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It is a delight with a new episode of Truth Network. of God. The world often has an idea of what the church should look like, and the world often expects the church to be different.
Now, here's what got me thinking about this. This past weekend we had our 23rd annual missions conference. Just absolutely amazing to see what our grads and our friends and colleagues have been doing around the world, serving the poor, the hurting, the outcast, bringing the gospel in practical ways, meeting people's needs, just amazing. From, say, in the Philippines, where we've got many, many works going on, many grads and colleagues there, but working with children, little children, babies that have been sex trafficked.
I mean, it's mind-boggling. Taking them in, caring for them, giving them a solid home in an orphanage with other kids and with spiritual moms and dads and others educating them, caring for them. From doing that to, oh, in Tanzania, one of our missionaries had been there many, many years, began taking boys in, caring for them, and then it just turned into another orphanage, taking in street kids that were just absolutely destitute, and then one good work after another working with a church plant. And they were helping one woman, she was so poor, she and her kids didn't have a toilet in their home, and because of wind and bad conditions, the sides, let's just say they weren't even, were in their own home, protected and covered. And they went in and built a toilet for them. I mean, the village was applauding, the others applauding, they were all excited for it.
You think something that small, well, it was massive in their life. And then on and on from all kinds of outreach and other constructive work that's being done, one good thing after another. And literally, as I heard our workers sharing, and I know them, known some of them for 25 years, some even longer in some cases, but some have been on the field now straight for 23 years. In other words, they've been serving faithfully in different countries.
They were some of the first to go out. And as I hear them speak, I'm just saying to myself, amazing. We're saying it out loud, amazing, amazing, amazing. Just so blessed to hear the reports and the praying and the crying out and the seeking of God.
Just beautiful and wonderful. One of our grads who's been on the field with his wife 23 years serving in Mexico and now in different nations around the world serving with our organization, he reminded us and reminded me of something that I had said. He was a trained nurse, and I made a comment that we can heal a broken leg, but only God can heal a broken heart.
And that stirred his heart to get out and go on the mission field. The world expects the church to do all kinds of good works. The world expects the church to be caring for the poor and the needy. And when there's a disaster for Christians to be there, they may not always acknowledge it, but there is this expectation, well, you should be doing that. Well, why don't you be doing that?
It may just be used to batter us. Why aren't you doing more of this? How can we not? But there is the expectation that we should be doing good works as followers of Jesus. The world expects this. The world also thinks that our leaders should not be hypocrites. Now, of course, Christians get a bad rap in the media.
We understand that. The world is not going to paint a beautiful picture of the church. So you're watching something, I remember decades ago, and there's the local Catholic priest, when he comes over to see the family, just on the sly, he's getting drunk with the dad. And he's not the most moral guy. Well, of course, that's the way it's going to be portrayed. Now, the evangelical leader who is pro-family, well, he's secretly involved in gay relationships and kills somebody.
There's going to be some corrupt narrative like that. So we're going to get blasted, we're going to get falsely portrayed, we're going to get portrayed in exaggerated, caricatured ways. But there is an expectation that if you claim to be a minister of the Gospel, that you should be living differently than the world. In other words, if you hear that some worldly rock star has slept with X number of people over the years, you're not surprised. In fact, you'd be surprised to hear if they've been in a healthy relationship with their spouse and never deviated, never cheated in 30 or 40 years, that would be the surprise.
Because, hey, rock star, do what you want to do, etc. It's not a surprise that they live, many of them, abusive lives. On the other hand, when you hear about a minister of the Gospel, you're surprised. And the world, although the world has become more and more cynical towards this, it still brings more reproach because we're not supposed to be like this. So, the world expects the church to be doing good works. The world expects ministers of the Gospel to live differently. And the world expects that the church is supposed to be loving.
No matter what shape you come into the building, you should be loved. Now, the world will turn that into affirmation. No matter what state the person comes in, no matter how they're living, no matter what they're doing, they should be affirmed. No, that's not the Gospel. The Gospel's gonna make sinners very, very uncomfortable.
