FALSE VIEWS OF LOVE AND HOLINESS DILUTING THE CHURCH’S POWER

Years ago I was preaching a series of strong holiness messages in a particular church. After one of the meetings the pastor said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. “The Lord has dealt with me about preaching more on love than holiness,” he said.

That statement didn’t sit well with me. I knew it was not accurate. Yet back then I didn’t know why. I pondered that pastor’s statement with my own thoughts that raced through my head. Is love more important than holiness? Are they different, or are they virtually the same? They have to be different, or we’d have a lot of redundancy in the Bible, I thought. But how are they different? Although I knew the pastor’s statement came from a lack of understanding true holiness, at that time I couldn’t thoroughly explain the difference.

This pastor’s statement put an emphasis on love, which is of primary importance, while de-emphasizing holiness, which is not only God’s greatest attribute, but foundational to understanding man’s relationship to God. I walked away from that conversation knowing that this pastor’s view of holiness was not becoming or beautiful. I thought of how his view was probably shared by a multitude of believers, who have formed erroneous ideas and notions of holiness, due probably to their own negative experiences—like the cat who is afraid of water because of one negative experience of getting scalded by boiling water. Or of those who may have come from a background of legalism where do’s and don’ts were associated with holiness. These are among the reasons holiness has gotten a bad rap and is looked upon with a sort of disdain, as being primitive, outdated and just not culturally relevant. We need to realize, however, that negative experiences or unsound teaching does not nullify the real meaning, necessity, and beauty of God’s holiness.

WHAT IS TRUE HOLINESS

What then is the real meaning of holiness? Holiness is the likeness of God. It is the total summation of all His attributes. One of my favorite definitions of holiness as it applies to believers is that it is a moral dedication and a life committed to purity of thought, word, motive and deed. At the center of that definition is the fact of being set apart or consecrated to God’s purposes. Just as God is otherworldly, we as His chosen people are to be distinct and set apart from this world. In other words, we are not to be conformed to its ideals, patterns, or standards. Holiness is conformity to God’s nature and will.

But even more importantly, holiness has more to do with to whom we belong. To whom do we give our loyalty, love, and allegiance to? To be holy means that all we are and all we have belongs to God, not ourselves, and is set apart for His purposes. It means that every aspect of our lives is to be shaped and directed by God.

Personally, I believe that restoring the beauty of biblical holiness in the church is a critical ingredient to healing the moral confusion in our culture. As the church goes, so goes the world. Our disproportionate view of holiness is one of the big reasons there is so much of the spirit of the world in the church. A distorted view of holiness, or simply the ignorance of it, is clouding our understanding of God’s true love. When God is seen as a loving, nondemanding pushover whose love overrides His holiness, then people will live in accordance with that belief. Permissiveness and promiscuity will be prevalent.

For example, if a person believes that God is so loving that He would never manifest His judgment or wrath or send anyone to hell for their sin, then their conduct will reflect that belief, and much of their life will be lived with that awful presumption. Popular false concepts of God such as these are spreading rampantly in much of the Western culture. A vision and revelation of God’s holiness will alter any of these false perceptions and will serve to greatly strengthen the church.

Any understanding of sin must begin with an understanding of true biblical holiness. In Canaan the temple prostitute was considered a holy woman, and a homosexual priest was considered a holy man. However, what was accepted among the Canaanites and the other nations was an abomination to God (Deut. 23:17-18). And Israel, as God’s chosen nation, a type of the New Testament church, was forbidden to practice these things. The people of Canaan didn’t understand God’s holiness so they couldn’t possibly understand the gravity of their sin.

A person defines sin by his own concept of God. This is the reason we now have books being written that one can be a gay Christian; and now we also have the spread of universalism and the emergent church that teaches that in the end all will be saved, because God will not allow any human being to go to hell. Many do not understand God’s love because they are not seeing it through His holiness.

Our understanding of God’s holiness determines our estimation of sin. God defines Himself through His holiness. His holiness is the standard by which we judge what sin is and what sin is not. Righteousness and justice, which are vital aspects of God’s holiness, are the foundation of His throne (Ps 89:14). All God’s dealings with us are based on the foundation of holiness. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim 2:19).

