‘touched’ they need to be excommunicated in some cases. Jesus congratulated the church at Ephesus for condemning false apostles as liars (Revelation 2:2). There can be little doubt that these men professed themselves to be ‘anointed’- not just ‘anointed’ but apostles! This is how they established themselves. It is the enemies strategy. 


There is no such thing in the New Testament as a sinner or heretic being under God’s special protection because someone believes they are or were at some point in their life anointed (like king Saul). If a person is causing destruction in the churches they must be dealt with no matter what their name or title is. I don’t care if they raised a thousand people from the dead — they are still subject to church discipline. Period. End of story. 



Only Satan could make acquiescing to lies and deceit appear nobel and biblical. He has provided the proof texts for the green light many in the churches are giving these deceivers and sinners. Prosperity peddlers, false prophets, adulterers and a host of other compromises and lies today are holding the horns of the altar as did Joab whilst pushing around the voices of Truth as did Zedekiah. Yet Solomon stated, “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD”(Proverbs 17:15). It is an abomination to allow lies and deceit to go on in order that the so-called “anointed” would not be touched. And it is an insult to God and man to condemn people who would seek to deal with the so-called anointed with “touch not the Lord’s anointed.” Sadly, many are handing the wolves the keys to the chicken house thinking they are doing God a service. It has to end. This doctrine must once-and-for-all be rejected, repented of, and renounced as the diabolical error and falsehood that it is and for the inexpressible evil that it has already caused. Perchance much future damage and destruction might be avoided. 

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