Can You Believe It?

John David Clark, Sr. - December, 1994

Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth and I will pardon it. And though they say, `The Lord liveth', surely they swear falsely.

When reading the holy Bible, the temptation is always present to read the words found in the Bible as if they are the same sort of philosophical rhetoric which professional religious men offer us, to consider those sacred words to be just the opinions of the prophets and apostles, and not the revelation of God. We fall victim to this temptation only when we lack faith, because to believe the Word of God requires faith. For example, in the above Scripture from Jeremiah 5, God allows Jerusalem the opportunity of escape from utter destruction, if Jeremiah can find one man within her gates that loves the truth, but he could not. Do you really believe that Jeremiah could not find one person among the thousands of inhabitants of Jerusalem who wanted God's truth? Remember, this was an event in Jeremiah's life, not a dream! Do you - can you - believe it? Is your faith in God's revelation such that you are able to picture lonely Jeremiah searching among the people of God for anyone who was interested in learning the truth of God? Or does the event seem too strange to be the truth in fact?

There are many such historical events described in detail in the Bible and laid out for us to see. But who can see? Who can believe what he reads? Only those who have the faith to believe.

The greatest benefit of believing what one reads in the Old Covenant writings is that it helps one be able to believe the truth in this New Covenant of Christ Jesus. When we believe what the prophets said about Israel, we are prepared to believe the truth about the church. Remember what the apostle Paul said concerning the events recorded in the Scriptures: "All these things happened unto them for examples, and they are written for our admonition." Then, what are the admonitions we are to receive in the following words of the prophets of the Lord?

Jeremiah 7:28 "Truth is perished, and is cut off from their [Israelites'] mouths." In the days of Jeremiah, near the time when God would send Babylonian soldiers to sack Jerusalem, the truth of God was unknown among God's own people. It was not possible for them to speak the truths of God. There was no such thing as hearing the truth preached from any priest or religious teacher in Israel. Israel, which was to have been the light of the world, was no place for anyone to come searching for the right ways of God.

If this was written for our warning, of what do these words warn us?

Jeremiah 6:10 "To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken. Behold the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it." So completely blind to God's truth had His people become that they were ashamed of what God had to say to them. The truth made them uncomfortable. God's own people were deluded by the words of religious men who knew not God, yet who spoke often of Him. They were made to believe lies, and the truth became an unpleasant thing, something to be avoided and denounced. What does this say to us? What is the admonition to the church in this?

Isaiah 1:11,13 "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord. Bring no more vain oblations. Incense is an abomination to me. The new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with. It is iniquity, even the solemn meeting." Most of us would think that when the people of God began to err that they would become less concerned with religious matters, and sometimes that is true. But what we find in the Bible is that most of the time, those who drifted away from God drifted toward more religious observance, not less.

Disobedient believers often become deeply religious in order to cover up their iniquity. But cover it from the eyes of whom? God? Impossible. From the obedient saints? Again, impossible. Those who resist the truth are attracted to the forms of religion which offer an appearance of righteousness without the substance of it. And without mercy from God every one of us would do just that. Pray, child of God, for holy Ghost power to save you from hypocrisy.

When we go through religious motions with an unclean conscience, our very worship of God becomes sin. "The prayer of the wicked is an abomination to God", wrote Solomon, and so it is. Most of us, however, would not think of a wicked man as a man who would pray. But I tell you that wicked men often do more praying than the righteous. They have to. Their appearance of righteousness wouldn't be complete without it.

But what is the warning for us here? We are to be warned by these things. Warned of what?

Jeremiah 5:30-31 "An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule as the prophets direct. My people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?" The pride and joy of God's people were the very ministers who told them lies. They dearly loved the professional religious leaders who misled them and who encouraged them to believe that God was pleased with their ways when He was not. Those who confidently taught them how to stylishly disobey God were the darlings of the nation, the envy of the people. They were the clever elders, the experienced masters of the Scriptures, the smooth-talking worshippers. They promised eternal security to all who followed in their doctrines, but God had not sent them.

