From: Seth Eboso
Date: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 8:33 AM
Subject: THE PURIFICATION PROCESS
To: Joseph Peck
Hello dear beloved Joseph, I recently heard someone quote a study that has been done of Old Testament leaders. That study found that, of the dozens of Old Testament leaders, only about one – fourth of them finished well. Isn’t that amazing? These man and women had been personally picked by God to accomplish His Divine plan, and yet, they fell so short and on so many occasions. I think that if we analyzed these leaders, we would find they fell into many of the pitfalls we are examining in this chapter.
Some of the pitfalls involve sin and others do not. God will not tolerate endlessly those that involve sin, especially sin of gross immorality. Sooner or later He will deal with the minister who is enmeshed in gross sin.
But what about those of us who have read this chapter so far and believe that we aren’t snared by any of the pitfalls? We think we are on top of things. We say to ourselves, “this is interesting reading but it doesn’t apply to me.”
Let’s not be too hasty in that conclusion. As I see the condition of man described in Scripture, there are seeds of sin in every human heart. Some seeds take root too early; others lie dormant only to sprout later in life. When the right conditions exist, the right soil and he right amount of sun and rain, the seeds come to life. So it is with the seeds of sin in the human heart.
God knows the seeds are there. In fact, He has a divine itinerary in which He, by His Holy Spirit, exposes those seeds. The Holy Spirit identifies them, digs them out, and destroys them through the process we call sanctification. This is a life long process. As long as we cooperate, the process continues smoothly, but not painlessly. It is always a painful process to have one’s sin exposed, del with, and removed. But his process is one of the works of the Holy Spirit. He “…….. w9ill teach you all things………” (Jn 14:26 NIV) “All Things” include the sins in our lives.
As long as we do our part in not allowing the seed to develop, God keeps the enemy at arms length. He doesn’t allow Satan to exploit the unexposed seed. The Holy Spirit exposes and convicts, we confess, repent, and forsake……. One less seed. The process continues over the years.
But suppose one day the Holy Spirit exposes a seed and we refuse to deal with it. In such cases God invokes what I call the “Five Step Plan”.
THE FIVE STEP PLAN
Remember, it is God’s unyielding will have a pure church. Our unrepentant minister with the “seed denial” problem is part of that church. Here’s how God deals with that person.
Step One – The Holy Spirit Speaks
God first send His Holy Spirit to speak to our inner self. Again and again, we hear that voice pointing out our sin. If we refuse to hear Him, then step two begins.
Step Two: The Written Word
At this point every time our unrepentant Christian opens His Bible, it speaks of his sin! He is reading in Genesis, and there it is. He turns to the Psalms and there it is again. He looks in Revelation – again he reads out his sin. Everywhere he looks the Bible speaks of his sin! If he refuses to yield to God’s Word, then Step Three begins.
Step Three – Friends and Loved ones speak
By this time those who are close to our sinner are beginning to notice traces of his sin. God will use a spouse, friend, brother or sister, or pastor at step three. One day someone who is willing confronts the sinner and points out the sin he/she has seen. If our sinner repents, praise the Lord. This is the purpose of spiritual confrontation in the body of Christ, to deal effectively with sin. But if he does not heed that word, he may soon find himself facing Ste Four.
Step Four – Church Discipline
Although the purpose of all church discipline is “to restore” those in sin to church fellowship (See Gal 6:1), the process is so painful to all concerned that it is rarely administered today. And often when it is administered, it is improperly done, but that is another subject. If the unrepentant sinner has refused the correction of the first three steps, church discipline is the next appropriate instrument to be used to bring about repentance.
But if the church fails to administer discipline, or if our sinner refuses the church discipline, he is then scheduled for step Five.
Step Five – Let’s Go Public
Remember, the Holy Spirit’s objective with our sinner is repentance. If he has stubbornly refused the first four steps, the Holy Spirit says, “Alright, since you won’t repent, I’ll tell the whole world about your sin! I’m going to expose your sin publicly.”
In a few short days, or weeks, our sinner is caught in the act of his sin! “Did you hear about the pastor of such and such church? He was caught in adultery!” (or stealing money, or lying, or whatever sin. It is in this manner that individual leaders in the church and even whole ministries, are brought down.
One thing is certain; the Holy Spirit has worked for years before taking this drastic measure. When you hear of a public exposure of sin, you may be assured that the Holy Spirit has exhausted all previous means over many years to bring about repentance.
I have heard that many people confronted and warned another evangelist like me here in Kenya before his public exposure. I personally know two people who confronted him with his sin as many eleven years before his public exposure. God is indeed merciful.
An Awful End
This section applies to that very small percentage of church leaders who, even after public exposure, will not repent. When it finally becomes evident that there is no repentance despite public disgrace, the Lord then begins the process of purging the impure from His church, the body of Christ. I believe Genesis 6:3 is applicable here “………. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever …. “ (NIV) (Yes , I know this Scripture is wooing, but I believe it also applies to the long-term unrepentant church leader),.
At this point in time, I believe that God finally withdraws His Spirit altogether from that person and a counterfeit spirit is sent. (2 Thes 2:11 ) It is at this point that these people begin to believe the lie. This is what happened to Saul. At the end of his life, Saul went to the witch of Endor seeking guidance. ( 1 Sam 28) He had given himself over that much to the lie.
I know of a man in Kenya who, forty years ago, was a genuine minister in the church,. He had a powerful television ministry. Yet during his adult life, he transitioned from a powerful Bible based preacher to a cult leader proclaiming horribly twisted false doctrines. He ended his public “ministry” denying the existence of sin or the need for repentance. Yet he had thousands of followers even at the end. I believe this man lost God’s Spirit and embraced a false spirit.
The very thought of this is frightening to me. The idea that God’s Spirit can be rejected to the point of abandonment of a man because of his sin is terribly sobering. I once heard a Bible teacher say that the worst thing God could do for man is let him go his own way. I believe that is true.
How did this evangelist transition from a genuine man of God to a false prophet James illustrate the basic principle:
But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin when it is full grown, gives birth to death. (Jas 1:14, 15 NIV)
From this scripture it is apparent that there was sin in this minister’s life, sin from which he would not turn. When God can not bring about repentance. He must purge the impure. Paul addresses this:
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (2 Thes 2: 9-12 NIV), emphasis added.)
It seems to me that this Scripture tells us that God sends a powerful delusion that causes them to embrace Satan’s counterfeit as a truth while rejecting God’s truth as a lie! Such delusion is indeed fatal. Yet one may live and “minister” for years after receiving the delusion.
Why did they perish? The answer is found in the Scripture above because they refused to love the truth. Now, before we get too comfortable complimenting ourselves for loving truth, let’s examine this concept once more closely. It’s easy for me to love truth that isn’t contradictory to my will. For example, Scripture commands “Husbands, love your wives … “ (Eph 5:25 NIV) It’s easy for me to love that truth because I do love my wife very much. But if the truth points to my own sin. Can I love that truth as well? Much more difficult isn’t it?
God’s word is truth. As Christians, we are called on to love truth. Satan hates the truth of God’s word. The more we commit ourselves to loving this truth, the more immune we become to the father of lies and more immune we become to his snares. Dear friends, I am here to tell you that, use this grace period of which God has given you in this dying world, or else you will regret
Pass my greetings to all children of God. Amen
Ev. Seth Iganihitsu from Kenya