December 1, 2009
Message delivered to ministers at Lake Hamilton Bible Camp October 28, 2009
How in the World did we Wind up Here?
Introduction Part A:
Since the beginning of my preparation for this message, I have known the topic title: "How in the world did we wind up here?" What I did not know was how the Lord wanted the topic developed.
I assumed some things and my assumptions were wrong---I thought God wanted me to preach to you about our common problems after we did the will of God and found ourselves in what is known as "extenuating circumstances."
My first deliberations on this title were along this vein. I concentrated on a number of Bible heroes who got into predicaments even though they were in the center of the will of God.
First Deliberations: 4 Biblical Heroes out of several original ones.
(The reader may want to verbally ask, during the following examples, "How in the world did we wind up here?")
The Lord changed my venue:
Major Deliberations:He disturbed my mind every time I worked on this address. He formatted in my spirit a sort of "counter message." This went on for months. It became clear the Lord wanted me to concentrate just on the clergy-worldwide. It was to be a universal message…not just to those assembled here at LHBC. I was reminded, in the Spirit, of Rye Stadium, 1986, and the 12,000 assembled evangelists from around the globe. The Lord said, "Preach like you were addressing those in Rye Stadium; do not skip or diminish one item I lay before you."
As the Lord began to deal with my heart, I realized His direction was different than anything I had ever done before. This was why He gave me Lamentations 4:12-13 for the text for this message.
After completing my preparation for this address, I reflected on the book of Jude and thought that it best characterized my own work. Jude said he preferred to speak to the saints about those factors common to their faith, but God changed his message. His message would actually approximate II Peter 2. Therefore, the book of Jude stands as a monumental work against the spiritual dalliances of religion in the last days. He spanned the centuries when he quoted Enoch, the oldest prophet in the Bible, and roared past historic time alighting at the End-Times.12 The kings of the earth,
"How in the world did we wind up here?"
That is God's supreme question directed to the church and the body politic around it.
Some Considerations:Several years ago, I spoke to a Baptist Church, in Colorado, on the subject: "How did we wind up with Jim and Tammy?"
As clergy and members of the five-fold ministry, outlined in the New Testament, we are aware that the (Jim and Tammy) church of modern times lacks something --- even numerous things.Things Not Considered:(1) It lacks almost every facet of spiritual power found in the early church.Based on this, it is fair to ask: "How in the world did we wind up Here?" On this topic we must agree.
What is to be covered?(1) I am not to actually address the moral turpitude issues of which we all are aware.
I wish to address the clergy as the root cause of all that is at work to bring this nation and the world into captivity. God indicted the clergy of the House of Judah, and once again He is bringing charges.The Main Thing:
What is the root of this unrest?I wish to approach the utter failure of the clergy's ranks as spiritual leaders.
I will list six venues contributing to the mass unrest of God's chosen.
(1) An Unchallenged clergy: Namely, the likes of Jeremiah Wright-and thousands of Liberation Theology pastors. How can other clergy invite such to their pulpits, honor them with their conferences and give honorariums for their causes? How can they? How can we?
What of those other clergy whose excesses are on constant public display. I mean those ignominies incurred by a 1000 charismatic clergy.
(What passes as normal fare from the clergy of today, 200 years ago would have gotten them publically flogged or burned at the stake for heresy.)
There is heresy in the land! --- A heresy which has corrupted the majority of all clergymen!There is Heresy dispensed by the five-fold ministry…
There is heresy among us:On all sides, there is the purposeful dispensing of a religious special opiate given to the people in order to quell their free access to the truth! Having been overly sedated, they now no longer recognize the truth, and they accept the lies set before them as "meat for the masses."
Pastor's have learned and practiced how to rule their domains in such a way that a prophet, like Jeremiah, would never find an opportunity to stand and address the people! These pastors are the gate-keepers in a way God never intended.
(2) Unchallenged Prophets: Who spout their proposals to a million "media soakers (the people who listen)." (God says there is judgment on these prophets who "go when He has not sent" and "speak when He has not spoken.")Pastors bring their silliness to the pulpit: and administer a plateful of pulchritude, platitudes and porridge, offering it up as a substitute for the saint's inheritance--- reminiscent of Jacob and Esau.
The babblings of today are living proof that today's array of prophets look like those who surrounded Jeremiah. (Jeremiah's prophecies were counter to every last one of them.)