But they can be accepted right where they are and loved into the Kingdom of God and into transformation. When we live like this, and I've seen it on the ground, I've seen it where a church has been caring for their community for decades, and then that church comes under attack by the media because of a stance they take. The people in that community, they're not so quick to condemn the church over a godly, righteous stance because they know them. Hey, these are the people that are here for us when we needed it. These were people that were delivering meals during the pandemic. These were the people that cleaned up our neighborhood after that tornado. These are the people that we send our kids to who are messed up on drugs and they get them into rehab. They're good people.
On the ground, they do good works, and therefore, the reputation of the Gospel is spread through them, and therefore, people have a better view about them. Now, I want to emphasize this good works here, all right? And I want to read some passages to you from the New Testament. Let's start in Ephesians, the second chapter.
Paul writes this. And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work and the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were, by nature, children of wrath like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that is not your own doing.
It is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. I mean, I read the whole passage because it's a well-known, beautiful, glorious passage, but how many of us realized that it culminates in saying that in Jesus we have been created for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them? You know, a lot of folks talk about Paul's teaching on predestination in Ephesians 1 and what does it exactly mean.
Well, one thing for sure is that he predestined us to do good works. Take a look with me in Titus. It's a short book.
It's just three chapters and it's one that may not come up in conversation as much as other books. It follows 2 Timothy and Paul is writing to Titus. He left him in Crete to set things in order there.
So, let's start in verse 1. Paul is servant of God and apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God who never lies promised before the ages began, and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior. To Titus my true child and a common faith, grace and peace from God the Father in Christ Jesus our Savior.
This is why I left you in Crete so that you might put what remained into order and appoint elders in every town as I directed you. Now what are these elders supposed to be like? If anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers, and not open to the charge of debauchery and insubordination, for an overseer as God's steward must be above reproach, he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined, he must hold firmly to the trustworthy word as taught so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. The high standards required for an elder, 1 Timothy 3 lays them out as well, but even more strongly put here, these high standards are something that the world expects from church leaders. Isn't that interesting?
Titus also has a lot to say about good works. Stay right here. We are going somewhere today. It's The Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on The Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks, friends, for joining us on The Line of Fire. Michael Brown, delighted to be with you.
If you've got a question you'd like to ask me like we do on Fridays, if something's up and you're wondering about it, and, well, here's the number to call, 866-348-7884. It is so important that we who profess faith in Jesus are witnesses to the world. No, we're not going to be perfect. Yes, we will have shortcomings that others can see, but we should be different than the world around us. Our families should be different. If the mom and dad are true believers, their families should look different than a worldly family. Oh, not every family. You're going to have worldly families, people who are not religious, people who are not of faith at all that are the best neighbors you can imagine, very immoral people, very, very committed to family life.
But overall, here, am I making this up? Overall, shouldn't believers look different than the world? Overall, shouldn't our marriages be healthier than the world? Overall, shouldn't our kids grow up to be godlier than kids in the world? Overall, shouldn't ministers of the gospel have a better reputation than your average business leader for integrity, for morality, for holiness, for purity, for generosity, for graciousness?
If not, something's wrong. Jesus doesn't just save us to go to heaven, and the goal is not to always have a bumper sticker in your car, on your car, I'm not perfect, just forgiven. That's not the goal.
The goal is to show that Jesus changes us, that the new birth really brings a change in life. I mean, what would you think if I said, praise the Lord, I just want to thank God I've been saved almost 51 years now, and you know, I used to be a heroin shooting LSD using Hippie Rock Drummer, and now I cut my hair, and I don't play drums so much. Well, what about the other stuff? Well, yeah, that's ongoing, because I'm not perfect, just forgiven. No, you'd expect me to say, I used to be shooting heroin. I used to be using LSD. I used to be a slave to this. I used to be a slave to that.
