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Friend of God or Friend of the World?

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you knot know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4adultery

This is strong language…..Adulterers….Enmity with God…

Obviously friendship with the world is serious business in God’s eyes.

 

Definition of “The World”.

We all know John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

So God does love the world. However in this sense the scripture is talking about the world of people that Jesus died for. It was God’s love for all men under heaven that prompted Him to send His Son into this world to redeem us from the curse of sin and death that entered in with Adam.

However James 4:4 is talking about “the world” as a system. A system that is opposed to God.

 

The World is Opposed to God

Just as the devil is opposed to Christ and the flesh is opposed to the Spirit, so the world is opposed to all that is of the Father.

It takes its place in the “unholy trinity” as the very antithesis of all that is of the person of God the Father.  This opposition to the Father manifests in a determined effort to undermine the Bible, especially Genesis.  The creation account, the Flood have come under heavy fire in the last few years, even from Christians.

 

The World is Independent of God

tower of babelThe world system is not only opposed to God, it is also independent of God.

It is the spirit behind this system that attempted to build the Tower of Babel as a way to reach heaven without God. It is the spirit of independence.  It is the same spirit that drives the UN and all other organisations that attempt to play “god” in this world and to re-define “good” and “evil” independent of His laws. It is the reason that God warned Adam and Eve about partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” Psalm 2:2,3

Choosing the way of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is unthe way of opposition, independence and rebellion to God. Remember that to eat of that fruit was a sin, a breaking of a direct command of God not to partake of it.

The world is a system that is totally separate and apart from God. It’s a system that says “we don’t need God and His laws” and then makes their own.

 

The World is in Rebellion to God and His Laws

It is a system that rises up in defiance of God the Father, as Creator and Sustainer of Life.

God created male and female in His image and told them to be fruitful and multiply. This world system calls into question gender and sexuality. God says there are two genders. The world says there is a sliding scale with multiple gender possibilities. God says to male and female to pro-create, to bring forth life. This world says homosexuality is fine and promotes it as a way of keeping the human population under control.

This world undermines the very laws of nature. Breaking the laws of nature always brings death.

The Tree of Life and the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. The fruit of one is Life, the fruit of the other is Death.

This world is in open defiance to God.  The spirit behind it knows that God is its enemy.  God knows the world is in enmity to Him.  It seems that it is only the believers who struggle to realise this truth.

 

The World System Has its Own Philosophies and Principles.

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8

God has His principles, laws and the way of salvation clearly laid out in His word, the Bible. But this world rejects God’s Word and instead promotes the philosophies of man, which are opposed to Christ. Atheism, psychology, nihilism, post-modernism, you name it, they are philosophies of man and each are totally opposed to God and His Word.

These philosophies of man essentially become counterfeit gospels which are opposed to the true gospel of Christ. Satan promotes them through the media, social media, books, TV, Hollywood and false Christians.

And yes that includes psychology. This deception has infiltrated the Christian church and taken the place of true Biblical counselling, deliverance from demons and healing. Do not be deceived, it is a counterfeit of the gospel of Christ and brings believers in to bondage rather than setting them free.  I am aware at how deeply this has rooted itself in the Church and so I encourage further study of the roots of psychology. Briefly, it is founded and rooted in atheistic philosophy and no amount of applying Biblical words to this philosophy will change the fact that it is of man and is opposed, and therefore in enmity, to the gospel of Christ.

Man’s principles in his “gospel” include: tolerance over truth; love over sin; self over Christ; and the salvation of this planet over the salvation of man.

 

This World is Under Judgment

This world is under judgment my friends.

No amount of recycling and “climate change” theory will save it. It began in the garden of Eden. When man fell into sin, so too the creation fell with him. God cursed the ground at that point. Praise God that Jesus came and redeemed fallen man from the curse of sin, but this world has not be redeemed. This world and all its systems and man-made philosophies are under God’s judgment and are reserved for fire.

Jesus said “Now is the time for judgment on this world…” John 12:31

The unleashing of God’s wrath on this world because of sin is only being held back by one thing – His Word.

“…the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

But at the moment we can see the birth pangs of judgment are beginning all over the world. Jesus warned us of increasing earthquakes, pestilences, wars, rumours of wars and huge deception in Matthew 24.

 

Friend of God or Friend of the World?

faithfulGod considers friendship with the world spiritual “adultery”.  We cannot be divided, we are either a friend of God or a friend of the World.

