Standing in this new age

While listening to moms who discussed with me the very real dilemma of their young teen aged children not understanding or seeing why gay and lesbian rights are a problem, nor why there is an issue with people living together before marriage, or just living together; I thought through some things my children and I have discussed over the last few years as they have encountered more and more how friends or team mates reason regarding these issues in society today, and sadly even so the Christian families. Because of this I took some time to wait on the Lord and search the Scriptures once more for perspective and understanding, not just for myself but also to equip my children to be able to stand in this new age of living where vile is called holy and immoral is called moral.

I would like to take the time to share some of what I have discovered in the hope to encourage you too, to stand.

As mentioned, after a few discussions with various mothers as well as reading an article on President Obama’s visit to Africa where he chastised the leaders of the nation he was visiting for not allow gay and lesbian rights, I turned once more to the Word of the Lord for guidance. (Sadly South Africans weren’t even given the option to vote regarding these things, gay marriages were just brought in and that was that)
I was preparing for a Bible Cell lecture on Renewal of the Mind with this issue in the back of my own mind as I read 2 Thessalonians 2 where the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica to warn them about the rumours going around that Christ’s second coming had already happened and to encourage them to not be shaken in mind because of these rumours as there are a number of things that first need to happen for Christ to come and collect His precious bride. I also saw this as an encouragement not to be shaken in mind because of the things we see happening in the earth today, but to single-mindedly keep our eyes on Christ. He writes:
            V3 – Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first {unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come} and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perditions), who opposes and exalts himself so proudly and insolently against and over all that is called God or that is worshiped, {even in his actually} taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining him {from being revealed at this time} it is so that he may be manifested (revealed) in his own appointed time. For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world, {but it is} restrained only until he who restrains is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one (the antichrist) will be revealed and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and bring him to an end by His appearing and coming. The coming of the lawless one (the antichrist) is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of {pretended} miracles and signs and delusive marvels – { all of them} lying wonders – and by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and strong delusion to make them believe what is false, in order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe in {who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely on} the Truth, but (instead) took pleasure in unrighteousness. (Amplified)
2Th 2:1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering to him.
2Th 2:2  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now restraineth will restrain, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the spirit of his mouth, and will destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11  And for this cause God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12  That they all may be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Clearly the Word warns us here of the man of sin, lawlessness that firstly we each need to deal with in our own lives, as individual temples of the God inhabited by the Holy Spirit, and then also in the church today. The lies that are in the world are creeping into the church more and more these days. We have had glimpses of these things over decades and centuries as far back as the first church, but it is on the increase again, like in the time of Rome. This apostasy that Paul warns about is also something we as individuals need to watch out for in our own lives first, that we not fall away from the faith of Jesus in our own hearts by agreeing with that which is ungodly, and then also within the church, people who fall away from the Christian faith as well as whole churches taking as true, that which is false, is also a form of falling away, or apostasy.

David Wilkerson wrote a book called The Vision, which I have not had the privilege of reading and which is not easily available here in South Africa despite trying to get it. I have however found bits and pieces of what he wrote in this book online and one section where he warns regarding church, how there will be churches who end up not only agreeing to wed gay and lesbians, but will later go as far as calling them brave for standing up for themselves as well as defending them. He also warns about nudity in the church, which is also something the Apostles in the Bible warn against. In the period 2005 for 2006 as there was a drive for the freedom of cultural expression in churches and in the Christian faith, there was a debate or talk show on TV where prominent leaders of various church denominations were on national television explaining the steps they have taken to integrate culture and cultural practices into the church and church services. One in particular said; “I invited the young girls to come and express their culture by doing a dance on stage in front of the assembly in their traditional topless wear, and all the people rejoiced.” This is also nudity in the church. May God have mercy on us as believers, on those who are church leaders and as churches.
We seem to forget that fully and wholeheartedly serving Jesus has nothing to do with culture. Jesus set out a whole new way of life for us in the Word, all we have to do is follow that way of life, it is completely free from all and any cultural boundaries and stigmas. It is the only completely free way of living! These things spoken of both in Scripture as well as in this prophetic warning by David Wilkerson are happening in the earth now.
Here in South Africa since the turn of the millennia there has been fierce contention and debate in certain church denominations regarding these things. They have gay and lesbian leaders within these denominations who preach from their pulpits. A month ago the newspapers were defending the plight of gay and lesbian “ministers” of God within this denomination. These are NOT ministers of God!!! Let’s just set that straight at the onset. Romans chapter one explains in no uncertain terms the error in believing that being gay or lesbian is of God. So there, we already have an example of this warning, by both the Apostle Paul in Scripture and David Wilkerson via this book, being fulfilled in our day and age. It is all part of the anti-Christ spirit; it is all part of rebellion. Rebellion against the very God that created man and woman, the very God who established church before the foundation of the earth. In the book of 1 Timothy we see the requirements of the workers of God. So also in Titus 1 and 2 Timothy 2v 24 to 26.
Another wonderful example of what true shepherds should look like is when one reads Ezekiel 34 in the positive so we can see what the true shepherds of God look like. So one would then read it something like this; Blessed are the shepherds who feed the flock, who strengthen the weak and heal those who are sick, who bound up the broken, and brings back those who were driven away and who seeks that which went lost and who do not rule with force and cruelty – then we read later on how Jesus displays what He as the True Shepherd would come and do, and He did this when we read John 10 v 1 to 18. And He was anointed to do this according to Isaiah 60 v 1 to 3 (one should read the entire chapter it is such a beautiful promise) and then this is fulfilled in Luke 4 v 18 to 19. And for every one of us who are in Christ, filled with His Holy Spirit and baptised, this same anointing rests in us, for it is by the working of the Holy Spirit we do these things, not of ourselves.
It is also an abomination to call it marriage, this union between same sex people. When one makes a proper study of the word marriage, and what marriage entails in both the realm of the spirit, the picture of the church and the extraordinarily beautiful covenant between man, woman and God, one cannot with good conscience call these couplings marriage!