I used to have an out-of-control temper. I used to be nasty, this, this, this, but Jesus changed me. Doesn't it say that in the Word? 2 Corinthians 5, 17, that if anyone be in the Messiah, he's a new creation, she's a new creation, the old is past, the new is come. Doesn't all of the New Testament call us to live godly lives? Not by our self, well, I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it, but by God's grace working in us. Or is the new birth just empty terminology?
Is the new birth nothing of substance at all, just some term that we come up with? Come on, friends, God's calling us higher. We can do it in Jesus. So, I want to go back to Titus and I want to keep reading here. So, in verses 10 through 15, he has a rebuke for those who are insubordinate and from some of the local people there. Then, we'll start in chapter 2, but as for you, Titus, 2nd chapter, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Not just elders in the church, but older men in the Lord in general.
Titus, chapter 2. Older women, likewise, are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working-at-home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. So, when we act in unchristian ways, it brings reproach to the word. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.
It's just younger believers, right? Urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that the poem may be put to shame having nothing evil to say about us. Bond servants should be submissive to their own masters in everything. They are to be well-pleased, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
Just hear this again. The description of older men, older women, younger men, younger women, show yourself in all respects to be a model. Titus, you do it. Others, a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that the poem may be put to shame having nothing evil to say about us. This is the way we're called to live in this world.
You say, that's hard. By God's grace, we can do it. Come on, so many of you were set free from so many things, but then you kind of left it there. God's saying, we can grow higher. There's more of God in us.
There's more grace if we will spend the time with God, taking in his word. It's an amazing thing. It's just like watering a plant and giving it proper sunlight.
It grows and thrives, right? So, we spend that quality time with God. We take in his word. We digest it. We meditate on it. We ask God to give us insight. We pray over it. We think about it. We seek to act on it. We talk to the Lord in prayer.
We spend time worshiping. Change will come to you. It just will. It's just like being out in the sunlight regularly.
It darkens your skin. These things will just happen. It is an automatic process as we do what we know how to do and make the efforts that we can. God's grace will work supernaturally and we will be known as a people of good works and a people of integrity and this will cause the church to grow as much as anything, friends. Yes, we need the power of the Spirit. Yes, the demonstration of the Spirit is glorious, but it's not either or. It's not either character or supernatural demonstration.
It's both and. So, look at what is written here. Titus chapter 2, verse 11. For the grace of God has appeared, notice it's the grace of God that has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
There it is again. Read through Titus and notice how many times it emphasizes good works. This is part of the grace of God working in us to change us. And as he changes us, he changes our nature and we begin to care about people we didn't care about before. We begin to love people we didn't love before. We begin to notice people we didn't notice before. But notice in this passage that the grace of God teaches all of us, not just elders, not just senior leaders or apostles or prophets or evangelists or pastors, teachers, enables all of us to live godly, self-controlled lives. That's what we should be known for as believers.
This more recent innovation, it comes in different forms over the centuries, but the way it's been the last few decades, hey, I'm not religious, I'm just spiritual, meaning I profess to love Jesus, but I want to live however I want to live. Meaning, I'm going to show how free I am by crossing all kinds of lines. Watch how free I am by using profanity. Watch how free I am by me getting drunk. Watch how free I am by me watching unclean movies. That's that freedom, that's bondage. That's like the pig going back to its mud or the dog going back to its vomit.
That's what it's like. Being godly or holy about that or mature? No, that's the height of immaturity.
That's an expression of carnality. That's got nothing to do with the Spirit whatsoever. To repeat what we've heard for many years, Jesus doesn't set us free to sin, but he sets us free from sin. Even the world expects the church to be living differently, and the world is right in expecting that. Can I read this one more time from Titus? Is it too much Bible today?
Okay. Verse 11, chapter 2, For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things, exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
And then what does he say the next chapter? Chapter 3, Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities. This is all believers. To be obedient, to be ready for every good work. Believers should be ready for every good work. So we're not just going to follow the latest social trend that says, oh, get activists for this group or activists for that group.
We really want to have God's heart. And then the communities in which we live, we want to make a difference. Lord, how can we make a difference?
