“…wandering from the fold of God”

 sheep-on-edge-of-cliff

The title of this article is taken from one of my favorite hymns, “Come Thou Fountain of Every Blessing”:

“Here I raise my Ebenezer, Here by Thy great help I’ve come.
And i hope by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God.
He to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood
.”

Within that simple verse lies the crux of the impasse that the church finds itself today. My heart breaks daily when I see and hear scriptural molestation and murder at the hands of the minstrels and hirelings performing in pulpits on stage every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. First, we were told that we were “little gods” – able to command blessings, influence events by “binding and loosing”, and even controlling God Himself at the whim of our mortal words. We were sold the erroneous claim that we choose to “surrender our lives” to God – again, claiming our own power in the direction of our eternal souls.

Continuing in this misguided philosophy - after we “stopped running” and “surrendered” to Him, we were told that the only way to assuage His Righteous indignation was to pay him…heartily…so that His grace would be upon us, we’d walk in His divine favor, and we’d be spared from all manner of calamity.

The church has perilously wandered away from “the fold of God”, and they don’t even know it. Worse, we have rejected God’s Holy Word and accepted a distorted substitute from the mouths of liars – and God’s judgement is being poured out before our very eyes (emphasis added):

Romans 1:18-25 (New American Standard Bible)

18For (A)the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who (B)suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

 19because (C)that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

 20For (D)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (E)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

 21For even though they knew God, they did not [a]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became (F)futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

 22(G)Professing to be wise, they became fools,

 23and (H)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [b]crawling creatures.

 24Therefore (I)God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be (J)dishonored among them.

 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a (K)lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, (L)who is blessed forever. Amen.

Not only are the hirelings who purport this false gospel fools who profess to be wise, but the sheep (who are proving themselves to really be goats – Matthew 25:31-46) are eagerly joining them in their rejection of the Word of God, and defending the vile hirelings tooth and nail, all the while ignoring the TRUTH of the Gospel they profess to embrace. We might not worship animals and birds (yet), but man-worship is in full effect and expanding at every turn. Sheeple will quote their pimp hireling with far greater fervor than they will the Word of God – IF they quote the Word at all.

All of this is born out of our twisted view of our place in God’s soveriegn plan. When we stray from historical biblical Christianity, we stray from sound doctrine and God’s Word. As a Monergist, I recognize that the Holy Spirit is the ONLY agent who initiated and effected regeneration in me. Apart from the Blood of Christ, there is no good in me (Romans 7:17-19), so how can I – in my natural mind – make a decision to live for Christ and yield to Him?

John Hendryx wrote an article regarding Monergism that neatly explains the working of the Holy Spirit in regeneration (emphasis added):

The Work of the Trinity in Monergism – The Shepherd Knows His Sheep By Name

[...] Monergistic regeneration is a redemptive blessing purchased by Christ for those the Father has given Him (1 Pet 1:3, John 6:37, 39). This grace works independently of any human cooperation and conveys that power into the fallen soul whereby the person who is to be saved is effectually enabled to respond to the gospel call (Acts 2:39, 1 Cor 1:2, 9, 24, Rom 8:30 John 1:13, Acts 13:48). It is that supernatural power of God alone whereby we are granted the spiritual ability and desire to comply with the conditions of the covenant of grace; that is, to apprehend the Redeemer by a living faith, to come up to the terms of salvation, to repent of idols and to love God and the Mediator supremely. The Holy Spirit, in quickening the fallen soul, mercifully illumines the mind and renews the heart, giving God’s elect the capacity and inclination to exercise faith in Jesus Christ (John 6:44, 1 John 5:1). This instantaneous and intensely personal work of God is the means by which the Spirit brings us into living union with Him.

 In my not so humble opinion, one of the precipitating events to the downward spiral we see in Christianity today is the denial of the sovereignty and supremacy of God in all things. We have relegated God to the role of both Cosmic Slot Machine and Puppet, all at the same time. By degrading His sovereignty, we elevate our own foolish pride and knowledge, and we begin to tell the potter how we are to be fashioned (Isaiah 29:15-16). This task is made far more simple when we do so from the posture of “little gods” who can “decide” to step away from our sin-sick fate and “come to Jesus”. Of course, this logic makes it easier to vacillate back and forth between sin and holiness because after all, “it is our decision”, right?

