GLORY TO GOD – 2007!!!

 

My Dear Friends in Jesus Christ:

 

The New Year of 2007 is coming upon us. And we are entering what will most likely be seen as a pivotal year in the history of the Anglican Communion – if not in the Christian Church as a whole. 2007 promises to be a year when the True Followers of Jesus Christ will become highly visible in their stance for the purity of the Christian Faith as it has been passed down through the ages since His Death and Resurrection.

 

Orthodox conservative Christians have faced difficult times over the past several years. The lay members and clergy advisors of Anglican Essentials Manitoba have faced much in the way of veiled and not-so-veiled persecution over the past several years. However, it will all seem like a walk in the park compared to what will occur in the coming year(s). And standing firm will be difficult. There will be tremendous temptations placed before True Christians in the coming days. Some will feel an increasing apathy and a desire to think that, as long as they hold their position in Christ, nothing else matters. Others will be tempted to feel weak and unable to do anything to influence the difficult situations. Some will feel a strong urge to simply jump ship and move into a more comfortable environment. Others may even wish to join the wayward Church in some tacit manner so as to undertake a road of least resistance. And still others may be given a spirit of fear and intimidation from the Evil One such that they will cower from the Godly stance of courage that will be necessary in the days to come. In some cases, Satan will use even friends and family members to try to daunt those who would otherwise be so bold and foolish as to stand firm in the Name of Jesus Christ.

 

But none of these is anything but the counterfeit deception and trickery of the Satanic powers. And Christians will need to stand firm in the confidence of the Steadfast Love and Faithfulness of Almighty God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Against the Truth of God in His Living and Written Word there is no defence for the forces of evil. Victory will certainly be under the Hand of God in whatever form it may come!

 

I am writing this missive under the compulsion of the Holy Spirit given during long periods of prayer and interrupted sleep as both a warning to God’s people of the pressure and stress that is ahead and a call to stand firm in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is not to be considered as a clandestine or secret missive in any way. In fact, I am calling upon you to digest it and share it in verbal or written form with all persons God the Holy Spirit places before you. This is not just for “our people.” It is for all those who would call upon the Name of Jesus – validly invalidly. The job of the reader is to absorb it and pass it on.

 

Over the past century and a half the pure faith has been under unprecedented attack from within the Church as well as from without. The complaints of Isaiah 5:20-21 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” (NIV) have been seen in their once again coming to fruition. There is a clear spewing from the mouths of the so-called “avant guarde” theological community that is attempting to change the unchangeable and eternal Divine Will as it has been known throughout Biblical history. These “modern” teachings, as is well known to the orthodox conservative community, are attempting to make what God has always labelled evil seen to be good for today. What has always been seen as matters existing within the darkness of sin are now being openly purported to be residents of the light – not only from the mouths of the secular world but also from those of ones who want to make such statements from their high ecclesiastical positions while retaining those positions despite their refutation of all that they vowed in undertaking such offices.

 

Those who can be labelled revisionist /liberals (despite their great aversion to such labelling) make a great remonstrance of their being liberal in thought, inclusive in tone, tolerant in stance, and all loving in action. However, as has been clearly shown over the last year, these persons are very closed in their thinking. Their inclusiveness is only for those who would wish to live within the same sinful existence that they proclaim s being good. There is no tolerance of those who would stand for the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. And their “loving actions” are reserved for their friends while those who disagree with their positions and stand for the Apostolic Faith of Jesus Christ are persecuted to the best of their ability. The faithful clergy and laity throughout Canada, and especially in British Columbia, have found themselves ostracised, punished for their faithfulness to Holy Scripture, relieved of their Churches and, in  the case of Clergy, their licensed leadership roles. Threats are levied against their livelihood by the minions of Satan. All forms of deceptiveness, deceitfulness, vengefulness, anger, and hatred have been exercised against the True People of God by those who claim to be inclusive and tolerant. All possible means are used to intimidate those who will not toe-the-line of the “blind guides” who are attempting to herd the unknowing masses onto their route to Hell!

 

Some will consider these to be overly strong words. And, in that many of those holding to these evil positions are doing so without any deeper understanding of the truth (albeit also not willing to even consider the Truth) but living within that which they have been taught and the limits of what they know, such could be true. They have been taught to live in a relativistic world of revisiting, revising, and reinterpreting all that is repulsive to their human senses and know no better. But, their only chance of Salvation is to be found in visiting, or being confronted by, the Truth that is found only in God’s Divine Word (Logos) – Living in Jesus Christ and written in the Holy Bible. Such is the teaching of the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus found in St. John 17:17. The primary act of love is to state and uphold the Truth of God before them.

 

Further, the orthodox conservative believer in the Truth of Jesus Christ must take His Divine Words to heart. Jesus clearly proclaimed in St. Mark 8:35-38, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."  (NIV) This makes it clear that the True Christian must be willing to place the plain and clear tenets of the faith above even his own life. To do otherwise is to declare oneself unworthy of Christ and His Salvation.

 

Throughout Holy Scripture it is clearly seen that priorities of life are first Almighty God and His Service, second the spouse God has provided, third the children of that union under God, fourth the labour God has given, and fifth the social and recreational lives in which we find relaxation. None of life, for the human being in God’s Creation, can make sense or be valid in content unless The Divine Trinity resides at the apex as the object of our love and primary dedication.

