Jesus said it was critical that His message is put in the proper containers.

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish:
but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. Matthew 9:17 

Today we are still putting His life and message in the same “bottles” that the Pharisees did.  We have the same structure, the same methods.

We must rid ourselves of every remnant of the old bottles.

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The New Wineskin

The new wineskin is the thing that holds together and contains the new wine of the new covenant. It is the packaging the preserves it and makes it available to others. We are trying to present wine in a wineskin born of the demonic. Our presentation methods are not those used by Jesus or the apostles. We (try to) teach exactly like the humanists do, breaking things down into bite-sized pieces and hoping the mind can grasp and assimilate those pieces of information.

The method and understanding of the new wineskin is doing the words pertaining to God and those spoken by Him are Spirit and life and that the “organ” that is communicated with is not the mind but the heart. We don’t become conformed to His image by the renewing of our heart, but our mind. God has given us a new heart, it is the mind that needs to come into conformity with the heart and the heart has the ability to work the mind into the understanding the heart has.

The way that the heart hears is by faith. Humanism does not teach by faith, but by information. We no longer believe that His words are Spirit and life and that they perform the work intended. No, we depend on explanations and presentations suited to the carnal man. We are more concerned with offending man than pleasing God.

Man is now the purpose that modern preachers preach and teach. That is not the reason that Jesus nor the apostles preached and taught. They preached and taught so that God could be revealed. So that His glory, His holiness, His kingdom would be presented as a reality. He wanted to give men the privilege of participating in demonstrating His glory, holiness, and kingdom.

Jesus and His disciples preached a God of demonstration, a God Who is actively involved in the affairs of men in REAL ways. A God who showed forth to the eyes of all His goodness and dominion. The only models and methods we have of Jesus sending His disciples out to proclaim His kingdom are accompanied by demonstration. He sent the 12 and the 70 out that way and then, after His resurrection, He gave the same command.

Now, we have all sorts of alternatives to the presentation of the gospel. Why would we want to improve on God’s method, His recipe? To even think that we can seem arrogance and blasphemy to me. We now try to win converts in the same way the world tries to influence people. Advertising, pamphlets, making promises and false claims of benefits (because His true benefits are too good to believe so we offer them worldly benefits that they can understand). Is it any wonder why our Christianity is corrupted and corrupting?

We don’t do or worry about disobeying what He told us to do and we ignore the only methodology that He revealed. When the kingdom is demonstrated it solves almost all the problems of explaining Who God is and His desire to bless people. While God’s ultimate intention is to bring unbelievers to union with Him through the cross and resurrection of Christ, He always gave them proof that He is indeed the king and indeed reigns over all the works of the enemy. Unbelievers had to deal with the reality of His reign because the SAW it does things no man could do.

We have robbed God of the glory due His name and His kingdom. We have allowed secular humanism to define God (He is a really NICE guy Who REALLY loves you just like your mummy and daddy did). We have allowed secular humanism to redefine all the critical words of scripture. Salvation now is just freedom from hell, it seems to have nothing to do with John 17. Yet, John 17 is the entire purpose of salvation. How much have we cheapened God, His intention, and His Savior?

And then there is love. A word that God has chosen to describe Himself. We have reduced to a “one size fits all” concept. We have been deluded to believe that God treats all the same, regardless of their obedience or love.

We have allowed that word to mean that God is Someone who just wants to be nice to everyone (as defined by psychology and Secular Humanism). And it is a totally false definition. John 17 explains the end result of God’s love and intentions. Anything that promotes or creates a convert that is less than that is not loving.

Since God IS love, then for a proper definition we need to go through scripture and see how love treated and responded to His people and to the heathen.

We need to hear what Jesus says

I have come to call the innocent from error, not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough and understand it all.” (Luke 5:32 NLT).

We see a stark difference between the way Jesus responded to the broken and hurting and the Pharisees. Our problem is that we think we are humble and broken instead of Pharisess. Phariseeism is well hidden and accepted until someone comes along and exposes it for what it is. Then it becomes war.

