Sunday, August 26, 2018

Christ Through the Bible-Ephesians

Text: Ephesians 6:10-18 Christ Our Armor

 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.   And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

It is vital that the believer recognize that they are in a battle.  Not knowing the spiritual conflict that is raging around the believer is one reason there are so many defeated Christians.  This is the basic fact that allows one to prepare for battle and face an enemy that can only be seen with spiritual eyes.  Ignorance is a Christian’s greatest weakness.  Keep Christians ignorant and they will be no threat to Satan. One of the other most important things to know is that there are two kingdoms that are in conflict.  This is the source of all spiritual battles that we face.  There is the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light.  These are the kingdoms of Satan and the LORD respectively.   Paul in his letter to the church at Rome admonishes the saints to put on the armor of light.  Christians are in a war against the kingdom of darkness and our weapons are spiritual.

We have been admonished, To lean not unto our own understanding which seems simple enough but this is a journey that is a life-long struggle and requires us to truth the LORD every day.  Jesus commanded us to, seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.  Here we have been admonished to “seek” which implies a continuous effort and a never-ending process of learning--it is a life-long study.   The Word of God gives us the means to develop the art of spiritual self-defense.  The Christian is in a daily battle fighting the enemy of the soul.  The only protection against defeat is in knowing the Word of God.  It would be foolish for someone to say they are not interested in being thorough in their understanding of how to live a victorious life in Christ Jesus. Being faced with an enemy that is experienced in spiritual conflict the challenge for us today is to master the Word of the LORD.

The Battle Begins

Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Col 1:27 to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The believer is saved from the power and bondage of sin, the carnal nature, the devil, and supernaturally empowered with the Holy Spirit. The power of darkness is anything that blinds a person to the reality of sin. It is the power of darkness that blinds a person to his or her need for salvation, and from receiving God's gift of Holy Spirit. By the conviction of the Holy Spirit God draws the sinner towards Him by the Light that lightest everyone who comes into the world that leads to salvation in Christ by the cross.  The people of the world reject the truth of Christ and are under the control or deception of the god of this world, which is the devil.  Scripture states,

1 John 5:19 "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one."

2Co 4:4 in whom the god [devil] of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them.

The Art of War

 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)

“These were nobler than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”  (Acts 17:11)

Without trying to over-analyze, the command “seek" it directly implies an endeavor, to find knowledge that must be sought out by work and discipline.  In other words, it's a process, a path, a journey, a continual quest.

This seems simple enough. But that's the whole trick isn't it?  The key word here is "seek."  It should be indisputable that this skill is not to be approached lightly.  But when do you know you understand the righteousness of God?  I don't think we ever truly do, which is why the "seek" part implies a continuous effort and never-ending process.  We must maintain an open-ended approach to a life-long study of the righteousness of God.  We should never become conceited in thinking that we have learned all the skill which is to be learned already, we are deceived if we think we understand all there is to know.

The subject "Art" here is our own focus on self-development in a systematic methodology of the teachings of God’s Word. There is no questioning the depth of wisdom and sophistication of fighting knowledge contained within the scriptures. It's important for us to explore. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to victory or defeat. So, it is a subject of study which cannot be neglected.

Our success is based on five conditions:

Personal salvation, - “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 517)

Yielding to the Will of God, “Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but yield yourselves to God, as one alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6:13)

Filled with the Spirit, - “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9)

Studying to be approved, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Applying the Word of God, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16)

 The believer that applies and acts upon this knowledge will be successful in defeating the enemy of the soul. The believer that ignores this will suffer defeat.  Paul in writing to Timothy advised him to take heed to his own life, and the doctrine or teachings of the scriptures; he was to learn how to apply the principles of spiritual warfare.  By working to prepare ourselves to fight the good fight of faith we obtain the abilities to execute the principles of spiritual warfare.

The Enemy of the Soul

The enemy of our soul is Satan.  Satan is the god of this world system and is called “evil” in 1 John 5:19. Jesus faced the same enemy as we face when he was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  We read,

Luke  4:5 - 8: And he [the devil] led him [Jesus] up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship before me, it shall all be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  

This position of Satan’s power and world domination was acquired when both Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, being tempted of the devil in the Garden of Eden.  The lure of the temptation of Adam and Eve was to be like God. Satan hates God and His creation and seeks to win humanity over for its destruction. All dominion over the earth was originally given to Adam and Eve, but because of their sin, all of humanity and nature itself fell under the destruction and power of the devil.  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Rom. 5:12

The enemy of the soul first appeared to man in the Garden of Eden when he deceived Eve into disobeying the LORD.  God had given a command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. ”But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die." Gen 2:17   Eve being deceived, disobeyed the LORD. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Gen 3:6 

The result of just one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people. By yielding to the enemy of the soul, by one man’s disobedience every one now born into the world is born a sinner.  So, by the sin of Adam death was passed upon all mankind.  All of us came into this world with a desire to gratify the cravings of our carnal nature.  James writes, “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” This is how the enemy of our soul wages war against us through the need to gratify the cravings of our carnal nature.

Satan lost the battle to dethrone God and was cast back to his domain-Earth.  He now attacks God by making war on humanity.   With this understanding of events, we can see that our battles in this spiritual warfare come from principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and the spiritual host of wickedness in high places.  We are in a life and death struggle against evil.  The enemy of the soul is the god of this world—Satan.

From the moment Adam disobeyed the commandment of the LORD all of God’s creation, the plants, the animals, sea life, and of course humanity itself began to suffer and die. This account is found in the first 3 chapters of the book of Genesis.  The sins of Adam and Eve brought the curse of sin to all the earth, in which we have our redemption only in Christ.  It is only Christ, the Son of God, Who suffered the penalty of this curse to set us free and bring us back to God; therefore Christ is the only way in which we can be saved. 

