Not so long ago my sister asked me what I thought about the idea that the modern church does not resemble the early church in terms of the operation of the gifts of the Spirit and the demonstration of signs and wonders.
The only answer I could come up with at the time was that modern church leaders have turned the Christian faith into an intellectual exercise, as did the Pharisees, scribes and lawyers of the time, rather than a way of life as the apostles and their followers did during that same period.
You see brothers and sisters, many Christians fail to realize that the same Pharisaical spirit that thrived before and during the earthen ministry of our Lord, is alive, and well, and again thriving within the church today.
Judgment, condemnation, and laying burdens upon the people, the weight of which the leaders of the church themselves can not bear, are commonplace within the church today. And most importantly they, as did the pharisees before them, have effectively shut the people off from the kingdom of heaven!
Now this is not to put the full blame upon the heads of church leadership. God Forbid!
A large share of the blame, for lack of a better term, falls upon the sheep as well, primarily because they fail to do one critical thing:
(Pro 23:1) When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
(Pro 23:2) And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
(Pro 23:3) Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
(Pro 23:4) Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
(Pro 23:5) Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
(Pro 23:6) Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
(Pro 23:7) For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
You see brothers and sisters there are far too many within the body of Christ who are being led away from living the life God intended us to live in this world because they are "given to appetite". They are those who do not diligently consider that which is set before them (study the word out for themselves to prove what is being set before them is truth), they set their eyes on that which is not, and labor to enrich "their own" wisdom.
It is my hope and prayer that what is written here helps one single person to find the way, the truth, and the life that our Lord Jesus came to show us during His earthen ministry and promised would become manifest under the new covenant.
In Jesus' Name! Amen
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