If there is one need amongst church leaders, teachers, and speakers, is the realization that they fit the mold of a Pharisee more than a sheep. God will speak to them as He did to Pharisees if they fail to listen with spiritual ears. It is only to the sheep who follow only Him that the calm and sure Shepherd’s voice is heard. We have our entrenched doctrines which will not let God be as He says or do as He wants. He gives us as much of Him as we want. He allows us to hear His voice to the extent we want. He pushes against the parameters we allow, but He wants a seeking and willing heart which is willing to lay aside all reputation, all accumulated understanding of Him, and let Him speak as He wants to speak in all its fullness. Problem is, we do hear Him partially and when we respond, we see His works follow and then we justify ourselves and use that as proof that we are walking in the Spirit. We must look at Jesus’ and the apostles’ standards of what it means to walk in the Spirit. The Spirit comes with power. Power and truth are the primary identifying traits of the Spirit. Yet our truth does not make the same dramatic changes that it did for Jesus and the apostles. And power is completely lacking. We think it is OK that the Spirit does not demonstrate the Kingdom of God or the authority of the king of kings. How deluded we are to think we walk in the Spirit when we are not walking in His truth and His power. We mistake His grace and the results He gives us as an endorsement of our spirituality. Instead, He is only saying, look at what I can do in spite of your false ideas and misrepresentations of Me. I am trying to provoke you out of your meager doctrines and beliefs so that I can move with the fullness of power and reveal My glory. Instead of looking at what God does do through us, it is time to consider what He does not do through us because of our wrong beliefs and humanistic doctrines.

You will find very little in scripture that matches the definition of love that we now define as love. I dare you to make a list of how God deals with His people and the heathen throughout scripture, and then see how many times it matches with our corrupted idea of love. You will be confronted by a God you do not know, Who is not spoken of, a love unlike you have imagined. A love that cleanses and purifies. You will know God as a consuming fire and embrace Him for it. You will welcome His spokesmen to speak words of rebuke and fire so as to consume pharisaical egos.

Throughout scripture, we find a God who will destroy, punish, kill, swallow the rebellious by opening up the earth and send plagues and destroy tens of thousands simply because their king had a census. That does not fit our definition of love very well. But a God of love always acts with love. He can not do otherwise.

In the new testament, we find Him chastising those He loves. He blinds sorcerers who oppose Him, He kills saints who lie, He mocks, is sarcastic toward, calls names, lambasts people who think they have their religious house in order, those who will not see. And, yes, of course, for those who are broken and needy (and know it) he is tender and longsuffering and fans the weak flame and strengthens the wounded. When His people are obedient and a reflection of His kingdom, all is well. He blesses, encourages, and promises good things. He keeps on doing this until they will not listen.

Yes, those who are without the leaven of sin and who walk after His Spirit can realize the type of love that seems to look like our secular definition. Those who walk after the flesh and man’s definitions see the God who chastises those He loves. We have such a high opinion of our spirituality. Our bar is set far too low.

He will do whatever it takes to bring men to repentance (repentance is another word that we have emphasized wrongly. It is primarily turning toward God, yet we emphasize that it is a turning from sin. When one turns toward God, he automatically turns from sin. But one can turn away from sinning and turn toward the law or man-pleasing) But we have convinced ourselves that sin is not so bad and, in time, the person will turn from it.

Ours is a God who HATES sin and will not tolerate it. He knows it destroys and separates. His primary objective is to clear out the sin and remove all leaven so that His relationship and power can be perfected in those who are His. We don’t hate sin, we accommodate it. It is more important to us not to offend or possibly drive away a person. Christ had no such concerns. We are content to allow people with demons and sinful lives to sit in our churches and not address their sins or deal with their demons. We are hoping that our humanistic (yet totally based on scripture) messages will somehow magically deal with the problem We assume that our secular loving them and our secular patience will do the trick. God has clearly shown us what does the “trick”. He never said to be patient or longsuffering with sin. He says cast the person or the demon out if there is no repentance. It is the truth and power of God that sets free, and we have little confidence in either of those. We preach and demonstrate a god who is different and who is inadequate to deal with sin and demons in an efficient manner. We love our humanistic leavening. We focus on getting along, just like the elks and moose lodges and somehow that becomes proof that we are joined together in love. Yes, secular, humanistic love. But not God’s love which hates sin and has given us the power to set men free. The truest expression and result of love is that it sets men free, it does not look the other way or compromise with sin.

And yes, we do try to do that, but we do it in the power of our secular humanistic redefined ways which are comfortable to man but anathema to God.