Jesus is ever faithful to His Bride and He in turn wants us to be faithful to Him – the lover of our souls.

Just as a husband would be jealous if his wife had eyes for another man, so too “the Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously” (James 4:5) for our undivided, wholly devoted love.  And who can blame Him?  He has laid down His life for us! How much more should we be faithful to such a loving and gracious God?

Therefore “come out from among them and be ye separate.”

We are in the world, but we are no longer of the world. We are other-worldly now. Our true home is in heaven, not on this earth. Therefore I encourage you to look up, enlarge your vision. Be a Friend of God, rather than a friend of this world.

Let us be like Paul and be able to say:

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galations 6:14

 

Next post

A Tale of Two Tents

 

Other posts:

Overcoming the Fear of Man

Only One Life ‘Twill Soon be Past

Bible Prophecy: We Are Close to Christ’s Return

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Overcoming the Fear of Man

There is only one antidote to the fear of man, and that is the fear of God.fear of man

The fear of God needs to overtake the fear of man. It needs to be a stronger force in our lives than the fear of man or else the FOM will keep rearing up its ugly head and dictating our lives.

 

Natural Vs Spiritual

We all want to be liked. We all desire the approbation of others. To be recognised, affirmed and accepted. That’s natural. I am the same as everyone else.

But that is the natural man, the old man. That man is part of the temporal, earthly order.

When we were born again our spirit-man was born from above. Now we are a part of the heavenly order of things. It’s important to remember that the temporal order is on its way out and very soon the eternal will be ushered in.

God has placed this world under judgment and there is no escaping that fact. Remember the writing on the wall? “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” (Daniel 5:25). This world has been weighed in the balances and found to be wanting (or “too light”). Therefore God has numbered the days of the kingdoms of this world and shortly they will be brought to an end.

So when our natural man focusses on the earthly, material kingdoms around us we can forget that we are a part of something far greater, far more wonderful than this temporal order. Jesus removed the blinkers from our eyes when we were saved but we must know how to see into the eternal. We should be able to see what the natural man cannot. To see that the natural and temporal are passing away and that it is the eternal that counts and that lasts.

fear of godRemember Daniel: After he translated the above words, King Belshazzar ordered him to be promoted in his kingdom and highly honoured him in the sight of Babylon. But what did Daniel want with the King’s approbation? – He’d just told him that the days of his kingdom were numbered!   The promotion was meaningless!

Daniel had eyes to see. The great banquet, the flowing wine and the shine of the cups of gold did not distract Daniel from seeing the spiritual.

The way of the kingdom is a different way, a higher way.  Jesus came to deliver us from the bondage of the fear of man in the natural, and to bring us into His way – the way of the Spirit.

 

Obtaining the Fear of God

It is only in fearing God that the fear of man is supernaturally overcome. But how to obtain the fear of God?

Consider Stephen the Martyr.  Previously the high priest had strictly forbidden the apostles to teach in Jesus’ Name, they had even been imprisoned for the message they preached. It was a scary time to be preaching the gospel.

“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:29-32

Not long after this event Stephen is accused of blasphemy and put on trial. How frightening! Other Christians had recently beenfear killed for the faith and this was fresh in their minds.

Stephen could have kowtowed to the accusers, but he didn’t. He didn’t fear them, he could see beyond them and their threats. He could see the God of eternity. And he feared God much more than these men.

So in the fear of God Stephen, rather than cowering in a corner, rose to the occasion and preached the truth.

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit, as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?…” Acts 7:51, 52

Did Stephen fear man? No way. Did he compromise his message hoping they might let him off? Nope.

Yes, they killed him, but he didn’t fear them.

You see he had a vision of heaven. He “gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55

The difference is that God’s people are able to see.  They can see beyond the temporal, physical realm. Rather than seeing man and his threats they could see the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

And that is the difference.

  • The fear of man comes from spiritual myopia – short-sighted vision that cannot see beyond this physical, material world.
  • The fear of God comes from a supernatural revelation of the glory of God.

Once you have seen it you are never the same.

 

The Revelation

Isaiah saw it.

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled

source: idisciple.org

source: idisciple.org

the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:1-3

This is what this generation needs more than ever – a revelation of the glory of God.

Once you’ve had a vision of the holiness, the reverence, the majesty of God, you have a vision of eternity. Suddenly your eyes are opened to the temporal nature of everything that encompasses us. Suddenly you see that only the eternal matters.