Our Weapons of Warfare

The power of God is released, as we utilize every piece of the armor of God against evil spirits, who are labeled by Paul as principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness on high.  We are asked to prepare ourselves as soldiers in spiritual warfare, because as a forbearer of God's truth and power, Christians and God's work are targets of the devil for destruction. The intense hate of the devil, and his devil spirits against God's creation is unimaginable, but nonetheless real, he is cruel and merciless; however, he cannot defeat God, and therefore he uses trickery and deception to defeat believers or draw them into vulnerable positions. Some of these positions are: fear, doubt, confusion, condemnation, temptation through pressure or pleasure, spiritual blindness, pride, affliction or persecution, intended to frustrate the purposes of God through His people.  He is cunning and attempts to oppress us in our weakest areas (through our thought life or other people and circumstances), in which the "unaware" are led into chains of depression and other forms of bondage. 

  We have been commanded to “Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  The armor consist of having our, “. . . feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  We are to, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; which is also referred to as the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.  This is the armor that will quench the fiery darts of the wicked-“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”  “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

 When we are equipped with the armor of God the power God protects us against evil spirits, the principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness on high.  We are asked to prepare ourselves as soldiers in spiritual warfare, because as a witness of God's truth and power, Christians and God's work are targets of the devil for destruction.  The weapons of the devil are: fear, doubt, confusion, condemnation, temptation through pressure or pleasure, spiritual blindness, pride, affliction or persecution, intended to frustrate the purposes of God through His people.  He is cunning and attempts to oppress us in our weakest areas (through our thought life or other people and circumstances), in which the "unaware" are led into chains of depression and other forms of bondage. 

 If we fail to use the protection that God has given us we will find that we are no more than the amusement of the Satan. The conflict will vary; however, if we rely on our strength, we will fall into an endless pattern of defeat, being victimized by the same snares or traps. Often, hostile situations may reoccur because the spirit forces behind a condition are left undetected, and by relying on our human wisdom and strength, we are left without a solution to our problems. We must attempt to identify the area of the enemy's infiltration.  We need to keep in mind that we are never told to remove the armor of God; it is a way of life for the Christian.

The Armor of Light

Theology According to Truitt

Put on the armor of light. And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Rom 13:11-14

While preparing a series of messages on spiritual warfare, I ran across this passage of scripture.  I am sure that we are all familiar with the passage in Ephesians 6 that talks about the whole armor of God.  In fact, you may have had a Sunday school teacher who had you make all the armor from cardboard and remember the verse that went with each piece of armor.  This passage in Roman is hidden in the message of how we should conduct ourselves as Christians being people of the day and not of the night.

What started out as reading a few commentaries on the 12th verse which took me on a wild ride of information jumping.  You know where you are reading something, and a new idea is presented, and you follow it, and another new idea is presented.  Well, this ride was an exciting ride. 

I was waiting for a meeting to start so I thought I would check out some more on the “armor of light”.  I was trying to find how light could be the armor of the Christian.  No luck.  This got me to thinking about when Adam was created-- how was he clothed?  It has long been taught that he was clothed in light.  So, this started me on a new search.  But before I get to the interesting information let’s go back to the command.

Christians are commanded to “put on the amour of light” and “to put on the Lord Jesus.”  What does this mean?  To be clothed with a person is a Greek phrase, signifying to assume the interests of another--to enter his views, to imitate him, and be wholly on his side.  Putting on the armor of light is being clothed with Jesus Christ, signifies I have put on Christ; and consequently, having the mind that was in Christ.

Christians are soldiers amid a spiritual conflict and must have personal protection armor that they may stand against the enemy of the soul. A Christian undressed is unarmed. The graces of the Spirit are the armor, to secure the soul from Satan’s temptations and the assaults of this present evil world. Put on the righteousness of Christ for justification; be found in him (Phil. 3:9 ) as a man is found in his clothes; put on the priestly garments of the elder brother, that in them you may obtain the blessing. Put on the spirit and grace of Christ for sanctification; put on the new man (Eph 4:24); get the habit of grace confirmed, the acts of it quickened.’’ Jesus Christ is the best clothing for Christians to adorn themselves with, to arm themselves with; it is decent, distinguishing, dignifying, and defending. Without Christ, we are naked, deformed; all other things are filthy rages, fig-leaves, a sorry shelter. "Put him on as Lord to rule you, as Jesus to save you, and in both as Christ, anointed and appointed by the Father to this ruling saving work.’’

I think we get the point of how important it is to identify with Christ.  But what is interesting is that Paul would use the expression “the armor of light.” The fact that God is light is important to our study of putting on the armor of light. It includes a description of God's character as well as implications for the life of Christian discipleship. In fact, the character of God as light and the Christian putting on the armor of light has it foundation in the creation of Adam.  This is where I started down a long road of inquiry.

Adam was created in God’s image and likeness which includes the appearance of God. We can reason more of how Adam was before he fell into sin by understanding how he was clothed in light.  Adam was covered with light as with a garment, similar to his God. Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Ps.104:2

We also have seen that the Holy Spirit was indwelling in Adam when he was created. God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul.   God created Adam in His image and likeness concerning his general shape (head, shoulders, hands, and feet) plus Adam was emitting light in a manner like God and he was also filled with the Spirit of God.  The question that I had to ask myself was where did the light come from?

This question side tracked me into searching for the answer.  Here is what I found.  Fritz-Albert Popp thought he had discovered a cure for cancer. It was 1970, and Popp, a theoretical biophysicist at the University of Marburg in Germany, had been teaching radiology -- the interaction of electromagnetic (EM) radiation on biological systems.

What Popp discovered was that benzo[a]pyrene (the cancer producing molecule) absorbed the UV light, then re-emitted it at a completely different frequency -- it was a light "scrambler". The benzo[e]pyrene (harmless to humans), allowed the UV light to pass through it unaltered.