God always in the old testament and the new has demanded that the false gods and their altars be thrown down and destroyed before His favor would return to them. He has not changed. That is what repentance is all about. Repentance is an initial but also an ongoing act. We must continually have our face set toward Him and His kingdom. We think so lightly of repentance. As long as we get some of the big, glaring sins out of the way, we think that we have repented.

Our humanistic driven and defined gospel accommodates sin, it accommodates the world, the flesh, and the devil. It knows little of “come out from among them and be holy as I am holy”. Holiness is a heart issue and we behave and speak out of the heart we trust in.

Why do we ignore Christianity as presented in the New Testament? It is the only example or model that God gave. Because we can’t make it happen with our secularized beliefs and definitions, we come up with all kinds of secular explanations as to why God does not do those things (yes, we blame the God who changes not, rather than ourselves and our corrupted doctrines and definition and we refuse to admit that we are following and preaching a god who does not represent the God of scripture. Ours is a weaker god, a god who does not rule a kingdom that is powerful enough to have dominion over the kingdoms of this world or the kingdom of darkness. He is no longer a God of demonstration like He has shown Himself to be throughout scripture. Rather, we have reduced Him to a God of information, of opinion, of accommodation. We have done that because we can not look at the Holy One and not deal with our sin and rebellion and competing loves.

The remedy

first of all, we must return to the God Who IS, not the god of our inventions and definitions. We must allow scripture as presented by the Holy Spirit to define the words of scripture. That means that all the words must be brought before the Spirit of truth and if we desire only His truth, we will know the truth. As long as we defend man’s interpretations, long taught in Bible schools and commentaries, to remain, we will never know the true God. It is not the arduous task as one might think. For as we learn to hear His voice and the big lies are exposed, then others fall quickly like dominoes. It is an embarrassing task, especially for those schooled in humanistic interpretations. Only the humble and broken can hear the Spirit clearly.

The expectation of transformation must be based on the spirit and life that is in the words spoken. True words of life and spirit that are spoken by those in the flesh or clinging to humanistic ideas will have less impact than those spoken by those who have spent face time before God, fearing to speak anything not from His lips, fearing to cause anyone to stumble or misunderstand. Fearing to make people more comfortable or less comfortable than what God would have. Fearing lest secular humanism be a leaven in the words.

Only those who have spent time listening to the Spirit and can have the benefit of faith performing its works. Faith comes by hearing a word from God. And then faith goes out from the one who has heard from God because he only speaks the words of God. It is obvious that God’s word has not gone out to those in churches. They have no power, no demonstration, no evidence of His kingdom. When they do accomplish salvation in a hearer, it is an impoverished salvation, a deficient faith, one that does not rise above the din of humanistic Christianity.

And woe be to the prophet that God sends into the midst of that Christianity. He speaks words they cannot accept nor understand for they have corrupted the definitions of the words before He speaks. They expect him to speak to them as dear children instead of the Pharisees they are. He spares not, he reviles, he encourages them to return to the one true God. That offends them because, like the Pharisees, they think they are properly representing Him. After all, do not they have scriptural proof of their doctrines and manner of life? Of course, they do, but like the Pharisees, they have corrupted scripture. The prophet does not say, “believe me”, he says “Let the Spirit of truth guide you into all truth”. And they say, “He has”. And the prophet says, “then why does your religion not look like the religion I demonstrated at the hands of Jesus and the apostles?” The prophet most likely goes on to embarrass them and call out their false doctrines and definitions. When they cannot refute his words, they will attack his person, his delivery, or anything else that will divert from a discussion of the truth.

He is accused of destroying and not building. He will not build on idolatrous foundations and knows that God first must cleanse the foundation and the errors that weaken it before building. When hearers agree to rid of leaven and idols, then he shows the way of restoring the foundations of many generations. He spends much time pointing out the rubble that has to be removed. It is the idols that are dear to the hearers and favorite doctrines that are the most difficult to expose and the ones that earn him the most rebuke.

We all want to know what we must do to do the works of God. Jesus tells us plainly

John 6: 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Not gathering information about Him, not trying to teach His ways, just believe Him and what He says. The His words become Spirit and life and transform. The humanist who tries to explain everything and break it down so that the mind can receive it.

Jesus way was simple to proclaim the truth and only partially broke it down when asked.

