WELCOME TO THE EPICENTER! As I pondered the questions of both how and where to begin with this inaugural article's maiden voyage for truth, the thoughtful words of a currently popular worship song quickly appeared in the uppermost forefront of my constantly inquiring mind. In his song entitled "Glory Come Down" by singer/songwriter Jason Upton, one of the lines of a particular verse reads the following: "…THE CHURCH IS SICK, AND IN NEED OF GOD ALONE!" Please understand, that the words in question here are not the atheistic remarks of some disgruntled heathen making a pointed attack on today's church system; but rather an astonishing statement coming directly from within the walls of the beleaguered church system itself! Other statements like "…THE CHURCH IS IN SAD SHAPE", "…THE CHURCH NEEDS AN I.V. IN ITS' ARM", and "THE CHURCH IS WEAK, APATHETIC, AND OUT OF TOUCH", are all bewildering statements which I, myself, have personally heard spoken in just the past few weeks alone! This being the case, and it most certainly is, have you ever asked yourself the following questions: What in the world has happened? How did the Christian church ever manage to get itself into such a miserably sorrowful condition? And most importantly, How will they ever recover from their current state of being, which seems desperately hopeless, and woefully void of life? Fortunately, my friends, thanks be to our everlasting God and eternal savior, there is an answer! Yes indeed, my friend, there is a solution; and whether it seems like it or not, OUR WONDERFUL LORD AND SAVIOR IS STILL IN CONTROL!
With this stated, I can now better explain that it's both the primary purpose, and absolute, full intent of "THE EPICENTER", to not only EXPOSE THE NUMEROUS FAULT LINES which have created our current dilemma, but to REVEAL THE VAST NUMBER OF TRUTHS WHICH SHALL ULTIMATELY BRING US OUT! Our broken, earthen vessels have got to be shaken! Our numerous, enlarging fault lines have got to be exposed! THE HIDDEN CHRIST WITHIN, HAS GOT TO BE AWAKENED!!!
It comes around every autumn. As the cool, brisk, winds, rustle the remaining evidence of summer from the branches of the tallest elms; countless children, from teens to tots alike, anxiously busy themselves as they eagerly slip themselves into the innumerable versions of Ghosts, Goblins, and the latest trending characters, for the current year's rendition of Beggar's Night. HALLOWEEN HAS FINALLY ARRIVED! Now, before you reach for the back arrow to return to a different Facebook page, take a deep breath for a moment and please relax! We are not here to debate the endless question of whether or not your children should participate in beggar's night. Believe me, THE CHURCH HAS MUCH BIGGER FISH TO FRY! The main reason for which I've even mentioned the Halloween observance, is that it provides us with an excellent illustration of one of the greatest deceitful tactics of our enemy: THE MASQUERADE!
In 2 COR. 2:11, we are exhorted by the Apostle Paul to "…NOT BE IGNORANT OF SATAN'S DEVICES." Can you hear this? Paul's explaining to the church here that they need to figure out and identify the various mannerisms through which Satan, the devil himself, likes to operate! Why? Because if he can keep us blinded of the ways in which he operates, his devouring attacks can continue! Many of his tactics have actually been discovered, and even dealt with at times over the years, but for some unknown reason, one of the biggest tricks of his trade, has been regretfully overlooked!
Let's go back to the Halloween example for a moment. Regardless of the choice of dress, from the most innocent of Princesses and Fairies, to the most hideous of Demons and Warlocks, each and every costume attempts to do the exact same thing for the person hiding within. IT ATTEMPTS TO PRESENT THAT PERSON AS SOMEONE OTHER THAN WHO THEY REALLY ARE! IT'S A COVER-UP! IT'S A MASQUERADE! Yet, completely unperceived by most of the religious church world, though the word of God has made Satan's number one tactic visibly known now for many years, like many other areas of the holy writ, they've completely missed it! In 2 COR. 11:14, the apostle Paul makes the following statement: "… AND NO WONDER, FOR SATAN HIMSELF MASQUERADES AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT." What did Paul just say here, my friend? An "Angel" of what? An "angel of Light"! The word "angel" here, is the Greek word "AGGELOS", and simply means a "messenger" (Paul even called Himself an "angel" in his own writings). Therefore, with this in mind, 2 COR. 11:14 is telling us that Satan has TRANSFORMED (MASQUERADED) HIMSELF into a minister or messenger of light (THE GOSPEL)!!! So the manner through which he has brought the Church-World into its' current, hideous condition, is by standing behind pulpits Sunday after Sunday, and PASSING ALONG HIS TIMELESS TRADITIONS AS TRUTH! Jesus himself, in MATT. 15:6, has clearly described for us the intended result of such a tactic: "THUS YOU HAVE MADE THE WORD OF GOD OF NO EFFECT BY YOUR TRADITION."
