Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Undermining God’s Authority

The Lord Jesus Christ issued this statement: “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13-14 NIV). When the Pharisees heard this, they tried to undermine the authority of the Lord and His saving message: “The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering (Scoffing or mocking) at Jesus (Luke 16: 14 NIV).

What We Mean By “Undermining”

Before I present our message, let me clarify the word ‘undermine’. While many people are familiar with this term, we have also learned that people in other parts of the world may not use this word the way we, in South Africa (or certain sections of our society), do. This, however, is the word the Lord used when He gave Charis the message for me to write about. So, when we use the word undermine, we refer to “underestimate,” “disparage,” “challenge” or “subvert.” These synonyms are the closest to what we mean when we use the term undermine.

Truth is universal in application; it is cultures that alter the meaning of a message. This should not be the case in our articles; we might be vague in our presentation due to our cultural use of English, but the truth is substantiated through the relevant Scriptures which apply cross-culturally.

The Mistake of the Children of Israel

Without reciting the entire relationship between God and the children of Israel, Moses charged the children of Israel to “Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 12:28 NIV). When Moses recited the law to the children of Israel, the covenant between God and the Israelites was already in effect (Exodus 24:8). They were reminded to be faithful. This was a lasting covenant sealed with the blood of calves.

This type of covenant or agreement between God and man becomes binding to both parties and cannot be revoked. As the children of Israel moved further away from God and violated His commands, God in His Righteousness fulfilled what He promised – His blessings for obedience and punishment for disobedience (Joshua 14-16; Jeremiah 52). They undermined the covenant (agreement) and like all contractual agreements between people, if we fail to honour them, we would also have agreed to suffer the consequences. Likewise, the terms of benefits (Blessings) and loses (curses/punishment) were enumerated beforehand so that the Israelites could operate accordingly (Deuteronomy 28:1-68).

Through this unfaithfulness by His people, God moved away from this covenant and promised a new covenant (Hebrews 8:7-13; Jeremiah 31:31-34). Furthermore, as the first covenant had regulations, even so does the new covenant (Hebrews 6:4-8). I do not wish to go into a deeper discussion regarding the new and old covenants; the point I am making is that in both dispensations we undermine the value of our commitments through disobedience. In the Israelites example, God in His Mercy made repeated calls through His prophets for repentance and submission to Him and as the Israelites yielded to Him, He would bless them and grant them success (Judges 2:18-23). These were the terms of the covenant: blessings for obedience, and curses and judgements for disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:1-68). The Lord has not changed as we know it; He still requires obedience from His children in order to enjoy the benefits of obedience (Matthew 6:33). Today, many people live disobediently, and when we are being confronted through rebukes we cite God’s love and mercy to hide behind our sins. As a condition, this ministry has been brought into life by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He has ordained this part of His body to expose and speak out against sinful behaviour (Lamentations 2:14). We have shared our testimonies with you in great humility, showing you the sins the Lord exposed in us as a warning to you (See Life through experiences with the Lord Jesus Christ Part I and Part II).These examples express how deeply the Lord loves you, by sparing you the pain of embarrassment. We receive His sharp rebukes and we humbly share our pain with you for your correction. This is meant to make you fear Him and walk carefully.

The Common Mistake We Make

The church is in passive rebelliousness against the Lord. Some church leaders have gone to the extent of misrepresenting the Scriptures to justify certain Biblically forbidden behaviours. We are taught to make peace with sin by doing it because God is Merciful and Gracious (Exodus 34:6). God commands His great Mercy towards us to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4). His Mercy provides for repentance, but our stubbornness and disobedience are leading us to store up wrath against ourselves (Romans 2:5; Exodus 34:7). The full extent of God’s love and mercy is better appreciated when our walk with Him is pure in humble submission. Remember: if His Mercy is available for our repentance, it means we receive back acceptance into His Presence; but our stubborn rebellious ways turn mercy into wrath!

I am going to share a short testimony on how I undermined the Word of God coming through my daughter Charis, and the Power of His authority. I accepted the words He gave concerning others, but I was in the habit of denying my own faults. I undermined His words even to the extent of mocking some of the messages He gave. A few days later, the Lord gave Charis an open vision when she was still awake and He said: Your father must watch his mouth! When she shared this with me, I was gripped with a deep fear for God and I repented and received His loving mercy. On another occasion, I was overcome with anger, which led me to sin and stubbornness. The following day the Lord brought me a SERIOUS message containing word “very” five (5) times. This in itself had me deeply, deeply, very deeply worried. I humbled myself and repented but this did not prevent the Lord from coming after me with a sharp rebuke. I was blasted, cut in pieces by the Words of His mouth through Charis (Hosea 6:5). In acknowledgment, what was said was all true; I lamented that rebuke many days thereafter and in His Mercy I was healed as I drew close to Him. I therefore encourage you, STOP your wilful sin and don’t undermine God’s messages to you. If this message through us, the Bible, or others, exposes your sins and encourages correction, then it is from God; please repent because it is for your own well-being. Let us not undermine our salvation and mock correction; God wants to save us from His wrath (Proverbs 3:11).

In conclusion, STOP criticising what is meant to lead you to repentance. If you do so, the Lord sees you as ungrateful and rebellious. He will visit you in judgement and your will be ashamed! I have read words of vitriolic/bitter criticism from Christians against other Christians. This is shameful! This undermines the grace of God and His command to love, pray and forgive our brethren (Romans 12:9-18). By allowing yourself to be corrected, you will live.

Have you been, in any way, undermining the Lord Jesus Christ, His Word or His Messages through His servants? Here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Yours in submissive love,

Brother Glenn.