(3) Unchallenged authors: Who write trivia and package it as the "latest from the Lord" and distribute their wares through Christian Bookstores to an unsuspecting public… now the bookstores have become an estuary of diabolical miscreance. They weave a network of sameness that intoxicates their audiences and follow Max Lucado and Tim LeHaye as if they were pipers.
(4) Unchallenged church leadership: Woe to the support Staff and those who surround these men of "not God's choosing." They carry out their trade in religious arenas using herd psychology. They are "armor bearers" for a clergy who have no message ,and yet they drain resources from the "work of God" all the while supporting a system that one day God will stop! (A ghost writer for some of the biggest names in evangelical Christianity recently confided he was quitting. He could no longer take the corruption associated with his tasks. He would not represent those who had sold out to the world and sin. He confessed the guilt that overwhelmed him for having taken part in their plots and plans. [And God's people purchase and read and absorb this stuff?])
(5) Unchallenged church audiences: Who cannot be called worshippers, merely robots rising, falling, singing and reciting as they are commanded…yet they bear responsibility for things being this way. Their tithes and offerings pour into coffers which perpetuate these behaviors. God is not pleased with a people displaying ignorance after years of supposed Bible study.
(6) Unchallenged General Public: Who hear no message of Repentance and are severed from the life stream of the Holy Ghost (by those who declare to operate under His leadership and yet know Him not.). One review of the "belief" section of any major newspaper will reveal a collage of religious dribble. An educated public that remains duped by their subterfuge deserves a correction.Acts 17:30
This public should rise up and say, "Get it straight; Get it right; Give us God or Get Out!" But alas, the general public's constructs of Christianity form a sentimentalism that makes the Victorian period blush.
Jeremiah's Indictment:These are the ones with cutesy illustrations, tabloid testimonies and sympathy ensconced platitudes dressed in a religious garb. This public is the one who emails you and me those pretty little sayings and notes about some abstract religious trait. You know them by what turns them on…and I know them by what turns me off! The Prayer of Jabez might have been wonderful for Jabez, but my prayers must exceed those prayers…and yours had best exceed his too.
In Jeremiah's day, each of the six groups was addressed by the same type of exposure that we have laid before you today. In Lamentations, he spelled out each group in terms no one could confuse. We must seek that same kind of clarity today.
His Biblical Reasons for Judgment:Lam 4:11 The LORD has fulfilled His fury; He has poured out His fierce anger.
Jeremiah had Spiritual discernment: the missing grace gift.Prophetic Word: All of this is a kind of rubbish which is about to perish in the flames of a national captivity, the likes of which will leave most of the clergy decimated…weeping like sycophants on the floor of their studies with their lives shattered. Right well it should be!
At the First Baptist Church, Conroe, Texas, two weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, Haziz Abib, the president of the Islamic Association of Greater Houston, mounted the pulpit to explain, from his point of view, what had just happened. As he stood up to go from the front row to the pulpit, Betty and I arose from our seats and exited…We were the only ones. Weeping, while going down the front stairs of this old church, we entered the parking lot weeping and saw an open vision of the church sanctuary hollowed out with flame and charred…nothing remaining, but a few of the stained glass windows…Judgment!What should be our response to all this?
Weep! We Must!
Should not weeping be the state of our hearts when we see the atrocious activities of a profligate body?
When Joel delivered this message to the House of Judah in 835 BC, it was long before the preaching of Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah and Habakkuk. Little did he dream (after the passing of 240 years) that Ezekiel would receive a word from the Lord about that very area. It was the floor between the porch and the altar that was defiled by the priests and the Levites…they were the church leadership. Their defilement caused the Babylonian captivity.'Weep between the porch and the altar, Joel 2:17'
A good question for today would be: "What kinds of corruption are being disseminated through gay worship leaders and rock-a-billy substitutes every week?" "What kind of defilement has been closeted in the hearts of those talking the most on Sunday?" Read the account of Ezekiel written after the captivity of Judah (Jeremiah looked forward and Ezekiel looked backward).
Ezek 8:15-18Question: Is it a trivial thing that which is enacted continually in the houses of worship Today? These were houses which have been dedicated to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it Trivia? I ask, you men and women of the cloth, Is it?
Question: What should be our demeanor? To Weep! Weep, between the porch and the altar and confess the abominations among the people of the Christian nations. Weep, at the carnage that abounds through the wretched behavior of the clergy, who have wrecked havoc on a people who now must bear their insobrieties!