It is wrong to elevate what we think is love at the expense of holiness. In fact, God’s true love manifests within holiness. Just as water flows through a pipe the love of God flows through His holiness. Moreover, it is God’s love that keeps Him from overlooking His holiness. After all, it was His holiness which made the atonement necessary. His holiness demanded the cost of God’s own Son, for He cannot excuse, acquit or clear the guilty (Ex 34:7). And what His holiness demanded His love provided on the cross of Calvary.

HOLINESS AND LOVE ARE NOT OPPOSITES

Holiness and love are not at odds with each other. Holiness is not in opposition to love or separated from it. The Bible tells us that love is the greatest (1 Cor. 13:13) and any word, motivation or act void of love is as nothing (1 Cor. 13:1-3). But at the same time, love is not separated from holiness. Rather, it is constrained by holiness.

For example, if a church will not draw a sharp distinction between sin and righteousness, or will not practice church discipline among its members as taught in the Word (Mat. 18:15-17, Rom. 16:17, 1 Cor. 5, Tit. 3:10, 2 Thes. 3:6, 14-15, and such) because in their minds, it doesn’t seem loving, has probably been deceived into a false view of love absorbed from the pop culture. On the other hand, a church that emphasizes holiness, yet fails to do so in the motivation and service of love is a church that does not understand God’s holiness.

The true love of God is fixed on God’s holiness. If a church does not abide in holiness, it does not abide in true love. Conversely, if it does not abide in true love, it does not abide in holiness.

A holy church is in the world but not of it. They abstain from sin while dwelling among sinners—both are characteristics of true holiness. The problem has been that some churches have swerved too far in one direction or too far in the other, waffling between a false view of holiness and a false view of love.

The same Bible that tells me to pursue love (1 Cor 14:1) tells me to pursue holiness (Heb 12:14). Without love we are nothing. Without holiness we will never see the Lord.

But here is my warning:

A holy church is in the world but not of it. They abstain from sin while dwelling among sinners – both are characteristics of true holiness. The problem has been that some churches have swerved too far in one direction or too far in the other, waffling between a false view of holiness and a false view of love.

It’s time for the modern day church to get that right and walk in that light.

This is an excerpt taken from The Real Jesus, a compelling piece of a tetralogy of books (The Real Salvation, The Real Gospel, The Real Spirit of Revival)

NOTE: Our books and articles are forerunners to the move of God and personal holiness. The fire of God and the fear of God is attached to them. If you feel like this article is valuable, please use the social media buttons below to share it. Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

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A PROPHETIC ALERT: THE PRESENT INTENSIFYING SPIRITUAL WAR IN AMERICA

From Jeremiah Johnson:

On July 1, 2017, I had and released a prophetic dream where I saw a gigantic messenger of Satan coming into the United States from the East Coast. I called out to it from the walls of a large fortified city and said, “I am a watchman over this land and I command you to tell me by what authority do you enter this nation?” It said, “I come here by the permission of the Church who has granted me access to come plunder and devour right in the midst of them.”

The principality had the wings of an angel, but the tail of a dragon and it looked hideous! There was great darkness upon it, yet it had the outward appearance of unusual light. In its hands it carried a large black book with the words written on it, “The gospel of accommodation”.

The Spirit began to show me massive deception is sweeping the Church and it is fast asleep. There is a very real war in the spirit realm over the true gospel, the gospel of self-denial, and this false gospel, the gospel of accommodation that is seeking to overtake the American Church. The gospel of accommodation encourages American Christians to fit Jesus into their life, rather than making Him their life. This false gospel requires no sacrifice, no commitment, and no death to self. It is dangerous, deceptive, and we are going to witness God beginning to highlight preachers and churches who preach this false gospel of accommodation.

The Messenger of Satan (Gulf of Mexico)

Again on Sept 1, 2017, (exactly 2 months from the last dream) I had another prophetic dream where I saw this same messenger of Satan appear in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of carrying a book, he was now carrying a large boat paddle and began to stir the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and his paddle reached as far as the Caribbean. I began to hear the earth literally groan. The water was crying out. That’s the only way I know how to explain it. As this principality began to stir the waters, several demonic spirits manifested and revealed themselves to me. They specifically were: Hatred, Fear, Violence, and Depression. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Jeremiah, you must know that the spiritual storms that are manifesting in the earth are far greater than any physical storm that has touched the earth. Physical storms are limited to a region of people. These spiritual storms that are coming will have the power to affect every area of culture. The physical hurricanes that have come and coming are devastating, but the spiritual ones are greater. The physical hurricanes that will manifest in this season will only further serve to reveal and open up the eyes and ears of the Church to the spiritual storms of hatred, fear, violence, and depression that are upon them.”

