The State of the Church Today
THE STATE OF THE CHURCH TODAY, Part 4
A MIXED MULTITUDE LEADS TO APOSTASY
"And a mixed multitude went up with them" - Exodus 12:38
"The mixed multitude (Egyptians) among them, fell to lusting . . . and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?" -Num. 11:4
Kingdom of heaven is like a man which sowed good seed in his field,
but while men slept his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and
went his way." - Matt. 13:24, 25
"Now the Spirit expressly warns that in the last times, some
shall desert the faith by listening to seducing spirits. ."-
1 Tim. 4:1
IS GOD JUDGING BROWNSVILLE ?
Are the leaders of Brownsville bringing us Revival or Judgment from God? How can they read the words of the Apostle Paul, where he says, "In the Church, I would rather speak five words that can be understood, so that with my voice I might teach others, than ten thousand words in an unknown language. . . . [For] if there come in those who are
unlearned or unbelievers, will they not think you are Insane . . . For God is not the author of Confusion but of Peace, as in all the Churches." - I Cor. 14:19, 23, 33 - and cause their followers to fall on the floor, roll around, bark like dogs, flail their arms and legs about indecently and engage in unholy laughter? How can they brazenly promise God’s
judgment on those who fail to join in their antics or call in question their teachings? We read, "The time has arrived when Judgment must begin and it will begin with the House of God. And if it should begin with us first, what shall be the end of those who refuse to obey the Gospel?" - 1 Peter 4:17
In recent days, we have witnessed fires raging across the panhandle of Florida where Revival fires are supposedly burning.
We have also seen hurricanes descending on that same area. What the Brownsville crowd does not realize is that we need a true Reformation before we can have Revival.
Are the leaders of the Brownsville revival (sic) listening to the Voice of God? I am afraid we have too many people today, who are like Martha, eager to serve and not enough like Mary, who listen to the Lord. (Luke 10:38-42) "Therefore, COME OUT
FORM AMONG THEM and be Separate, says the Lord and . . . I will receive you and will be a Father unto you and you will be my Sons and Daughters, says the Lord Almighty!" - 2 Cor. 6:17, 18
A FAMINE FROM NOT HEARING THE WORD OF GOD
"Behold, the days will come when I will send a Famine in the land - not a famine of bread or a thirst for water - but of hearing the Words of God." - Amos 8:11
Surely, this prophecy has come upon us. When our infamous Supreme Court arrogated to themselves powers belonging to Congress and banned prayer and Bible reading in our nation’s public schools, they ROBBED a whole generation of young
people. Now, we see enormous bloodshed on our school grounds, teenage pregnancy, drugs and suicide. Those Justices should have been impeached. There is a Cabal, whose theme song is: "We will rob you". We had better start listening.
THE FAILURE OF SUNDAY SCHOOL
Forgive me for returning to this subject but the Scriptures tell us "He who Sows sparingly, shall Reap sparingly and he who Sows plentifully, shall Reap plentifully." - 2 Cor. 9:6 We invest so little time in Sunday School. Parents often shake their heads and wring their hands, asking
Where did I go wrong? I sent little Johnny to Sunday School faithfully but look how he has turned out! They fail to take into account that he was exposed to hours and hours of television and hours and hours of public school education.
Could a business stay in business if it spent great sums of money on buildings and only used them six or seven hours per week? Yet churches do it all the time. And they devote a few minutes on Sunday morning to Sunday School classes. I am not calling for churches to sell their buses. By all means keep them and put them to good use but let’s get serious about educating children and adults.
What I see when I visit churches is a hit-or-miss, slap-dash approach to teaching the people God’s Truth. This is especially true of Sunday School. Most use quarterlies written by someone on a Denominational Board, who has never heard the word ‘Initiation’. "Initiation’
presupposes a step by step, grade by grade advancement in learning. But there is something else we must do; we must separate the real wheat from the tares. Then we must use the process of Initiation to strengthen them, body, soul and mind.
JESUS REFUSES TO INITIATE THOSE WHO ‘BELIEVE IN HIS NAME’
Those who ‘believe in the Name of Jesus’ think they will surely go to ‘heaven’ but Jesus refused to initiate those who had not proven their devotion to God. We read: "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles
which he was doing but Jesus did not commit himself to them because he knew all men and did not need any to testify about men because he knew what was in the [hearts] of men." - John 2:23-25
This passage proves that ‘believing in Jesus name’ is not the same thing as being ‘born again’, for the passage goes on to show Jesus initiating Nicodemus and explaining to him what it means to be "born again". Remember the chapter divisions were not in the
original Greek texts. The next verse begins with a ‘but’! "But, there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a Ruler among the Jews, who came to Jesus by night . . ." - John 3:1
Even Paul refused to baptize Thecla until she had proven herself. Thecla was a young woman who heard Paul preaching to the young people of her city, encouraging them to remain virgin all their life and forgo the mysteries of marriage, in order to seek the mysteries of the
Kingdom of Heaven. Even though she was a very beautiful woman and engaged to be married, she broke off her engagement to become a Christian. But Paul would not baptize her until he knew for certain that she was a faithful disciple. Shortly thereafter, her faith was tested when
she was tied to the horns of large bull and exposed naked in an arena. The bull was supposed to kill her but she was miraculously spared and baptized shortly thereafter. She became a very famous teacher of women. Today, we are too eager to accept any warm body that can sit in a pew.
