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Building up believers and the New Testament church

I Will Build My Church

Spiritual Discernment

Does God make a place for ignorance? No, I am afraid not. We have the Spirit with us to lead us into all truth, and we have the Scriptures to study to show ourselves approved unto God. What we are seeing today is the lukewarmness that is spoken of in Revelation. All the fowls of the air are coming to rest in the tree grown from a mustard seed (Luke 13:19). They are all saying, "Lord, Lord," but does He know them?

With a perverted view of the real standard, most Christians can't even discern fruit in each other's lives. As long as they can hug their necks and make a big fuss over them, they call it love. Some use this as a reason--if they need one--to go around hugging and kissing both brothers and sisters. I am sure they are having the time of their lives and call this fellowship. But we sure have slipped a long way in a hundred years--or maybe it hasn't been that long since we had spiritual standards. It doesn't seem to be getting any better either. I wonder where it will all end? This has all come about because there is no relationship with a holy God.

If anything is going to change, we must begin at the root of the problem--right with the heart and with our relationship with the Lord. When we start to enjoy fellowship with God, our attitudes will change. We cannot have fellowship with God without knowing His character and having our own character changed. When we see God's judgments in the book of Acts, how can we think that God will overlook what we see around us in this day? We need real repentance and a returning to the Word to know God's plan. Then we need to be willing to move in His purpose within His limits.

We always have those among us who would deceive, but with spiritual oversight, and God's people not following after them but rather separating themselves from them, they will stand less of a chance of gaining the place which they have in our day. It is children who run to and fro, not mature Christians. God's children must be willing to be disciplined. They must be grounded and settled in the revelation of Christ and His body, the church. The closer we get to the day of the Lord, the more deceptive men will become. Paul warned the Corinthians that the devil would come as an angel of light, and his ministers as ministers of righteousness. If God's children do not have spiritual discernment, they will be deceived. Many today cannot discern spiritually. We must be in the last days.

One of the protections God has given to His people is the shepherds He has placed in their midst. This is where seeing and submitting to spiritual authority come in. If we have not been exercised to recognize spiritual authority we surely will not be able to submit to it. In the church leadership is God's first line of defense against those who would come in to defile God's people by their teachings. God's people need to be in a place of rest, where they can feed in green pastures, but when there is not a proper working of the church, they must look after themselves, and most are not qualified to watch over their own souls. God never intended the church to function in that way.

The further we go into this lukewarmness, the less we know about true repentance. If there is going to be victory in believers' lives, they must know the Lord's definition of repentance. First, repentance clears God to forgive. Without repentance no man can see God. Not only are we sorry for what we have done, but now we do not continue in that which we have been set free from. We cannot continue in sin and think that we have eternal life. Repentance takes us out of sin and causes us to hate sin as God hates sin. It is His goodness, His love that draws us to repentance. Real repentance is without regret, leading to salvation. We need to be sorrowful according to the will of God. The sorrow of the world will only produce death.

Most of the repentance of our day is not true repentance, but a kind of worldly sorrow. God will not forgive without repentance because you cannot accept God's way of salvation until you have first seen yourself and your sinfulness. Repentance is the heart's attitude toward the world and the things in the world, and an attitude made right toward God. You cannot repent and continue to live as you have in the past. Salvation, if it means anything, means we have been taken from one kingdom and put into another kingdom.

There are few people who say after they have repented that they want to live a new life. They have formed their own usage of the word "repentance." They want to continue to live for and in themselves while they are here on earth, but they also want eternal life. This is because they are spiritually blind and have never really repented. We cannot have the world and the things of the world, and believe we love God. We cannot love both at once--it is an impossibility. A person that has repented first of all has a right attitude toward God in all things, and then goes on to put right his relationship with the world, people, and things. Repentance brings us to the place where our lives find expression in His will.

As long as our understanding of repentance allows us to live in sin and out of fellowship with God (this is what our "cheap believism" has done), we will not know the Lord or His power in our lives and in the assembly of believers. This is the reason that man has had to bring in his programs, and define the church for himself. If believers lived in the presence of God, they would have a fear of God. They would not feel at liberty to do their own thing, but would have a reverence for God and not dare to displease Him.

Men have made the "church" what they want it to be, rather than allowing the Lord to build them as living stones into the church. God says there is only one church, but most call every religious group or meeting place "the church." If they really saw the church that is spoken about in the Word of God, they would not speak so lightly about the church or refer to every building as the church. But the devil has educated us to live with sin, and sin has blinded the eyes of those that say, "Lord, Lord." The light has become darkness to many, and they are blinded by it. Christ's demands are too high for those who have not tasted of repentance. When the light shines in to some gatherings, the cry goes up, "You are legal," "You don't have love!" Repentance will bring a new expression of love and that expression will not allow us to live in sin and darkness. Without repentance we would not go on to maturity. Man continues more and more to make for himself a cheap way to heaven--or at least he says he is going to heaven. But a heaven without Jesus is hell.

Why do believers want to hold on to self, the expression of "me," not under the direction of the Lord? As long as man continues down this road, God's church and His ways will become more and more dim. Many are being deceived because they have no personal relationship with the Lord. The devil has given them the substitute of mind religion and man's opinions for real fellowship and knowing the Lord in the Spirit. Most of the mind religions today are not found in false cults, but right among those that claim the fullness of the Spirit. Man is hearing a lot of things; his ears are being tickled because he does not want to hear God for himself. He is willing to follow man and his doctrines. He cannot recognize spiritual authority because he doesn't want to hear and obey God's Word.