Welcome to Leaving LaodiceaThe Survival Manual for the Coming Underground Church
One of my spiritual mentors is a man named Andrew Murray. I was discipled for the most part by his books and devotions that I was blessed to encounter early in my Christian life. His writings are devotional in nature and have ministered to my soul for years and have always challenged me to want more of Jesus in my daily walk with Him. Some of his books that are regarded as classics are “With Christ in the School of Prayer”, “The True Vine”, and especially, “Abide in Christ”.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Andrew Murray (1828-1917), he was a Dutch Reformed pastor, missionary, and writer from Scotland, and spent his years ministering in South Africa. Andrew Murray was a man of faith and had an intimacy with the Holy Spirit that, in my opinion, was surpassed by none. Yet he, like so many of us, felt a dissatisfaction with his spiritual life and longed for something deeper and more intimate with the Lord. And it was this quest for what he called the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” or the Higher Christian Life that allowed God to use him as He did.
Murray recognized that obedience to the Lord is nearly impossible, no matter how hard you try. Sheer determination or strength of will are never enough. And the only way to live a life of holiness is to surrender your life to Him and allow Him to complete the work of sanctification in us. Sounds simple, I know. But the testimonies of these giants of the faith tell us it is much harder than it seems.
And I can also attest to the difficulty of total surrender to the Lord. Can you?
When we read the testimonies of those great spiritual heroes of days gone past and hear them describe the time leading up to their baptism in the Holy Spirit and their living the Higher Christian Life, a certain pattern begins to emerge. Granted, all their individual experiences are different, since God chooses to reveal Himself in the way He chooses to each of His children. So we obviously can’t put God in a box and demand He deals with everyone the way He deals with us. There is no cookie-cutter scheme that works for everyone. Yet in examining these individual accounts, we do see a pattern that each person seems to go through. Much like the pattern of salvation found in Romans 8:29-30. Consider the steps God undertakes to reconcile each of us to Himself.
First, there is the sovereign act of God accomplished before we were created and of which we were totally unaware. The Scripture says “For whom He foreknew” (Rom. 8:29a), which means God placed His favor and choice on us before we even knew His name. And long before we ever took our first breath. It was an act of His will and not of our own. And it takes some measure of spiritual maturity to understand this momentous event. We tend to always look forward from the day we “believed in Jesus and asked Him into our hearts.” But this is a look back. It is best explained in Ephesians 1:3-5:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as (what) He chose us in Him (when) before the foundation of the world, (why) that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (how) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, (on what basis) according to the good pleasure of His will.
Next, God predetermined the outcome and future of those He previously had chosen and upon those He granted His favor. Scripture says “He also predestined” (Rom. 8:29b) those “whom He foreknew” to something. But what is that exactly? God has predetermined those He chose in Him to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29c). We are to become like Jesus. And we will become just like Jesus. Once again, this was all determined without our knowledge or consent. It was part of God’s sovereignty in our salvation.
Then, to those “He foreknew” and “predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son”, God begins the process of drawing them unto Himself. This is known as a “calling” or, theologically, an “effectual call.” This is when we become aware of God and what He offers and the horrid sinfulness in our own life. In our testimonies, it goes something like this:
“I knew I was lost and I needed God to forgive my sins and change my life. And I became aware of the fact that is exactly what Jesus said He would do. It was amazing. What I once thought was foolish now made perfect sense. And I knew I needed to give my life to Him.”
Finally, there is justification, “these He also justified” (Rom. 8:30a) This is the point in the pattern of our salvation that we become aware of the fact we are now saved. And we usually mark this down as the first day of our new life, not yet understanding our new life was determined by God in eternity past, “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4).
And as a final bonus, “and whom He justified (all those who are saved in Him), these He also glorified” (Rom. 8:30b). Now, that’s quite a pattern God has established for receiving saving faith provided by His Son. Would you not agree?
One of the great longings of those the Lord used mightily in the last church age is the fullness, or baptism, of the Holy Spirit. No, we’re not talking about loopy believers today who claim something their life doesn’t exhibit. We are talking about the heroes of old …
Yesterday was a wonderful day together as we committed ourselves to strive after what the saints of old called the “Higher Christian Life” and Jesus described as the “Abundant Life” found only in Him.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” – John 10:10.
The context of this verse is Jesus revealing Himself as the “good shepherd” who “gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11), in contrast to a “hireling” (John 10:13) or “thieves and robbers” (John 10:8) who care little for the sheep. And the ones He promised “abundant life” are the sheep, you and I by inference, who only enter into salvation through the “door” (John 10:9), defined as Jesus Christ.
I know it sounds confusing, but this is what Jesus is saying in this passage:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (the Good Shepherd, Jesus) have come that they (the sheep, you and I) may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (perissós – over and above, superabundant, much, great, beyond measure)” – John 10:10.
But what does this promise really mean?
There is uncertainty all around. And we, as the church, are in the beginning of a life of persecution that was promised by our Lord. Often uncertainty leads to fear, and fear crushes faith. But we are instructed in Psalm 56 to not fear but turn our fear into faith …
Let me share some uncomfortable truths deliberately forgotten today in our land of apathy and opulence. And this truth may be hard to swallow for some, yet it is true nonetheless. In a simple statement: Persecution is an integral part of Christianity. So much so …
There are three major judgments in the prophetic timeline of God: the Sheep and Goats Judgment, the Bema Seat Judgment, and the Great White Throne Judgment. Some of these judgments take place on earth and some in heaven. But there is only one you should be worried …
Often it is difficult for us to visualize Jesus as King, because we are pretty much clueless as to what life is like under a king? All we know about kings and kingdoms come from Netflix mini-series or old British movies. But the Scriptures clearly state that Jesus is …
One of the most sobering truths you can discover about your salvation is that it is not all about you. That’s right. Your salvation is actually about the Kingdom of God. We just happen to be the beneficiary of a great blessing from God in our salvation, but the over …
When you survey the subject of popular, contemporary preaching and compare it to the content of the message of Jesus and His disciples found in the New Testament, you will clearly see there is something missing. After all, Jesus and His disciples and the early church …
Something About Us
This is a collection of the many questions I have struggled with and the answers I have found regarding the relationship between authentic faith in Christ and much of what is portrayed today as Biblical Christianity. Especially with the coming darkness looming over all of us, including the church.
Come with me. It should be a wild ride!
To find out more about us and what we believe, just continue reading…
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“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”