Peter did not do an exegesis or proof in context when he proclaimed on the day of Pentecost that what was being seen was that which was spoken of in Joel. He stated it as fact, and it was.

Jesus spoke in parables and mysteries deliberately so that men would not understand unless they had spiritual ears to hear. He never spoke words that the natural mind could grasp, except when He was blasting the Pharisees.

Jesus answered Nicodemus with truth that was beyond human ability to understand. Even His explanation is beyond our ability to understand.

A prime example of our wrongheaded Christianity is the belief that we have to understand the culture of the time in order to understand the meaning of what was said. That is humanistic reasoning at its height. Every culture that Paul or others wrote to expressed the conflict between the kingdom of God and a kingdom or culture of this world. In each epistle, the apostles is forever saying, “your culture is wrong, evil, and destructive, live by the culture of the kingdom of God. They tirelessly presented the culture and ways of God’s kingdom. No culture of man is ultimately an impediment to God having His way. Sodom and Gomorrah were not, Corinth was not. So, why is the culture of the city written to of any consequence other than the peculiar errors that it gave rise to? The proclamation of the ways and culture of God’s kingdom steamrolled over every practice of each and every society. The apostles mocked, they chided, they threatened, they encouraged, they reminded as they assaulted the ways of wickedness that had come as leaven into the understanding of the saints. They took no prisoners and allowed no dissention or other opinions. They were flint faced (we would call them stubborn today so that we could dismiss their words) One thing they did not do was to mince words or to be careful not to offend anyone. The let the blade of truth cut and hack where it may. Truth destroys the false, it mends the weak, it causes saints to be strong and to walk in the Spirit. The only thing it does not do is compromise.

God has never used understanding to mature or benefit His people. His methods have been

  • repent
  • believe
  • be born again
  • be baptized with power from on high
  • desire the gifts
  • properly understand what love is and then be it

Summary

  • Believe, know, preach, proclaim that God is a God of demonstration. Information and explanation are only devices of darkness to prevent us from pursuing the God of demonstration. When God does give an explanation it is “you have sinned”
    • The Bible starts with great demonstration and ends with spectacular demonstrations
      • he is not on a holiday now.
      • The only method of making disples or proclaiming the kingdom was that His saints would demonstrate the King, His power, and His kingdom. You will find no other example in scripture.
      • Saints in the OT demonstrated God’s power and kingdom by visibly defeating their enemies. So did the NT saints. Disease and demons and even death fell before their demonstration.
      • Until we proclaim and believe in the God Who demonstrates His power and authority we will never proclaim the true God.
  • Seek God’s face until you have His definition of love. If there is one word that satan has used to destroy sinners and saints and misrepresent Christianity, it is by redefining love. Since God is love, if we do not get that definition right and without leaven, then everything we say will be a misrepresentation of God.
    • Secular humanism is so ingrained into us that getting free of its poisonous intrusion into the definitions of God’s terms that it is the most difficult of errors to rid ourselves of. They seem like definitions of light and so pleasing to our flesh and everything that protects us from the knowledge of God.
    • If we won’t do this work, we should do no work.
  • Speak truth to the heart, not the mind. It is the mind that needs renewing, not the heart and the heart is God’s means to renew the mind through the truth that is spoken
    • If we are not seeing God’s results of truth, it is only because the truth we speak is not pure, but contaminated.
    • We must be very diligent in seeking His face and allowing Him to examine every motive of our heart and wrongly defined words and wrong spins on truth.
  • All of God’s kingdom, promises, results, and power come only through faith. It is all about faith and faith can only be based on truth
  • proclaim truth boldly, don’t try to teach the mind
  • Let the words of spirit and life do what God meant them to do. We do not need to help them along. Our only concern is that those words are not contaminated in any way with humanistic or other leaven (that is a major challenge to speakers which are used to using the ways of the secular to teach the hearers)
    • Don’t try to make truth effective. Everything we do in that regard only proves that we do not believe the power of truth or the work of truth
  • get rid of secular approaches and concepts to transmit truth. Hate them with a godly hatred
    • They are the leaven that has turned Christianity upside down and made it a friend of the world.
  • Hate all sin and everything that exalts itself against the word of God, especially those things which seem to come as friends and aids to help.
  • be only concerned that God, His truth, and His kingdom be honored and glorified. Let men come and go, pay no attention to their flatteries or rebukes or criticisms. Go to God with every reaction of man, whether pleasant or not, and get His perspective.
  • The only concern to have for man is that he comes into the truth and experience of God’s kingdom. We take no mind of his whining, complaining, or any offense he may take with the truth.
  • Get rid of every semblance of secular counseling. While it is true that secular counseling has discovered some of the truths of God they can not set people free by that truth or their methods.
    • You can’t find one example of the consulting method used by God’s spokesmen in the whole of scripture.
    • The Holy Spirit is our Counselor and our only model for counseling. And he drives out demons and everything that oppresses. He does not come alongside and speak sweet things until the hearer is able to hear delivering truth. He does bear with those who are struggling against principalities, but His only answer is repent, trust in Christ for all.

