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"If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God, it will make in the end no difference what you have chosen instead" 
CS Lewis

The Simplicity in Christ or Apostasy Predicted 

THE SIMPLICITY IN CHRIST
APOSTASY PREDICTED

2 Thessalonians  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; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

 We are in the day of Apostasy ("falling away").  This is an hour when faith in the Cross of Christ is under attack.  Some of our brethren have already departed from the truth, and others will follow.  The question is, "What are we falling away from, and what are we falling for"? 

 SEDUCING SPIRITS, AND DOCTRINES OF DEVILS

1 Timothy  4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 

 Apostasy means to fall away from or to defect.  Apostasy is very similar to divorce.  It is to take a journey of the heart and yet never leave.  Apostasy in marriage takes place when people withdraw their heart from one another, yet they are still married.  Christian apostasy is the departure of the heart from truth, while still adhering to all religious traditions.  Many in "the faith" will begin to listen too, be influenced by, and lured away from Christ by false spirits and false teaching.  These teachings will come from “familiar spirits” and the ideas will fascinate the souls of men.  These revelations will seem earnest, and helpful, but are spawned in the pit of hell.  As a result some will become hardened to the truth, trading in faith toward God for a lie.  From the beginning man has found a life of laws and ritual observances to be easier to deal with than "the Living God".

To clarify, a familiar spirit comes from the Greek word familia.  It means a “family spirit.  It is something that we understand and accept because it is common to us.  It is a family characteristic, or a trait that is counterproductive to the way of Christ.  For example, I’ve known some families that are treacherous.  They can only keep covenant to a certain point, then they will turn on you when they are under attack.  A religious familia will come to the church dressing like, looking like, and acting like others before it.  Yet the net result of their input into the church doesn’t produce deeper relationship with Christ. The sole purpose of these spirits are to gain acceptance and trust through familiarity, so that it has power over the hearts of God’s people. 

2 Timothy  4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 

During this “falling away” men will not listen to truth but will seek out teachers who will emphasize and teach things that are self serving and will indulge their feelings.  They will stop doing what is right. Yet they will drive for miles to hear a message that will agree with their desires.  It's much easier to listen to words that confirm us, leaving our lifestyle intact, than to hear words that demand obedience and change.  When we encounter and acknowledge life changing truth, we become accountable to it.  Some of us had rather play the role of the simpleton whose wall of protection is his naiveté.  The simpleton thinks, "What I don't know can't hurt me".  I say man’s deliberate ignorance will not shield us from our accountability to the "Most High". 

DECEIVERS WILL ENTER THE CHURCH

Titus 1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

There will come those from outside the Church who will sow seeds of corruption, undermining the faith of some.  They'll gain entrance to the heads and hearts of God's people through charismatic personalities and flattery.  They will teach things that appeal to the mind and the emotions of the people.  Many will be duped into believing in them.  Yet they are only using the congregations for financial gain.  How will we recognize them?   They will not teach the total Lordship of Jesus.  They will cater to the darkness that controls and destroys the lives of God's people. They will be unwilling to confront sin or rock the boat by speaking truth.  They will indulge self serving, self centered people to get an offering. 

Jesus placed gifts in the Church to equip the Church.  They are also  placed into the body to expose and deal with immaturity in us.  They are placed in the body to help believers grow up into the fullness of Christ. Pastors must not huddle the flocks behind them to protect the people from the hands of the true gifts of Jesus.   However, Church leaders must take a profile with these apostate teachers, like shepherds at war with a pack of wolves, otherwise many in the body will be destroyed.  

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

We need to be aware that wicked men have been coming into the congregations since the beginning of the Church.  They are pretenders who do not have the concern and care of the body of Christ in their hearts.  They are serving their own interests.  One of the characteristics of these teachers is that they take advantage of “the message of grace”.  They twist the message to allow for the wickedness they choose to walk in.  We’ve watched “leaders” indulge in scandalous behavior.  They leave their wives or husbands for others and seem to never miss a step in their ministries.  Just recently I heard a nationally known minister justify his homosexual tendencies and declare that Jonathan was a homosexual.  I have known “church” leaders that were prowling around using the women of the congregations to gratify their sexual needs.  They even use scriptures to prove it.  Such as Abrahams relationship with Hagar or the concubines of David.  Several years ago, I counseled a young preacher who had bought into that hogwash and ruined his spiritual walk and his marriage. 

