MAN'S PURPOSE - Part II
The Word of God says, “The LORD has made all things for Himself: yes, even the wicked for the day of evil. (The sense of this Proverb is that God’s Plan was designed for and by Himself. In this Plan is the Truth that the ‘wicked’ will suffer for their evil unless they repent.) Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. (Pride is the foundation sin of all sin. It breeds unbelief. God has pledged that even though the proud join ‘hand in hand,’ and despite all of their power and riches, still, they will not go unpunished.) By Mercy and Truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. (‘Purged’ denotes ‘covered’ or ‘atoned for.’ Mercy and Truth atoned for iniquity at Calvary. The moral effect of this great fact and Doctrine is to cause men to fear God and depart from evil)” (Prov. 16:4-6). Romans 1:16 states: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the Power of God unto Salvation to everyone who believes; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Pride ignores the Gospel and its Solution (Christ and Him Crucified) for the ills of man. So, how can the church believe that “joining hands” with this pride will please the Lord? How can the church expect to receive anything but the same Judgment promised to the arrogant and unbelieving when she has joined their cause?
Furthermore, as it regards Christians working with the unregenerate of this world, the Scriptures give explicit instructions to remain separate. Partnership with pagans is direct disobedience to the Lord. “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers (there are two fellowships in the world, and only two; all men belong either to one or the other; no one can belong to both and claim to be a Christian; one is with the world, and one is with the Lord): for what fellowship has Righteousness with unrighteousness? (None!) and what communion has light with darkness? (None!) Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord (as stated, the Word of God emphatically teaches separation from the world, but not isolation), and touch not the unclean thing (refers to Christians avoiding all unholy contact with a vain and polluted world); and I will receive you (at the same time, means if the person disobeys these injunctions the Lord will not receive us; the Christian can walk clean in this world only by constantly evidencing Faith in the Cross of Christ, which makes it possible for the Holy Spirit to do His Work within our lives)” (II Cor. 6:14, 17).
CALLED BY GOD OR CALLED BY MAN
The use of today’s many varied Bible translations has also given man the unfortunate ability to make God’s Word appear to say what man wants it to say rather than what it really says. A perfect example of this is Matthew, Chapter 10. Read it for yourself, and you will find that Jesus empowered and commanded His Disciples to go specifically to the “lost sheep of Israel” — to raise the dead, cast out demons, miraculously heal the sick and diseased, and preach to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, meaning Salvation had come! They were not sent to go “cure social problems.” Jesus did not just send out anyone who was willing to tag along. He commissioned specific men, chosen Vessels of His Truth. There is a major difference between those called by God and those called by man! A man called by other men will be accountable to far lesser superiors. Here, Jesus was sending His Disciples and, at that particular time, not to the Gentiles nor to the Samaritans, but to the Jews who knew and understood the Scriptures of old and were looking for His Coming. It is a gross misinterpretation of this Passage of Scripture to use it to validate that which Rick Warren calls an, “effort to mobilize Churches around the world to combat,” and he calls the five global giants: “spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, poverty, disease, and illiteracy.”
Warren incorrectly infers: “When Jesus sent His Disciples out (Mat., Chpt. 10), He said, ‘When you go into a village, you find the man of peace,’ and He said, ‘If he accepts, he’s open, he’s receptive, and he’s willing to work with you, you start your Ministry there.’ But Jesus said, ‘If you don’t find the man of peace, you dust the dust off of your shoes, and go to the next village, because you can’t always find someone that’s willing to work with you.’” But, nowhere does this Passage of Scripture even remotely instruct us to enlist the help of Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, homosexuals, or any other nonbeliever who is willing to board Warren’s “PEACE Plan.” In reading Chapter 10, we see that Verse 11 says, “And into whatsoever city or town you shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy (of like faith); and there abide till you go thence (work with them).” Jesus is speaking of people of like faith; these are the people He meant for us to work with. To be “worthy” of something, you must be in agreement with its standards and willing to live up to them. So, you are worthy of the Gospel only if you accept and practice it. Willingness to join a peace movement does not automatically indicate worthiness to Christ. The Lord specifically guided His Apostles regarding the places they should go. The Leading and Guidance of the Holy Spirit is always a requirement in doing the Work of God. No man-devised plan is worthy of our Lord either.
In Verse 7, Jesus says, “And as you go preach saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (the Kingdom was rejected by Israel)”. You see, first and foremost Israel needed to be Saved! They had rejected the Lord. Would it have made any sense for the Apostles to enlist the help of “the lost” to preach the Kingdom of God? No, of course not! How can you preach what is not in your heart? You cannot recruit the world to help you preach Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. Obviously, the Saved have to be enlisted in order to reach the unsaved. That is God’s Plan of proclaiming the Good News. So, this should be a clear sign to the church today that Rick Warren is not really doing what he says he’s doing. If Warren was really preaching the Gospel, it would not make any sense for him to be enlisting the world like he is. Here is the rest of the Passage with The Expositor’s Study Bible explanation: “And when you come into an house, salute it (bestow peace). And if the house be worthy (of like faith), let your peace (blessing) come upon it: but if it be not worthy (proves not to be of like faith), let your peace return to you (don’t bless it). And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet (a curse is now upon such). Verily I say unto you (extremely important announcement), It shall be more tolerable (degrees of punishment) for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the Day of Judgment (Great White Throne Judgment, Rev., Chpt. 20), than for that city” (Mat. 10:12-15). Please note the warning given by Jesus at the end. If the Message was rejected, Judgment was to follow. The Lord also said, “shake off the dust” if any man refuses the Gospel; there is no reason to work with him!