Attendance at the church will soon amaze you. You will be tempted to think that God is finally Vindicating and verifying your ministry and your approach. He is not. It is a test.

You have led people to believe that you can lead them to a true understanding and the kingdom of God and usher them into revival. They believe you. They expect you to deliver.

But if you don’t deliver, they will leave as fast as they came. Holding out the carrot of promise without delivering is a path most of them have trod many times, believing that if they just stuck around enough they would see what was promised.

It will not come by doing things the same way as we have been doing them. Only the new wineskin can deliver the results promised by the wine. And no one that I know of has discovered what that new wineskin is. And God will not reveal it to any until they have committed to forsaking the current wineskins we are trusting in.

I don’t know how long you have to bring forth your vision and promises, but I do know that God is raising up others who will do it and it will be obvious to all who is truly representing the kingdom. It will be those too ignorant to explain away that God does not mean what He says.

You do not have to know how to bring forth revival or the manifestation of His kingdom. All you have to do is be EAGER to lay aside all the false methods and practices that Christendom has used for centuries and relearn His ways and forsake all other ways.

RESISTING THE REPROOF OF LIFE

 same as from ApostacyNow.com
Resisting the Reproof of Life
 –
Answers to the rebellious response to correction, “Judge not that ye be not judged!”

Ps.141:5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be (for them)in their calamities.

When someone confronts you about a sin or fault in such a way that you feel “caught”, but the sin you are accused of looks SO defamatory that it frightens you; are you willing to yield and seek repentance out and away from your sin? Or are you more likely to be outraged, that some other “imperfect person” dares to find fault with you? When someone continues to remind you of your “besetting sin”, can you just say “Amen, Lord have mercy”, or do you seek opportunity for revenge? Do you invite reproof as a kindness, an excellent oil? Or do you like to think that only a self-righteous and critical person would ever dare to criticize you? Is it so, that anyone who dares to mention your “mote in your eye “, ought to be immediately reminded that their attempt to reprove you is only the evidence of the “beam in their own eye “?

Jesus prophesied, “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” One of the most visible evidences of the fulfillment of this prophecy is that even among Christians, reproof is not welcome. Do you ever submit to reproof from anyone who has no carnal power to punish you for resisting? Are you unwilling to confront anyone else for their sins or errors, unless you are sure that there is no way for them punish you for doing so? Do you “fellowship in the light”, or are you party to a multitude of “unspoken agreements”, in which you will tolerate someone else’s faults and errors, if only they will tolerate YOURS?

If someone complains about the terrible circumstances of their life, almost everyone will volunteer to pray for them, but only so they can escape from the inquiry into WHY such trouble came. If, as is usually expected, there is no answer to their prayer, they can remember that they prayed and excuse themselves from any further involvement. Even if the connection between this person’s sins and the consequences of his sins are clearly seen, there will probably be no open rebuke for fear of reprisals. If they face this troubled person again, they can always reassure them that God loves them, thereby making it “all God’s fault”, Who supposedly, didn’t do anything to help. But what we really have here, is the case in which God did intervene by placing the word of correction in YOUR heart and mouth, even though He knew you wouldn’t risk that other person’s wrath by confronting them. So, in the end, you are judged as unfaithful and cowardly for failing to confront your brother, and the word of reproof is denied to the brother who needed to hear it because he was unteachable. Besides, it is now commonly held, that anyone who would be so bold as to point out to someone else their sins has no love, or is guilty of unrighteous judging.

