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The blindness of Spiritual Pride

Feb 07, 2012

It is curious that men who are genuinely called of God often seem to think that God has given them a license to do as they please. This comes from a mindset which believes that they own the calling or anointing. The fact is, they are mere stewards who have been given authority, while God always retains sovereignty.

God chose Abraham and his seed, and because of this, many of his descendants have thought that they were entitled to make everyone else their slaves or servants. They thought that the exercise of their carnal minds would never bring God to cast them off and remove their callings. Tell that to the House of Israel. We read in 2 Kings 17:20,

(20) And the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight.

In the New Testament, the House of Judah likewise thought that it would never be cast off. The people--perhaps the majority--wanted Jesus to be their Messiah, having seen His power and character. However, the leaders knew that if indeed He were recognized as the Messiah, He would immediately replace them with those unlearned disciples, and so they convinced the people that He was not the one. Besides, they were looking for a great military general with the power of God to smite the Romans wherever they might be found. They knew that Jesus had no desire to do that.

The religious leaders of Judah knew that Jesus was the Messiah, but they decided to usurp His position and take the crown for themselves. Jesus knew this, and so in His Vineyard parable in Matt. 21:37-39, He said,

(37) But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, "They will respect my son." (38) But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, "This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance." (39) And they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

Jesus was telling us that the religious leaders of Judah knew that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. In recognizing Him for who He was, they decided to "kill Him and seize His inheritance." They did not crucify Him out of ignorance, but were motivated by the full knowledge of who He was.

The people of that time were as ignorant of the intrigues of politics as are people today. Men trust their leaders, even when they betray the people's trust. It is obvious that those religious leaders thought that they could get away with usurping the throne of the Messiah. Even 40 years later, when the Roman armies were at the gates of the city, they thought that surely God would save the day for them. Surely God knew that the Romans were in the wrong. Surely God knew that the Jews were God's chosen people.

But they were mistaken, and that mistake cost millions of people their lives. That nation of Judah was cast out, even as God had cast out the House of Israel nearly 800 years earlier. The Jews then became embittered against God, thinking Him to be unjust. After all, they had worshiped God in the temple and had followed the law according to their understanding ("traditions").

Israel, they knew, had been cast out for open rebellion against God, but Judah thought itself to be a righteous nation. Israel had been openly worshiping other gods, but Judah had banned all foreign idolatry. So what was the problem? Why would God treat them this way? Why would God allow His temple to be destroyed by pagans?

They did not realize that they were self-righteous and hypocritical. God had warned them of this tendency many centuries earlier. Jeremiah 3:8-11 says,

(8) And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also... (10) "And yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception," declares the Lord. (11) And the Lord said to me, "Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah."

The people honored Moses as the founder of their religion. It was therefore thought to be the "true religion," regardless of how the religion forsook Moses' teaching. But God was not nearly as impressed with their religion as they were.

So then we see the establishment of Christianity. The Church thought that God had punished Judah by casting them off and replacing them with the Church. The Church, then, became the "true religion." They thought that it would last forever, because "the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). Like the Jews, the Christians thought that God would never disqualify them. Their founder was Peter, after all.

This type of thinking is based on spiritual pride, whether it is found in Judaism or in Christianity. In each case they have believed that God would overlook their sin and hypocrisy, while usurping the place of Christ. They thought that theirs was the "true religion" regardless of degeneration in later centuries.

Where did they go wrong? In both cases, they did not understand the Scriptures. The prophecy was hidden from their eyes because they did not really know the mind of God. The Jews did not understand Jer. 31:31 which prophesied of a New Covenant to replace the Old Covenant. They did not understand the story of Eli and the manner in which Zadok replaced his priestly line, prophesying of a new Melchizedek priesthood that was to come.

The Christians did not understand that the Church in the Pentecostal Age was prophesied by King Saul, who was replaced by David. Like Saul, they thought their kingdom would never end. From Saul's viewpoint, David was the usurper. Pride blinded him, and it is the same with the Church.

The Church did not seem to learn the lesson of Judah. If Moses could be replaced by Peter, then why could Peter not be replaced as well? If the Church's calling is unconditional, then what about the church in the wilderness (Acts 7:38)?? Did not God replace that first church with a second? Could He not replace the second church with a third church?

In each case, their lack of understanding made them overconfident. They thought their position was secure. They did not know the Scriptures, nor did they really know the mind of God.

The first church under Moses had a Passover anointing, and it rejected Pentecost. The second church under Peter had a Pentecostal anointing, and it rejected Tabernacles. The third church has a Tabernacles anointing of David, and I believe it is the final church having "all the fulness of God."

This third church (called-out ones) could not begin prior to the end of the Pentecostal Age in 1993. Like Saul, who reigned 40 years, the Church under Pentecost was allotted a full 40 Jubilees (40 x 49 = 1960 years), from 33-1993 A.D. Hence, if other religious groups believe themselves to be the "true church," they should first check the date of their founding. If it is prior to 1993, then it is still a manifestation of one of the sons of Saul.

This third church will be established when the feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled. I am not speaking of personal experiences, however, wherein men have manifested portions of this feast in their personal lives. It must have a historic fulfillment on the order of Passover, when Jesus was crucified, and Pentecost in Acts 2. When this historic event occurs, God Himself will establish that church.

Meanwhile, please don't ask me to sign you up in the true church. I have no power to do so. That is between you and God. Heb. 12:22 and 23 tells you that the signup sheets are located in the heavenly Jerusalem.

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Category: Teachings

Dr. Stephen Jones

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