Popp was puzzled by this difference and continued to experiment with UV light and other compounds. He performed his test on 37 different chemicals, some cancer-causing, some not. After a while, he was able to predict which substances could cause cancer. In every instance, the compounds that were carcinogenic took the UV light, absorbed it and changed or scrambled the frequency.

Popp kept wondering why a cancer-causing substance would be a light scrambler. He began reading the scientific literature specifically about human biological reactions and came across information about a phenomenon called 'photorepair'.  The quick summary of this phenomenon is that light aids in the healing process of the cells.  Well this led me to another question, is there light within the body? 

What is it that enabled the tens of thousands of different kinds of molecules in the organism to recognize their specific targets?  Photons (Light) control everything in the cells of our body.  Photons switch on the body's processes like an orchestra conductor bringing each individual instrument into the collective sound. At different frequencies, they perform different functions. Popp found that molecules in the cells responded to certain frequencies, and that a range of vibrations from the photons caused a variety of frequencies in other molecules of the body.

Remember in the Gospel of John, “That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world”.  If the cells of our body repair themselves through a process of photorepair and light controls every cell within our body, could light then play a major role in how man was designed?  So, I asked myself this question, does light play a part in our DNA?

To save you from all the scientific language let me cut to the chase.  One of the most essential sources of light and biophoton emissions is DNA. DNA was like the master tuning fork of the body. It would strike a particular frequency and certain molecules would follow. Our DNA not only emits light but absorbs light as well. Our DNA is like an electric capacitor which can store tiny amounts of electricity and then discharge it.  In a similar way, we can speculate that the light that was coming from Adam was not being produced from his own self, but was first absorbed from God and then reemitted, very much like how things glow in the dark. Glow-in-the-dark objects need to be exposed to light, or charged, to glow.

Adam must have emitted large amounts of light or photons from his DNA. When he sinned, the light that he received from God, the source of the light, was presumably extinguished. Proverbs 13:9 says: “The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out,”  Then Jesus spoke to them again: "I AM THE LIGHT of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the Darkness but will have the LIGHT OF LIFE." (John 8:12) In HIM WAS LIFE; and the LIFE WAS THE LIGHT of men.  (John 1:4 KJV) 

The conclusion of Dr. Popp’s research was best summarized in his own words, "We now know, today, that man is essentially a being of light."

When Paul told the Christians at Rome to put on the armor of light he was telling them to become a new creation.  Our new man has been created in God’s image – imagine that! We, as new creations are in the image of the One who made us! Paul states that Jesus is the image of God: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,” (Colossians 1:15 NET). Then he states that we are in that image using the same Greek word “and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it,” (Colossians 3:10 NET). We must not forget, however, that Adam was originally created in the image of God. So, if in our new man we will be like God (not be God in all of his glory, but like Him!), then we must conclude that when God made Adam in His image or likeness and Adam emitted light in a way similar to God.  When Adam was connected to the source he was protected from the enemy of his soul. 

When we put on the armor of light we are connecting to the source of Light and are protected from the enemy of our soul.  Have you put on the armor of Light?

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Christ Through the Bible- Galatians

Text: But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, taken under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.  Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  So, you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. Gal. 4:5-7
In the book of Galatians, we see Christ paying the price for our adoption.  God sent His Son so that we might receive the position of sons.  Christ paid the price of our redemption at the cost of His own life.  His death is the price of adoption.  Adoption requires someone who comes at the right time.  It requires someone who has the right qualifications.  It also requires someone who has the right motivation and resolves to see the process to its completion.
Adoption requires a two-step judicial process in conformance to state statutory provisions in which the legal obligations and rights of a child toward the biological parents are terminated, and new rights and obligations are created between the child and the adoptive parents.
Adoption involves the creation of the parent-child relationship between individuals who are not naturally so related. The adopted child is given the rights, privileges, and duties of a child and heir by the adoptive family.
Following the adoption proceedings, a certificate of adoption is issued for the adopted child, to replace the birth certificate. It lists the new family name, the date and place of the child's birth, and the ages of the adoptive parents at the time the child was born.

Generally, the certificate of adoption does not indicate the names of the child's natural parents or the date and place of adoption. A child may never know that he or she was adopted unless the adoptive parents reveal the information since the old birth certificate is sealed away and may be opened only by court order.
Since adoption was not recognized at Common Law, all adoption procedures in the United States are regulated by statute. Adoption statutes prescribe the conditions, manner, means, and consequences of adoption. Also, they specify the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved

The process to become an adoptive parent requires your life to be examined.
1.      be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and responsible, mature adults,

2.      complete an application

3.      share information regarding their background and lifestyle,

4.      provide relatively and non-relative references,

5.      show proof of marriage

6.      agree to a home study which includes visits with all household members,

7.      complete a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household.
Adoptive Parents must:
1.      provide permanent homes and a lifelong commitment to children into adulthood;
2.      provide for the short-term and long-term needs of children;
3.      provide for children's emotional, mental, physical, social, educational, and cultural needs, according to each child's developmental age and growth;

