The following 7 points contrast the bright light of Scripture against America's culturally influenced counterfeit churches and reveal how far American churches have strayed from the foundation of the prophets, apostles and Messiah himself, (see Ephesians 2:20). The counterfeit church has been dumbed down by cultural influences and has become a compromised, lukewarm invention of man. The counterfeit churches are filled with many doctrines of demons and self-appointed, carnal-minded invaders who have usurped the authority of God; a stark contrast to the Spiritual, liberating and empowering counterculture revealed in Bible Scripture.
by Jonathan Israel, www.ConnectionMagazine.org
Matthew 7:14, "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are FEW who find it."
Have you ever wondered at the lack of influence or authority of America's version of Christianity? What if you were a member of the counterfeit church and didn't know it? At the end of this article, you will know the difference between doctrinally sound churches, and the counterfeit churches of posers who have usurped the authority of Abba and foolishly claim "I built this church", "this is MY church" and/or "I run things here".
Scripture clearly warns believers NOT to become unequally YOKED with unbelievers.
Counterfeit churches ignorantly or rebelliously enter business partnerships with those who reject the Lord; they unite with UNBELIEVING patriots, conservatives and Constitutionalists; and they also foolishly enter engagements and marriages with those who do not believe in or elect to follow Yahshua/Jesus as Lord.
Amos 3:3, "Can two walk together, unless they are in agreement?" 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 & 17, "Do NOT be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? Therefore, "Come out from among them And be separate," says the Lord.
Scripture speaks against loving the world, the things of the world and heaping up the corrupted treasures of the world.
Counterfeit churches celebrate the increase of worldly possessions and earthly treasures as a sign of one's own faithfulness and/or Abba's approval.
1 John 2:15, Love not the world, neither the THINGS that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Matthew 6:19, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." Luke 16:13, No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and (money, prosperity, wealth, success) mammon.
Scripture inspires believers to surrender their entire lives to Yahshua/Jesus 24/7 as an act of worship and sacrifice.
Counterfeit churches place the emphasis on attending 1-3 hour weekly congregational or assembly meetings as qualification of a life of worship and praise, and regularly teach their followers that weekly giving or donating money is their primary and/or lawfully required sacrifice.
Luke 9:23, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me." Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." Acts 5:42, "…DAILY in the temple, and in EVERY HOUSE, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ." Matthew 6:11, Pray DAILY, "Give us this day our DAILY bread." Acts 17:11, "…they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures DAILY, whether those things were so.
Scripture instructs believers guard their faith and to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.
Counterfeit churches teach "once saved, always saved" as an argument against spiritual maturity and overcoming sin, satan and the world.
Philippians 2:12, "…CONTINUE to work out your salvation with fear and trembling," Ephesians 2:8, For it is by grace you have been SAVED, through FAITH—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—1 Timothy 1:19, "…holding ON to FAITH and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck their FAITH." 1 Timothy 4:1, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the FAITH, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,…"
"Once saved always saved" belongs to the followers of Yahshua/Jesus who do Abba's will. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21).
Scripture led believers truly love the Lord and WILLINGLY accept the Lord's invitation to obey His commands; yet, they remain thankfully aware of the GIFT of salvation they received by grace through faith in Yahsua/Jesus.
Counterfeit churches blindly ignore or reject the exclusive invitation for those who LOVE the Lord to KEEP His COMMANDS. By default, they become a law unto themselves, embracing lawlessness and ignorantly claim they do not have to keep the Lord's commandments because they are "saved by grace".
John 14:15, Yahshua said, "If you love me, keep my COMMANDS." 1 John 5:2, "This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out HIS COMMANDS." John 14:21, "Whoever has my COMMANDS and keeps them is the one who loves me." John 15:17, "This is my COMMAND: Love each other." 2 John 1:6, "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his COMMANDS." 1 John 2:4, Whoever says, "I know him," but does not do what he COMMANDS is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 1 John 2:3, "We know that we have come to know him if we keep his COMMANDS." 1 John 3:24, "The one who keeps GOD'S COMMANDS lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." Revelation 12:17, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which KEEP the
COMMANDMENTS of GOD, and have the testimony of Yahshua ha'Mashiach (Jesus Christ)."
Scripture commands true believers to walk in the power of the Lord and be both PERFECT and HOLY.
Counterfeit churches dismiss the Lord's commands to be holy and perfect, and deceitfully embrace or ignorantly allow lawlessness and lukewarm lifestyles in the congregation under pretext that "nobody is perfect" and/or "we're under grace".
Matthew 5:48, "BE PERFECT, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect…" James 1:4, "But let patience have her perfect work, that you may BE PERFECT and entire, wanting nothing." 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be PERFECT,…" Ephesians 1:4, "…we should BE HOLY and without blame before him in love:" 1 Peter 1:15 & 16, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so you be HOLY in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, BE HOLY; for I am holy." 2Corinthians 13:11, "Finally, brethren, farewell. BE PERFECT,…"
Scripture insists that in order to attain holy and perfect lives, true believers MUST be born again of the Holy Spirit, baptized in the Holy Spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit and led by the Holy Spirit.
Counterfeit churches reject the Holy Spirit's presence, power and/or gifts.
John 3:7-8, Yahshua said, 'You MUST be born again (of the Holy Spirit).' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the SPIRIT." Acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 7:51, "…stiff-necked people… always resist the Holy Spirit!" 2 Timothy 3:5, They have "…a form of godliness but deny its POWER. Have nothing to do with such people."
Acts 1:8, "But you will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes on you;…"
Matthew 7:8, "For everyone that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened."
Note: All of the true followers of Yahshua/Jesus are being corrected and perfected, which means we are also learning His word and His will more clearly. Stay humble and repentant. May the Lord continue to grow you up in all wisdom and knowledge of Himself, His word and His ways.