FAITH OR PRESUMPTION
“To the law [the Ten Commandments],
and to the testimony [the Word of GOD]: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
To appease a guilty
conscience man has gone to great lengths. And Satan is ready to prey upon the frailty
of human character with his deceiving miracles, temptations and traditions of pagan origin. But there is One and One alone
Who can set the shackled heart free: “Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” The Innocent Lamb of GOD carried every
shame, every guilt, every deplorable deed ever committed on Earth to the grave and buried them there, never again to be remembered
for those who believe: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
Eph.2:8. Truly, “the just shall live by his faith” (Hab.2:4). This promise is as sure as the light of our sun.
Over and over throughout the Scriptures GOD has repeated the Promise of His Covenant with us: “He hath not dealt with
us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his
mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like
as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we
are dust.” Ps.103:10-14.
the Apostle Paul: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”
Rom.6:12. Then why does the church continue in sin and go to such extremes in ceremony and display to create the appearance
of religious power and piety? Why do ministers’ voices become so unnatural and pompous in their speech, never speaking
in a normal conversation tone as they “preach?” There is a litany of Bible-rebellious deeds within the churches
that do not honor the GOD they claim to serve. In a host of ways many churches carry out what Paul warned against: “the
lusts thereof.” This is “the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Eph.4:22), not
the New Man GOD desires us to be, as it is written: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things
are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great
a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience
the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before
him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that
endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted
unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son,
despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.”
II Cor.5:17; Heb.12:1-6.
leading sinful lusts of men is idolatry: the sin against GOD’S Second of the Ten Commandments (Ex.20:4-6). There is
both secular and religious idolatry. While self-worship lies at the heart of all idolatry, many worship the stars, creatures,
ideas, people and things: none of which have any power over one’s life, nor have they any power to save from calamity.
The most heinous and blasphemous idolatry is found in the Mass of the Catholic church. The Catholic priest is taught that
during Mass he actually and miraculously turns the Eucharist and wine into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. The
creature actually creates the Creator! This dogma is drawn from Christ’s words, “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily,
verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” Jn.6:53.
But the intended lesson of Jesus points to the sanctuary service where the Jews’ eating of the lamb was representative
of His flesh, and His blood represented His life as it is written: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.”
Lev.17:11. Every significance of the visual aids in the sanctuary service points to "Jesus Christ and Him crucified."
This key doctrine of man’s salvation was replaced with a mystical form of cannibalism. Again, there is no redemption
found in either the Eucharist or the wine of the Mass. They are a vain display, and the priests betray their congregations
and dishonor the GOD they claim to obey.
All of the drawn-out ceremonies where men decorate themselves with robes of illusionary righteousness: none of this
religious display is seen in the life of Jesus or His Apostles. If the pomp and ceremony were so important as the church asserts,
surely Jesus would have set us an example. But there is none. Throughout the New Testament there is no call to vain oblations.
Only one request Jesus has ever made of us: that we come to Him just as we are, in all things, to receive His promise of forgiveness
and salvation for our lives and to share His promise with those we care for and love, as it is written: “him that cometh
to me I will in no wise cast out.” Jn.6:37. We do not go to priests or put our trust in “the arm of flesh,”
or “the tradition of men” that “crucified Jesus.”
Then there are those who bow and pray before the statues of Mary, the mother of Jesus, pleading for her to intercede
before GOD for mercy and blessings to those faithful to the Catholic Church. The Bible rebukes this religious teaching that
is as ancient as heathenism itself. The Bible boldly declares: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and
men, the man Christ Jesus.” I Tim.2:5. While it is acknowledged that this statue in not the real Mary but only her representation,
when trouble comes, men always turn to the statue for their deliverance, not the god to whom it represents.
Throughout the history of Israel, “the LORD”
admonished the family of Abraham to shun all association with pagan idols and heathen traditions as it is written: "When
thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those
the sin of idolatry will be continued to the end of time, as it is written: “And the rest of the men which were not
killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold,
and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.” “And the fruits that
thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou
shalt find them no more at all.” Rev.9:20; 18:4.
