Apostasy and FanaticismBro. David Chancellor
5/4/2003 6:00 PM
Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! herefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
We are in a world where there are choices to be made. There is a God to server and an enemy that would try to turn us aside from God. The enemy would use tricks and try to turn things around where you are turned aside from God and right. We need to be concerned with how things look to God. Recognize that there are things that would turn us from what God would have us to do and be. We dont want to be turned aside from God.
Apostasy and fanaticism are opposite sides of the same coin. Both take you away from God. Apostasy departs from the word of God by leaving off what God would have us do. It substitutes form in the place of substance. In the morning time, those that apostatized left off prayer for saying the rosary. It left off the cry from the heart to God, and substituted repetitious prayers. It substitutes something less than what God has for you, for something heartfelt. Fanaticism leaves off Gods word by adding to, and putting works in the place of righteousness in the heart. Its the commandments of men presented as the doctrine of God. It takes people away from God by causing them to substitute works for righteousness. Having the right form outwardly is different from having the right spirit within.
The devil can take and present good as evil and evil as good. The Pharisees justified the wicked for reward and called Jesus evil. Keep in mind that we must have God and the life of Christ within. Stick with God above everything else.
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Gods Spirit and his people desire that everyone come to God and take of him freely. This is the message of the church. It is a drawing to God. It is helping people realize that they can have in their soul the well-spring springing up, the revelation of God within. The message of the church is come, dig in, make it yours.
Adding to wont make you more spiritual. You cant go beyond what God has provided. The falling away came from an adding to (monasteries, etc.). Adding to wont make you more spiritual. Being in the center of Gods will and doing as he would have you to do is the most spiritual place you can be. If you add to, youll get plagues.
If you take away, youll get taken out. If you get out of order with God, you are in a perilous position. Seek the message in the word. Look for the meaning God has.
Adding to and taking away from Gods word are both detrimental to Gods work. Satan only made a little change in the wording, but it changed the entire meaning of what God told Adam and Eve. It made a change in them. Something happened. The devil would like to change what God intended into something else.
1 Samuel 15:10-13
Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
God told Samuel that Saul hadnt obeyed. Saul said that he had. Why the difference of opinion? When God speaks, he means what he says. There was some left off and some added to.
1 Samuel 15:14-15
And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
The people and Saul destroyed all except what they would sacrifice. God said "Destroy them all." Samuel said, "This isn't what God said, he said to destroy all."
1 Samuel 15:16-26
Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD. And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.
The sheep and the goats had been kept to sacrifice and Agag had been spared. Saul had added to. When God says something, we need to take it as hes said it. Be careful not to let traditions influence how you read it. Read it to find out what God has to say. Follow Gods commands. Saul was deceived to think he could disobey and still say that he was obeying. Adding to and taking away from both change the word of God and devalue it.
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
This is a picture of apostasy and how it works. It is a drifting away. Apostasy and backsliding are two different things. Backsliding is a conscious decision and a clean break. Apostasy keeps on claiming to serve God. It alters Gods word and goes down its own path claiming that it is Gods path.
We dont want the love of God to go cold in us. Stay under the influence of God. We could have really good qualities and be zealous in the work, but, if God is left out, it means nothing. (Ex: The Jehovahs Witness have a religion of works, not righteousness.) We cant afford to lose our first love. We want to get it just like God says it. Live it as he wants it lived. Hell give you the grace to do it. When the love is gone and the works go on, the devil has won. You cant have a close relationship with God if its all a form. You have to keep the vital relationship with God alive. The frenzied fervency of those that add to is not a love for God, but a love for that which has taken his place.
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
This was a zealous people. They had a frenzied fervency, but it was for their traditions. These were upset because the disciples hadnt washed their hands. They were worried about the tradition of the elders. Where is God? What is your fervency for? These were worried about washing hands, but werent concerned about the fatherless and the widow. These took the words of God and turned them into something else. Love for traditions is different from the love of God. The devil would be happy if we got all concerned about the traditions. We could be very zealous, but the love of God be gone from our hearts.
The devil doesnt care whether you apostatize or fanaticize he just wants you to leave God. The only place youll have the power of God is to stay in the center of Gods will. The time of prayer is not a form, its communion with God. Going through a form is not spirituality. Its important to have a place of prayer, but if its just a form, you dont get the benefit.
The devil wants to turn things around and make evil good and good evil.
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? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He 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? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
Paul was trying to find out who had confused these ones to not obey the truth. If you leave off what God says or obey the commandments of men, youre not obeying the truth. Paul was trying to figure out what had turned them aside. The works of the law in place of the righteousness of God is as wrong as not doing what God says. It wasnt a completion of their experience, but a turning aside.
The devil would turn you aside from the righteousness that is in Christ. More of the Spirit of God, being attentive to his cry, and doing his will, is what makes us more spiritual. We want keen hearing. Listen to what is said and make sure it is what God says. Wed rather people be slow-moving than for them to get something wrong. We dont want to get where we just follow some group of men. Dont let the devil cloud the picture. Veering in either direction is bad. Stick with God above everything else. Stand before God and ask Am I what you want me to be? If adjustments are in order, make adjustments. Seek to please God, even if everyone else disagrees. Go in the direction God points. Move when God says move and stand still when he says to stand still.
Get the message from God just like it is. Theres a devil that would like to twist things around. You started in the Spirit, keep with the Spirit and let him lead and guide you in the path hed have you to go.