Rhema Grace May 2015

The subject of this Devotional continues the theme of “coming around in full circle.”  This simply means that in many ways the Church can easily move away from the foundation of the doctrine of the Word of God and it is time to return to the simple Gospel message.  We find in the Book of Acts and at the birth of the Church that the Apostles simply preached Jesus.  As they preached Jesus, lives were changed ,there were miracles, signs, wonders, and healings.  His Name and the pure message of the Gospel was enough.
Paul said in 1st Corinthians 3:11, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is already laid, which is Christ Jesus.”  If we attempt to build the Church on any other foundation, it will lean to one side or the other and eventually fall.
Jesus asked Peter in Matthew 16, “Who do you say that I am?”  Peter responded, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”  Then Jesus told Peter, “Upon this Rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  One reason the Church seems powerless today is because we have been proclaiming many things, but few of them, if any, are founded upon the proclamation that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” It’s time to come full circle back to Christ, the cross, the blood, the resurrection, and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.
A few weeks ago, I clearly heard the word “Propaganda.”  It was seemingly a strange word to hear at the break of dawn, but it began a thought process from one idea to another.  After I entertained some thoughts on my own, I looked up the definition.  First, let me say the origin of the word is Latin and Italian , so the definition may seem to be difficult to follow, but I will simplify it in terms you will understand, or at least I hope so. Slowly read the definition. “Information of a biased and misleading nature used to promote or publicize a cause or point of view.”  It is also defined as, “The spreading of information or rumors for the purpose of helping or hurting an institution, a cause, or a person.”

Read the second definition again.  In less than 80 weeks, we will be witnessing a presidential election.  Do you think propaganda will play a part in who is elected?
As the candidates begin to step forth, let me just say the propaganda has already begun.  Another term we use is “mudslinging.”  Because we live in a nation of freedom of speech, propaganda and mudslinging have been legalized.  Much of the power of propaganda is due to the media power houses and how far they want it to go.  Please understand that I am not complaining that we have freedom of speech, but I am simply stating that the truth can be twisted to become propaganda to “cause harm to an institution, a cause, or a person.”  The object of propaganda is that we would jump on someone’s bandwagon of ideals.  By the way, the term bandwagon was used by Boston merchant, Edward Filene, in 1936, when he studied propaganda and its power. And did you know that in 1933, Hitler appointed a Minister of Propaganda?  Need I say more?

Let me interject here that it is the responsibility of the individuals of the Church to pray for Divine direction, wisdom, and the will of God concerning every election.  It is not too early to begin now for the next presidential election.  Let us pray that truth will be on the forefront of our hearts, minds, and spirits, to make the decision that God would have us to make, established on His Word and will.  Every election is not just political, but moral and spiritual as well.  As members of the Church in which Jesus is the Head, our spiritual obligation is priority when taking part in the freedom to vote.

Propaganda.  It is all around us every day.  It is on every technological airwave.  It is in our mailbox practically every day, not just politically, but in marketing products of which we do not need.  What is the percentage of propaganda of the products that you hear about, read about, and see that you really need in your life?

Now the pharmaceutical companies have jumped on the propaganda-pushing bandwagon and promoting what is best for your bodily conditions and functions.  Then, in fine print, are listed the conditions that the prescription may cause in your body that are far worse than what you already have.

I could easily go on and on concerning propaganda and our society, but I best get to the spiritual aspects of propaganda.

The serpent used propaganda in the Garden by telling Eve, “You won’t die if you eat the fruit.  In fact, you will become like God.”  Propaganda.  The same tool is used today.  “You can look at that.  You will get by.  Nobody else will know.  You can do that.  It is okay.  You deserve that drink.  It won’t hurt you to look at porn.  You can have dinner with them even though you’re married.”  Propaganda.  It is “information of a misleading nature used to promote (satan’s) cause or point of view.”  Let’s identify it for what it is.  It is an invitation to sin.

Now before anyone rips this Devotional up in anger and stating I just went too far, let me say that Romans 3:23 is absolute truth. “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.”  1st John 1:8 states, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”  As long as we are in these fleshly minds and bodies, there will be sin.  Read this carefully. The issue is not the occasional sin, but that the occasional sin leads to a willful, deliberate, practice of sin.

1st John 3:9 (Amp.) says, “No one born of God deliberately, knowingly and habitually practices sin.”  Hebrews 10:26 states, “If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remained no more sacrifice of sin.”  What steers us away from the knowledge of truth?  Choosing to believe the enemy’s propaganda.  Every person who is a believer in Jesus Christ is subject to the enemy’s propaganda.  We are the ones he is after.  “The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy,” John 10:10.  He has no morality, no standards, and no borders when it comes to speaking lies to believers to get us off track of the simplicity of Christ.  I find myself quoting this Scripture constantly, but it describes the day we live in, though Paul spoke it to the Church in Corinth a long, long time ago.  “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled (or misled) Eve through his subtlety (or seduction from truth), so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” ( 2 Corinthians 11:3)

I had intentions in this May Devotional to enter into the propaganda of false prophets and teachers, but as I write this, I feel a strong urge to bring this to a close and give you time instead to check your life for any propaganda that may have steered you from Jesus.

On one of those snowy, wintry days in February, I took some time to go through some files that I have accumulated in my years of ministry.  When I say files, I am saying
actual paper/folder files and not electronic files.  I had files from the 90’s that contained information that I had completely forgotten about.  In those files was much propaganda, information I kept that was not only of no use to me or the Kingdom, but information that would actually distract me from Jesus.  Needless to say, I threw it in a couple large empty paper bags that at one time contained 50 lbs of corn and I had a bonfire.  I am not going to tell you I felt a great spiritual burden lift or I saw an angel appear in the fire, but I do believe that it was an act as unto the Lord to let Him know I am coming full circle back to Him.

I can confidently say that no one reading this may have as many files or any files of propaganda stored in boxes, but it will please the Lord to search your life and rid it of any needless propaganda of the past and present.  Then, let us make a decision as well to allow Holy Spirit to reveal any future efforts of the enemy to place any propaganda in our lives.  Let us proclaim together that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God” and be determined to build our lives and the Church on that Foundation.  Then the gates of hell will not prevail against us.

Let me close with the words to a song we sing at Rhema House of Worship.
The song title is “Jesus At The Center.”
Jesus at the Center of it all.
Jesus at the Center of it all.
From beginning to the end
It will always be, it’s always been You Jesus.
Nothing else matters.  Nothing in this world will do.
Jesus, You’re the Center, and everything revolves around You.  Jesus, You.

Let’s come full circle back to the Center, to Christ.

Pastor Wes