Unfortunately, we have two groups of people who wear the name Christian: To use their Greek names, they are the ‘psychics’ and the ‘pneumatics’. The first group consists of those who ‘believe in Jesus’ and the second are those like Paul, who said, "Henceforward we know no man after the flesh, although we have known Christ in the flesh, but from now on, we know him no more." - II Cor. 5:16
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BELIEVER AND A SON OF GOD
"Moreover brethren, I would not have you ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the Cloud and all passed through the Sea and were all baptized with Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and they all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink: for they drank from the
spiritual Rock which followed them and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them, God was not well pleased; therefore, they were overthrown in the Wilderness. Now these things were lessons for us. . ." - 1 Cor. 10:1-6
We must notice something here about the true Israelites and the ‘MIXED MULTITUDE’. They were all ‘baptized’. They all partook of ‘angel’s food’ (Psl. 78:25). They all drank the sacred water from the Rock but some of them were destroyed in the wilderness for their
‘unbelief’ (Heb. 3:19). How many do we have among us who ‘name the Name of Jesus’, cry out ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Praise you Jeeezuss’, but are still a part of the ‘MIXED MULTITUDE’?
We have failed to make a distinction between mere believers and those who truly love God and have put on the ‘whole armor of God’.
THE HOPE OF GLORY - PAUL’S GREAT MYSTERY TEACHING
Perhaps the greatest teaching of Paul, is one that I have never heard preached from the pulpit, yet it runs all through Paul’s writings and that is ‘Christ in you’ in his original meaning. "Even the Mystery which has been hidden from Ages and Generations, but is now Revealed to his
Saints - to whom God would make known what are the Riches of the Glory of this Mystery among the Gentiles: Which is CHRIST IN YOU, the Hope of Glory, whom we preach. Warning every man and teaching every man in all Wisdom in order that we may present every man PERFECT IN CHRIST JESUS." - Col. 1:26-28
If you ask the average Christian if Christ is in him, he will probably say yes. But is this true? There are some of whom Paul speaks, saying: "My little children, I travail in birth again for you, till Christ be formed in you." - Gal. 4:19 Just because one has been baptized and so forth does not give one the ‘fullness of Christ’. Paul explains that God has given us
"Apostles, some Prophets and some Evangelists and Pastors and Teachers for the PERFECTING of the Saints and for the Work of ministry and for the edifying of the Body of Christ, til we all come in the Unity of the Faith and the Knowledge of the Son of God unto the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST." - Eph. 4:11-13
To attain to the ‘fullness of Christ’ requires a process called ‘Initiation’. We may start out with our eye on the earthly Jesus but unless we have formed the Heavenly Christ inside us we will not attain the Kingdom of the Heavens. Paul uses several expressions to explain this Cosmic
Christ: ‘Inner Man’; ‘Hidden Man’; ‘Second Man’; ‘Perfect Man’ and other terms, which I shall try to touch on. Faith in Jesus and Baptism are part of Initiation, indeed, they are the gate to the Path. But if we do not understand the nature and purpose of baptism, we certainly
will not press on up the Path. "Therefore, we are Buried with Him by baptism into his death - so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the Glory of the Father . . . we shall also be raised in the likeness of his Resurrection." - Rom. 6:4
HOW DID WE DIE?
To understand how we died, we must understand what it means to fall into the earth. "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it will remain alone, but if it dies, it will bring forth much fruit." - John 12:24 Now, the early Christians taught that the Soul of man fell seven times.
"For a just man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked shall fall into trouble." - Prov. 24:16 When Naman came to Elijah, he made him wash seven times in the Jordan River to cure his leprosy. This was symbolic. The Soul must fall into the earth (the human body)
and die before it can bring forth fruit. When one succeeds in dying to the low self, with its appetites, desires and delusions, this constitutes the First Death. The second death is the death of the physical body. The early Christians conceived that as man’s Soul fell, it took on the characteristics of the seven planets, so to rise again, he must divest himself of those seven ‘falls’.
Paul may well have been aware of what a famous Greek teacher said, regarding the ‘fall of the Soul’. Plotinus taught, "When the Soul has descended into Generation, she partakes of evil and is carried a great way into a state the opposite of her first purity and integrity,
to be entirely merged in which is nothing more than a fall into a dark mire." Paul explains it this way, "You being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses." - Col. 2:13 "You
who were dead in trespasses and sins, has he quickened. Whereas in times past, you walked according to the course of this world according to the Archon (Ruler) of the power of the Air - the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. . ."- Eph. 2:1, 2
Had not Jesus said, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, the Hour is coming and is now here, when the Dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God and those who hear shall live." - John 5:25 This is the First Resurrection and those who participate shall not be hurt by the Second Death. But before jumping to the conclusion that all Christians have experienced the First Resurrection, let us examine Paul’s teaching a little further.
