They feared the Lord and served their own gods 2Kings 17:33,41
How can you fear the Lord and serve other gods at the same time? The answer is,
you can’t. It’s the prophet expressing the lying pretence of people who is think they are but they’re not.
How did he know they weren’t? Because they were disrespecting the commandments of God that God had put in place as a standard forevermore (2 Kings 17:37).
On this basis, you’d have to say the whole modern church is a fake. It says it fears the Lord but it practices contradictions to the commandments of God without even thinking that it does. It’s blind to its own sin and it covers it with polite niceness. It blatantly accepts divorce as a normal phenomenon. It blatantly disrespects Sabbath by merchandising with the world, going to movies, playing sport and watching TV. It naively turns a blind eye to sex before marriage, accepts adultery as a mistake if you get caught, thinks homosexuality is a divergent gene, tinkers with pornography, hides its paedophilia, votes for the government that will give it the best economic benefit in preference to caring for the poor and asylum seekers, lusts after the things of the world, runs it business as a corporation, disrespect of parental authority is the norm, and covets its neighbour’s wife and his goods and his position, all with a smile and nice behaviour.
It’s fallen for the lie that the commandments are written in our hearts so we don’t have to worry about them, we’re under God’s grace, but it’s ignorant of Jesus’ instructions to honour them in Matthew 5:17-19, and in order to propagate its lie it’s changed the biblical versions to read ‘commands’ instead.
Humility is simply not allowing your spirit to be your own god
The truth is, you’re not under grace unless you are humbly respectful of His guidelines, because He resists the proud (1 Peter 5:5). The modern church is happy with their prosperity, and in their lot they believe they do keep His commandments, but can’t see their pride and can’t see that their prosperity is actually God’s resistance to their pride. Their comfortable lifestyle and prosperity has blinded them to who they really worship.
On the other hand, you can legalistically keep His commandments and still serve your own god.
So what’s a sign that you are genuine and not fake?
I recently counselled a woman that was having marital problems. She was angry that her husband wouldn’t listen to her needs. Knowing the couple quite well, I suggested to her that she had entered this second marriage with a chip on her shoulder against her former husband because he had not treated her as the princess she expected. She blamed him for their marriage collapse and she had brought that into her new marriage and set it as the foundation of the new relationship. She saw the first husband as giving her an elevated position and the second husband as second fiddle to the first. If that’s true then undoubtedly the second husband would eventually withdraw from her as he realised more and more that she had married him for her own selfish needs of security, friendship, help with her 3 kids, and money so she didn’t have to go to work. I know there are bad husbands, but this was not the case. Clearly she had re-married to get out of her predicament, to have company and to get someone else to bear the burden for her.
Instead of being thankful for his commitment she was selfishly angry that he wasn’t making her feel valued and she was constantly envious of other women who seemed to get a better deal than herself. She professed to being a Christian but her attitude to her husband and others, confirmed it was all pretence.
A genuine Christian would be so forever grateful that God provided another man to look after her and her children who weren’t even his responsibility, that she would overlook all his weaknesses, she would be understanding in all his stresses, she would pray for him to stay humble and holy, she wouldn’t demand his attention to her selfish needs, she would thank him constantly for all he was doing for her family, and she would trust God through the good and bad as she promised in her wedding vows. This Godly attitude would soon knit the heart of the husband to hers and thus, just like Ruth in the Old Testament, her unselfish grateful attitude would end up gaining for her what she truly wanted in the first place. Obviously she’s not really grateful and obviously she’s not really a Christian. The fruit is contradictory to her mouth.
This need for feeling valued, insidiously infiltrates every action and attitude of the modern human. God tells us about it in His Word in Genesis 3.
How does it work?
The inherent nature of mankind is envious and judgmental. It doesn’t like being put-down, it doesn’t like someone getting more cake or a better deal, it hates missing being picked on the team, it looks for friendships and relationships that will give it a better elevated value, and it all comes from the satanic temptation that Eve succumbed to. Although the world tells us we are basically good, the Word of God and our natural observations will confirm that our human nature is basically selfish and doesn’t like being told what to do.
The signs of Satanic manipulation over your spirit
In Genesis 3, Eve and Adam were manipulated by Satan’s deception to become their own god. In their envy they succumbed to the trick. The consequence of their selfishness resulted in becoming wise in their own eyes, hiding from the Truth, fearful of getting into trouble, lying to avoid the consequences, blaming another for their fall, and telling the authority, in this case God, how to behave and what’s right and wrong. Any time you blame someone or something for your circumstances you automatically confirm you are under the influence of Satan. Any time you know you’re right, anytime you won’t hear the truth, anytime fear controls you, any time you lie to protect your position, any time you won’t listen respectfully to authority, and any time you tell the authority what’s right and wrong, you automatically confirm you are under the influence of Satan.
When you’re under the influence of Satan, your soul will live in delusions of grandeur and delusions of elevated self-importance. You’ve entered the reign of being your own god.
Holy Spirit displays opposite characteristics to Satan
Holy Spirit does not have the characteristics of blame, delusions of self-importance and arrogance, fear, tell, lie, guilt etc. They are the characteristics of the anti-Christ. Thus when you display them you are not under Holy Spirit but another spirit.
The lie of growing up
A young boy I was talking with complained that his father wouldn’t let him grow-up. I enquired as to what he meant. He replied that his dad wouldn’t let him do what he wanted, like going to certain movies, watching certain tv, staying out late, mixing with certain friends, going to parties and discos, speaking to his mother in a gruff tone, and experimenting with drugs and alcohol like everyone else was. In other words, instead of being grateful that his dad was protecting him from the damages of worldliness he was speaking back rudely to his dad with disrespect and unappreciation. He wanted to find his own way without being told what to do, but he still wanted the security and food and shelter that his dad provided, but on his terms. This lad couldn’t see that this dad had taken on the responsibility of caring and providing for him even though he was the son of his mother’s first marriage and he used the failure of the first marriage as an excuse to carry a chip and licence to rebel. He professed to be a Christian but his attitude to his parents told otherwise.
You don’t grow up by mixing with the world; that’s growing down. If you really want to be a man, it takes the courage to stand against the world.
They chose to live in their hurts instead of their gratitude.
Basically this young boy and the mother above are ignorantly declaring they are their own god and arguing for the right to be it and fuelled it with their hurts. A genuine Christian father and husband won’t let him or her have that deceptive privilege no matter how much it pains him to oppose it.
Jesus does exactly the same for every believer.
He promises to provide all our needs (Matthew 6:33); He shelters us from the storm; He advises us via His commandments and He punishes us for disobedience and disrespect, yet most Christians can’t see the responsibility He carries for us they can only see the restrictions placed on their freedom to do what they want.
If you are truly grateful for what Christ did for you on the cross then offences against you from other people will roll off your back. Instead of only seeing the offence like ungrateful Christians do, you will only see what God did for you and it will over-ride all offences. The prodigal son (Luke 15) had to fall from his arrogant position before he woke up and saw how ungrateful he really was and turned his life around and came back to where he started from with a completely different attitude to his father. Most people who take that route won’t be so fortunate.
Sadly, since the Second World War, the present two generations have been given everything and demanded everything and expect everything to be given to them that they are no longer capable of gratitude for what they’ve been given. It’s all taken for granted. This is the soil of ungratefulness that grows a tree that bears fruit of self-righteousness, disrespect, murmuring and absolute selfishness. If you choose to grow your life in this soil you’ll never find my God!
Pastor John Gregory