The Facts are These:
The House of Israel sinned and faced Assyria and was carried away.Can we weep enough to cover the altar with tears? Will those tears wash away the filth of our garments? Are we not like Joshua, the priest, pictured in Zechariah? Are we not in need of the cleansing actions of Zechariah 2?
Listen to This:
Question: Do we not stand in the same position as those clergy in Ezekiel's day?We are like Joshua, the priest and our garments are stained, unbelievably stained, with this world…stained to the point of having to destroy the garment BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN SO CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH the religious garbage system which has been guilty of delivering trash to its people while truth lies scattered in un-harvested vineyards and fields!
When the Lord revealed to the prophet the causative force behind the captivity of Judah, it was the clergy…It was the ordained. Ezekiel 44 declared there were two kinds of clergy in those days that led up to the defeat of the House of Judah. (1) One group served the people… (2) The other group were the Sons of Zadok, who ministered to the Lord. The Sons kept themselves. They taught the people the difference between the profane and the holy. (See: Sons of Zadok, Chapter 1.)
Why should we weep?
Question: Who will weep between the porch and the altar? Everyone associated with ministry should be contritely weeping!Ezekiel's vision revealed to him the double-minded clergy, carrying out services in the Temple while they fell before Tamuz in their private chambers.
Question: Why must it be between the porch and altar?
Is it not the place symbolically seen as the beginning point between where one approaches God and the place for one's washing by repentance and cleansing?Listen, ZION is captive and no one pleads her cause! We weep because both Jeremiah and Ezekiel saw the situation in their day and both wept…we, who see history repeat itself, must weep-it is our solemn duty!
Remember: This was once a holy people; now they are a defiled people who lie decimated and emaciated!
In America, where are the Finney's for today? Charles acknowledged the deeper walk he enjoyed with God through the Spirit, but he also acknowledged that his audience could not fathom or understood what he was talking about. Neither can audiences understand it today! (Yes! The roots of this decline started and were smoldering among the clergy as early as 1810 with the birth of liberalism and humanism---but it must end in 2009 if we are to survive what is about to occur.)I stood in Prague at the huge memorial to John Huss and cried out in my spirit, "Who Among us is like him? Who would stand against Romanism, Islamism, Government-ism, (Place your denomination's ISM at this point) to say, 'No more!'" (Knowing the flames of a fiery pyre was the only answer for truth to give! Huss gave that answer!)
Billy Graham, whose revivals swept the world, compromised at every occasion in order to perfect the doctrine of "inclusion-ism" under the motto of church unity. This looked, from the outside, to be innocent and successful, but it has manifested itself as mega churches and "popularism," accommodating a membership manifesting no repentance and a life-style of one's choice. Inclusionism carried to its heights brings in the Interfaith Movement. (It is like Copeland underwriting a Catholic charity with the Sisters in Mexico, which is his linking with a body politic who have slain Protestant reformers and slashed the translators of myriads of Bibles seeking to bring the Word to the common man. We cannot link.) Regardless of the banner of the spirit of Unity, we cannot continue to consort with demons and associate with devils!
"Weep, between the porch and the altar:" Weeping and intercession are all that remains effective.
I served with a brother Carlos Gruber on many campaigns. He was a Latvian by birth. He escaped Communism by his family following the Spirit and moving to Brazil. He never ceased to pray and intercede for his country. He published a Latvian newspaper in NY, until certain congressmen shut him down for his own "health." He moved to Texas and continued intercession until the Soviet's failed and Latvia was free. In his 90's, he organized relief efforts for his nation, sending container ships loaded with clothes and food. He was awarded the Gold Star of Latvia, the highest commendation of that nation, when he was 92. I never knew a single day that he did not pray earnestly for his native land and published and printed a "Martyrs Page" in his monthly magazine to remind the world of their sufferings. He wrote pastors in Latvia and corresponded with many exiles. He wept between the porch and the altar with a consistency that brought the hand of God visibly into the matter.Weep, because our hearts should be melting at the prospect of judgment which lies before the Christian societies of the world.
Weep, because no other stance will do…the gaps are simply too many…the dike has not just sprung a small leak, it has cracked from the foundation to the top and is about to break loose and drown the unsuspecting hearts of multitudes who erroneously await a rapture!