We have friends that have gone through the adoption process and faced so many challenges in the process.  Don’t you find it interesting that you can abort a child for under $500 but to adopt a child here in America is between $8,000 and $40,000?  If you are adopting outside of America, it is between $15,000 and $30,000.  On top of the cost is the qualifications to become an adoptive parent. Then after the adoption, you must keep addressing the question of identity.  It is not difficult to realize that some adopted children are not your natural birth children.  One adoptive mother has struggled with people who do not understand adoption.  People often say to her, Oh, it is so nice that you have adopted these children, now do you have children of your own? By the way, that is one phrase that you do not ask an adoptive parent.  This parent likes to share her answer this way, Come, in real close, I have a secret; THEY ARE OUR CHILDREN!
When it comes to our spiritual life Gods provided for us the means by which we can become part of His family.  He loves us and gave His Son for a ransom that we might be brought into His family.  What is strange is that many have not accepted the offer to be in the Family of God.  They continue to wander through life with the enemy of their soul--Satan.
Satan does not care about your soul.  He is a destroyer of life.  Life under Satan is a culture of death.  I find it interesting that while Satan glorifies death, the LORD exalts life.
 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans. 6:23
Look what Christ says to those who He has adopted:
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Rev. 21:6-8
What God has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ:
The price was paid for our redemption.  He paid a tremendous price for our adoption.
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Gal. 4:6-7
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  ICor. 6:19
He adopted us into the family of God:
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Rom. 8:14-15
He supplies all our basic needs of life.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 33  but seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt. 6: 25;33
He has prepared for us a permeant home.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, also believe in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may also be. John 14:1-3

He made us heirs with His Son:
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Rom. 8:16-17
He provides us protection against evil.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;   Eph. 6:10-18
The songwriter put to word the feeling of one who is ready to accept the offer of adoption
 1.I’ve wandered far away from God,
Now I’m coming home;
The paths of sin too long I’ve trod,
Lord, I’m coming home.

Coming home, coming home,
Nevermore to roam;
Open wide Thine arms of love,
Lord, I’m coming home.
 2.I’ve wasted many precious years,
Now I’m coming home;
I now repent with bitter tears,
Lord, I’m coming home.
 3. I’m tired of sin and straying, Lord,
Now I’m coming home;
I’ll trust Thy love, believe Thy word,
Lord, I’m coming home.
 4 My soul is sick, my heart is sore,
Now I’m coming home;
My strength renew, my hope restore,
Lord, I’m coming home.
 5.My only hope, my only plea,
Now I’m coming home;
That Jesus died, and died for me,
Lord, I’m coming home.
 6. I need His cleansing blood I know,
Now I’m coming home;
Oh, wash me whiter than the snow,
Lord, I’m coming home LORD.
 You do not need to go through life without your spiritual family.  The LORD is waiting to adopt you into His family.  His Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart asking you to come home.  The place has been prepared for you.  Don’t wander through life alone and away from God come home.
Accept the adoption offered to you.  Become the new person the LORD wants to make you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Christ Through the Bible- Christ the Quickening Spirit

