Hungering and Thirsting
Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2
One of the greatest perpetrators of wrong and sin in Christianity today, if not the greatest, is the false conception regarding grace and an abject failure to see the absolute necessity of bearing what John the Baptist called fruit in keeping with repentance, and in equal regard Paul called performing deeds consistent with repentance. As so clearly forewarned in Jude 1:4, they “turn the grace of our God into licentiousness.” But it ought not and must not be this way, and all the more so with the coming of Immanuel. Peter charged, “. . . what sort of people must [to bind] you be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening [quickening] the coming of the day of God . . . ? But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless . . .” (2 Peter 3:11-14). And, this is not spotless and blameless by the blood, but by our affirming and obligated actions. And once again, Peter’s charge here is all the more true for us today, for verse 3 directs this specifically for, “in the last days.” And, Immanuel is coming for a bride, “having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (Ephesians 5:27).
Symptomatic of the tragic moral fate of the church and its false and licentious application of grace, there are VERY few places within it—as though nonexistent—where you can find uncompromised calls to righteousness: righteousness in behavior, righteousness in what is spoken, righteousness in dress and how one presents their body, righteousness in their response to authority and how one handles roles or authority entrusted to them, righteousness in what one allows to enter into their eyes and into their ears and even into their mouth, and more.
Jude opens with the grave concern for the compromising state of the church, a concern that is MOST applicable today: “I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons,” then adds the already noted judgment, “who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness . . .” (1:3 and 4).
The church today is a fulfillment of this warning, whereby fatal compromise has crept into it unnoticed. Like a chameleon, and even with complicity, the church has changed with the corruption of society; and as Paul stated, they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, and for this reason they entirely lack understanding (2 Corinthians 10:12). Here again, they turn the grace of God into licentiousness, wholly failing to hold themselves to the higher standard of personal righteousness, falsely leaning upon a straw cane of supposed “imputed” righteousness. This we will address. As Paul likewise warned, they foolishly and destructively sin as though thereupon grace may increase (Romans 6:1). And, Peter wrote regarding Paul’s words: “. . . in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort/twist, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). This is precisely what people do today with Paul’s words regarding grace. They distort/twist them to their own destruction.
Furthermore, some of their sin is due to willful blindness—e.g., women pastors and teachers, and women dressing so worldly and immodestly. Their sins are breathtakingly shameful! And by their immodest dress, following in the ways of Eve, women cause men to sin. As will be addressed, fleshly lusts wage war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11), and women’s immodesty and sensuality today launches that war within men, and in women as well with their vanity and naivety and weakness. And frankly, a righteous man deeply resents women presenting this temptation, when in fact they should be attesting to righteousness, and thus complete modesty—fully covering their bodies in a concealing and modest dress. Thus, a righteous man is MOST grateful for and delighted with any woman or girl who dresses with complete modesty and humility and lack of worldliness. Again, women need to cease causing men to have to continually fight that war with fleshly lusts.
To better understand the state of the church, and this judgment and warning to it set forth at the outset of Jude, let us look at where else this same Greek word, “aselgeia,” here translated “licentiousness,” is used. Examining these will help us understand what it is that has indeed crept into the church—especially evidenced, as you will see, before the coming of Immanuel. When reading these passages, do so with an examination as to how they so clearly apply to the church today. In each case, this same Greek word is now translated “sensuality” and “sensual,” and will be highlighted in bold. (Also in bold will be the word “nations,” so one can see how sensuality is tied to worldliness.) And remember, this is a MOST important matter for us today, necessitating that we carefully examine and give wise heed to these verses. Hereupon we can understand the problem that is rampant in the church. Therefore, read these verses very carefully and contemplatively.
First, in 2 Corinthians 12:21, here again the concern is for the compromises that take place in the church:
I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality, and sensuality which they have practiced.
Oh how all the more true this is today with the church. Before stating this, Paul warned that when he came, if he did not find them the way he wished them to be, they would not find him to be the way they wished him to be. How much moreso today is the church guilty of these sins? And with Immanuel’s coming, does He not say the same? “If I do not find you the way I want you to be, you will not find Me the way you want Me to be!”
Next, in Galatians 5:19 we read of the deeds of the flesh, something we must deal with on a daily basis:
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality . . . .
In Ephesians 4:17-24, we are warned not to walk in the ways of the world:
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the nations also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
The remainder of those verses continue to apply in this message directed to the believer:
But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
And you could go on reading there as well. Furthermore, the phrase, “lusts of deceit,” is such a fitting and entirely relevant statement for the rampant sins in the church today. It is deceived by the lusts of the world so as to wholly accept, justify, and boldly practice them. This is the same blind fate mentioned in the preceding verses: “the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding.” Such indeed is the state of the church.
In 1 Peter 4:3 we read:
For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the nations, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, . . . .
And again the warning concerning the inevitable fate of the church, evidenced so clearly today, is set forth in 2 Peter 2:1-2:
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned . . . .
Then in verses 7-10 in the same chapter, Peter continues:
. . . and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.