THE DEATH INITIATION
When I tell people that the early Christians (especially in Syria) went through a ritual death, they sometimes look at me in total disbelief. King David seems to have undergone a similar experience. He wrote in one of his songs, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? . . . all
my bones are out of joint . . . my tongue cleaves to the roof of my mouth . . . For dogs have encompassed me. The assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet . . . they part my garments among them and cast lots for my vesture. . ." Psl. 22: 1,14, 15, 18 Sounds just like Jesus, eh?
Paul declared, "God forbid that I should glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world. . . . I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." - Gal. 6:14, 17 He did not mean this symbolically, he was referring to real wounds (stigmata) in his body. In another place, he writes, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live -yet not me - but Christ lives in me . . . " - Gal. 2:20
Dear friends, please bear with me as I explore this subject just a little further. We cannot take it for granted that we have the great ‘Anthropos’ within us but even if we do, we must let Him become stronger in our selves. "That He would grant you according to the Riches of his glory to
be strengthened with power by his Spirit in the Inner Man." -Eph. 3:16 To the extent that we can ‘crucify’ the old man, we will be able to "Delight in the Law of God by the Inner Man."- Rom. 7:22
When this is achieved then "The Light will shine in a dark place until the day dawns and the Day Star arises in your heart." - 2 Pet. 1:19 The actual Greek word for ‘day star’ is ‘Lucifer’. It does not refer to Satan as some think but to the beautiful morning star known as Venus. It is used here to represent the Divine Man, who is also called the ‘second man’. Here, it is needful to look closely, because Paul uses the language from the Mysteries to teach us something astonishing.
"It is written, The first Adam was made a living Soul but the last Adam was made a ‘quickening spirit’."- 1 Cor. 15:45 Now, where interpreters go wrong in looking at this ‘second Adam’ is in supposing that it refers to Jesus Christ but not so. When Adam was first created, the Demiurge
was not happy with him because he was unable to do certain things and found it necessary to breath into him some of his own Spirit. It is this ‘spark of divinity’ in man that can come alive and be fanned, thus transforming a mere mortal into a ‘son of God’.
This ‘second man’ is referred to by Peter as the ‘hidden man’. Peter makes it clear that this ‘hidden man’ can be adorned: "Likewise you wives . . . whose adorning [should not be merely] the outward adorning, such as plating the hair and wearing gold or dressing in [beautiful] apparel, but let it be the Hidden Man of the heart, which is not corruptible . . ." - I Pet. 3:4
If we are able to do this, then the ‘second or hidden man’ becomes the ‘perfect man’. Paul strove to "Know Him and the power of his Resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering, becoming conformable unto his death, if by any means I might attain unto the Resurrection of
the dead - not as though I had already attained it or had already become Perfect, - but I pursue it." - Phil. 3:10-12 And as we collectively pursue this end as a community, we will "Come to the unity of the Faith and of the Knowledge of the Son of God unto a Perfect Man, having the stature of the Fullness of Christ." - Eph. 4:13
It is at that moment that the Seventh Trumpet will sound for us as it did when the walls of Jerico came tumbling down.
"Behold, I show you a MYSTERY, we shall not all remain ‘dead’ but we will be changed as in a moment - in the twinkling of an eye - for the Trumpet will sound and the ‘dead’ shall come to life incorruptible and we will be changed, for this corruptible must put on incorruption and
this mortal must put on immortality and . . . then will be brought to pass the saying in the writing: DEATH is swallowed up in victory." My friends this is the language of the Mysteries. It shows the possibility for the transformation of ourselves. This is not the great resurrection in the great by and by but it can and must happen in this lifetime.
Paul had already laid it down that "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, neither does corruption inherit incorruption." (verse 50) We must first ‘die’ to the low self before we can experience this spiritual resurrection. "Be not deceived: evil communications (and companions) corrupt good manners; Awake to Righteousness and do
not sin, for some obviously do not have the Knowledge of God - I SPEAK TO SHAME YOU. Those same men will ask, (like Nicodemus) How are the dead raised up and what kind of body do they possesss ? You fool, that which is sown cannot come to life, unless it first dies." - 1 Cor. 15:33-36
In my next article I hope to touch on the coming battle over education. What is happening right before our eyes is the destruction of our public educational system. What is being created in its place is a method to make compliant workers for the 21st Century. Diplomas will
become irrelevant as we move to a system of Certificates which will only be given to those who have been trained to think in a politically correct manner. This is why we must develop a real system of Initiation that trains body, soul and mind. May God bless you. With Love, I remain, Jeffrey Brackeen