Suddenly your eyes are also opened to your true self. Once Isaiah saw God he also saw himself.

“Woe is me, for I am undone!”

The power of self is undone in the presence of Almighty God. And suddenly how man and this world estimates you takes a second place to the revelation that there is a holy God who sees you. Only His estimation of you matters now. And now the fear of man takes second place to the fear of Almighty God.

 “Lord stamp eternity on my eyeballs” Leonard Ravenhill

Oh Lord God Almighty, give us, this last generation, a vision of Your glory. Let us see You in all Your awesome majesty. Give us a heavenly vision again Lord. I am asking for such clear spiritual vision that we can see past the distraction of this world and into eternity. Father, that we may fear You alone, and not man. Let us do Your will only. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Previous post….God’s Prescription for Persecution


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A Dream from 2007

 

I had this dream at the end of 2007.  I am sharing it now at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  With no embellishment, nor attempt to “interpret” it, I will simply leave it to the Lord to use this however He intends:

There was a village by the sea.  The sky was dark and cloudy and the sea was

chronicmigrainewarrior.com

source: chronicmigrainewarrior.com

stormy and rough. The waves of the sea beat upon the stone walls that separated the village from the waters.

Out of this wild sea strange beasts started to emerge.  They were huge and black with bodies like hippos and faces like wild pigs.  They had big sharp teeth.  They poured forth from the frothing ocean, up the beach and into the village.  Their rampage through the village was terrifying.  They destroyed everything in their path.  Havoc, destruction and fear ensued. 

After they had spent some time wreaking havoc I was shocked to see that some of the villagers, who had previously been so scared of the beasts, seemed to have forgotten their terror as they began welcoming and taking the baby beasts into their own homes as pets.

I couldn’t comprehend this development and wondered how they could be so short-sighted not to realize that soon these babies would also grow to be the full-sized beasts that had rampaged their village, and would wreak their own havoc!

I then looked up into the dark sky and it was so black.  More black than anything I had ever seen.

source:shutterstock.com

source:shutterstock.com

Suddenly as I looked at the sky, light pierced through the blackness.  More and more light pierced through until I saw the form of a Man on top of a white cloud, surrounded by bright light breaking through the darkness.  I knew it was Jesus returning and I was so happy.

End of dream

 

 


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Street Preaching Last Night – An Epic Battle

soldiersThe Hare Krishna’s came back as we were preaching.  Two weeks ago, as I wrote about here, they came and did their dance to Krishna but left after only a few minutes.

Well last night they came as I began to preach.  But this time they stayed.

This time they had an amp with them and sang songs and chanted mantras to Krishna whilst they danced.  It was loud.

I kept preaching though.  I kept on, like last time:

“Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the LIfe. No one comes to the Father but by Him…”  etc

“There is no other Name under heaven by which humankind can be saved than the Name of Jesus…”

On they stayed.

On I kept preaching.

“Jesus is Lord.  And at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father!”

It went on.  Multitudes of people came over to see what was going on. They were fascinated.  It was a battle and everyone knew it.  Many people video-ed all of it on their phones (if you see it on YouTube, let me know!)

10 minutes – I began calling out the words to “Amazing Grace”.

hareThe Hare Krishnas became frenzied. Faster and faster they got, they worked themselves into an ecstatic frenzy. They reminded me of the prophets of Baal as they cried out to their “god” to answer them on Mount Carmel.

 

15 minutes…

My voice started hurting, my chest was heaving. I prayed to God that He would sustain me to keep going.  I saw why He has prompted me to get fit lately.

I looked into the crowd as I proclaimed that “Jesus is Lord” and there was a gift from God.  A young lady with her hands in the air crying out “Amen! Jesus is Lord!”

She became my lifeline.  I looked to her as it went on.  She encouraged me to keep going.

I didn’t know what else to do.  I lifted my hands in the air and shut my eyes and cried out:

“Jesus, I proclaim that You are Lord over this station!  You are Lord. I praise the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world!  I praise you Lord! Hallelujah to the Lamb!”

The Hare Krishna’s left.battle

Praise God.

I kept preaching for another minute, then the gift-from-God young lady came over and asked if she could sing.  She had never sung by herself in a public street before but the presence of God was so strong.

She sung a beautiful song all about Jesus.

Some people from the crowd hung around to talk to some of the guys.

There was a great battle last night, but there was a great victory for the kingdom of God too!

Needless to say, it has taken me all day today to recover…:)

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14