Apostle Peter warns in 2 Peter 2 about the false teachers that will come into churches and who will deceive people.
            V1 – But also {in those days} there arose false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among yourselves, who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines (destructive heresies), even denying and disowning the Master (the Lord) Who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their immoral ways and lascivious doings [feeling or showing strong sexual desire]; because of them the true Way will be maligned and defamed [because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed]. And in their covetousness (lust and greed) they will exploit you with false (cunning) arguments. From of old the sentence {of condemnation} for them has not been idle; their destruction (eternal misery) has not been asleep. For God did not {even} spare angels that sinned but cast them into hell, delivering them to be kept there in pits of gloom till the judgement and their doom. And He spared not the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven other persons when He brought a flood upon the world of ungodly {people}. And He condemned to ruin and extinction the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ashes {and thus} set them forth as an example to those who would be ungodly. And He rescued righteous Lot, greatly worn out and distressed by the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless – for that just man living {there} among them tortured his righteous soul every day with what he saw and heard of {their} unlawful and wicked deeds – Now if {all these things are true, then be sure} the Lord knows how to rescue the godly out of temptation and trials, and how to keep the ungodly under chastisement until the day of judgement and doom. And particularly those who walk after the flesh and indulge in the lust of polluting passion and scorn and despise authority. Presumptuous (and) daring {self-willed and self-loving creatures}! They scoff at and revile dignitaries (glorious ones) without trembling. Whereas (even) angels though superior in might and power, do not bring a defaming charge against them before the Lord. But these {people}! Like unreasoning beasts, mere creatures of instinct, born {only} to be corrupted and destroyed, railing at things of which they are ignorant, they shall utterly perish in their (own) corruption, {in their destroying they shall utterly be destroyed}. Being destined to receive {punishment as} the reward of (their) unrighteousness {suffering wrong as the hire for their wrongdoing}. They are blots and blemishes, revelling in their deceptions and carousing together {even} as they feast with you. They have eyes full of harlotry, insatiable for sin. They beguile and bait and lure away unstable souls. Their hearts are trained in covetousness (lust, greed), {they are} children of a curse {exposed to cursing}! Forsaking the straight road they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam (the son) of Beor, who loved the reward of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his own transgression when a dumb beast of burden spoke with a human voice and checked the prophet’s madness. These are springs without water and mist driven along before a tempest, for whom is reserved forever the gloom of darkness. For uttering loud boasts of folly, they beguile and lure with lustful desires of the flesh those who are barely escaping from them who are wrongdoers. They promise them liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of depravity and defilement – for by whatever any one is made inferior  or worse or is overcome, to that {person or thing} he is enslaved. For if after they have escaped the pollution of the world through {the full, personal} knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they again become entangled in them and are overcome, their last condition is worse {for them} than the first. For never to have obtained a {full, personal} knowledge of the way of righteousness would have been better for them than, having obtained {such knowledge}, to turn back from the holy commandment which was {verbally} delivered to them. There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit and The sow is washed only to wallow again in the mire. (Amplified)
2Pe 2:1  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will privately bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2  And many will follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth will be evil spoken of.
2Pe 2:3  And through covetousness they will with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved to judgment;
2Pe 2:5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
2Pe 2:6  And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example to those that afterwards should live ungodly lives.
2Pe 2:7  And delivered just Lot, grieved with the habitual lewdness of the wicked:
2Pe 2:8  (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, grieved his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
2Pe 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished:
2Pe 2:10  But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
2Pe 2:11  Whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
2Pe 2:12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption:
2Pe 2:13  And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day-time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14  Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: they have a heart exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
2Pe 2:15  Who have forsaken the right way, and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
2Pe 2:16  But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet.
2Pe 2:17  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
2Pe 2:18  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that had quite escaped from them who live in error.
2Pe 2:19  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for by whom a man is overcome, by the same is he brought into bondage.
2Pe 2:20  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
2Pe 2:22  But it hath happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and, The sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.