 

Jesus’ parable of the Sheep and the Goats (St. Matthew 25:31ff) is extremely important to the Christian in this consideration – especially in the light of the year ahead in 2007. There is a tendency to focus upon the actions of the sheep and the factors that entered into their salvation. The thesis is that they performed the actions with integrity while the goats did not do so either by wilful neglect or failure to recognise the necessities. However, it is also necessary to note that the goats spoke in the Name of Jesus and performed many things in the Name of Jesus, as well. They were functioning in the vein that many of today’s Christian leadership works – using the Name of Jesus but carrying out their effort in friendship with the evils of the world. And this is an element of which all True Christians must be extremely wary. To work in any other mode than that of the Gospel and True faithfulness to Jesus Christ is serious and convicting error that can lead to the reward of the goats.

 

St. Peter warned the Christians of his time to beware of the Devil who is like a roaring lion pacing up and down looking for prey to devour (1 St. Peter 5:8). He goes on to say that this Devil can be conquered by Faith in Jesus Christ and keeping our eyes firmly fixed upon Him above and beyond all other concerns.

 

St. Paul is rightly concerned about such matters as well. He clearly states this concern and his solution to it in his first letter to the Corinthians wherein he states, “No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (NIV - 1 Corinthians 9:27). Herein St. Paul recognises that it is not just Christian preaching but how the Christian also “lives” his preaching that is important. St. Paul recognises the human propensity to fail itself while proclaiming high standards to others (as did Jesus make a similar warning in St. Matthew 23:2-4) and the need to constantly check the self so that, having brought others to the Salvation of Jesus Christ, the individual Christian will not qualify him/her self!

 

St. Paul also proclaims the methodology of victory in his discourse on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10ff). He first makes the reader clear in the understanding that it is not simply flesh and blood that is the enemy but rather spiral forces of evil that truly confront us – often in human form. But, he clearly lays out the formula for victory over this evil in the “whole armour of God.” The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shod with the Gospel of Peace, the shield of faith, and the helmet of Salvation. All these are defensive tools that allow withstanding the wiles of the Enemy. Then St. Paul reveals the one and only weapon given to and required by the Christian – the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. This self-same two edged sword is seen to be protruding from the mouth of the Risen and Glorified Christ in the Revelation to St. John the Divine (1:16). In this the Christian is referred back in mind and spirit to the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus where He prayed the Father to protect His followers in the world through His Truth – and then defined this Truth to be His Divine Word – the Logos!

 

While giving ones life into the hands of Jesus Christ, no matter what may be the temporal consequence, can be a frightening venture – truly and impossible one without full faith and trust in the Holy Word of God – the True Christian can be certain of the presence and action of the Lord Jesus. Such assurance is given throughout the Holy Scriptures. The primary tenet of the Old Testament is the steadfast faithfulness of Almighty God. The assurances of Jesus Himself and His Apostolic witness in the New Testament continue this guarantee in the economy of Salvation. The call of Jesus is one that requires full and complete dedication under all circumstances. However, it is also given in the assurance of His Divine Love and Salvation.

 

St. Paul adjures St. Timothy to remember that True Christianity is not a faith of fear and retreat. He writes to St. Timothy, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (NIV - 2 Tim 1:7) In Christ the True Christian receives a spirit of power to be used in God’s Love and under self-discipline. It is in this power that the True Christian is guaranteed the victory.

 

So my dear friends, as 2007 comes into being, I adjure you in the Love of Jesus Christ to use all that Almighty God the Father gives in His Son Jesus Christ via the dynamic Presence of the Holy Spirit to stand firm in the Gospel. Do not allow anything or anyone to bring to you a Spirit of Intimidation. Stand firm in the face of the Satanic Evil that is being displayed before you. Receive the power, love, and discipline of Jesus Christ to use all God has given to not only resist these Satanic Forces but to overcome them. Do not let fear lead into a false sense of trying to save one’s own life. Rather offer up that life to the person of Jesus Christ so that the self-same life may be Saved in Him. Live in the power of the Spirit. It is such disciplined action in the Holy Name of Jesus The Christ that the individual Christian attains to the Created purpose of God in Life!

 

But, in undertaking this strong and powerful action, be careful not to fall into the trap of the Church of Ephesus. Do not forget your first love in Jesus Christ while standing firm in the Gospel. Remember to hate sin but to love the sinner and reach out in the Name of Jesus who cried, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” And beware of the apathy of Laodicea. The tendency to say that all is well if my personal belief is firm and to back away from all other action is alluring in its safety but sinful and leads to Almighty God spewing such out of His Mouth! Further such action can make the True Christian vulnerable to the Satanic wiles that endeavour to separate and marginalise the individual Christian so that each can be dealt with alone and in a clandestine manner without the strength of the full Body of Christ being present.

 

In facing up to 2007 then all True Christians are called into strong and firm action in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the full Body of Christ. No matter what threats or Satanic actions are undertaken by the Evil One, the Will of God will prevail to His Honour and Glory. And True Christians as a Body are called to Glorify Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in their supportive and active participation in accordance with His Divine Calling. The Sword of the Spirit, The Holy Bible, which we are all vowed, as Christians, to understand as “Being the Holy Word of God and containing all things necessary to Salvation,” is in the Hands of God’s People. Satan has no stance against it. Thus ultimate Victory is the only clear possibility!

 

May God bless each and every one of you as you enter this New Year. Take this Word and Pass it on!

 

Your brother in Christ,

 

Larry +

 

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