How in the world can we sit by and not say emphatically that these ways of life and teachings are error.  When men quit teaching Jesus as the absolute way to the Father and subtly promote views that are contrary to “body of scripture” evidence, they are apostate.  You seldom hear of them throwing Jesus out entirely.  That would probably alert some in the congregations.  However, other things are added or taken away, so much so that the message of the cross is lost. 

I have had opportunity to discern evil that walked into the congregation dressed in their Sunday’s finest.  I always allow the first visit.  However, once I have discerned the evil, I will confront it.  I have called aside a number of newcomers.  I have extended to them a willing hand to help them get free.  I have also told them that they must come by the door into the sheepfold.  The door is Jesus(desiring his ways and willing to follow His life).  I have also warned them that the elders have been set in place to protect the flock from wickedness and that we are watching.  I have had some take my extended hand of help and received help.  We have also gotten reports of devastation in other congregations at the hands of those we have opposed.  God help us to have enough guts and relationship among Church leaders in our communities that we can protect “His” flock from these imposters. 

 FALSE LEADERSHIP IN THE CHURCH

Acts  20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

          Paul warned the elders at Ephesus to first watch out for their own hearts.  Eldership or “church” titles by no means immunizes us to self interests or apostasy.  In this passage he warns them about wolves, outsiders who would enter in to devour the flock.  Then he informs them that some of their own number would rise up and begin to teach things that would cause the congregation to turn from away(apostatize) from “the way of life”. 

This thought should cause all church leadership to sit up and consider soberly the direction we are leading “His flock”.  A leader can start out right but he must continue in the “ways of Christ, serving the interests of Christ”.  When leaders have fallen away from the Lord Jesus, they draw away disciples to themselves.  Without thought they justify dividing the flock.  We as leaders of the Church must stand guard over our own hearts and motives.  We must first porter our own minds and spirits, then we will be fit to help the flock. 

THE FALSE APOSTOLIC

2 Corinthians 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

God is causing the Church to recognize there are real apostles among us.  He is requiring His Church to receive this ministry gift to be equipped.  While there are real apostles, there are also false apostles.  There were "false apostles" in Paul's day, how much more so in this, a day of disorder and the fatherless.  What are some characteristics of “false apostles”?  The "false apostle" is focused on “ministry building”(how many and how much).  They draw men to themselves and create elitism among their followers.  Like shape shifters “False Apostles” posture themselves to be easily received by immature believers.  They are interested more in money, methods, and meetings than in building people.  False apostles are more interested in the title of “Apostle” and being honored than in working in the lives of people.  The false apostles personality, gifts, and revelation may awe and even seem to inspire the church.  He may have what seems to be “cutting edge methods”.  Yet the net result of his work hurts the Church.  The people are not more committed to the Lordship of Jesus when they leave.  They are informed, but not built up in Christ.  The Church is pulled away from its focus on Jesus and their attention is turned to men, methods, or manifestations. 

How will we know true apostles?  First, true apostles always point the Church to total submission to the Lordship of Jesus(we must go where He goes, do what He does, and speak what He speaks).  Second, they only serve the interests of Christ.  They aren’t ministry builders.  They are people builders, imparting the life of Jesus to people(His word, His ways, His walk, His heart).  True apostles will not compromise the ways of the Lamb even if people leave them.  They are owned by the Lord and cannot be bought or sold. They understand and teach the “mystery of the Church” and attack elitism and separatist teachings that divide Gods people.  They minister the “mystery of Godliness”(Which is the Christ life manifest through the lives of people).  They teach the fundamental doctrines and principles of Christ and build everything in conformity to Him.  They bring understanding to the Church about its identity, destiny, and purpose in the earth.  They will not compromise the truth for any reason.  They are humble, broken vessels of the Lord willing to sacrifice themselves to serve the body of Christ.  Their relationship with Christ is visible and real.  Apostle are identified by the Holy Ghost then separated and sent to the work by other legitimate leaders in the Church.  They do not wear the title of apostle as leverage for authority.  Yet they are men who have great authority with God.  They are spiritual fathers intent upon seeing the people of God grow up into the fullness of Christ.