It is no longer good enough for us as parents to just tell our children that sexual relations outside of marriage is sin or wrong, or that living together is wrong or that gay and lesbian relationships are wrong or abominable to God. (More lies and deceptions are lulling our societies to sleep, not just these, but then this piece of writing will become a book J.) No, we need to train them in the full truth of the Word of God. It needs to be part of every fibre of their being. They need to be raised with a love for Jesus, He is the person of Truth. They need to understand why God said these things are wrong and abominable.  Standing in the truth and living it out leads to God protecting us and no harm will come to us. This does not mean there won’t be suffering, but it means our perspective of that suffering changes to see it as that which God intended it for in our lives, to yield more holiness, and a character more closely conformed to that of Christ’s. It is through having to release our faith and put our trust fully in what God promises in His word while we are going through a fiery trial , that causes the Word of God to be wrought into the very fibre of our being, it is then that the Word becomes flesh to us, when we live and experience it. So let us teach and encourage our children to operate with their faith, to exercise it. God promises in 1 Peter 3 v 13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
We need to equip ourselves and our children through the Scriptures to be able to give an account for what they believe as is stated in 1 Peter 3 v 15 to 17 But set apart the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better if it is the will of God to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
The same goes for things like Islam and other faiths being a way to God as well. It is a lie! Just last year in Germany an Imam was asked to pronounce a peace blessing in the Christian church where Martin Luther released his thesis in the time of Reformation. Allowing false religions and antichrist faiths to minister their faith in our churches are not right! The Word explicitly says, lest two are in agreement how can they walk together? World peace will never come by uniting religions; it comes by accurately living out the life of Christ in our societies. Pointing people to the Light, to Jesus the Truth, that and only that can break yokes, open blind eyes and deaf ears. Only Jesus and faith in Jesus can bring change, nothing and no one else. Let us not be so easily deceived. To be honest I don’t believe there will be world peace, not if I read the Scriptures.

