by Jeannette Haley
Sometimes when I am tempted to feel sorry for myself because of the loss of my voice, I think of those who suffer from far worse fates such as blindness. This causes my heart to praise God for His goodness and mercy to me. If I think the dark days of winter, and long periods of inversions we have here are gloomy, I can’t imagine how devastating it would be to permanently live a life of total darkness.
But there is another kind of darkness that is even worse than physical blindness, and that is spiritual blindness. Jesus declared in Luke 4:18-19, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Even though Jesus did restore physical sight to the blind, this portion of scripture refers to the spiritual blindness that had come upon the people.
Jesus also declared: I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life, John 8:12. What Jesus is saying here is that any way other than following Him will result in darkness, or spiritual blindness. The Apostle Peter laid it out in no uncertain terms how those who have once walked in the light became blind in 2 Peter 1:4-9: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Did you take special note of the phrase, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust? Those who are mired in the corruption of lust in the world are not only blind, but they are lost and on their way to hell. Tragically, many who consider themselves to be heaven-bound because at some point in time they have said a “sinner’s prayer” or gone forward in a church service to “receive salvation” have never “escaped the corruption of the world through lust.” I shouldn’t have to give examples of this, but amazingly, so many people today are clueless about what constitutes sin that it bears repeating a few examples here.
- Idolatry (worship of self, church, money, worship of worship, etc.)
2. Fornication (any sex outside of marriage) and this includes pornography; sexual perversion
3. Murder (abortion)
4. Rebellion (disobedience to God, sins of commission)
5. Unforgiveness, anger, hate, gossip and slander
6. Unbelief (faith in faith, sins of omission)
7. Slothfulness and lack of personal discipline
8. Self-serving motivations that include games of control and manipulation
9. Involvement with the occult in any form
10. Greed, covetousness, selfishness
People are coming to us in increasing numbers for help—people who claim to be saved, who attend churches, but who, nevertheless, grope in spiritual darkness, and confusion. This confusion usually centers on the character of God, the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, their place in the scheme of things, and why they are living such defeated lives. We stand amazed at people’s overwhelming ignorance of scripture, basic tenets of the Christian faith, and biblical principles. Furthermore, most people do not have a clue as to what constitutes godly living or what it means to be separate from the world. The lack of spiritual discernment is so widespread among people (including leadership) that one begins to understand what Jesus meant when He asked: Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8b.
A believer will begin the lonely descent into darkness and spiritual blindness when he or she neglects communion with God (prayer). Failure to seek God through His Word will surely result in spiritual blindness, and ignorance of who God is, God’s ways, and His will for His children. As long as a person keeps his or her eyes on Jesus, humbles him or herself, and walks according to His Word and Spirit, then he or she will remain in the light. However, once a Christian is tempted to place his or her eyes upon self, or upon the world, or upon religion, or their church, instead of Christ, that light begins to grow dim. I need to add that false “bibles” such as “The Message,” which has the wrong spirit behind it (Freemasonry) and other paraphrased and watered-down “versions” should be shunned by anyone who is truly seeking to know the real God of the Bible. Kick the tendency to make it easy for yourself, haul out your thinking cap, and dig for gems of truth!
Concerning self, we in America live in a cultural environment that advocates self-fulfillment on every level from physical comfort to financial success at any cost. A discerning Christian should be able to recognize the sins of pride, seduction, lust and vanity behind the daily bombardment through advertisement, and other means, of fantasy movies, games, entertainment, music, books, and fleshly gadgets of every sort. If a believer knows his or her Bible, (preferably the KJV) he or she should also be able to discern the antichrist spirit behind such programs, books, and teachings as self-improvement, self-esteem, self-realization, and other so-called self-improvement programs. Confusion sets in, however, when an unsuspecting Christian is met head on with these same things in his or her own church.
Through the years we have watched with dismay as the majority of institutionalized churches, worldwide, abandoned the light of scriptural counseling and replaced it with secular, humanistic psychology, which has its roots in the occult. Along with that form of darkness, such occult practices as “visualization techniques,” and the “positive confession movement” were accepted by the majority of charismatic churches the world over, only to later enlarge their borders by welcoming with open arms the once-rejected, occult-based Latter Rain heresy repackaged as the Manifest Sons of God “kingdom now” belief with its countless false prophets and so-called apostles. This paved the way for the sweeping “Toronto blessing” and “signs and wonders movement” with its emphasis on gold dust, and other unbiblical, ridiculous ideas, coupled with a “new” form of unscriptural “worship” that appeals to the flesh, but fails to glorify God or to edify one’s spirit.
Today this growing apostasy has so dimmed the real light of Christ that multitudes of people have had their focus subtly but completely shifted from the real Jesus of the Bible to the church institution. In other words, these particular apostate churches are like the golden calf that people bow down to, worship, adore, and lavishly support, not to mention defend with a passion. Proof of this is in the newest world-wide craze of the “purpose-driven” and “seeker-friendly” churches. You will not find soul-stirring or “offensive” gospel messages in such a church—messages that bring people to repentance, but you will find soothing, flattering words that hold no conviction. You will hear such terms as “the essence of the gospel” so that “we will creatively connect with our culture and with the unconnected around us in ways they understand” (whatever that means.) You will not hear messages that lift up Jesus as the only “way, the truth and the life,” but you will hear a lot about love, and such nonsense as the fruit of the Spirit (joy) means having “fun.” Of course, you won’t find a hymnbook on the premises, but the “worship” will be loud, repetitious, hypnotic, and energetic. You will be told that your real reason for existing is “to love people to Jesus Christ.” You may also be told that the Old Testament is not for this new, “fresh approach,” and that the New Testament is the source of “guidance” as the church can emphasize unity around the “essentials” of Christianity and freedom regarding the “non-essentials.” (Would somebody like to explain which part of God’s Word is “non-essential?” See Matthew 4:4.) Such churches will appeal to your snooze level by proclaiming that “many God-seekers are drawn to ‘uncluttered Christianity.’” But, remember, if you flee from this apostate church, you will be giving up the café with its coffee and refreshments. You will not have your time taken up with a multitude of programs, and you will forfeit the privilege of joining the Super Bowl Party where you can watch the game “on one of the largest screens in town.” My hope is that your spiritual eyesight, your relationship to God in Spirit and Truth, and the fate of your soul means more to you than going with the flow in the worldly, fun church.
All of this reminds me of the blind Laodicean church in Revelation 3:14-22. Jesus said, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou m ayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Little by little the light of Christ is being put out. It is being put out in many countries that formerly embraced Christianity. It is being put out in our governmental institutions. It is being put out in our schools and colleges. Sadly it is being put out in the Christian community by the apostate churches, and replaced with a false light. Where does this false light come from? The Apostle Paul gives us the answer:Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works, 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.
Maybe you have found yourself innocently caught up in the latest “Christian movement,” and now you realize that the light of Christ is growing dim in your heart and spirit. If this is where you are right now, flee to Jesus and ask Him to restore your sight so that your vision of Him will grow brighter with each passing day.
People, the time is short! We need to wake up and discern the mighty winds of deception that are blowing through the church. We need to forsake playing church games, and be about our Father’s business—winning the lost, and making disciples to Jesus Christ before it is too late. With our Lord, we need to proclaim: I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.