Text: And so, it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. I Cor. 15:45
From all indications, Paul wrote three letters to the church at Corinth.  First Corinthians is the second letter. We have no record of the first letter.  In chapter 5 verse 9 implies he had addressed the immorality that was in the church at Corinth and told them not associate with those who were sexually immoral.
In First Corinthians, he again is addressing the sexual immorality that is taking place in the church along with the various divisions.  The household of Chloe informed Paul of many other evils: such as contentions, divisions, and lawsuits brought against brethren in heathen law courts by professing Christians; the abuse of their spiritual gifts by displaying fanaticism; the interruption of public worship by disorderly people, and the lack of modesty by women speaking unveiled (contrary to Oriental customs), and the desecration of the LORD’s  table by greediness and drunkenness on the part of those in attendance. Other messengers, also, came from Corinth, consulting him on the subject of (1) the controversy about meats offered to idols; (2) the disputes about celibacy and marriage; (3) the due exercise of spiritual gifts in public worship; (4) the best mode of making the collection which he had requested for the saints at Jerusalem.
The area I will be talking about this morning is how Paul portrays Christ to the church at Corinth as “the quickening spirit.”  “The quickening spirit” is primarily a phrase found in the King James translation of the Bible and translations based on it. Most translations translate it as “life-giving spirit.” The King James elsewhere uses the phrase “he will quicken the dead” which seems to mean to give life to the dead. So “quickening spirit” seems to mean “life-giving spirit.”
The passage 1st Corinthians 15 is about the resurrection from the dead that as Christians we believe, and Paul is making an argument that the resurrection will happen. In this verse, he uses “the last Adam” as a reference to Jesus to draw a parallel between Adam and Jesus.
All of this is to say that “quicken” in King James English should be understood as reanimating the dead or resurrecting the dead.
Quickening Is the Initial Operation of the Holy Spirit
There are two operations of the “quickening spirit” that are essential to the Christian faith.  Paul is writing about the quickening power for the resurrection of the body in our text.  John and Peter write about the quickening power of salvation—from death to life.
Some have failed to see the distinction which is pointed by John 6:63
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are the spirit, and they are life.
And 1 Peter 1:23:
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
The John is referring to the initial act of the Spirit in "quickening" the spiritually-dead soul. While Peter is writing about the consequent "birth" of the same. While it may be difficult to understand the "new creature", yet of this, we may be certain, that life precedes birth. There is a strict analogy between the natural birth, and the spiritual, and God is the Author of them both.  Jesus used this analogy when talking with Nicodemus.
 Birth is neither the cause nor the beginning of life itself: instead is it the manifestation of life already existent: there had been a Divine "quickening" before the child could issue from the womb. In the same way the Holy Spirit "quickens" the soul, or imparts spiritual life to it, before its possessor is "brought forth" and "born again" by the Word of God (1 Pet. 1:23).
James 1:18,
Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
1 Peter 1:23,
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
And parallel passages, refer not to the original communication of spiritual life to the soul, but rather to our being enabled to act from that life and induced to love and obey God through the Word of Truth which assumes a principle of grace already planted in the heart.
 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. John 1:9
In His work of illumination, conviction, conversion, and sanctification, the Spirit uses the Word as the means to it, but in His initial work of "quickening," He employs no means, operating immediately or directly upon the soul.
First, there is a "new creation."
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 3 Cor. 5:17
and then the "new creature" is stirred into life.
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Faith and all other graces are fashioned in us by the Spirit through the knowledge of the Word, but not so with the principle of life and grace from which these graces proceed.
Quickening Imparts Life
His work of "quickening," by which we mean the imparting of spiritual life to the soul, the Spirit acts immediately from within, and not by applying something from without. It is not something that happens from our surrounding environment. Quickening is a direct operation of the Spirit without the use of any outside influence or action: the Word is used by Him afterward to call into exercise the life then communicated.
And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4
Christ has freed us from the law of the sin and the death.
The words here "buried with" are from the Greek word sunthapto. This is a rare word used only here and in:
having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. Colossians 2:12 NASB
The words "buried with" mean: "to bury together, join in burying or to be buried with". The word "with" indicates a "co" relationship with Jesus Christ. This is a co-burial. It is saying, "When Jesus was buried, we were buried". God buried us along with Jesus Christ! This obviously does not mean that God put us into the same tomb as Jesus and laid down beside Him! This is our union with Christ.
"The glory of God" is another way of saying "God's power and might." In the First Testament the power of God was displayed supremely on two occasions--when He saved Israel from Egypt, and when He saved her from Babylon (Exod 14:31; Deut 9:29; Isa 40:5). In the New Testament, the power and the glory of God were supremely displayed in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The astounding statement that Paul makes is that "as" that is true of Christ, "even so" it is true of us. "So, we too might walk in newness of life"--Christ walks in newness of life as the result of the resurrection, and so do we. The "newness of life" here does not refer to a new quality of experience or conduct, but to a new quality of life imparted to the individual. Verses 1-11 of Romans 6 do not deal with the Christian's experience or behavior, but with his position before God. "Newness of life" is the newness which consists of life. The literal Greek here reads: "So also we in newness of life might walk."
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB
This is not dealing with my walk, but with my position before God. In other words, what Paul says then is that when Jesus Christ died on Golgotha, we died on Golgotha. When Jesus Christ was placed in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb, we were placed in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb. When on the first day of the week the Lord Jesus rose again from the dead from that tomb in bodily resurrection, we also arose with Him. When Christ ascended to heaven, we ascended with Him and are now seated with Him in the heavenlies. Our identification with Christ includes the crucifixion with Him, burial with Him; and our resurrection, ascension, and glorification with Christ. Our identification with Christ is so complete that God reckons us as having experienced co-crucifixion, co-burial, co-resurrection, co-ascension, and co-glorification. This is the way God sees us. Shouldn't we see ourselves in the same manner?
