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Should You Be In Agreement? Part 3: Conditioning

For the last couple of months, we have been considering the different presentations of God. For example, in the popular fiction book, The Shack has erroneously been made into theology by zealots–the Father was a black woman, the Son a “good old boy,” and the Holy Spirit was represented by an Asian woman. Even though the true Jesus is not only fully man but is also fully deity and looks only to the Father, in The Chosen TV series, He is looking to mere man for advice such as the tax collector, Matthew and improperly honoring his mother in a place of importance which is clearly a subtle reference to the Catholic influence in relationship to Mary being an intercessor. Mary even implied in her prayer in Luke 1:47 that she was a sinner, and like the rest of us, clearly in need of intervention and salvation when she declared her spirit rejoiced in God her SAVIOR. Mary being one of the intercessors is contrary to the Bible, for Jesus alone is the only intercessor between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). I realize these points may sound ridiculous and petty to some of the fans who maintained that it was just good story or decent entertainment but we need to remember God does not take lightly to being misrepresented in any medium. In fact, He considers it profane and blasphemous.

Remember the warning found in Romans 1:20-28 where man changed the glory of God and the end result is that such individuals will end up with a reprobate mind that no longer retains the knowledge of the real God? To change His glory means you misrepresent what makes Him distinct. This is the problem with false presentations of God. In some way it strips Him of His deserved glory as Deity in the minds of people, when He alone is the one true God by nature (Galatians 4:8).

Sadly, it is the habit of man to try to render God into some image or logical box that ultimately strips Him of His glory as Deity. “Glory” is an important word because it has to do with that which makes something distinct, unique, and worthy of any consideration and respect. In the case of God, He is worthy of all consideration, deserves to be exalted above all, and to show proper respect towards Him, one must have a healthy fear of Him because He is holy, just, and eternal.

The question is can we be flippant about any three persons of the Godhead without stripping them of their glory (deity) in our minds and the minds of others? Can we allow a tolerant attitude towards erroneous presentations about either One? Can we accept a type of giddiness based on sentiment towards the Lord because it is an emotional response that down the line will be found to be void of real conviction, repentance, brokenness, and awe?

If you know Scripture the answer is “NO!” Our service and worship will be determined by our attitude that we take on towards God and that attitude will be based on our understanding of who He is, which must be backed up by Scripture. The popular presentations of today can be clearly seen in the type of Christianity that is being developed and the fruits of it. The wolves and hireling shepherds seem to be having a heyday in many pulpits as they seek personal followings, the swine may have a form of righteousness as they are being made comfortable in their pigpens because they are not being challenged to come out and be separate; and the goats are left to stand on some molehill of self-importance while excusing away the call to consecration for God’s use, which requires being discipled in following Jesus into the life He is calling each of us into, and into service in the great harvest field. Meanwhile, the true sheep are running here and there, seeking a place where they can hear the voice of their Shepherd (His unadulterated Word) and truly worship God in Spirit and truth, while the darkness of judgment is growing and looming over the many wolves and hireling shepherds who have no vision or love for the sheep. Sadly, you don’t have to always look far to find such discontented, lean sheep (Matthew 7:6, 15, 16, 20; 10:16; 25:33; Luke 10:3 John 4:23-24; 10:3-14; 2 Timothy 3:5).

The reason we can’t be tolerant, flippant, and casual about the presentations of God comes down to conditioning. Who and what has been conditioning us? Conditioning determines who we spiritually expose ourselves too. This conditioning clearly determines the attitudes we take on about something. Another aspect of conditioning when it comes to wrong spirits, the flesh, the world, and Satan is that we are being seduced to believe a subtle lie and not being established on the truth.

The third and final aspect of conditioning is, are we being indoctrinated to change our worldview of the knowledge of God and life that has been put in us by the Creator to a point where we no longer retain any real knowledge of Him. This is contrary to being prepared to worship Him in Spirit and truth for eternity.

The next question is, is the Word of God conditioning us or the secular arts and entertainment industry? Where are people turning to be fed when it comes to Christ? Are they turning to the Word, diligently seeking to know Him, or are they settling for a type of sentiment born out of worldly influences and entertainment about Him that proves to be temporary and fickle until the next presentation that tickles their fancy comes along (2 Timothy 4:3-4)?