Godly character is the most important marker in Christian leaders lives.  We always meet the gifts of men before we are introduced to their character.  Only by discernment or time can we know the heart/integrity of a man.  Because it takes time to know someone's character, most folks will not take the time.  Sadly, many will sacrifice themselves and their congregations to gifted individuals who really don’t produce Jesus in the people.   Pastors yield to these gifts because they are charismatic, non confrontational, easy, and help maintain the status quo.  Yet in the end the congregations are subtly sacrificed on the altar of Apostasy.

1John  4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

FALSE PROPHETS AND TEACHERS

2Peter  2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 7And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 9The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12But 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; 13And 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; 14Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:  

Not only are "false apostles" in the land, there are also "false prophets" and "false teachers".  The only reason the false is around is because there are real apostles and prophets.  The devil continually tries to impersonate God, the angels, and true believers in order to sow lies and discredit the work of Jesus.  There will always be fakes, imposters, and pretenders but they will not point the hearts of men to dependency on the works of Jesus or submission to His Lordship.  John exhorts the body of Christ to "try the spirits" or test the spirits to see if they represent God.

The scripture says these false leaders “shall bring in damnable heresies”.  These doctrines inject doubts and opinions that destroy undermine real truth in those that listen.  It places personal opinion on the same footing as scripture.  In other words my opinion becomes as legitimate as Biblical truth.

Counterfeit leaders make merchandise of the people. The Message Bible says, “They’ll say anything, anything, that sounds good to exploit you”.   The needs and greed of these false leaders will cause them to do anything to extort money from the people of God.  They will prophesy flowery words, telling you what you want to hear, to get into your pocket.  These manipulators, who use and misuse the people of God are marked for destruction. 

Not everyone that addresses the finances, tithe, and offerings of believers are evil.  So, don’t use the above words to discount the exhortation of true leaders when encouraging us to give.  While they encourage us, true leaders are very willing to lay down their lives for us. 

We are warned that many of these frauds serve their sexual desires and perversions.  When they are exposed they lie, make excuses, or create a new doctrine to cover themselves.  They cannot be corrected because they hate authority and refuse to be accountable. They openly mock true authority and try to turn the people’s minds from it. They are self serving and a law to themselves.  They target insecure simple souls or those that are themselves controlled by the same demonic spirits.  Since many will follow them, the way of truth and righteousness will be slandered. 

FALSE DOCTRINE

2 Corinthians  11:1 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

 Paul declared that he was very jealous over the church of Corinth.  The amplified uses a better word "zealous".  Paul in fact was fueled with the fire of the love of God for the congregation.  He was ready to expose and to refute any theory or doctrine that would take the people away from the simple, single minded, love of Jesus.  Paul wanted to make sure, the church under his care, was totally loyal to Jesus and pure from worldliness.   He saw the church as the Lord's bride to be, and considered himself a caretaker, facilitator, and guardian of this relationship. 

At the same time Paul had a very real fear.  No matter how well a church has been taught, no matter how skillful their teachers may be, even more so, the dedicated church becomes a target for the sabotage of the enemy.  The deception of the enemy is not new.  It's very old.  It started with Eve's temptation in the garden of Eden and remains today.  Eve was deceived by the ruse of false wisdom.  What she heard seemed reasonable, but it contradicted the revealed will of God.  Though the serpent must have been very eloquent and convincing that day, his words were based on a lie.  Paul calls it, "beguiled ...through subtlety".  Paul was concerned about the church being seduced away from it's simple, single-minded, and sincere trust in the Lord Jesus. 