Regeneration is a direct operation of the Holy Spirit upon the human spirit. It is the action of the Holy Spirit upon the human spirit.  Ephesians 2:10 - For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in the spirit, of a Divine Person upon a human person, whereby spiritual life is imparted. Nothing by the actions of man can come between the Holy Spirit and the soul that is made alive. God did not employ an outside action or means when He infused physical life into the body of Adam. There were only two factors: the dust of the ground and the creative power of God which animated that dust. The Divine omnipotence and dead matter were brought into direct contact, with nothing interjected outside the quickening power of the spirit of God.  The dust was not a means or instrument by which God originated life. So, in regeneration, there are only two factors: the human soul destitute of spiritual life, and the Holy Spirit who quickens it.
The Word and Truth of God-the Bible, the most important of all the means of grace, is not a means of regeneration, as distinct from conviction, conversion, and sanctification. This is evident when we remember that it is the office of a means or instrument to excite or stimulate an already existing principle of life. Physical food is a means of physical growth, but it supposes physical vitality. If the body is dead, bread cannot bring life. Intellectual truth is a means of intellectual growth, but it supposes intellectual vitality. If the mind is dead, secular knowledge cannot be a means of intellect. Spiritual truth is a means of spiritual growth, but there must be spiritual life. But if the mind is dead to righteousness, the spiritual reality does not affect the spirit of man.
But the natural man receiveth, not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. 2:14
The unenlightened understanding is unable to comprehend, and the unregenerate will is unable to believe. Vital force is lacking in these two principal factors. What is needed at this point in life and force itself? Consequently, the Author of spiritual life Himself must operate directly, without the outside influences; and outright give spiritual life and power from the dead. The new life is not imparted because man perceives the truth, but he perceives the truth because the new life is imparted. A man is not regenerated because he has first believed in Christ, but he believes in Christ because he has been regenerated.
First the Work of the Spirit, Then the Word
Under the guise of honoring the written word, many have dishonored the Holy Spirit. The idea which seems to prevail in "orthodox" circles today is that all which is needed for the salvation of souls is to give out the Word in its purity, God being pledged to bless the same. How often we have heard it said, "The Word will do its work." Many suppose that the Scriptures are quite enough of themselves to communicate light to those in darkness and life to those who are dead in sins. But the record which we have of Christ’s life ought at once to correct such a view. Who preached the Word as faithfully as He, yet how very few were saved during His three and a half years of ministry?
The parable of the Sower exposes the fallacy of the theory now so widely prevailing. The "seed" sown is the Word. It was scattered upon various kinds of ground, yet notwithstanding the purity and vitality of the seed, where the soil was unfavorable, no increase issued from that place. Until the ground was made good, the seed yielded no increase. Plentiful showers might water that seed and warmed by a warm sun, but while the soil was bad, there could be no harvest. The ground must be changed before it could be fertile. Nor is it the seed which improves the soil: what farmer would ever think of saying, the seed will change the soil! Make no mistake upon this point: the Holy Spirit must first quicken the dead soul into newness of life before the Word obtains any entrance.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. John 6:65
To say that spiritual life is communicated to the soul by the Spirit’s application of the Word, and then to say that the Holy Spirit is the principle of life which gives worth to the Word, is but to reason in a circle.
The Word cannot profit any soul spiritually until it is "mixed with faith" (Heb. 4:2), and faith cannot be put forth unless it proceeds from a principle of life and grace; and so, that principle of life is not produced by it.
It is like showing a blind man a picture will enable him to see.  So often Christians assume the present the Word will produce a spiritual awakening that results in embracing the LORD.
The Word is secondary to the quickening power of the Holy Spirit.
It is by the Holy Spirit that the WORD of God gives an accurate account of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.  However, they are only a declaration of those teachings, and they are not the primary rule of faith by themselves.  They are a true and faithful testimony of the principle teachings but are secondary and subordinate to the Holy Spirit.  The scriptures have no life apart from the quickening power of the Spirit of Christ.  The Spirit is the principal rule.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet 1:20-21
There will be some that will continue to believe the quickening power is found in the Word itself.  The deadly enmity of the sinner must be removed by the immediate operation of the Spirit, communicating life, before the Word enters and affects him.
"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness" (Matthew 7:22, 23).
By the "eye" is not here meant the mind only, but the disposition of the heart (cf. Mark 7:22). Here Christ tells us in what man’s blindness consists, namely, the evil disposition of his heart, and that the only way to remove the darkness, and let in the light, is to change the heart. An "evil eye" is not cured or its darkness removed merely by casting light upon it, any more than the rays of the sun communicate sight unto one whose spirit is dead. The eye must be cured, made "single," and then it can receive the light.
The soul is quickened into newness of life by the direct and supernatural operation of the Spirit, without any medium or means whatever. It is not accomplished by the light of the Word, for it is His very imparting of life which fits the heart to receive the light. This initial work of the Spirit is indispensable to have spiritual illumination. It is evil or corruption of heart which holds the mind in darkness. It is just as absurd to speak of illumination being conveyed by the Word to have a change of heart, or the giving of relish for spiritual things, as it would be to speak of giving the capacity to a man to taste the sweetness of honey while he was devoid of a palate.
No, men are not "quickened" by the Word, they must be quickened to receive and understand the Word.
 "And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God" (Jer. 24:7):
that statement would be quite meaningless if a saving knowledge of or experimental acquaintance with God were obtained through the Word previous to the "new heart" or spiritual life being given and was the means of our being quickened. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Prov. 1:7); the "fear of the Lord" or Divine grace communicated to the heart (spiritual life imparted) alone lays the foundation for spiritual knowledge and activities.
Characteristics of Quickening
"For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth, even so, the Son quickeneth whom He will" (John 5:21);
"It is the Spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63).
 All the Divine operations in the economy of salvation proceed from the Father, are through the Son, and are executed by the Spirit. Quickening is His initial work in the elect. It is that supernatural act by which He brings them out of the grave of spiritual death on to resurrection ground. By it He imparts a principle of grace and habit of holiness; it is the communication of the life of God to the soul. It is an act of creation (2 Cor. 5:17). It is a Divine "workmanship" (Eph. 2:10). All of these terms denote an act of Omnipotence. The origination of life is utterly impossible for the creature. He can receive life; he can nourish life; he can use and exert it, but he cannot create life.
In this work, the Spirit acts as a sovereign. "The wind bloweth where it listeth (or "pleaseth") ... so is everyone that is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8