I implore you by the power of the Holy Spirit – reject the men and women who puff themselves up as modern day idols. Reject any and all new-age philosophy that equates you with God in power and might. Abhor mockery of God’s Holy Word at the hands of pimps, vipers, wolves, et al. Flee false doctrine and wicked assemblies. Systematically READ GOD’S WORD FOR YOURSELF (page by page) and stop relying on 3rd and 4th hand hack exegesis from impostors. Don’t be afraid to sit on a wooden pew in a small church (full of people who are not the same race as you are) and listen to a preacher who rightly divides the Word just because they don’t entertain you like the minstrels do. Meditate on God’s Word – and buy credible reference material and books that help you dig even deeper for His truth. Learn to hear the Voice of God for yourself so that you don’t run from the arms of a wolf into the clutch of a viper.

Above all, I pray to God through His Precious Son that you would trust in Christ alone for your salvation and your hope, and that you will be built up in Him Who does not dissappoint (1 Peter 2:4-6).

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise, And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more!

Oh Precious Father, humble us to return to Your fold.

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15 Responses to “<i>“…wandering from the fold of God”</i>”


  1. 1 Justin March 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    this post was wonderful. I love both of the hymns that you referenced. I used to really believe all the talk about us being little gods, and I used to preach it. God had the mercy to sit me down for a season so that I could learn for myself what His word says about us. While I’m not perfect in any shape, I realize fully that had it not been for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, I would not know Him, or know how to love Him. Its a sickening thing when man gives himself so much “power” over God and tries to reduce Him to a grammy or an oscar sized award. I praise God for working through you on this blog. My testimony is now and always will be, “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” All glory to God.

    • 2 speaking truth March 25, 2009 at 6:15 pm

      Glory to God Justin. Looking at God through the proper lense is intensly humbling. I was weeping while even typing the words to those hymns.

      May God increase us all for His service.

      • 3 young1lookin4thetruth March 26, 2009 at 2:21 pm

        as I was reading the hymns and everything else said in this post, my heart was heavy just thinking about what goes on around us in the “church.” Of course the real church doesn’t participate in minstrel acts, etc. my heart was also full of worship because the words of the hymns are so pure and true.

        Oh how I love Jesus,
        Y1LFTT

  2. 4 Pastor Jim March 25, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Great post ST. I am “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the fold of God”

    May we be humbly repentant every day, every hour, Lord I need Thee every hour and believe and rest upon Christ alone every day!

    Mercy Lord! Have mercy on the minstrels, sheeple and, and, and arrogant biblicists like me too! Mercy!

    • 5 speaking truth March 25, 2009 at 6:17 pm

      Amen Pastor Jim. I’ve been accused of “flaunting my biblical knowledge” through this blog, and nothing can be further from the truth. I spent over 12 years in deception and I am simply voraciously eating all of the manna that I willfully rejected in the past.

      On my best day I am the least holy person on earth, so I am always humbled by God’s grace – and angered by His enemies.

      There I go tearing up again…

      • 6 Pastor Jim March 25, 2009 at 7:03 pm

        Brother Truth, no need to explain your appetite to me. I know. And the more I know, the more I know I need to know mercy.

        Oh how wonderful oh how marvelous that my Savior would pour out His mercy on even me, His enemy! May He do so even more!

  3. 7 Lady D March 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Wonderful post ISM, wonderful. Our God is Sovereign and does not need our help for anything-but He chooses to use our weak vessels of clay. He does not give us what we so rightly deserve-how can we not love Him?
    Our God Reigns-Sola Scriptura~

  4. 8 Michael Pharr March 26, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    IST,

    Man let the Lord continue to use you as you desire to show the world truth. I’ve noticed all too often that Christians don’t honor the Sovereignty of God. In fact I’d like to recommend a book to your readers: The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink. This book was recommended to me some months ago by Mr. Melvin Jones at Pulpit Pimps. I can tell you this book surely talks about who God is and how He should be esteemed. You can read a free copy online at: http://www.pbministries.org

    - Michael.

