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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Spirit of lawlessness

"The Spirit Of Lawlessness"

Message summary: Today in the midst of this age of lawlessness let us stand up for truth and righteousness and pray for a Holy Spirit sent revival to descend upon our world!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work" (2 Thessalonians 2:7). "Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4).

Agape' pulpit (with children)Fun fact about me that most don't know. Early in my ministry I preached from David Wilkerson's pulpit! It was a massive (by today's standards) mahogany wrap around pulpit with room to hide behind if needed, with a lower ledge to hold notes, books, etc.! The only photo I could find of the pulpit is in the background where the Rainbow pre-schoolers are presenting a musical program. Somewhere surely there's a photo of me preaching, but at least I found a photo of the pulpit!

For those who may not know the name, David Wilkerson started a ministry called "Teen Challenge" which has impacted thousands of lives since it was founded 60 years ago. He left a rural Pennsylvania church where he had pastored to work on the street among teenage gang members and socially marginalized people in New York City and is best known for authoring "The Cross and the Switchblade" which later became a well known movie.

When we moved to Pennsylvania in 1977 to begin a church in Saint Marys, PA the church that Wilkerson had pastored in Phillipsburg, PA donated the pulpit to our church. I preached from that pulpit the entire time we lived in that area till 1993.

David Wilkerson wrote in his later years,

"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work” (2 Thessalonians 2:7 KJV). The Greek word Paul uses for iniquity in this passage literally means lawlessness. Therefore, the mystery is one of lawlessness — acting without law or restraint.

Yet, this lawlessness is not simply a rebellion against the rule of man. It’s not about rebelling against civil authority or committing a violent crime. These things do provoke God’s wrath, but the mystery of lawlessness goes much deeper. It is an outright rejection of the truth that is in Christ — a casting aside of God’s Holy Word and His commands.

The spirit of lawlessness is rampant in our nation today. It is the very force behind the legislation that seeks to banish God from our society; the same spirit that Satan used to deceive Eve when he told her, in so many words, “God won’t punish you for disobeying. You can eat the fruit and you won’t have to pay for it!”

Satan is using the same lie on Christians today; day after day, he convinces masses of believers that they can sin without paying any penalty. It is a demonic scheme to pervert Christ’s gospel of grace.

The spirit of lawlessness is indeed growing rapidly in our time. Here in America we are dealing with issues practically unimaginable a generation ago (or for that matter, even five years ago!) These issues surely signal a return to the turbulent Biblical period of the Judges when the people became their own authority and acted on their own opinions of right and wrong. The writer portrays the spiritual climate with these words: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). It is also descriptive of our own time period today, man-determined morality.

“Man-determined morality” is expressed in our daily text, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). It is an infection wreaking havoc on a society; rejecting God, His Word and standards. Mankind raises a defiant fist to God declaring, "I’ll do it my way". But God will not be mocked and mankind will reap from that which they sow (Galatians 6:7-9).

An interesting aspect of our daily verse is that it’s repeated twice verbatim in the book of Proverbs (see also 16:25). It seems that the Holy Spirit wants to make doubly sure we get this one right! It’s a clear and straightforward saying with a timeless truth.

“There is a way that seems right to a man.” The Benson Commentary states, “There are some evil actions or courses which people may think to be lawful and good, either through gross ignorance, or self-flattery, or through want of necessary diligence in examining them by the rule of God’s word.”

“But in the end it leads to death.” Man's way always leads to death. Sometimes this judgment is meted out visibly on this side, otherwise at the final judgment

We pray that God will give each reader deep discernment to understand the times as the spirit of lawlessness abounds and make a firm resolve to remain faithful to God and walk in His ways. In a remarkable prophetic statement in Daniel 12:10 we read, “The wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.”

Today in the midst of this age of lawlessness let us stand up for truth and righteousness and pray for a Holy Spirit sent revival to descend upon our world!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we know there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. That’s why we cannot choose a man-based law that stands in contrast to the Bible, for it will lead us to a spiritual death and we will ultimately spend eternity apart from You and all the untold blessings You have prepared for us in heaven. For those of us who seek to follow Your word help us not to cave in to the spirit of lawlessness by cleverly invented arguments that permits the law of man to supersede the law of God. Through Christ we come to You in prayer with a firm resolve to remain faithful and fruitful. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"From The Inside Out"  Video  Calvary Church worship team  

Yesterday's "Focus On The Family" broadcast featured a story of Bryan Koch, an area pastor from Reading PA.  "Journeying From Tragedy to Triumph"  Offering hope to those discouraged by life's struggles, describes how his faith in God helped him work through the devastating loss of his wife, and his own left leg, in a motorcycle accident, and enabled him to forgive the drunk driver who caused it. See here to listen to episode. I have heard Brian share this live and he has a remarkable story of overcoming.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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