 This does not mean that He acts impulsively, or without reason and motive, but that He is above any obligation to the creature and is entirely uninfluenced by us in what He does. The Spirit might justly have left every one of us in the hardness of our hearts to perish forever. In quickening one and not another, in bringing a few from death unto life and leaving the mass still dead in trespasses and sins, the Spirit has mercy "on whom He will have mercy." He is free to work in whom He pleases, no one has the slightest claim upon Him.
The quickening of the spiritually dead into newness of life is, therefore, an act of amazing grace: it is the unsought and unmerited favor. The sinner, who is the chosen subject of this Divine operation and object of this inestimable blessing, is infinitely ill-deserving in himself, being thoroughly disposed to go on in wickedness till this change is wrought in him. He is rebellious and will not listen to the Divine command; he is obstinate and refuses to repent and embrace the Gospel. However, terrified he may be with the fears of threatened doom, however, earnest may be his desire to escape misery and be happy forever, no matter how many prayers he may make and things he may do, he has not the least inclination to repent and submit to God. His heart is defiant, full of enmity against God, and daily does he add iniquity unto iniquity. For the Spirit to give a new heart unto such a one is indeed an act of amazing and sovereign grace.
This quickening by the Spirit is instantaneous: it is a Divine act, and not a process; it is wrought at once, and not gradually. In a moment of time, the soul passes from death unto life. The soul which before was dead toward God is now alive to Him. The soul which was entirely under the domination of sin is now set free. The Spirit of God finds the heart wholly corrupt and desperately wicked, but by a miracle of grace, He changes its direction, and this by implanting within it the imperishable seed of holiness. There is no middle between a carnal and a spiritual state: the one is what we were by nature, the other is what we become by grace, by the instantaneous and invincible operation of the Almighty Spirit.
This initial work of quickening is entirely unperceived by us, for it lies outside the realm and the range of human consciousness. Those who are dead possess no perception, and through the work of bringing them on to resurrection, the ground is indeed a great and powerful one, in the very nature of the case its subjects can know nothing whatever about it until after it has been accomplished. When Adam was created, he was conscious of nothing but that he now existed and was free to act: the Divine operation which was the cause of his existence was over and finished before he began to be conscious of anything. This initial operation of the Spirit by which the elect become new creatures can only be known by its effects and consequences. "The wind bloweth where it listeth," that is first; then "thou hearest the sound thereof" (John 3:8): it is now made known, in a variety of ways, to the conscience and understanding.
Under this work of quickening, we are entirely passive there is no co-operation whatever between the will of the sinner and the act of the Holy Spirit. As we have said, this initial work of the Spirit is affected by free and sovereign grace, consisting of the infusion of a principle of spiritual life into the soul, by which all its abilities are supernaturally repaired.
Take the case of Lazarus.  Lazarus had nothing to do with his resurrection: he didn’t know it was Jesus standing outside his tomb. He was unaware Jesus came to deliver him from death. Such is the case with each of us when the Spirit begins to deal with our soul. We must first be quickened into newness of life before we can have the smallest desire or motion of the will toward spiritual things.  For our will to contribute the smallest iota unto its quickening is utterly impossible.
The life which the Spirit imparts when He quickens is uniform in all its chosen subjects. As seed virtually contains in it all that is formed afterward: the blade, stalk, ear, and full corn in the ear. So, the first principle of grace implanted in the heart contains all the grace which afterward appears in all the fruits, effects, acts and exercises of it. Each quickened person experiences the same radical change, by which the image of God is stamped upon the soul: "that which is born of the Spirit is the spirit" (John 3:6), never anything less, and never anything more. Each quickened person is made a new creature in Christ and possesses all the essential parts of "the new man." Later, some may be livelier and more vigorous, as God gives stronger faith unto one than to another; yet there is no difference in their original: all partake of the same life.
While there is an excellent diversity in our perception and understanding of the work of the Spirit within us, there is no difference in the initial work itself. While there is much difference in the carrying on of this work unto perfection in the growth of the "new creature," some making rapid progress, others grow slowly and bringing forth little fruit, yet the new creation itself is the same in all. Each alike enters the kingdom of God, becomes a vital member of Christ’s mystical body, is given a place in the living family of God. There has never been but one kind of spiritual quickening in this world, being in its essential nature specifically the same in all.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.I Cor.12:4
Only the Beginning
In conclusion the Spirit’s quickening is just the beginning of God’s work of grace in the soul. "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work within you will finish it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Black Horse of Capitalism