Even if it's one person, if it's one school district, even if it's one block in your neighborhood, even if it's one family. Lord, how can we make a difference as people of good works? This is part of how we show the love of God. This is part of how we bring change through the gospel. We preach Jesus. We warn about the dangers of divine judgment. We call people to repent from sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
And we do good works. We'll be right back. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown.
Thanks, friends, for joining us on the Line of Fire. Oh, this Friday, we have scheduled to be with me, Dr. Mark Stengler. So Dr. Mark Stengler, naturopathic doctor named Doctor of the Decade, brilliant, publishes peer-reviewed scientific articles, has a radio broadcast, a TV broadcast, different things he's done over the years, his clinic, his integrative medical clinic in California, super, super busy. He's a personal friend, loves the Lord, takes a day each week, goes into the park to evangelize, go with his son, Mark Jr., and they'll stand in front of a mosque and share the gospel with Muslims, and yeah, just a bold, fearless witness of the Lord and a fabulous doctor. So he's going to be with us this Friday during our Q&A broadcast.
So seriously, if you've got a medical question, nutritional questions, and you want to ask the doctor, you get to do it. Also, Dr. Stengler and his wife, Angela, she's a doctor as well. They are going to be with us on our annual Israel trip, annual, our first trip in three years because of COVID, to Israel. So they're going to be there as well. So we're going to have at least one night with an Ask Dr. Brown night where you can sit and ask me any question you want, and then another night, God willing, with the Ask Drs.
Stengler. Yes, that'll be face-to-face in Israel, just another bonus on the trip. Okay, any question you want to ask me today, not a medical question. You can ask me a question about divine healing or what the Bible says about doctors, but I can't help you with a medical question.
I'll give you a spiritual answer if you've got a medical question, 866-348-7884. So let's just finish up with Titus. I don't know the last time you read the book, but did you realize how much emphasis it had on the subject of good works? So you're going to read Titus 3, start in verse 1 again. Remind them, so the believers that you're mentoring, discipling, leading there in Crete, remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Whoa!
What a description! These are some of the verses that remind me that when I'm interacting with those I differ with, when I'm calling leaders to account who are putting forth ungodly policies, that I don't do so in a way that is demeaning to the Gospel or that gives vent for the flesh. But rather, speaking to a leader, I will address that leader with respect.
If it was the President, President Biden, President Trump, President Obama, with all respect, sir, and then I would raise my issues. These are some of the verses that color why I do what I do. And here's Paul's reason for it. He says, for we, verse three, for we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others, and hating one another. In other words, we acted like a bunch of jerks before. We were foolish.
We were lost. And God did not just cast us off and throw us off. He reached out to us in his mercy to change us. So, the same way, we're not going to sit around self-righteously because we were once that.
We, many, many of us acted like trash in the past and lived ungodly lives in the past. Now, God is saying, okay, I'm having mercy on you. You have mercy on others.
Hold the line, speak the truth, but do it full of love. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness so we don't get saved by doing good, but he calls us too good. But according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit whom we poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy and I want you to insist on these things so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent, profitable for people, but avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless, as for a person who stirs up division after warning him once and then twice have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful, he is self-condemned.
Oh, it's not done. When I send Artemis or Tichias to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I've decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way, see that they like nothing, and let our people learn to devote themselves to good works so as to help cases of urgent need and not be unfruitful. All who are with me, send greetings to greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
I mean, how many times does he, oh, by the way, don't forget about doing works. One last thing, keep doing good works, especially for those in urgent need. Oh, and can I remind you to do good works that God called us to, that he set aside for us to do before creation that, yeah, and don't forget those good works. The world expects us to do good works. God expects us to do good works. And as we go about doing good, then good comes.
People are helped. Lives are changed. You say, well, what's the long-term fruit of feeding a starving child? That the child lives and has an opportunity.
That's the long-term fruit. And most wonderful of all could even hear the gospel and be with the Lord forever and ever. But at the very least, the child has an opportunity.