Those who choose to live unrighteously today, even though making a lame profession of Yahshua, suffer the same risk. They would be wise to heed the warning given by James: “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? . . . You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. . . . For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:19-20, 24, and 26).
Concluding this list of passages that point to the certain and evident corruption of the church and its sensuality, while under the guise of grace, let us examine yet another that will begin to open our understanding as to what the only solution truly is. In Revelation 18:3-5 regarding mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth, we read:
“For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.”
Most people tragically fail to understand who mystery Babylon truly is. They want to make this a natural fulfillment such as a financial system, when in fact Yahweh God has one focus, and that is His kingdom—the church! As clearly set forth in the writing, The Great Tribulation, and more specifically in page/section 9, as well in All’s Well That Ends Well, this great whore who sits upon a scarlet beast with seven heads and commits abomi-nations with the nations, is none other than Christianity.
In page/section 9, you will see that the seals are the first Remnant, the trumpets are the second Remnant, and the “seven bowls of the wrath of God” (Revelation 16:1) are Christianity. And, immediately following the bowls in chapters 15 and 16, the great whore—again, Christianity—is addressed in chapters 17 and 18. All four chapters address the same work—the corruption of the kingdom of heaven given to earthly man. Affording further evidence of this, mystery Babylon is clothed in purple and scarlet (Revelation 18:16), the very two colors identified with Yahshua at His crucifixion and torment at the hands of the nations as well: purple in Mark 15:17 and 20, and John 19:2 and 5; and scarlet in Matthew 27:28 and 31. Mystery Babylon clothed in purple and scarlet, is the afflicted Body of Christ clothed in purple and scarlet.
As we read from Revelation 18:3-5 above, as well as indicated by the verses we examined leading up to this, the nations who commit immorality with her have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality. This has indeed been evidenced throughout the time of the church, beginning with Constantine and accelerated with the Catholic Church, and is accentuated today with the biggest shopping extravaganza in the history of man—Christmas! There are many companies that succeed based solely on this worldly holiday. What would the nations do without it?
And in addition to all of this testimony solely associated with “sensuality,” clearly there is far more evidence that the church today is very much corrupted, and as we have just seen is destined to receive the wrath of God. Paul directly forewarned that the church would fall into this present corrupted state. In 2 Timothy 4:3-4 he forewarned:
For the time will come [and is here now] when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
This, again, includes the fate spoken of in Jude where they turn the grace of God into licentiousness. Then in Acts 20:29-31, towards the end of his work, Paul wrote:
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.
Here again, Paul knew of and forewarned regarding the corruption of the church. And there is yet another passage he wrote that is even more compelling regarding this corruption, referring to the very time in which we now live—the time of the coming of Immanuel. In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 he declared:
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
No, there could be no such letter at that time, for that day would not come for another 2,000 years. Let us now see what he wrote
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy/forsaking comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God [2 Thessalonians 2:3-4].
As addressed in The Great Tribulation, page 6, we find that the apostasy spoken of here has nothing whatsoever to do with some beast man who comes on the scene, as Christian fiction teachings present today, but as clearly stated only three verses later, that lawlessness was at hand even when Paul wrote this:
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only the restraining one will do so until it comes out of the midst [verse 7].
We will not address the restraining one right now; but rather, let us see who the man of lawlessness is. Verse 4 tells us that he takes his seat in the temple of God. In The Great Tribulation, page 6, we see that Paul consistently uses the phrase “temple of God” to refer to our bodies. However, in 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, he uses it to describe the Body of Christ, the male element of the church that he began out of Antioch. Here we read:
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness . . . ? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
But the fact is, the man of lawlessness did indeed enter into that temple, even into the Body of Christ, and it has meant its abomination of desolation for 2,000 years. This fact is clearly proven in the opening section of The Great Tribulation. Keep in mind, Christianity began with Paul out of, specifically, Antioch—the claimed mother church. That is when men were first called Christians. And it was Antiochus IV, who as a type of what would happen to the Body of Christ, effected the abomination of desolation of the natural temple for precisely three years—attesting to what would take place in the church for 3,000 years. So here once again, the church we have known to this very day is a corrupted work where sensuality reigns.
And if all of these testimonies of the corrupted state of the church are not sufficient evidence for someone to be convinced, then accept the words of Yahshua Himself. In Matthew 13 He clearly stated that the church would be a field with both wheat and tares. It would be a tree in which the birds of the air would nest—the false teachings from demons. And most clearly, again with the testimony of the 3,000 years of the church, it would be three measures of flour in which a woman hid leaven, which is corrupting sin, and it would ALL be leavened! If the church was given another 1,000 years, it would be all 3,000 years leavened with corrupting sin we read of in all of these accounts, and is so clearly evidenced in the church today. It would be three hours of darkness, whereupon there would be the fateful cry, “Our God, our God, why have You forsaken us?”
In summary, all of these passages, and many, many more, tell us that the church was going to be, and presently is, corrupted! This now leads us back to the opening statement: that the church turns the grace of God into licentiousness, and does little to nothing to correct their grave and even disqualifying actions. So, what then is the solution to this? Let us now see.
Continue to page 2 of Hungering and Thirsting For Righteousness for THE FULFILLING BRIDE