"amber Alert"

Saturday, May 10, 2014, 4:23 a.m. – Last night, sometime after I had fallen asleep, my phone sounded an Amber Alert. I turned the alert off and went back to sleep. Then, around 12:30 a.m., I think it was, the alert sounded again, waking me a second time. Just then the Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “Only In Him.” Again, when I woke this morning this song was playing in my mind. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Colossians 2 (NIV).

Alert System

I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

An Amber Alert is a child abduction alert system. “The alerts are broadcast using the Emergency Alert System, which had previously been used primarily for weather bulletins, civil emergencies, or national emergencies. Alerts usually contain a description of the child and of the likely abductor… Law enforcement must confirm that an abduction has taken place. The child must be at risk of serious injury or death. There must be sufficient descriptive information of child, captor, or captor’s vehicle to issue an alert” (Wikipedia).

I believe the Lord Jesus gave me this illustration this morning of this child abduction alert system in relation to Paul’s concerns here for the church. The “child,” in this case, is the church here in America, though it could apply to the church in other countries, as well. The child, for the most part, has been abducted by the world’s system (the captor), comprised of the US government and the Institutional Church (the vehicle), which is inculcated into today’s culture. I do believe this is a national emergency.

Hollow & Deceptive Philosophy

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross…

The situation presented to us in this passage of scripture was that of Judaizers trying to convince Gentile Christians that they must be circumcised and follow some Jewish laws and customs in addition to their faith in order to be saved, I believe. The situation in America, though legalism still exists and is still a problem, is primarily on the opposite end of the spectrum of faith based on “human commands and teachings.” One end requires externals added to faith in order to have salvation. The other dilutes the Biblical meaning of God’s grace and misuses, manipulates, and often ignores scripture in favor of the teachings of humans. Both ends of human-based faith divert from the teachings of God’s word in favor of humanistic philosophies. I believe the Lord is saying that this is presently at a level of a national emergency here in America, thus the need for the church to be alerted.

The “captors,” in order to captivate their “abductees” use “fine-sounding arguments” to support their “hollow and deceptive” philosophies. So, how do we know when we are being taken captive? We have to examine what we are being taught against the word of truth and not just buy into everything we hear, because it will be disguised as truth, and it will sound like truth, but that does not mean it really is truth. If what we are being taught comes primarily from books written by humans - which might contain scripture - instead of coming straight from God’s word, watch out! Many are masters at making their materials appear scriptural because they contain scripture, while they spread their own humanistic philosophies instead. We need to pray much for discernment of the Spirit so that we are not taken captive to man-made religion and miss what God has for us. The most serious danger, I believe, is that many will be assured they are saved when they are not because they bought into a man-made gospel instead of the one taught in scripture.

United in Love

“Unity” is a buzzword in today’s world of business, institutional church and world government, yet much of this unity is either forced or manipulated compliance, as well as the unity is with humans and their humanistic philosophy, visions, goals, etc. rather than true unity with Christ and his word. So, be watchful to make sure with whom or what you are unifying.

We need to have the full riches of complete understanding to know the mystery of Christ. We who have free access to God’s word can find this understanding in the word of truth. I believe Christians in America need to spend a whole lot less time reading books written by humans, and we all need to be in God’s word daily hearing from him so that we know what he says rather than learning and following what so-and-so says.

What the word of God teaches us, regarding our salvation, is that in Christ we were circumcised, only not in a cutting away of physical flesh, but in a putting away of the sinful nature by the Spirit of God. When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins he put our sins to death. He conquered them both in his death and in his resurrection. So, when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ to our old sinful nature, we are transformed in heart and mind away from sin and toward God, of the Spirit, and we are given new lives in Christ to be lived out in his holiness and righteousness (See Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:17-24; Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6; Tit. 2:11-14 and 1 Jn. 1-5). This is the working of the Spirit in our lives in regeneration, but it requires that we submit to God and that we cooperate fully with that work of God’s grace in our hearts and lives.

So, again, we need to be watchful. This is an alert that an abduction of the church in America has taken place, it is at a state of national emergency, and the body of Christ needs to be alerted to the dangers of following after man-made religion which is replacing the word of God in the hearts of many who profess Christ as Savior and Lord.

ONLY IN HIM / An Original Work / February 19, 2014

Based off Isaiah 30

Woe to those who look to man’s help;
Who turn away from Jesus Christ;
Forming an alliance not in step with God;
Making their own plans, and praying not.

Willing not to listen to truth,
They close their ears to what is right.
Pleasing words are all that they’ll hear;
Feel good messages that bring cheer.

Trust in your Lord; turn from your sin.
Put your faith now ONLY IN HIM.
Do not turn to idols. They’ll not satisfy.
Jesus will save you. That’s why He died.

Your Lord will be gracious to you.
He cares all about you, ‘tis true.
He forgives you all of your sin
When you give your life up to Him.

Oh, how truly gracious He’ll be
When you bow to Him on your knees;
Turning now from your sin; walking in his ways.
He’ll lead and guide you all of your days.

Now you will sing praises to Him.
He delivered you from your sin.
You’ll tell others now of His grace,
So they may see Christ face-to-face.