This brings us back to the final aspect of conditioning, and it will determine what we open ourselves up to, and come into agreement with. There is only one place of agreement between the saints and that is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God and Him crucified. If the real Jesus is not being properly lifted up there will be no place of agreement for the saint. The reason there will be no agreement is because the Spirit of God will be missing (John 12:32; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Ephesians 4:1-3, 13-16).

The main responsibility of the Holy Spirit is to lead people into all truth about Jesus so that in the end He will be lifted up, and if He is lifted up, men will be drawn to Him, seeking salvation for their wretched souls. No saint can come into agreement with something if the Holy Spirit is not present. He alone brings true unity through spiritual agreement and truth. The Bible is clear to walk together you must be in spiritual agreement with each other (Amos 3:3; John 16:13).

If Jesus is being presented in a wrong light, the Holy Spirit will not be present. Granted, emotions may be present but emotions are incapable of discerning, it is the Spirit of God that enables us to discern. The Jesus presented may run a close second to the true Jesus, but any Jesus who is not the real Jesus is a good counterfeit, unable to save, causing the happenings and story around him as the false Christ to become a mere fable and not the truth (1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 2 Timothy 2:1-4; Titus 1:9-16).

It is important for each of us to realize that each counterfeit we give audience to is conditioning us to accept a more blatant counterfeit. All counterfeits are presented in an acceptable light, and initially they always present a good front. At such times we have a tendency to put our guard down, thinking that which follows will be alright.

Another word for “guard” is “discernment.” When we put our guard down, we begin to operate in assumptions that what follows will be alright as well. However, counterfeits begin to subtly change the intent or spirit of something. Keep in mind, a couple of words for subtle are “clever (beguiling),” “crafty (cunning),” and “shrewd” in all practices (2 Corinthians 4:1-2; Ephesians 4:14). What one entity do these words describe according to God’s Word? The answer is “Satan.”

How many times does Scripture warn us about the devices of Satan? We are told He is a liar and murderer from the beginning. That he is Satan, a false accuser of the brethren, the spirit of the world that works all disobedience within the rebellious, the prince of the power of the air, and the god of the age we live in. In other words, he controls worldly systems of each age (John 8:44; 10:10; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 2:11; Ephesians 2:2).

I believe this particular conditioning is preparing the world to accept the ultimate substitute Christ, the son of perdition, who will entertain the world with signs and wonders, causing many to believe he is the true Christ. We can all hope we are not here to be tempted in such a way, but we are warned that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived in these last days. The ultimate question is when Jesus comes will He find true faith operating in us (Matthew 24:24; Luke 18:7-8; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12)? And, what is the essence of truth faith, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates” (2 Corinthians 13:5). In other words, you may know all the right doctrines, spiritual answers, and quote many Scriptures, but if your faith is in these other things and any other religious source or practice, and not in the one true Jesus, it will all be deemed useless.

When you consider the Apostle Paul’s great concern for believers in 2 Corinthians 11:1-15, you begin to realize that being deceived can happen to even believers. As believers, we often perceive we can’t be touched by deception, but deception is wrapped up in good things, clothed in religious garbs, adjusted to feed religious pride, and designed to seduced the most ardent religious zealot. After all Satan can come as an angel of light and his cohorts can come across as ministers of righteousness. When a Christian is operating from the religious pinnacle of self-sufficiency and not from the place of need and humility, that is when they are the most vulnerable to deception.

Regardless of our human attempts to make sure we are not deceived, it is the Lord who preserves our souls, keeps our feet from slipping, and pulls us out of the fires of hell. The truth is, even Christians can be deceived. We are in a fallen state that prefers some type of darkness to maintain our own take on reality, and unless it is neglected, our pride can reign over a house of cards that will quickly fall as the winds of time and judgment reveal that it was established on shifting sand. We can delude ourselves about our state, and be seduced by those who feed our egos and vanities. Unbelief can subtly overtake us when we insist on understanding the matters of God, instead of approaching them to believe they are so, keeping in mind that as His vessel what right do we have to insist the Potter give us an account so that our faith towards Him will not be tested, established, and enlarged when the Bible is clear it must endure testing, for at the end of it is salvation (1 Peter 1:5-9).

At times I must stop and examine what or who is conditioning me. It comes down to what I expose myself to the most: God, the lusts of the flesh, the world and its philosophies and influences, or the lies of Satan. In the end, we will choose who influences us the most, who we serve, and what we come into agreement with; thereby, choosing the path we will walk and our ultimate spiritual destiny.

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The Goal of Gentle Shepherd Ministries is to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples in compliance with the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19).

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