Most people view life in the context of their limited view.  As Americans we judge what happens in the world in reference to our own freedoms and liberties.  Often our worldview is clouded by what is happening to us and individuals.  We do not see the greater picture of life because we a focused on our own self interests.
In the book of Revelation there are Four Horsemen that are riding over the earth.  There have been books, movies, CD's and DVD's made about these four horsemen.   I would like to take some time and give some thoughts that I hope challenge your thinking.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. (Black represents Capitalism)
A quart of wheat was the daily ration for a solider. The ration would cost a Denarius, a day's wage. This indicates that in the last days during the ride of the four-horsemen that in many parts of the world famine, and a lack of food would happen. That is what was indicated by the black horse. We are living in that time now. It is estimated that a child dies of hunger every 2 seconds. And that a 1/5 of the world goes to bed hungry every night.
The average world income is about $8,000 per year (per capita). However, less than 1/4 of countries enjoy this amount or more, because the median income is only about $2,000 per year. So although the total world GDP divided by the world population equals $8,000 per year, most people scrape by with a meager $2,000 per year income. That equals $5.47 a day.
Research reveals the stark inequality that drives the global hunger crisis, with the poorest people paying more than they earn in a day for a single meal.
A $1.20 plate of rice and beans in New York, which is just 0.6% of the New Yorker’s average daily income.  The same dish costs $8.27 in Guatemala, $27.77 in Nepal, and $72.65 in Haiti.
In South Sudan, the worst-ranking country in the study, the meal costs $321.70, or 155% of a person’s daily wages
Nearly 800 million people went hungry on the planet last year because they simply could not afford to feed themselves, yet we have enough food to feed everyone worldwide: the food we waste could actually feed 2 billion people,”
Oil and wine will be luxuries beyond the reach of all but the very wealthy, who are generally not harmed by economic problems to the extent the average person is.
56 percent of all Americans have a subprime credit rating, and that the average monthly car payment in the US is $474.
52 percent of homeowners are overextended on their mortgages and “cannot even afford the house that they are living in right now.”
Millennials are spending at least half their monthly paychecks on paying off debt.
That ever-increasing gap between income and consumption has been filled by borrowing.  This is America.
So many people spend their lives only chasing money.  We live in a free society where even the poor can become rich.  I personally know people who were so in the bondage of debt that they refused to answer their phone because of debt collectors.  They found something they were good at and today are very wealthy people.  However, the cost of that wealth was the price of their marriage, their family, and friends.  Wealth does not always bring happiness.
Most people hate their jobs but continue because of their debt. We exchange our time for money.  That money is never enough because we do not have enough time.  So, let me ask the question, how much money is enough?
 I’ve asked friends, this very question. I always get the same free answers. “More” “There’s never enough” “1 million dollars”.  That used to be me. I bought into the myth of more. It was an empty way to live a life. I was told early in my life that money is a scorecard. I was also told it’s a measure of how much value you have put into the world. But neither of those are true.  There is more to our lives than how much money we acquire in this life.
While Jefferson penned the words, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" in our Declaration of Independence, the notion evolved from Locke's "life, liberty, and the pursuit of an estate" and Adam Smith's "life, liberty, and the pursuit of property." Smith's version even found its way into The Declaration of Colonial Rights, crafted by the First Continental Congress in 1774. We in the United States act horribly because, despite Jefferson's re-wording, we did not separate ourselves from Locke's and Smith's notions. We see a link between our happiness and the degree of material success we achieve. 
 Forged within the context of today’s capitalism, which has become unrestrained beyond understanding as it rages against its unavoidable self-destruction, our relentless devotion to our "inalienable right" to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. " We focus mainly upon enhancing our own lives, filling our heavily-mortgaged homes to the rafters with as much "stuff" as we can acquire, and gratifying every pleasure-seeking desire the law will allow, and then some. We rarely pursue the spiritual form of happiness to which Jefferson may have been alluding. In a nation where "I" rarely defers to "we" and property rights trump humanity, we US Americans tend to be all about "me" and focused on dying a winner by possessing the "most toys."  I have yet to see a U-Haul hooked to a hearse on the way to the cemetery.  We brought nothing into this world, and we take nothing out when we die.
The Apostle Paul gave us the warning about the last days:
This also know that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;5 Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
The root cause can be laid at the feet of money. It is the love of money, and not money itself, that is the problem. The love of money is a sin because it gets in the way of worshipping God. Jesus said it was tough for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God. When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor. “When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth” (see Matthew 19:16-22). By instructing him to give up his money, Jesus pointed out the young man’s main problem: greed or love of money. The man could not follow Christ because he was following the money. His love of this world interfered with his love for God.
Capitalism proclaims the virtue of self-interest, but self-interest without regard for morality, how we take care of our environment, and our neighbors ends up in being greed. Greed leads to environmental degradation, destruction of native communities, colonialism, war and other forms of mass destruction.  The history of our nation is an example of that greed.  Between 1830 and 1850, the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee people (including mixed-race and black slaves who lived among them) were forcibly removed from their traditional lands in the Southeastern United States and relocated farther west. Those Native Americans who were transferred were forced to march to their destinations by state and local militias. The Cherokee removal in 1838 was brought on by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Georgia in 1828, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush. Approximately 2,000–8,000 of the 16,543 relocated Cherokee perished along the way.
Self-interest leads capitalists to destroy any rival economic system or way of thinking that can be a barrier to their endless quest for profit.  It is not a social system that is in the interests of most of the people. That is why 1% controls 47% of the world’s wealth.
I am not a supporter of socialism or communism, both have destroyed the wealth of the countries they exist in.  However, capitalism has also destroyed nations.   The US government has used economic sanctions against countries that do not agree with policies based on a capitalistic agenda.  The control of banking and oil policies of the US government has resulted in wars, and the denial of the necessities of life- food, water, medical attention, and shelter to countries who are in opposition to these policies.
On March 9, 2015, President Obama issued an Executive Order declaring a "national emergency" affirming that "the situation in Venezuela" poses an "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." This is the actions of US imperialist meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation like Venezuela.
The issue in Venezuela is not socialism as reported by the MSM.  It is about oil and banking.
The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, severed ties with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. When he did this, he brought down the anger of the US government.
Venezuela repaid its debts to the World Bank five years ahead of schedule. In doing so, it saved $8m and cleared all its obligations to the IMF.  Venezuela had cut its dependence on the multilateral lending institutions on the back of its oil resources - the world's largest outside the Middle East. The petroleum sector dominates the economy, accounting for 50% of central government revenue and 70% of exports.  (That was until the sanctions.)
The Venezuelan economy had experienced 10 consecutive quarters of sustained high growth. This is due in large part to high public spending and private consumption, fueled by high oil prices and historically low-interest rates.  That was until President Obama placed sanctions on the country.  The idea that these sanctions are imposed with the aim of defending human rights, freedom of expression, democratic institutions and attacking corruption in Venezuela is only an excuse to cripple the oil industry of the country.  This has been accomplished.  The result-higher oil cost and more profits.
Back home in the good ole USA things have not been much better.  Even though Americans like to think we have a free and open market.  Government restriction prohibits the free exercise of the entrepreneurial spirit. Capitalism has worked well in various countries over time; in fact, we can say that it once worked quite well in America. But those days are coming to an end, and we can conclude that the form of capitalism currently practiced in America is no longer working in the best interests of this country and a significant portion of its people.  Even with the changes made by  President Trump, business regulations hinder the entrepreneurial spirit that once made America great.
However, it still works beautifully for those at the top of the income spectrum; the powerful Corporations who we might say “manage” it and use their power to acquire more and more personal income and wealth. Americans watch with a sense of nervousness as the lion’s share of new revenue generated flows to those at the top, and an increasing number of the American people no longer receive their fair share. The poor are becoming poorer, and the middle class is moving into the poor. 
Ever wonder what the greatest weapon of enslavement is? It is not poor education.  We are smarter than any generation. It is not fear of persecution.  We know how to keep our mouths shut and do what we are told to do.  The biggest weapon is the financial system.
The financial system has quietly enslaved our nation, and now we are being used as money slaves. We work from 9 to 5 every day, in dull and depressing environments, not stimulated by anything creative or constructive.  Many professions have moved into the employee arena.  Doctors, lawyers, and accountants once had private practices are now employees of a large corporation.
In most cases, the sole motivation for going to work is the next paycheck — and no matter how hard we work, we never seem to have enough money.
Have you ever wondered why mega-corporations (reaping $billions/year in profits) pay millions to their CEOs and as close as possible to the minimum wage to the rest of the employees?
This has been carefully designed, because a person that is consistently " on edge," will never have time for self-education, introspection and — eventually — a spiritual awakening.
Isn't this our primary purpose on Earth? To become spiritual beings (and by spiritual, I obviously don't mean religious) who worship the LORD.
"They," the manipulators don't need educated people, who are capable of critical thinking and have spiritual goals. No, this kind of people is dangerous to the establishment!
"They" want obedient "robots," just intelligent enough to operate the machines and keep the system running, but stupid enough never to ask questions.
Money is the eye of the "devil."
All the world's most significant problems have their roots deeply embedded in the financial plague: wars are profitable, diseases are profitable, Earth's plundering is lucrative, human slavery and inhumane working conditions are profitable.
Our leaders have been corrupted by money, and mankind's collective mission on Earth has been hijacked by the power of money. 
The Black horse of capitalism has been riding for several years, and the impact is being felt today.
Even though under the present administration growth is taking place and wages are on the uptake, this could be only short-lived.  God has given America time to repent of her evil ways.  I fear that this opportunity will be ignored, and we will feel the heavy hand of judgment upon us.  Don’t be fooled by the turn around that is happening today.  Tomorrow this could all come tumbling down.  Judgment has been dodged for the time being.  How we as a nation respond in the next elections will have a tremendous impact on what happens to us as a nation.