There are deceivers among us.  Those who would speculate, and eloquently propose strange new revelations. They are trying to be  recognized for their innovative ideas, while overlooking the master wisdom of the ages, revealed in the "cross of Christ".  To some, this wisdom of “the Cross” is not enough because it lacks the struggle for perfection on the individuals' part.  These teachings produce a works based salvation.  To others, the thought of a “kinsman redeemer” is far too simple to be the whole thing.  They will look for God in philosophy trying to figure out secret things.  These teachings produce a knowledge based salvation.  

Hebrews  13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For [it is] a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Leaders, we must stay with the centrality of Christ.  Strange doctrines pull Gods people away from the Christ.  Those that are constantly hungry for the latest, new and improved revelations are the targets of Satan.  Our foundation is grace.  Grace is the undeserved favor of God.  Grace is the act of clemency, pardon, and forgiveness to an unworthy, undeserving, sin bound people.  Grace is Gods enabling power causing us to become what it is otherwise impossible to become.  This Grace is activated and implemented in the life by faith in the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus.  We cannot find what we need through laws to rule our flesh.  Our hearts must stay established in the fact that what Jesus did was enough.  The work of Jesus alone brings the new birth and the cleansing that comes by grace.  He, recreates the life and equips the heart with help for the journey.

Also, those that are recipients of this wonderful grace become the instruments of God in the earth.  Ephesians 2:10 (KJV) 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. The Living Bible says it like this, 10For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  We have been recreated in Christ Jesus to be the administrators and implementers of the will of God in the earth.

Warning:

              Watch out for a crusader spirit.  Some people just have a lot of fight in them.  Show them a target and they will pull all their spiritual resources together and spend all their strength to attain or destroy it.   It seems there are regular winds of thought that come along just stir up God’s people to frivolous activities.  Many times we are running after “good ideas” that are really not God ideas.  We find ourselves spent and yet have accomplished little or nothing.

Colossians  2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

The power of words are remarkable.  They have the ability to produce love, happiness, comfort and great joy.  They have the power to cause wars, destroy lives, and deceive hearts.  Paul warns the Colossians to watch out for deceptive words.  Those words that draw us through our desires.  Appealing words that arouse our "wants".  These "wants" pressure us to get; money, position, power, fame, stuff, etc.  Sometimes these areas are latent, lying under the surface, asleep so to speak.  We have developed a contented way of life that may be very good but when these individuals speak they cause a dissatisfaction inside.  Their words stimulate our interest and captivate our minds.  There are those flying all over the world merchandising in the lives of people, for personal gain.  Many are drawn into their web of deception by skillfully crafted principles and promises of success. 

Paul warns the Church to watch out for men who would lead it away from the truth to philosophy.  Philosophy is the love of wisdom.  Philosophy has a very dangerous and demonic offspring whose name is Theosophy.  Theosophy is a merger of philosophical and religious thought.  Theosophical teachings are principles that are twisted to serve a master objective (most often the control of people).  Theosophy is false wisdom that wears religious robes and it makes slaves of its disciples.

The idea of secret knowledge or special wisdom stirs up curiosity in most all of us.  It wows and gratifies the mind and makes the receiver feel special and part of an elite group.  This false wisdom may be fully equipped with new terminology and enhanced rituals which increase the sense of its authenticity.  The most successful “groups” become a assortment of philosophy, new revelation, religion, rituals, intuition, peculiar terminologies, labors, and worldly ideas.  The Christ become secondary or is totally discarded for a myriad of half truths and lies.

Remember there is salvation in no other than Christ Jesus.  Our works can’t save us.  Special knowledge can’t save us.  What we believe releases the saving grace of God to us.  Ephesians 2:8 - 9 (KJV) 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9Not of works, lest any man should boast.   Colossian 2: 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Galatians   1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed..

