Newsletter for Jul 2012
On April 6, 1994 President Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda was assassinated. Eleven days later, on April 17, one of the most horrific events in human history began to unfold. It was on that day that the Rwandan people group known as the Hutus unleashed a merciless genocide against their fellow Rwandans known as the Tutsis with the sole intent being to eliminate them from the face of the earth.
Over the next 100 days, the Hutus, using guns, grenades, handmade weapons and machetes attacked village after village with a violence that can only be described as inspired by demons. The Tutsi people were shot, beaten, blown up, and dismembered alive in the carnage of absolute evil. No one was exempt as the elderly down to babies were butchered, raped and murdered in shocking fashion.
Groups of armed and bloodthirsty Hutus chased Tutsis into the hills, retreating only at night to celebrate in drunken revelry while they boasted gleefully to each other of the day's slaughter. Rising the next morning, they renewed their unfettered, homicidal rampage against unarmed and defenseless people. Children in hiding watched in horror as their parents were killed in ways that defy comprehension.
The heavily armed and skillfully trained Rwandan Patriotic Front military forces were eventually able to overwhelm and stop the Hutu. But the death toll of this genocidal war was unconscionable: in just 100 days, 1,074,017 innocent people were mercilessly executed, an average of over 10,000 per day - more per day than in any other war in recorded human history!
It would be easy for someone to wonder, "How in the world could citizens of the same country turn on each like that?" While thinking on all of this, the Lord said, "There is a silent genocide taking place." It is a genocide wherein citizens of the same Kingdom - the Kingdom of God - are turning on each other with weapons of words, inflicting spiritual wounds that, in some cases, lead to death. He called it "silent" because it is happening to so many Christians and they don't realize what is taking place. I will do my best to explain what He showed me in the short space of this letter.
I was raised to believe in eternal security, the doctrine which states that once you are saved, you are saved forever and nothing could ever result in you not going to Heaven. But one day I happened upon the following passage in Revelation 3:1-6:
1And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 4Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
This was obviously written to Christians, but yet Jesus tells them in verse one they live, yet they are dead. In verse two He tells them that more are about to die because their works (manner of living) are not perfect (holy and approved) before God. Then, in verse four He reveals that some have defiled (to soil with filth) their garments (obviously, their garments of salvation, Isaiah 61:10).
If all of this weren't shocking enough, Jesus goes on to say that unless a person overcomes, He will blot their name out of the book of life! Revelation 22:15 makes it explicitly clear that anyone whose name is not in the book of life will spend eternity in the lake of fire. I was understandably shaken by this. To think that a Christian could do something so wrong he could miss Heaven was a tremendous challenge to the way I had been taught. Yet, there it was right before my eyes, an undeniable truth recorded in God's word.
But in verse five, Jesus said if I overcome I will be clothed in white raiment and my name will not be blotted out of the book of life. The obvious and critically important question is therefore: What is it I am to overcome? The short answer is: whatever led to the "alive but dead" people defiling their salvation.
Key to note is that this passage in Revelation was written to people, not just one person; and these people were all a part of the same church. The Lord helped me understand that this defilement did not happen overnight, but it took time. The defiling took place as they began believing that certain ways of living and behavior (Revelation 3:1 "works") were tolerated and accepted by God. These beliefs were reinforced by what they heard expressed and taught by other Christians from within and without their church.
All of this goes right along with what God said in 1 Corinthians 3:10-20. To summarize, the foundation of our salvation is Jesus Christ and we become the temple of God when we are born again with His spiritual life. But God warns us to be cautious about how we build on that foundation. We build on it through what we teach and accept as doctrinal truth. If we defile the temple (our "garment of salvation"), God says He will destroy us (in a spiritual sense; punish; bring to destruction; destroy). How do we defile our temple? By believing and teaching that that certain ways of living and behavior are tolerated and accepted by God, even though He calls them sin in His word.
This is how the "silent genocide" is taking place. Christians are killing fellow Believers by believing, preaching and teaching that things God calls sin are actually accepted in His sight. As they twist and pervert scripture to support their works of evil and doctrines of deception, other Christians are drawn into a trap that has the eternal consequence of damnation. Remember, this does not happen overnight; it is a process of time wherein one compromise after another is established in the life of a Believer. Consider the following that is taking place right now in the Church:
Incredibly, all of these things are happening in churches that still declare Jesus as the Son of God, the Savior of all humanity. Yes, it is mind boggling! Yet, we really shouldn't be surprised, for this was prophesied in 1 Timothy 4:1-2,
1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Though they would strenuously deny it, Christians I've described have been giving heed to demonically-inspired doctrines that are being espoused by preachers and lay persons alike. Their spiritual conscience is slowly being seared to the point that they are embracing and approving of more and more sin. They are both victims and perpetrators of the silent genocide.
About two months ago I completed a teaching series titled "The Judgment Seat of Christ" based on 2 Corinthians 5:10,
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
God's instructions to me were to start in Romans chapter one, go all the way through Revelation chapter three, and identify everything He has called sin. In many cases, the meaning of words used in scripture for certain sins was obvious; in other cases, I broke down the Greek words to explain what God was saying.
Along with identifying all that God has called sin, passages came to light which emphatically stress that Christians cannot live any way they want, that they will be judged for their choices on earth, and that it is absolutely possible for a person who at one time had accepted Jesus as Savior to end up in the lake of fire.
In that series, which ended up being 39 sermons long, I did not interject my opinions. I stayed with scripture, simply pointing out what God had said. The sad part is that, in my spirit, I could sense some people hearing the messages did not disagree, but were not taking them seriously. Even sadder were others who, let's just say, did not at all seem to appreciate what they were hearing.
The reason God wanted such a series taught is found in Ephesians 5:24-27,
24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
As I preached those sermons, God's word was going forth to act as cleansing waters to help the listeners realize that they need to get any sin out of their lives. Jesus' return is very near and God wants every Christian to be without spot, wrinkle or blemish; ready to stand before Him, prepared for the day they appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
But the silent genocide continues. I urge you to prepare yourself for what is coming. Over the years we have had several prophecies in our church in which the Holy Spirit has warned that a great division is coming within the Body of Christ. The compromise and open embracing of sin is going to get worse and worse. Christians who refuse to back down from the standards firmly entrenched in God's word are going to experience an increasing level of harsh criticism from other Christians.
As this division becomes more pronounced, entire families are going to be split right down the middle as those who are walking the narrow path of truth face conflict with family members who choose to be "politically correct" because "times are changing." But none of this should come as a surprise because Jesus warned of it in Matthew 10:34-38,
34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
The sword Jesus speaks of in verse 34 is the Word of God, which in Hebrews 4:12 is said to be, "...quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
The silent genocide is going to continue and increase. More and more Christians are going to be led astray, some to eternal separation from God. But this, too, was prophesied in 2 Peter 2:1-2,
1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
As bleak as this sounds, keep in mind that there cannot be division without two opposing sides. Along with the silent genocide there is rising up a generation of Elijah's who are not afraid to stand up to the false prophets and teachers; of Paul's who will not back down from truth, even if attacked by a messenger of Satan; of Issachar who are led by the Spirit and the mind of Christ; of Zebulun, Naphtali, Dan, Asher, Reuben, Gad and Manasseh who are skilled in spiritual warfare.
Yes, many are turning their backs on Christ and succumbing to the silent genocide...all while sitting in the pews of churches. But there is also a mighty, anointed remnant of Believers pressing deeper into God and having done all to stand, will stand victorious in Christ before His judgment seat!
May God's presence fill your life!