Prov.15:31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

There is no such thing as the fellowship of the saints without the reproof of life. Without it, all that is left is deception, guile, and alienation which are then relabeled as “patience, mercy, and tolerance”. Everyone is careful not to step on anyone else’s toes, lest they be accused of “the pot calling the kettle, black.” Hence, you and everyone else are left in your sins and errors for years, while you excuse yourselves in the knowledge that “nobody’s perfect”. What then? Is mercy nothing more than the self-serving willingness to wink at evil, dishonesty, hardheartedness, pride and stubborness? Is the silent tolerance of one another’s faults the expression of the love of God? Or is it rather, that all correction is grievous to you, and you hate reproof? Jesus described the reality of the matter when he said:

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

That which makes manifest, is light. Therefore, one who walks in the light seeks to be exposed, and seeks also to surround himself with others who will speak the truth to him rather than flatteries. Those who seek for the kingdom of God and His righteousness do not despise the reproof of life: neither the giving of it, nor the receiving of it. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will heed the Words of our Saviour, who commanded us to love one another even as He loved us. In His own Words, He said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…” (Rev. 3:19).

Certainly, if you go about sticking your nose into other people’s business, you are inviting them to do the same to you, but Jesus also said, “All things therefore that ye would that men SHOULD do to you, do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt.7:12). And to many, this means, “I’ll leave you alone, so that you will leave me alone”. You refuse to confront others about their sins and errors, because you refuse to receive reproof yourself. But, if you love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and your neighbor as yourself, you will turn your ear to receive reproof, and you will do your utmost to extend the rule of Truth over all those around you, even if you can only do so at the risk of rejection and slander.

Isaiah 29:15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

But no, you testify against yourself that your own deeds are evil, by avoiding the light, and letting everyone else live in the darkness also, with a depraved indifference to the consequences that they may suffer for their sins, as long as you get to maintain your reputation as a nice guy. You will let those who are living in destruction because of their sins, believe that it is God who is ignoring them, instead of you. And if anyone dares to confront you about your sins, you have already treasured up in the secret darkness of your heart all of the charges that you can bring against this person in retaliation. You are glad that THEY are NOT PERFECT, for you think that gives you the right to refuse any reproof from them. You can always find SOME REASON to deny that you are being smitten by a RIGHTEOUS man, and then account your freedom to snub and dismiss him as Divine vindication. If your counter-charges don’t shut him up or make him go away, you can always feign hurt and injury, in the hope that he will be afraid of sinning against you, or that someone else will come rushing to your defense. How CONVENIENT it is to presume that this self-righteous, unloving, and malicious accuser, doesn’t have any idea how much you have been through!

Thus, what we have among “Christians” now, instead of fellowship, is UNREPENTANCE reinforced by some presumed “right of privacy” that is supposed to protect and justify a heart full of darkness, errors, and wounds. And THIS, is just another example of the rejection of the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” No, you have already decided that anyone who complains to you about your attitudes, doctrines, or actions, could not possibly be sent by Jesus Christ for your benefit. It will be quickly pointed out that nobody is perfect, meaning that since I am not perfect, I have no right to stick my nose into your business. Were the Apostles PERFECT? Are you also prepared to insist that Jesus would never send someone to warn you about your sins and errors? And what if you are the one who is being sent to confront your brother about his sins? Do you refuse on the grounds that he is likely to retaliate, just like you would? Will you leave him in his error or his sin, with a complete disregard for the ruin that he could suffer for it? Will you END UP JUDGING the command of the Holy Ghost to confront this brother, as a temptation to either sin or bring needless trouble on yourself? Do you want to be reconciled to your brother? or do you wish he would “just go away” so that you will not be burdened or inconvenienced by him?

If you habitually refuse to hear those around you, and instead, regard their complaints about you as nothing more than their own carnal and personal dislikes, how many times do you suppose you have been guilty of rejecting “the reproof of life”? How many times have you realized a conviction that you should go and reprove your brother, and you refused, and even judged the command of the Holy Ghost as a provocation to do evil? We are warned that we will not be excused for this offence.

EXAMPLE

You are a respected and honored Bible teacher in your church. Your brethren in the congregation recognize you as a blessing and a faithful laborer. Some are even awed by your knowledge of the Bible and wouldn’t miss a chance to hear you teach. These same people also see problems in your marriage. They have heard you criticize her, and they have heard her dismiss you with contempt. Your brethren don’t say anything to you or her about this, because they are afraid that you will denounce them for challenging your authority, warn them to “mind their own business”, or retaliate by “meddling ” in their affairs. They justify themselves under the guise of being merciful and forgiving, and all the while, the situation between you and your wife continues to deteriorate.