The child has a chance to make it. So, Mike Brown, what are you doing? Fair question, very fair question. So first, many years ago, during the refugee crisis in Vietnam as refugees were pouring out after the country fell to the north, South Vietnam fell to the north when America pulled out, so we were part of a church that was very much rich in good works. I mean, I remember a Sunday service where paper was given out to everybody in the congregation, and we were told, before you leave, write a letter.
I don't know if it's the senator or local representative. We need to write a letter challenging them to do the right thing in a particular policy. I don't remember what the policy was at all, but I remember pastor said, before we leave, we're all going to do this. Also knowing if we left, we'd forget to do it. We were strongly pro-life, speaking of about that, back then, late 70s, early 80s, but during the refugee crisis, pastor got up and said, look, you've got a bed, you've got a couch, take somebody in. This went through the church. We just did it, just regular people. We all just did it and lived like that for years with refugees in our home.
They became part of the family. Single men, single women, family, couple with a child, just, it was our joy to do it. Then as I began traveling overseas, serving those in other parts of the world, and seeing what they were doing in such extraordinary, tangible, hands-on ways, I thought, well, what could I do to help and support them? And that's what I've tried to do over the years. So I'm not primarily an activist. I'm very active in causes. I'm primarily a voice seeking to equip and help. But because so many of my friends and colleagues are on the front lines, out doing incredible good.
So I said early in the broadcast, as I listened to them share, I just kept saying, amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing. And you know, this one, a pilot being trained to go out in frontier missions where you take the, you need medical supplies in outlying areas because he's a pilot, so he's going to do this for the Lord. And his wife who's had a mission as hard as long as we've known her, she's praying, maybe, she's being a nurse so that he could bring the medical supplies and she as a nurse can help, just praying about that part. But this is what our folks are doing, of course, in America and around the world. So what we try to do now is support them. What we try to do is help underwrite some of what they're doing.
So everyone that supports our ministry, just so you know this, everyone that supports our ministry, our monthly torch bearers, our monthly supporters, those that give one time gifts or periodically certain times of the year, thank you to each and every one of you. The first fruits of your funds go to support our missionaries around the world. The first fruits of what you give us, we are able to turn around and support frontline workers. And then my goal is to travel around the world to support and strengthen those on the front lines by pouring into them. There are so many different ways that we can be involved in doing good. You can support Samaritan's Purse, which is pouring funds into Ukraine. You could say, well, this is money I could have used on something else, but I'm going to choose to be involved in doing good. It doesn't mean that you have to go to Ukraine or deliver the food yourself. Now, it could be that you work in the local soup kitchen and you volunteer your time to do that.
Wonderful. It could be that you just, you raise your kids, your daughters to be good babysitters, and they just help others in the neighborhood, you know, mothers that are really overworked and mom and dad super busy and trying to put enough money just to live. And hey, just get a night out. But no, we don't want any money.
We just want to babysit. Whatever it is, there's so many creative things. There's so many ways that we can be involved in good works. And again, if the constraints of life, if you say, I don't think you understand my life. At the end of the day, all I have time to do is kind of collapse and unwind between household responsibilities and responsibilities with the kids and responsibilities on the job and other areas where I serve and volunteer in the church. Oh yeah, now I'm going to go to the soup kitchen two days a week.
I don't have time for that. Ah, but you can make choices to say funds I would have spent this way. Instead, I'm going to give to those that are doing this. I mean, it's just one of our mottos in our, in our missions teaching and things like that, that if you can't go, then send, right?
And, and this is all part of our good works. You sponsor a child. You want children to sponsor? We can, we can give you names or just reach out to fire-international.org. Fire-international.org.
All right. And, and right there, there are children that you can sponsor, kids that were sex trafficked or kids that were in abusive homes and were demonized and in the worst situation and now being raised in a godly Christian environment with people that love them and care for them. They need sponsors. We're, we're here to facilitate and to help so that we can be involved in good work. Someone says, what are you doing? I'm sponsoring these kids here and I'm helping with this program here in the inner city and donating to that.