    • 9 escapeetoo March 26, 2009 at 8:33 pm

      Pharr,

      When you receive the revelation that God is sovereign and does not NEED man (As the WoF movement suggests) it is truly an eye opening event. You become much more aware of all of your own faults and the issues turn from the “devil” and the world and turn to you! Once you realize we serve an all knowing all powerful God that does EVERYTHING he wants to do You as a person are reduces to nothing! That (Sovereignty) is what makes God so great to me!

      • 10 Michael Pharr March 26, 2009 at 9:33 pm

        Escapetoo,

        When I came to realize how I didn’t honor God as I fell into the “speak those things” or “don’t speak death” and etc. nonsense and realized that God is the one in control, He knows all and He calls for my obedience….not my prayers so He can have permission to move. Truly asinine. Now my need is for others that profess Christ, to see God as He truly is, not what bishop so-and-so said He is.

        -Michael

  5. 11 Ken March 27, 2009 at 11:18 am

    IST,
    Another excellent post, and like several others I too am an “escapee” from the WOF movement. Interestingly enough it was the “little” gods teaching that was the tipping point for me leaving that ministry. It didn’t seem right when I heard it so I began to research the passage (Psalm 82)that is used by the WOF crowd. I brought it to my pastor’s attention and he gave me the “touch not my anointed” speech. And for me here is the irony of what the WOF espouses, real biblical faith starts with understanding the sovereignty of God. Real, biblical faith causes me to recognize my fallibility,sinfulness etc. and rely on the fact that the judge of all the earth will do what is right. Not what is right in my eyes,but what HE knows to be the best for me. The peace that comes from knowing that stands in stark contrast to the fear mongering of the WOF crowd. As long as I think I’m in control or that I can speak things into existence, I am NOT trusting the sovereignty of God. And what I wind up with is counterfeit faith. And to Pastor Jim, amen and truly God have mercy on us all and keep us ever humble. Ever mindful of his grace. IST, this one really touched my heart! GOD BLESS!

  6. 12 rascoe1 March 28, 2009 at 3:40 am

    “Don’t be afraid to sit on wooden a pew in a small church(full of people who are not the same race as you are)”

    Bro ST, thats my experience. Once we became aware of the truth, it was very difficult to fellowship at the former church. We really liked the people, but the Word was missing. You see, this church is closely affiliated with TBN, therefore you have an idea of what is taught.

    The church we have been attending since the latter part of October is 45 min away from home. It is a good size building but the members are just a few. The majority are older whites and a handful of blacks, about ten. At first I was uncertain (this is Georgia), but they are really kind people and the most important thing is the Word. We are even singing from hymn books again. The beauty is, the hymns have so much more meaning.

    My brother, there is nothing like the truth. it really makes us free. God Bless.

    • 13 Vaughn March 28, 2009 at 11:09 pm

      Looks as if you guys are going back to basics. with that singing of spiritual songs on to/with another stuff *I so hope that you can see that this is a play on words!*

      I think it’s wonderful, especially with the amount of songs that flood the airwaves by gospel artists, that put more stock into the being seen, heard and of course last but not least well paid. Heard one too many stories of the back door deals done in the name of The Lord.

      Wonderful testimony in its entirety.

  7. 14 Heather January 20, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I dont understand fully what you are saying.. Are you saying that it is not necessary to be “born again”? I’ve always been taught that even the best of hearts and people will go to Hell if not saved and/or “born again.” Please explain your thoughts on this.

    • 15 speaking truth January 21, 2010 at 7:35 am

      Heather,

      I am not saying that you can avoid being “born again” – the point of the article was how we truly don’t understand the grave of God – and His Divine sovereignty. All believers contend that Jesus is the only path to eternal life with God – and that you must believe in Him for salvation alone (which is the “born again” part). Having a “good heart” or doing “good works” is not the saving factor – it is by God’s grace alone. I also believe that we don’t have a “choice” in the matter – that we were pre-ordained to accept or reject the gift of salvation (see this article for further explanation)


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