THE BIBLE WAY!
I can remember the giant Crusades this Ministry conducted in foreign fields. Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, and all pagan religions of the world fought us every step of the way. In Central and South America, the Catholic priests tried to prevent us from coming into the country. They went on television and warned Catholics not to attend our meetings, threatening them with expulsion from the Catholic Church if they even attended the services. But they did come, by the thousands, repenting of their sins, giving their hearts to the Lord, receiving the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in Tongues, receiving healing in their bodies, allowing the Lord to put their families back together, and introducing even more loved ones to Salvation (sometimes even to second and third generations). Great Moves of God! These Saved and changed people moved out of their pagan religions, and new Bible-based churches sprang up all over these countries. We had the privilege of building several of them – in Central and South America and in Latin America, about 59 Churches and Evangelistic centers in these countries alone.
A MOVE OF GOD
I remember arriving in Manila, in the Philippines, and being escorted by guards through the airport to a special room. We were told by authorities that we would not be allowed into the country. At that time Cardinal Sin was the head Bishop of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, and he had told the airport authorities that we were not to be allowed into the country. It was assumed that in Manila, being such a strong Catholic city, Cardinal Sin would have to be obeyed. But God prevailed in spite of the stronghold of Catholicism that day, and we were allowed in. And what a meeting we had! Thousands were Saved, and again, new churches sprang up all over the city. Since the people were coming out of the Catholic Churches in these countries, they were left with no buildings to worship in. So, many churches began under trees or right out in the open fields. We had the privilege of seeing some of the churches which began this way. When people could, they began renting buildings and later moved on into their own churches.
I was sent an article written by Benny Hinn some time back in which he was standing alongside Cardinal Sin rejoicing over the fact that he had had no problem entering Manila. He told how he had joined hands with Cardinal Sin. The Catholic Church even cooperated with his meetings. He then told of how the Catholic Church had tried to block our entrance into the city, but how wonderful it was that he and the Catholic Church were working together. He would even be sending his converts back into the Catholic Church. After our meetings, the converts went into Pentecostal Churches, mainly Assembly of God or started a church of their own. Hinn’s converts went back into their paganized worship. What a difference! (A 1997 National Assemblies of God Conference in Adelaide, Australia Benny Hinn eulogized the Pope and told of his meeting with Cardinal Sin of the Philippines and their private agreement that Sin would promote Hinn, and that Hinn would encourage Roman Catholics to remain in their Catholic faith and Church. www.deceptioninthechurch.com).
THE EARLY CHURCH
Let’s look at the Early Church. In Peter’s Sermon from Acts 2:14-47, Verse 47 says: “Praising God, and having favour with all the people (Jerusalem as a whole was favorably impressed by what they saw respecting these followers of Christ). And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be Saved (many were coming to the Lord).” Men called of God stepped out in Faith, “not fearing for their lives,” and preached the Word. It went forth by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Men listened and in Verse 41 the Word of God says: “Then they who gladly received his word were baptized (some believed what Peter said, gave their hearts to God, and repented of their sins; they were then baptized in water): and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls (on the first Day of Pentecost, the Day the Law was given, some three thousand men died [Ex. 32:28]; on this Day of Pentecost, due to the Cross, some three thousand people were Saved).” Notice the Scripture says, those who “received the Word,” that 3,000 souls were added to the Apostles’ Doctrine. In other words, men of God preached the Word, and as men, women, and children accepted the Lord, they were all brought into unity by the Spirit of God. Then, based on their new unity of belief, they could begin to fellowship and worship God. Verse 42 says, “they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ Doctrine” – again, all unified because of this one Doctrine.
Verse 44 says, “And all who believed were together (due to the great animosity of the Jews against the followers of Christ, Believers had to band together), and had all things common (due to thousands losing their jobs because of persecution, those who had material goods shared with those who didn’t).” How much clearer could it be that unity is only achieved by having the same belief? Verses 45 and 46 say, “And sold their possessions and goods (they sold things they did not absolutely need, in order that they may be able to help those who were in great need), and parted them to all men, as every man had need (proclaimed a Christlike community because of the great persecution at hand). And they, continuing daily with one accord in the Temple (in a sense, the Temple had been turned into a Church, which must have been extremely irritating to the religious authorities), and breaking bread from house to house (means that the Church per se was actually ensconced in houses all over Jerusalem), did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart (they had a joy that persecution could not hinder).” This passage is a great confirmation of what Matthew, Chapter 10 was really saying, rather than what Rick Warren says it means. Any Christian who actually reads Matthew, Chapter 10 ought to be able to see what Jesus empowered His Disciples to do at that particular time in history and to whom He specifically sent them to. Anyone should also be able to see that it is in no way even remotely related to what Rick Warren is suggesting by enlisting Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Atheists, homosexuals, and presumably whoever else he can get on-board his “PEACE Plan.” And dear reader, please remember that this is Rick Warren’s plan to begin with, not the Lord’s!
God’s Way cannot be altered. God calls a man, empowers him with the Holy Spirit, and sends him forth to preach His Word. Through this method souls are gloriously and magnificently brought into His Kingdom! All glory to God Alone!