The Paul Revere Anointing

As the Spirit spoke this to me and I watched this messenger of Satan stir the waters in the Gulf of Mexico and even the Caribbean, as these demonic spirits manifested into spiritual storms, I suddenly found myself in the state of Texas. There was an army of horse riders waiting for me and prepared to run. I relayed to them what I had seen, not only on July 1, but on September 1. I shouted, “The anointing of Paul Revere is upon us! Now is the time to warn the American Church of the coming spiritual storms. We must warn them of the false gospel of accommodation! (This is an actual title of a chapter in my book, The Real Gospel). Watch as God uses the physical storms to highlight those who are preaching this false gospel. We must warn the Church of the hatred, fear, violence, and depression that will try to overtake them. If they give in, they will look no different than the world. Days are coming where parts of the Church will become so blended with the world that you will have a hard time discerning the difference between the two.”

As I and the army of horse riders rode with the anointing of Paul Revere to American Churches, we visited three specific types churches. (This was almost identical to a dream I had in 2015, but some details God gave me were different).

The Sleeping Church

The first type of church we visited had “Sleeping Church” engraved on its doors. As we opened the doors to these churches, every one of them was in the middle of a service. We would hurry in to relay the message of what we had just seen and heard, only to be shocked to see everyone in attendance, including the leadership, sucking on pacifiers. While this type of church could hear our words, they had no ability to respond. We began to cry out and say, “Why are you silent, Church, why are you silent? Though you are awake, you are sleeping!”

In the dream, the Holy Spirit immediately spoke to me Eph 4:14: “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”

The Hyper Grace Church

The second type of church we visited met in various looking buildings and was very post modern. We were delighted because many of them seemed to be younger in age (18-35). As we warned them of the coming spiritual storms, they laughed at us. God said

“These are the products of the works-based gospel movement of the ’80s and ’90s. These are they who have rebelled in the name of grace, but not in the name of My Son.” As the Spirit spoke this to us, there began to be mass commotion among them. He said,

“These types of churches are blinding the generations to the truth in the name of grace. They call themselves Joel’s army because they believe they will usher in the last day’s grace movement in the earth, but know that they are like the locust seeking to devour and ravage the vineyards of young generations. They distort the truth and preach rebellion and tolerance in the name of grace. They shall question if hell exists. They will believe that many paths lead to Me.”

After visiting these two types of churches, The horse riders were in great distress. I cried out to the Spirit and said, “Take me to Your church.” I immediately rode up on a church building that had “Surrendered Church” on its doors.

The Surrendered Church

We quickly walked in and sat down. I immediately noticed that in the back of this church was a gaping hole. It was as if a blast had gone off and almost entirely knocked out the back walls of the Surrendered Church. As we visited surrendered churches all over America, we found the exact same thing. I sat in the back and asked the Father what had happened. He said, “My church was at first deceived by the false gospel of accommodation. They allowed hatred, fear, depression, and violence to overtake them. The Hyper Grace Church you just saw, stormed out of the back of My church and left because of the preaching of holiness and the fear of the Lord, but now My church has been awakened and it shall be repaired.”

I got up out of my seat and watched as many people were working on repairing the gaping hole in the back of the church. As I watched, I noticed something interesting; the workers were not just any workers. They were true apostles and prophets restoring the foundation of the Church and many of them were teaching other young people how to properly lay the foundation. God said, “I am raising up a remnant in the American Church that will be sound in doctrine, they will embrace the gospel of self-denial, and they will not walk in fear, anger, violence, and depression.”

Many intercessors were in great travail repenting over the sins of the Church, but having a great sense of hope as they cried out and thanked the Father for awakening the Church from deception.

Then I woke up.

With sobriety,

Jeremiah Johnson

NOTE: Our books and articles are forerunners to the move of God and personal holiness. The fire of God and the fear of God is attached to them. If you feel like this article is valuable, please use the social media buttons below to share it. Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

DONATE 

Thank you, and may God’s richest and best be yours.