And oh, because I'm a teacher, I've trained other teachers to do this. Beautiful. Wonderful. Lord, how can you use us? What can we do? Let's ask the Lord. We come back. I'm totally switching subjects here on the line of fire. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH.
Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks friends for joining us on the line of fire. I'm probably going to talk about this tomorrow. There is a viral video from a mom in California about, she's speaking to the local school board about their sponsorship of a, get this, family friendly drag queen event. I was going to play the clip, but she's so clear on what she's saying.
We just can't play it over the airwaves. An absolutely necessary rebuke. I'll talk to you about that. Talk to you about some, some interesting comments about what it is that causes, one of the things that causes people to struggle with transgender identity and some interaction I've had with my friend and esteemed colleague, Dennis Prager, with whom I took issue on a recent article he wrote about trans identity and Deuteronomy 22. So, I'll probably be talking about those things tomorrow as we weigh back in on the culture wars.
And then Wednesday, scheduled to speak with Pastor Michael Youssef about his book, The End is Near. And, you know, I haven't, I haven't commented much yet about a lot of the talk about nuclear war, what could be coming next. One of my colleagues, a man of prayer, who has often heard the Spirit of God speak, has felt an urgency to pray against Putin using nuclear weapons and a real concern that something could happen. And President Biden made comments that many figured, felt were alarmist about nuclear war. Obviously, this is always a possibility given the fact that there are so many nuclear weapons around the world, given the fact that one of the main reasons that, that different nations don't use them is because they don't want them used against them. But if some country felt they could use them with impunity or the gains would be worse than the, better than the losses, they don't mind losing their people.
There's all kinds of sick people who do sick things. In my own spirit, I have not sensed that we're at that level, that there's this urgent warning of something that could be ready to explode with terrible damage and casualties around the world. I'm not saying thus saith the Lord, I'm simply saying I haven't felt that we were that close to something, but it's wise to pray for restraint. It's wise to pray that God would restrain evil, that even if there will be a time of, of, of greater warfare than we've ever seen on the earth, Satan would like to provoke a lot of destruction before it's time.
All right, I know these are heavy subjects, but they're being talked about. I'm just saying in my own heart, I do not have that sense of urgency of prepare, prepare, but others do, and it could just be that it's our prayers in harmony with the will of God that will forestall something like that happening or stop something like that happening. So, I'm not one of those to scream, the sky's falling, the sky's falling. I don't feel it is. It's, it's falling in terms of the moral and spiritual disintegration of America barring divine awakening.
That's for sure. But as far as a nuclear war, I simply don't sense that it's right at the door. But others who've been sounding the alarm for years, emergently in recent months, were just to pray and not just take it for granted. Okay, I want to go with you to Deuteronomy 13.
Totally changing subjects, all right? Deuteronomy chapter 13. And this is a chapter where God is speaking to Israel about false prophets. And I made a comment last week that as grievous as false teachers, false prophets are, as destructive as this is, as much as the Bible consistently addresses this subject and rebukes those who are false teachers or false prophets, leading God's people astray. It is grievous. It is painful. It must be confronted.
And for those who don't know my track record, what's the broadcast? Yeah, I guess it's the, not sure the exact title, but it was asking the question, who appointed me as the gatekeeper of the charismatic movement? But in it, I just say, hey, look, I understand that many people look to me to do certain things. Here are all the books I've written addressing these issues.
Here are the specific videos we put out addressing these issues, articles addressing these issues. I've been anything but silent, but my calling is not to sit around looking for something to correct every day. That's not my calling.
My calling is to honor the Lord, seek what I can do to build up strength in his people, reach out to the lost that don't know him, provoke the Jewish people of Israel to spiritual jealousy and envy through the Messiah, help spark revival in the church, gospel-based moral and cultural revolution in society, whatever we can do towards those goals to be your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. And part of that involves rebuking correction. Part of that involves setting things straight.