Then there are those in the church who love power, just like the politicians, CEO’s and every dictator: “Traitors,
heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (II Tim.3:4) who take the most pathetic liberties with
immoral behavior and the Bible’s teachings, corrupting them through allowing the base passions to overrule ethical logic.
The church’s abuse of the Word of GOD slanders both the purpose of faith and the character of GOD before the eager-to-heckle
Among the most
pompous presumptions is the public handling of deadly snakes. This sin of presumption slanders the intended lesson of Christ
when He said, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy:
and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Lu.10:19. What the snake handling minister stands illiterate to is the LORD’S
response to Satan when tempted to risk His life to prove GOD’S power to save. Jesus responded, “Thou shalt not
tempt the Lord thy God.” Lu.4:12. That’s all these men are doing by handling snakes: they tempt God of which Christ
forbid. What these words are intended to mean are shown in the experience of the Apostle Paul: “And when Paul had gathered
a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the
barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though
he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and
saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.” Acts 28:3-6.
In summation, Jesus tells us not to worry about the natural
threats: GOD’S got them covered. But Jesus tells us to be leary of the corruption of men whether in government, law,
business, science, medicine, religion, etc. On the affairs of men, GOD does not interfere due to His gift of freewill. For
whatever is in the power of man to accomplish, GOD cannot be held responsible for. But concerning the many threats we face
every day the LORD has been known to intervene in a variety of ways to guard those who live their lives under His umbrella
of jurisdiction. This is why our only safety is to allow GOD’S Word, united with the Holy Spirit to lead us, as well
as guard our blindside as GOD promises to do, “for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.”
Lastly, it is imperative
that we expose the demonic power displayed in the church called “slain in the spirit.” Slain in the spirit, America’s
most popular display of miraculous power must come under one of only three reasons given in Scripture for the loss of strength
in the Presence of Divinity. Outside of these three there can be no plausible explanation:
Decisive rebellion against Jesus Christ. Examples: the mob of thugs arresting Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane; and the Roman
soldiers at the tomb of Christ; and the life of Saul (before his name changed to Paul), while on his mission of persecution
against Christians (Jn.18:4-6; Matt.28:2-4; Acts 9:4,5).
2. Direct vision from
GOD. Examples: Prophetic instruction to prepare for future events; or commanding an appeal be made to His children who have
gone astray warning of the consequences but also a promise of blessing for obedience. Hab.2:2; Dan.10:8,17-19.
3. Demon possession. Examples: Lu.8:28; Mk.3:11.
This popular doctrine exhibiting supernatural power in the churches must come under one of the above reasons. Which
one is it? Demon possession is the only possible explanation, for the other two have no association with the churches display
of this power. As with the popular gift of tongues, every major religion of earth advocates the gift of being “slain
in the spirit,” including Voodoo; again with no traceable difference between today’s Christianity and the occult.
The leading advocate for “slain in the
spirit” is the nationally renowned Pastor Benny Hinn. He has given public confession on Trinity Broadcasting Network
saying that during his crusades, “I don’t remember what I say or who I heal.” But there is no example of
amnesia in Christ’s ministry! The man actually goes into a trance! (A young man who lived next door to me was infected
with the AIDS virus. He went to see Benny Hinn to be healed of his terminal disease. And when he went forward at the altar
call he was slain in the spirit, and then was promised that he was healed of the AIDS virus. He went home rejoicing, believing
he was healed. He died shortly after.)
purpose of Christ’s promises: to overrule the enemy of souls to the sharing of the Gospel. But men demand more from
GOD. Of these presumptuous men Jesus said, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.” Matt.12:39.
That is all these Bible-combative doctrines are: the tools of Satan to keep the sinner trapped in sin and thus condemnation
before GOD. While there are truly beautiful testimonies of conversion, including that of Benny Hinn and others, the soil of
their heart’s character would not allow GOD and “the Word,” Jesus Christ to reign supreme in guiding their
Christian walk. Their frailties were not given to the LORD to refine them into true godliness. Jesus specifically warned of
this: “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and
the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” Matt.12:43-45.
The dangers against the human soul must be understood
and dealt with in accordance with safe-Bible-guidelines.
he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the
breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there
a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith
ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them
precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might
go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule
this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement;
when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood
have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a
precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Isa.27:9-16.
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a