We need to remember that Satan is the father of lies, so the lies that we often find ourselves believing, these doctrines that demons teach come from him, but we can be of good cheer for Jesus says the Devil is a defeated foe and a fleeing serpent and that He has already overcome him and the world and that, that very victory Jesus wrought through His death on the cross and His resurrection, we now have, it is called faith.(1 John 5v 4 – 5) Faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross is our victory with which we can defeat the lies of the Devil in the lives of ourselves, our children and people. He came to steel, kill and destroy, but the good news is Jesus came to seek and save that which went lost. He came to give us life and that life is to be more abundant.
We can no longer just let our children attend course upon course without first checking that the full apostolic doctrine as set out in the New Testament of the Bible is actually being preached and implemented. (Hebrews 6v1 – 2)We can also no longer just rely on Sunday church services, or youth leaders and youth camps and out reaches, on Sunday schools and children’s church. No, we as parents need to be awake and vigilant and teach and train our children continually. In Deuteronomy 6 the Lord encourages us through the writings of Moses to train our children on the way as we go (they can’t get out the car, they have to listen) at the table where we eat (their mouths are full of food so they have to listen) and where they lie down to sleep (when they go to bed they are too tired to argue so they have to listen). It is our job to equip them with the tools in the Word so they are not ashamed by the things they face in the world, but can defend what they believe and why, with good conscience, boldly in the spirit of meekness and humility and filled with the love of Jesus and compassion for those who oppose them or ask them.
We need to teach them about the Holy Spirit and introduce them to Him (Isaiah 11 v 2; John 14 v 26 and John 16 v 7 to 15 are just some) so they can be filled in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues as evidence of that infilling (Acts 2 v 4). A child as young as three years old can understand this, how do I know? Mine did and were baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues ever since, God can do the same for all children for He is not a respecter of persons and I have met countless people who have had the same blessed experience as we have. Then they need to be trained how to operate in the Holy Spirit, in discernment, in the gifts of the Spirit according to 1 Corinthians 12, to name but just one Scripture.
We need to teach them on water baptism according to Romans 6 where we learn that baptism is firstly a decision of the will. It is us agreeing with God to leave behind our old life, to die as it were to that man of sin, to lay down our cultural ways and opinions and traditions. We do this by full immersion in water as a picture of dying and being buried with Christ and then being resurrected with Him into this new life, being a new creation in Christ Jesus. Then we need to baptise them in water, full immersion. They can only be baptised if we have taught them the Word of God accurately and they then grow to have a desire for the things of God so they can choose baptism of their own free will. And then we need to continue to teach and guide and raise them in the church and allow them to operate in the gifts of the Spirit as well as in various functions in the church and in the house hold meetings (home cells) and at youth until they leave the house. All of this of course gets done within the safe perimeters of continual discipleship under the authority and protocol of the leaders in each orbit.
This new generation entering adulthood now, are facing things we didn’t need to face so boldly and so directly. Lewdness and fornication and all kinds of evil are far more out in the open and in your face now than what it was when we were young. In Ecclesiastes 12 v 1 it says Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult (evil) days come…  It is so important that God is a reality to them while they are growing up, then they will not depart from Him, when they are older.
So let us be diligent to let the Word be made flesh in our lives, to love the truth of Jesus Christ so much that it becomes part of every fibre of our being. This is done or this happens when we go through sufferings where we can choose how to act, react and handle situations, circumstances and people. When we choose to align ourselves with God’s Word and obey and do it exactly as He says, and we enter into the sufferings of Jesus by this action, no matter how painful to our flesh (emotions, mind, even body) or how little our mind can comprehend this higher way of living, then the Word is made flesh in our lives, then it becomes part of the fibre of our being, because we enter in on it by faith.
In order for us to continue standing, we need to continue walking in mercy and truth. We need to remain humble and remember that it is only by His grace that we stand. We need to live in complete dependency on His Word as the very bread we eat to sustain our lives and the very water we drink to quench our thirst. We need to remember we also once were led astray by the lusts of the flesh in the ignorance of our thinking, but once we came to Christ by grace through faith, not of our own doing, so none of us can boast, but because by the Holy Spirit’s help we were guided to the place where we cried out for the Saviour and the Father revealed Him to us and we received Him. We are always dependent upon Him, we can do absolutely nothing without Him.

So let us not seize praying for the salvation of souls, let us not stop teaching the Word of God in and out of season, let us not stop warning those who want to go astray, let us not stop carrying and bearing with oneanother where we are weak, but let us continue to encourage one another in the hope of our salvation, Jesus. Let us continue to support the ministry of the apostles through the church of the Lord Jesus. Let us continue to equip the saints to do the work of ministry, to edify the body of Christ (the church) till we all come to the unity of the faith and come to the unity of knowing the Son of God and till the church becomes perfected according to the measure of the stature of Christ so we are no longer little children who are being tossed about by every wind of doctrine, or by the trickery of crafty men or even by the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but rather let us never grow weary of continually speaking the truth in love so we may grow in all things, in every area of life, into Him who is the head Christ because it is only from Him that the whole body is joined and knit together by that which each one supplies and this is by the effective working by which everyone or part does his and her share and in this way we cause growth in the body for the edification of itself (ourselves as a church) in love. Because it is Christ in me and Christ in you, in the church, that brings strength and support to stand and keep standing. (Ephesians 4)
Let us be transformed by the renewing of our minds that we may know and prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God. We do this by laying down our lives as living sacrifices which is our reasonable service, holy and pleasing to God. (Romans 12) If we lay down our lives, it is easier for God to renew our minds through the Word, while we hold on to our lives, we are holding on to our opinions, our points of view, our beliefs.(Matthew 10v39; Matthew 16v25 – 26; Mark 8v35 – 36; Luke 9v24 – 25; Luke 17v33; John 12v25) But once we let go of our lives completely into the hands of the living God, our minds can be renewed, we realise we don’t have a right to our own opinion, we can’t think as we want to, and gently and patiently the Holy Spirit helps us to entwine our will with Gods will where we begin to see His love for the people He created, His heart for us all. His desire for none to perish.
Let us heed these warnings, live a life of repentance and chage, and let us not cast away our confidence in Christ’s complete work on the cross, for we have much need of endurance, so that after we have done the will of God we may receive the promise, let us not be those who draw back to our old ways, to our old thinking, to our old lives, or to the ways of the world again, but let us push on, let us continue to live by faith, to believe in the ability of Jesus to save souls into eternal life! (Hebrews 10v35 – 39)
May we walk soberly and may we be vigilant, in Jesus name, Amen.
© Celeste Glass

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