Demonic Powers at Work in the Churches of America (Continued)
If you have read about the ‘Demonic Powers at work in the churches of America’, in the Deeper Life Forum, you should have seen that Jesus was not the only perfect man, according to God. Satan found out that Job was blameless for reasons other than that God protected him and blessed him.
I would like to encourage you to take look at one prophet’s account of what God thinks of churchy, religious people in the Old Testament. The prophet was Malachi.
He talks about the Temple, Priests and Sacrifices. You may say that is all part of the old covenant. Really, than why does Jesus tell the Samaritan woman, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.” “…true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers.”?
John 14:12-17 I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
"If you love me, you will obey my commandments. “
Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.
John 14:20-21 You will know at that time that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you. The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him."
Paul also tell the Corinthians In his first letter to them (3:16) “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?”
Therefore the human bodies do individually become the temple of God.
Part of the worship at the Temple was the offering of sacrifices. Has the offering of sacrifices stopped because of the new covenant?
Paul does not think so in his letter to the Romans. In the 12th chapter he tells them that if they wanted to know the complete will of God they should present themselves as a living sacrifice.
It was the priests that offered the sacrifices. Peter says that God’s people are still a royal priesthood.
In the first letter of Peter (2:8-9) he say that we are “They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Jesus said that He did not come to destroy the law or the prophets which means that Malachi and what he has to say about God, must still be applicable to us today.
God honored a perfect man Job, but God expressed His disapproval of people that were definitely less than perfect.
Here are some of the problems that I believe still apply to people today that believe no one can live a pure and holy life.
Malachi quotes the Lord, …” If I am your father, where is my honor? If I am your master, where is my respect? The LORD who rules over all asks you this, you priests who make light of my name! But you reply, 'How have we made light of your name?'
‘You are offering improper sacrifices on my altar, yet you ask, 'How have we offended you?' By treating the table of the LORD as if it is of no importance!”
…” "But you are profaning it by saying that the table of the Lord is common and its offerings despicable.
You also say, 'How tiresome it is.' You turn up your nose at it," says the LORD who rules over all, "and instead bring what is stolen, lame, or sick. You bring these things for an offering! Should I accept this from you?" asks the LORD.”
"There will be harsh condemnation for the hypocrite who has a valuable male animal in his flock but vows and sacrifices something inferior to the Lord. For I am a great king," says the LORD who rules over all, "and my name is awesome among the nations."
…"Now, you priests, this commandment is for you….”
“Then you will know that I sent this commandment to you so that my covenant may continue to be with Levi," says the LORD who rules over all. "My covenant with him was designed to bring life and peace. I gave its statutes to him to fill him with awe, and he indeed revered me and stood in awe before me. He taught what was true; sinful words were not found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and integrity, and he turned many people away from sin. For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge of sacred things, and people should seek instruction from him because he is the messenger of the LORD who rules over all.”
“…You, however, have turned from the way. You have caused many to violate the law; you have corrupted the covenant with Levi," says the LORD who rules over all.”
“You cover the altar of the LORD with tears as you weep and groan, because he no longer pays any attention to the offering nor accepts it favorably from you.”
“Yet you ask, "Why?" The LORD is testifying against you on behalf of the wife you married when you were young, to whom you have become unfaithful even though she is your companion and wife by law. No one who has even a small portion of the Spirit in him does this. …. "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and the one who is guilty of violence," says the LORD who rules over all. "Pay attention to your conscience, and do not be unfaithful."
You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, "How have we wearied him?" Because you say, "Everyone who does evil is good in the Lord's opinion, and he delights in them," or "Where is the God of justice?"
"I will come to you in judgment. I will be quick to testify against those who practice divination, those who commit adultery, those who break promises, and those who exploit workers, widows, and orphans, who refuse to help the immigrant and in this way show they do not fear me," says the LORD who rules over all.”
“…A scroll was prepared before him in which were recorded the names of those who respected the LORD and honored his name. "They will belong to me," says the LORD who rules over all, "in the day when I prepare my own special property. I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you will see that I make a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who does not.”
I would encourage a complete prayerful reading of the entire work of Malachi to understand the things that God express His strong disapproval of and the consequences of wrong doing.
Our Daily Walk by F.B. Meyer December 14
COMMUNION AND TRANSFORMATION
"Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him."-- Exo_34:29.
"We all, with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image."-- 2Co_3:18.
MOSES, AS he returned from the mountain of vision, where he had beheld as much of God's glory as seems possible to man, caught some gleam of the Light which he beheld. There was a strange radiance on his face, unknown to himself, but visible to all. He remained long enough in the presence of God to become saturated with the light and glory of the Lord. What wonder that he sparkled with it and was compelled to cover his face with a veil!
St. Paul refers to this incident, and show that the light which shone upon the face of Moses is the symbol of the lustre of character which shines from those who behold or reflect the glory of the Lord. As we behold the glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ, we are changed into His likeness.
There are two laws for Christian living: keep looking at Jesus until you become like Him, and beholding are changed into the same image; then reflect Him to others, and as you endeavour to reflect Him, the work of transformation goes on. "Tell me the company a man keeps, and I will tell you his character"; so runs the old proverb. We might go further and say, tell us what are the subjects of his habitual consideration--art, literature, theology, law, commerce, philanthropy--and we shall be able to anticipate the expression that will come upon his face.
If we desire to be pure and good, Christ-like and God like, we must live in fellowship with Christ; beholding and reflecting His glory, even the lowliest and most sinful may become changed into His image. How different to Moses is the unveiled glory of Christ. Let us beware of anything that might bring a veil between Him and us, and nothing will so soon do this as sin, and inconsistency. Moses wist not that his face shone, and Samson wist not that the Lord had departed from him (Jdg_16:20). There is a tragic as well as a blessed unconsciousness. Let us see to it that we watch and pray, that we may not be taken unawares, and deprived of our purity and strength whilst wrapt in unconsciousness.
We long to be holy as Thou art holy; to love as Christ also loved us; to be patient and unmurmuring as He was, and so to resemble Him that men may love Him for what they see of His likeness in us. AMEN.