There are many such Scriptures to be found in the writings of the prophets of Israel. And their words, though despised by the very ones to whom they were sent, were recorded by the will of God for us. We have them now to warn us; and if we find it difficult to believe that the situation among God's people was as bad as the prophets said, it is only because we are under the same spell of false religion which plagued the people who rejected them the first time. We are no better than they! We need the warning!

It takes much faith to believe the truth about the miserable spiritual condition of the church in our time. The truth is that there is not one pulpit anywhere within Christianity where the truth is taught. Catholicism is wrong. Episcopalians are still aliens to the kingdom of God. Methodists are deluded. The Nazarenes are yet unclean. The Baptists are bewitched. Pentecostals have perverted the right ways of the Lord. Lutherans are left out. They have all misunderstood. From the head to the foot, Christianity in its entirety is unclean, because it is not of God. There is not one Christian radio or television program which proclaims the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Truth has perished in our time just as it had perished from the mouths of God's people in Jeremiah's time. But who has the faith to confess it?

Yes, Satan's ministers speak well of Jesus, but none will obey him. And when they speak well of Jesus, it is only to draw into their religious nets those poor innocent souls who are searching for the right ways of God in Christ. They are all covetous, just as the prophets said. "From the least to the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness." Those who deceived the Old Testament children of God spoke well of Jehovah. They could not have deceived God's people had they not done so. Those who deceive the children of God now speak well of Jesus. But praise without obedience to God amounts to nothing more than flattery, and God never has been impressed with it.

This is what is so difficult for men to believe, but it is true. God is earnestly calling His people out of Christianity before His hammer falls. But who can hear His voice? Why do so many shrug off what He is saying, without even asking questions? Why is His guidance ignored, when the eternal destiny of men's souls is in the balance?

I will tell you why. The people have been drugged. Karl Marx said that religion is the opiate of the people, and that is absolutely true. As an atheist, he said more truth in that one statement than I have heard in entire sermons by Christian ministers. Christianity has drugged the peoples of the earth into a spiritual stupor. They cannot reason about the things of God, they are losing their ability to feel (Indeed, some Christian teachers openly advocate a denial of feelings!!) The whole earth is staggering under the weight of false religions of all sorts, and the most intoxicating is Christianity. "All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies [How would merchants survive without Christmas, Easter, Halloween, extravagant wedding and funeral ceremonies and other Christian inventions?]. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, `Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues'" (Rev.18:3-4).

If I sound strange, it is because Jesus has made me a stranger to every element of the religion which corrupts his children. I know that most, if not all, Christian church gatherings are abominations to God, because I know that the truth is not welcome among them. I know that the great Christian preachers of our time are not telling the saints the truth because I know the truth - and it has set me free from their net! The truth of Christ is virtually unknown in our day. I can see the spiritual delusion which has made this generation drunk because Christ Jesus has made me sober.

Listen to this man. No one is born again until he is baptized with the holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Please pay attention to that. The drunkenness of Christianity will have you to say within your heart that you will be alright in the final judgment without the holy Ghost. The spirit of Christianity is that voice in your mind telling you to relax, that God is not a God of judgment, that you will not be damned, even if your life is less than holy. This is not a new thing. That lying spirit has been speaking through religious men from the beginning. The prophets pleaded with the saints of old not to listen to that deceitful voice, and pleaded with the false prophets to cease from their lies about God. "Ye have wearied me with your words, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, `Wherein have we wearied Him?' When ye say `Every one that doeth evil is good in the eyes of the Lord, and He delighteth in them' and `Where is the God of judgment?'" (Mal.3:17). "Mine heart within me is broken because of the [lying] prophets.... They have healed the hurt of my people slightly, saying `Peace! Peace!' when there is no peace'" (Jer.23:9; 6:14). You may chose to lean upon the multitudes who are drunk with the wine of Christianity's false assurances of salvation and to hide amid the crowds, but what will you do in the end, when God will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ? "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."

I know the implications of the truths we proclaim. If what I say is true, there is no hope of salvation anywhere in Christianity. It is completely corrupt. Your only hope, and mine, is in the blood of Jesus Christ. This issue is this: Can you believe it?

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