But that's not my primary calling or my only calling. That being said, false teachers, false teaching, false prophecy, false prophets, very grievous. My book, The Political Seduction of the Church, has two whole chapters dealing with the failed and false Trump prophecies, naming names and being specific as well. It was the right time to do it in that way. Paul, Peter, others sometimes named names, sometimes addressed issues, alright?
There's time for both. But in the midst of all the wrong and the problem, God actually can use false teachers and false prophets. He's not sending them, but he can use them to bring about good.
So, look at this. Deuteronomy 13, verse 1. If there appears among you a prophet or a dream diviner and he gives you a sign or a portent saying, let us follow and worship another God whom you have not experienced, even if the sign or the portent that he named to you comes true, do not heed the words of that prophet or that dream diviner.
For the Lord your God is testing you to see whether you really love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. Follow none but the Lord your God and revere none but him. Observe his commandments alone and heed only his orders. Worship none but him and hold fast to him. As for that prophet or dream diviner, he shall be put to death for he urged this loyalty to the Lord your God who freed you from the land of Egypt and who redeemed you from the house of bondage to make you stray from the path that the Lord your God commanded you to follow. Thus, you will sweep out evil from your own midst.
So, look at this again. This prophet comes, the Lord has said this and it comes to pass. Now, let us follow Baal. Let us follow Marduk. Let us follow the Asherah.
No, no, no. I don't care if the prophecy comes to pass. That person is calling you into idolatry. That person is calling you to follow other gods.
Don't listen to them. I want you to know that I've been sent by God and they go ahead and work a miracle and then they turn around and say now, follow these other gods whom our fathers did not worship or know. And by the way, from my rabbi friends who say to me, well, Mike, that's what you're telling us to do. You're telling us to follow Jesus, another god. No, I'm saying follow the God of the Tanakh, of the Hebrew Bible. And I can show you that that God is complex in his unity and that God is the one that sent the Messiah who himself is divine.
So, what does it say? Do not heed the words of that prophet or that dream diviner for the Lord your God is testing you to see whether you really love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. I'm saying friends that false teachers, false prophets, false miracle workers are grievous. Shepherds who are not really shepherds and lead the flock astray are grievous. They grieve God's heart. They should grieve our hearts. In the Old Testament, they were punished by death. That's how much God hated this. That being said, and while we should do what we can to rebuke them, to call them out, to call them for repentance, to expose them, well, we should do our best to do that.
At the same time, God can use these people. Again, I'm not saying he sent them. One of the things about the false prophets, they claimed to be sent when they weren't sent.
He said, I never sent you. Just read through Jeremiah 23, for example. The true prophets were sent by God and given a message by God. The false prophets said God sent me. God sent me. Yahweh sent me when he didn't.
Right? So, again, I'm not saying God is sending these people. We should do what we can to expose, rebuke, correct.
Absolutely. But God can work through it. God can test us through it. Are you going to follow the miracle that takes you away from the Bible and it says there are other gods and other ways to God? Or are you going to use the Bible to reject that false miracle, that counterfeit work? Are you going to listen to this amazing prophet who can read your mail and tells you things about your past and wow and prophesies about the future and then says, you don't need the Bible anymore, just listen to me. You have the Word in me. Are we going to use the Bible to expose that person or are we going to allow that person to drag us away from God and his Word? So, I grieve when I get reports about people who left the faith.
And I hear it regularly. Thankfully, it's a fraction of those coming to the faith, but every life counts and it grieves me. It breaks my heart when I hear this one's fallen away, this one no longer believes, this one has renounced the faith and we get requests from family members. What do we do? How do we respond? What do we say?
How do we pray? It's grievous. Yeah, this one led them astray.
That one led them astray. At the same time, God is testing us to see whether we'll love him with all of our heart and mind and soul and strength and in the process, he is purging his church. So, we grieve over those who fall away and do our best to bring them back.
We expose the false and call it out, but we realize in the midst of it, God is purifying and purging his people. Okay, remember, download the app now. Show's over.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-03 08:53:52 / 2022-12-03 09:11:38 / 18