Friday, April 27, 2012

we're so wonderful!!! ?????

As we look at the early signs of revival in our times, we should be more inspired than ever to see this move of God go to the deepest echelons of every society and furthest corners of the earth. Through this baptism of confidence wrought in the place of prayer and intimacy, we will awaken to the reality that we are the fulfillment of the glory of the Lord being poured out all over the earth. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). As He shines on our hearts, we shine on the world, and the Kingdom that is “in us” is released everywhere we go. We are waking up to the reality that whenever we step out our front door, glory has arrived on the streets. Whenever we step off a plane, glory has arrived in the region. No matter how dark or hard it may be, this confident Bride filled with the power and glory of God will prevail.

Byrd, Andy; Feucht, Sean (2010-09-01). Fire and Fragrance (Kindle Locations 1500-1507). Destiny Image. Kindle Edition.

As a general rule, when someone takes a single verse like this, it's good to look at it in some context. So, here's some context for II Corinthians 4:6.

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with l ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ

A more telling example of the distance between the Bible and these Fire and Fragrance frauds could not be asked for. Concerning the F&F frauds, all they talk about is themselves and people like themselves, the supposedly radical and raw and extreme types. All they talk about is how superior they are to those who came before them. They brag about how they do things differently now, how their ways are superior to the old ways. They brag about how they preaching becomes secondary to them in their quest for experiences.

And Paul? He did not proclaim himself, and those with him did not proclaim themselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord. They were the servants of those they were preaching to for the sake of Jesus.

We do not see such arrogance in this biblical passage as Feucht and Byrd exhibit throughout their book, including the above excerpt. Can you imagine the overwhelming arrogance behind a statement like "we are the fulfillment of the glory of the Lord being poured out all over the earth"? And that they would try to take II Corinthians 4:6 to support that claim?

Let me give a bit more context.

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

We are not the "fulfillment of the glory of the Lord being poured out all over the earth". Glory has not arrived when we go somewhere. That's arrogance. We are sinful people, jars of clay, earthen vessels. Whatever power we have is from God. And let us not think that this power will make us victorious, as the world considers victory or even far too many supposedly in the church. We will be mistreated, persecuted, and every day we come closer to death.

Finally, take a look at the earlier verses, where it is written "We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word". I would contend that the things Paul and those with him were refusing to do are the very things Byrd and Feucht are doing. They are trying to tamper with God's word, to put a meaning into the text that isn't there by taking a statement out of context and claiming to have found some strange, foreign meaning in that statement.

So, put aside these aberrant teachings that fill your ego and tickle your ears. Do not listen to those who lift you up in pride and arrogance, but rather to those who speak the truth to you, that you are a sinner, all of your works of righteousness are like the most vile of rags. You will never become righteous by trying to keep the Law. But there is a righteous that God has revealed to us, a righteousness that is not to be gained by trying to keep the Law, and indeed trying to earn it that way is doomed to failure. It is through belief in Christ that a person is given that righteousness. This is good news, but it isn't the kind of good news that makes us look at ourselves in arrogance at what fine persons we are, but rather it makes us look to God because of His great love for us, that while we were still sinners and enemies of God, Christ died for us.

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