The Question Remains: "How in the world did we wind up here?" The answer is still, because of the Clergy! We, as clergy, must stand up and confess to our congregations and to the world…it is our fault. We must take the spiritual responsibility the Lord has entrusted us with and admit that our efforts have amounted to disaster. Our efforts have been of our own doing; humanism and our petty egos have dominated our ministries. ("Cursed is the man who trusts in man," Jeremiah 17:5.)
Men of God must blame themselves for the circumstances the world is facing! One of you might say, "That is too harsh, brother," but if God exacted an indictment in Jeremiah's day, He hasn't changed.
Fair Question: How many of you will agree that the man of God can get himself into a lot of situations he could have avoided by carefully listening to the voice of God?
Let us be reminded of: Hophni and Phinehas, the wayward sons of Eli.
Others Clergy Who Defiled Themselves:
YET, there is even A GREATER Message to the Clergy, especially to pastors:
The prophets repeatedly said, "It is the pastors who are to blame." They are at fault now.
(1) Having promoted their programs and progenitored their agendas--they stand naked in these days of exposure…it's Last Days roof-shouting time, Ladies and Gentlemen!Is it not an appalling specter that no Baptist pastor, evangelist, director of missions, seminary president or Baptist official has risen up to confront (and certainly none from other denominations) this man? When President, Kigame, the leader of Rwanda, can adopt Warren's purpose-driven scheme without repentance, having hands that personally shot and killed Christians and commoners by the thousands, over a political take over, then physically embrace Warren on a California Stage ( at Warren's twenty-fifth celebration) all the while remaining aloof from the NAME of Jesus, how can this be?….don't talk to me…don't even try to invite me to your pulpit, or dare ask me to network with such sin, error and raucous self display of religious diatribe---It simply is not my forte!
Look, What does the Bible have to say about these kinds of pastors: Review Isaiah, Jeremiah and others. When they mention Shepherds, they are talking about clergy and pastors.
First, look at the word "Shepherd or Pastor," then look at the N.T. definition of pastor and his duties…then tell me if the Rabbi's of Redefinition haven't been at work changing the very role and duties of them.Now look at these Scriptures, and tell me why we do not hear them preached in pulpits today?OT:7462 ra` ah (raw-aw'); a primitive root; to tend a flock; i.e. pasture it; intransitively, to graze (literally or figuratively); generally to rule; by extension, to associate with (as a friend): KJV - break, companion, keep company with, devour, eat up, evil entreat, feed, use as a friend, make friendship with, herdman, keep [sheeper]-), pastor, shearing house, shepherd, wander, waste.
Jer 10:18-21Therefore, there is but one altar call for the church, both the congregants and the pastors: WEEP between the porch and the altar and REPENT this very hour!
Until Next Month and the coming New Year,
Dr. C. R. Oliver
From the Mailbag:
(1). G.M. and staff, Lake Hamilton--Hot Spring, Ark:We so appreciated you folks coming to be with us during the Minister's Conference. The message God gave to you was vital and as stated from the pulpit, will reach untold numbers beyond who was in the sanctuary or watching the internet that day! Thank you for your obedience.(2). G & C. L., Missouri:…so many thoughts we have shared here at our home that you will be sharing, oh, that the arrows or your mouth are sharpened to PIERCE the depths of the hearts of these pastors gathered…for their sakes, their families, both biological and ecclesiastical, and perhaps for national survival….May our weeping for the Lord's purposed righteousness drown out the out pouring of the enemy's flood…and the ground open up for the adversaries of righteousness and holiness to be dealt with.(3). R&C, P., California:I am into one of your books all of the time. Every time I read one again, it gets better, and I grow more and more.(4). J&F, Arkansas:…Thank you so much for obeying God's voice in such an unflinching manner. I continue to pray over your message. I have been led to Isaiah 12 and sing a song of praise…
From Barnabas Mam:
A picture speaks a thousand words. I am sending you a photo report of our visit to PS prison in Cambodia on October 17, 2009. We were able to minister to 256 inmates in one morning and by God’s grace almost all of them pray to receive Jesus, the Great Shepherd and the Prince of Peace.
Thank you for praying for me and my team. I esteem you. May God be glorified in our partnership in the Gospel as we seek to serve him with love and truth. My prayer is the fruit that we bear for the sake of Christ will last. Please join me in this prayer.
Prisoners waiting for hope and encouragement Barnabas ministers to the inmates in PS prison
Barnabas leads prisoners in prayer to receive Christ Boury Mam touches female inmates with the love of the Lord
Boury stands together with female inmates A New Testament presented to an inmate
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