Is the Church safe?

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Is the Church safe?

 

 Jeremiah 7:9 – 11;

“Will you steal and murder and commit adultery and swear by other gods, burn incense to Baal and live by the standards of other gods you have not known and then come and stand before Me in this house which bears My Name, and say ‘we are safe’ – safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house which bears My Name become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching” says the LORD. 

Part of this passage was quoted by Jesus when He entered the temple thus;

“‘My house shall be called a house or prayer’, but you have made it ‘a den of robbers’ ”.

What the Israelites where going in the temple was curious; the temple was meant to be a house of fellowship between God and His people, a place people go to seek God’s face, but the Israelites where reinterpreting this purpose to their own profit. Merchants were using the temple grounds to merchandise their best cattle for higher profit, using the worship of God for a bargaining chip to charge more for their wares. This looks innocuous until we come to realise that the Merchants did not come to the temple to worship God, they came to make a profit at God’s expense, and thus, part of their merchandise (their value added) is God Himself. We can immerging that it became a very fashionable thing to buy offering at the temple and to change your money for offering there as all the transactions carried out there would no doubt be peddled as having some special blessed quality or the other, and since the priesthood ate out of the offerings offered to God (not to mention the special offerings that the merchants must on doubt offer to bribe the priests for permission  to use the temple grounds as a market), the priesthood were complacent with the activities; it meant more food on their tables. What is wrong with all this?

1)     Witchcraft: It is a way of forcing the people to do more than they really need to do to satisfy all righteousness, it is also a way of giving glory to people who happen to have more cash around than others because they can afford to bear the extra burden.

2)     Self righteousness: This means they were altering God’s standards and setting up their own standards of what is right. This violates the second commandment; it is idolatry on its own not to talk of the fact that the end is to satisfy their covetousness.

3)     Seduction / confusion: They where siphoning the respect that people had for God for private gain. This is a way of making themselves into little gods that must be appeased before you can worship the living God. that was exactly the problem with the tower of Babel; men trying to make a private franchise on God’s glory –

“I will not share My glory with idols; or My honour with men.”

In the deliverance ministry, whenever the above three factors are at play, a group of demonic spirits are very likely to be behind it. They are called by many names but one of their names is ‘robbers’. They are also known as religious spirits, seducing spirits, spirits of error, and antichrist spirits among a host of other names. Wherever these spirits have found root, the place is defiled by offence and the Holy Spirit will not operate.

The three sins stated above are highly intertwined. For example, in Ezekiel 13: 17 – 23, God spoke against women who preach heresy and set up diverse standards of righteousness to confuse and manipulate people to satisfy their greed, by backbiting and tongue-lashing those who do not conform to their standards and praising those who do, God says they had been killing those who should live and giving life to those who should die. It is also noteworthy that God accuses them of divination.

Divination is equated with rebellion to God in Samuel 15: 2. It is the act of determining destiny. To practice divination is to reject God’s destiny for our lives and to embrace the devil’s choice of destiny for us. Rebellion is to choose to reject God’s council for our life and to choose our own council as a model or to follow some other council but God’s as a model for our lives. In other words, what the women where doing was to tell God’s people “You can only be this or that”, “You cannot become this or that”, “You are not qualified to be this or that”… and so on.

Back to Jeremiah 7: 9, we have been able to see that stealing (from God), murder and perjury (swearing by false gods) took place in the temple in Jesus time, also divination (a form of witchcraft). Do you know that Baal worship started out and is in fact hero worship? Even the name ‘Baal’ is derived from a word that means ‘great champion’.

It is easy in retrospect to condemn the Israelites for all these things they were doing, but can we sincerely say we are faultless in this matter? For instance the sin of the women in Ezekiel 13, such events as back-biting, unnecessary emphasis on dressing, such considerations as age barrier, class barrier, clicks, religiously correct language and many other standards that are encouraged in the church but did not originate in the teachings of Christ and those teachings that, although biblical, are used to further the cause of prejudice, hate, the holier than thou attitude, to down play the importance of the Holy spirit, to irrelevate God’s mark of endorsement so as to perpetuate human endorsement, teachings that equate affluence with righteousness, academic attainments with spiritual wisdom, and all such confusing doctrines and practices which are directly or indirectly being encouraged (in word or deed) in the church all amount to divination (living by the standards of strange gods), while hero worship; either in the form of ‘Ogun’, ‘Oya’ or ‘Shango’ worship or Christian ‘spiritual hero worship, is easy to identify in the church.

Accordingly, the bible declares the consequences of these acts of ungodliness in Jeremiah 7: 15 & 16 thus;

“I will thrust you from my presence just as I did all of your brothers, the people of Ephraim. So, do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you”.

This means that in places where such practices are accepted as status quo, the presence of God (the Shechinah glory) which is God’s favour and love, deserts the people. It is even worse that God declares that He would not listen to any intercessory prayer made on behalf of such groups. That is terrible!

Compare this judgment with what we find in Ezekiel 14: 1 – 11, note that verse 7 states that the acts of idolatry and divination (wicked stumbling-block) are acts of separating oneself from God. So in the end, it proves a very appropriate judgment after all; if we turn our backs on God, He will turn His back on us.

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