No wonder nothing seems to be working in the church these days, my friends. Satan has been using the very same ministers whom we look to for the truth, to teach us POWERLESS TRADITION! The church has had the greatest collection of Divine Promises ever recorded to man now for years – THE HOLY BIBLE! However, Satan has had the only weapon which is more powerful than the scriptures at his disposal – THE TRADITIONS OF MEN, WHICH NULLIFY THE PROMISES! So according to the scriptures, every person who stands behind a pulpit will either be the MOUTHPIECE OF SATAN declaring "TRADITION", or the MOUTHPIECE OF GOD declaring "TRUTH"! There is no in-between! Every word which proceeds out of a minister's mouth will either advance the "KINGDOM OF DARKNESS", or the "KINGDOM OF LIGHT"! The prophet JEREMIAH made it very clear in CHAPTER 15, VERSE 19, of his own writings: "… AND IF THOU TAKE FORTH THE PRECIOUS FROM THE VILE, THOU SHALT BE AS MY MOUTH…"! Can you hear that, my friend? If the word of God is full of "GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES" (and it is), but yet the Church as a whole is rarely experiencing them (which they aren't!), then the scriptures clearly explain to us that THE PROBLEM IS TRADITION (which it is!)! Therefore, at this current time in Church History, THE ANSWER for the church's existing dilemma IS NOT to hold another Praise and Worship conference, IS NOT to hold another Spiritual Warfare meeting, and IS NOT to engage in another endless round of revival meetings! THE ONLY ANSWER for the current problem in the church system of our day, is to do exactly as Jeremiah has prescribed: IT'S TIME TO SEPARATE THE PRECIOUS (TRUTH) FROM THE VILE (TRADITION)!!!
In closing, I must now attempt to "SOFTEN THE BLOW" to those who may think that they are being targeted by this introductory article. I will begin by making the following statement: "I myself have been used as the mouthpiece of Satan at times! I myself have stood before Bible study crowds and Sunday school gatherings and passed along traditions, which at that time, seemed to appear as "truth" to me."! In fact, every Apostolic/Prophetic voice of whom I have ever studied under, or have been made aware of, has at one time or another in their past, taught the very traditions as "TRUTHS", that they are now exposing as "LIES"!!! Thanks be to God, however, that he didn't leave them, or myself, in that hideous condition! He has graciously opened the "EYES OF OUR UNDERSTANDING" into the "THIRD DIMENSION OF HIS GRACE", and has thereby allowed us to divide the "PRECIOUS" from the "VILE"!
Look at Saul of Tarsus if you need another example. He was one of the biggest thorns in the side of the early church, until one day, God revealed to him "… A MORE EXCELLENT WAY"! Saul became Paul, and THE REST IS HISTORY! And just like Peter, "NOW THAT WE HAVE BEEN CONVERTED", we also can "STRENGTHEN THE BRETHREN". Those who are currently in the ministry, who may be reading this article, please hear my cry: "I AM NOT AFTER YOU, I AM AFTER THE TRADITION"! As singer/songwriter Keith Dudley once said: "It is not your fault! You (along with 99.9% of the other ministers of the Gospel) have done everything that you know how to do"! Ninety-nine percent of those in the ministry today know and love God just as much as you, me, or anyone else. They were hungry for God, chose the ministry for their career, and pursued a degree from their choice Bible College or Seminary. All they have done is trust their instructors, and faithfully pass along, that which they were told was the truth! However, if the promises of God are not being appropriated (and they're not!), then according to the scriptures, somewhere along the way, THE TRADITIONS OF MEN HAVE SECRETLY CREPT IN; and now that we find ourselves in that deceitful condition, ONLY ONE SOLUTION REMAINS: EVERYTHING WE'VE BEEN TAUGHT MUST NOW BE RE- EXAMINED…EVERYTHING!!! We can either repent (change our minds) concerning these traditions, and become "GOD'S MOUTHPIECE", or refuse to change, remain the "MOUTHPIECE OF SATAN" in these areas, and keep trying to silence those who are unveiling the truth! The choice is ours, my friends, what will it be?
…to be continued (Articles 2-10 coming soon. Until then, read on Facebook.)