Paul was amazed that the Galatians were removed from standing in/on the “grace of Christ” and had embrace another way(gospel/plan/way to God).  The Galatians were pulled into a hybrid version of the gospel of Christ which had been mixed or rather polluted with the Law of Moses. They were professing to still be the Church though they had left the simple plan of God.  Paul reminded the people that he had been without equal in the observance of the Law.  Then he violently called for a curse on anyone, including himself, or angels that twisted or added to the simple gospel of  the saving “Grace of Christ” 

Galatians  3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians   4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

There is powerful soul comfort and a since of wisdom that comes through the observance of religious ritual and ceremony.  Paul says the Church of Galatia had went back into the bondage of the legalistic observance of days, months, times, and years.  They had added Old Testament law to the work of Christ as a necessary ingredient to be saved.  These folks had “known God” and were "known of God" yet they had been bewitched away from the grace of Christ.  The Galatians had received the “Spirit”.  Yet, now their spiritual lives hung in the balance.   Paul by no means dismissed these new additions of laws as frivolous or unimportant. He saw this as a damnable heresy with the power to destroy.  We must guard our hearts with all diligence.  For our ability to choose is an option God never removes even though we may be deceived.

 REPROBATE CONCERNING FAITH

2Ti  3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

The religious spirit produces a form without the power to save.  It provides structure, action, ordinances, observances about God, while bypassing the eternal work of Calvary.  It cannot produce real relationship with God because it bypasses the door, Jesus the Christ.  This passage talks about false religious leaders that cautiously come into the congregations and target foolish women.  Carnal minded Christians become the manipulated puppets of a “religious spirit” and its’ false leaders.  These misled souls seem always eager to learn and attend the latest seminar.  They appear to receive the word with great joy.  At the same time, they are never able to be fully delivered or free.  They are reprobate concerning the faith. 

Colossians  2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21(Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. 

The true apostle is a foundational gift of Christ.  He is stable and produces stability and maturity in Gods’ people.  His manner and actions are consistently a reminder of Jesus. He labor in prayer and in doctrine and always builds in conformity to the Head, Jesus the Christ.  Humility, patience, and sacrificial love mark the character of the true apostle. He is both a nurse and a father to the Church, ready to comfort and console or confront and correct.  The work of a true apostle will lead the Church to a deep intimacy and love of the Lord.  He deeply loves the Church. He is a man of grace, tempered by the order of the government of God.  Though powerfully gifted he is not self-sufficient and deliberately holds to a total dependence on the Head, Jesus.  The true apostle never seeks his own interests but only the interests of Christ.  He is wholly the Lords and to be spent however the Lord sees fit. 

The true prophet walks with God and loves the body of Christ.  They are not just mad preachers.  His manner and life reminds us of the Lord and our destiny in Christ.  Prophets are gripped with the present imperative of what they hear in the Spirit.  He confronts sin and disorder.  He is an equipper of the Church that helps us hear the Lord.  Though prophets expose false foundations, they are stabilizer and confirmers of the truth.  He cannot be bought or bribed and he forever points the Church to total faith in the work of Calvary.  He is the Lords. 

The restoration of and the work of the Apostle and Prophet is part of the cure for the present Apostasy and coming Apostasy of the Church.  Both of these ministry gifts are like compasses pointing the Church to total dependence and submission to the Lordship of  Jesus.  It is imperative for the Church to receive apostles and prophets. 

Finally, there are many voices who continually say, "He(Jesus) is over here" then other voices come to say, "no, he's over there".  Remember, the Lord is right where you are and there is no better way than loving God and loving people.  We must set our course by faith in the cross of Christ and remember that what He did is the wisdom and power God to save and keep us.

          We must be men of backbone, who are willing to contest these spirits for the preservation of the faith.  We must stand in the truth: of salvation by no other thing than the blood of Jesus Christ, and the truth that there are no works of man that can reproduce righteousness in the sight of God.  We must contend for faith in the works of Jesus Christ (in shed blood, his death, burial, and resurrection) as God's only means to be made whole, set free, delivered, healed, and preserved(Saved).  It was and is still enough. 

Grace and Peace - Cleve Sharp

Website: www.clevesharp.com
Podcast:  www.clevesharp.podomatic.com


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Helper Of The Church

CLEVE SHARP MINISTRIES
PO Box 494
Huffman, Texas 77336


email:  csharpministries@gmail.com

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