One day, out of the blue, your wife announces to you that she has filed for a divorce. In a panic, and more out of a fear for your reputation than anything else, you call these “friends” and ask them to pray….for your wife, OF COURSE, who is in the process of committing this very great sin against you. They all solemnly promise to pray for you and her, asking God to restore your marriage and heal your relationship. And still, they refuse to reprove you for your pride, malice, and vengefulness, because to do so now, would be to reveal that they KNEW all along, but were too cowardly and selfish to “get involved”.

And of course, all the while these things have been going on, you have noticed the sins of your brethren; but you haven’t said anything either, and for the same reason: The NEED to maintain that unwritten and unspoken wicked agreement to not meddle in each other’s affairs: and you will continue to insist that this mutual toleration of sin and error is a some kind of “fruit of the Spirit”.

Then, when your divorce is final, there will be expressions of sympathy, but no one is likely to take into account that their prayers were unanswered, or why. Your brethren, who are now full of opinions about what you did wrong, will likely listen patiently and silently while you justify yourself of any wrongdoing in the matter. They will be relieved when you finally judge that you just fell victim to “one of those things” that befall men in this world. They will be relieved when you make this judgement, because now they don’t have to worry about being accused for their treachery against you and your wife, for not speaking the truth to you about your errors, in the first place.

What a despicable and horrifying pretence of religion this is, where men will refuse to reprove or be reproved, about ANYTHING. The church in this example is your typical, FRIENDLY church, where everyone is duly sympathetic and where no one is likely to confront you for your ongoing, unrepented of sins, unless they reach the category of scandal: in which case, they can take the courage to criticize you from the crowd at their back. There is no fellowship of the saints because no one will grant to anyone else the right to interfere with their so-called “personal business”, and no one is willing endure any rejection or persecution for righteousness sake.

So, marriages fail, children turn away in bitterness and rebellion, tragedies strike, and the beat goes on: Sunday after Sunday, without letup, without repentance, without deliverance, and without salvation from the common miseries of this life. Rather, you are accounted righteous if you maintain your calm and steadfast exterior while sicknesses take their toll and disasters or failure ruin your dreams. Those who are accounted the most righteous, are those who patiently endure the wages of sin without putting anyone else on the spot to answer the question: Why?

Scenarios like this are played out without interruption in the churches of Christendom: reproof is despised, and there is no seeking after the righteousness of God. It is no wonder that the prophet wrote:

Isa.26:18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.

This flight from righteousness and responsibility has been going on for so long that no one takes account of the fact that the presense and power of the Holy Spirit is rarely, if ever, realized. No one dares to say the things that the Holy Spirit of God will inspire, so the Spirit is quenched, grieved, and eventually ceases from His striving with us. We want miracles of deliverance, and healing of sicknesses, but not if that means delivering the reproof of life to someone who may resent it. For instance, you know someone whose health problems are intimately connected to their obesity BUT rather than reprove this person for gluttony, you will only be willing to pray for this person’s health and then blame them or yourself for a lack of faith when your prayer is ignored. Neither are we willing to speak a word that may drive away the insincere or the hypocrite. Therefore we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. And this is a sufficient explanation as to why the churches and even the pulpits of Christendom are full of unbelievers who never had any intention of obeying whatsoever Christ has commanded us. BUT NO, all kinds of bogus explanations will be proffered to explain why we are powerless, and everything gets blamed on some kind of ‘mysterious’ problem for which there is no answer.

Prov.15:10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.

Where does this hatred of correction lead us? It leads us to failure and corruption, because correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way. Hatred of correction, unchecked and unrepented of, leads finally to the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. The influence of the Spirit will be rejected on the grounds that “the Holy Spirit would never say that to me!”, or, “the Holy Spirit would never tell me to say that to him!”

Despising the reproof of life is a sure road to a dry, powerless and frustrating religion, and ultimately, the path to ruin. In spite of all your religious profession, if you despise, refuse, and reject the reproof of life, the Bible says that you have forsaken the waythat leads to life.