© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved|
Beware Of The Counterfeit!
Like never before, these are the days of the counterfeit, phony, hypocrite, deceiver, and imposter! Their greatest hideout is the Church House! Are you one of them?
Revelation 3:1 says - "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know Thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."
"Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead" - How many people today have this testimony? How many are fakes who have a Counterfeit Christianity - who profess that they have an attachment to the Lord Jesus and are branches hooked to the Vine, yet they are actually "twice dead, plucked up by the roots"(Jude 12) and producing no fruits of righteousness unto God?
They are "dead." In other words, they have No Life of Jesus in their souls. They don't walk consistently or steadily in integrity and uprightness before Him and before men. Their works aren't perfect but wanting. They are like the shell without the kernel; the shadow without the substance.
How can this be? Did they ever have Life?
The Lord Jesus wouldn't have included them as one of His churches if they never walked with Him. They once knew Him, but lost something along the way. Now they have become Counterfeit or fake. They are going through the motions, but God is not with them. They are like Samson who shook himself and didn't realize that the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him.
I wonder how many today are in this very condition. How many can honestly say that they are not where they once were with the Lord?
They used to be On-Fire and zealous in the things of God but lost their fire and zeal.
They once - ...had an insatiable desire to study the Scriptures night and day, but now they are too preoccupied with other things like jobs, careers, and accumulating possessions ..were Great Soul Winners and Mighty Witnesses for Jesus, but discouragement set in - only to steer them in another direction out of the Will of God for their lives ...preached like a House of Fire but faced Great Persecution because of their stand for Holiness and, resultantly, cooled off somewhat in order to please family, friends, or church members.
What can be said about yourself?
Are you where you should be with the Lord?
Have you grown spiritually over the past few weeks...months...years, or have you allowed distractions, the cares of this life, or its lusts and pleasures to draw you away from the Lord Jesus and His call?
What would people say about you today? Are you only a Christian in name?
Have you -
...lost your Fire?
...left your First Love?
...allowed hurts and offences from others to make you bitter and sour in your disposition?
"A name that thou livest, and art dead" - Is it possible that now all you can say for yourself is that you have a form of godliness, but have no power to back it up?
You once were lively and flourishing for Jesus! But now you are alive only in name!
Whatever happened to cause such a deplorable state of being?
You can find the answer in the Lord Jesus' rebuke to the Church at Sardis.
Revelation 3:2 goes on to say - "Be watchful..."
Apparently, the Church at Sardis let down their guard against Sin, Satan, and whatever was destructive to their life of godliness. They lost ground to the devil through carelessness, inattention, passivity, slothfulness, and spiritual slumber.
The Lord Jesus' words are meant to be a loud resounding Wake-Up Call to all who are in this same shape -
Be attentive and careful!
Be on the lookout!
Shake yourself from all dullness and passivity!
Get moving and be motivated once again!
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!
Get back in the Bible and in prayer!
Let God be your strength once again!
"Be watchful..." How we need to heed these words. There is much in this world that is fake and Counterfeit.
In Matthew 15:8, the Lord referred to Counterfeit Worship when He said - "This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me."
These people were showing much love in their words, but their heart was not in it. It was all a bunch of lip-service. Their hearts were habitually alienated and estranged to God. They entertained no serious thoughts of Him. Their affections were on the things of this earth. Their minds continuously drifted and wandered to carnal things. They had no concern for souls and eternity.
In 2 Corinthians 11:13, the Apostle Paul mentioned Counterfeit Preachers - "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ."
These are preachers who were never called by God. They ran, but He never sent them. They are imposters and enemies of the cross of Christ... are crafty and fraudulent...and know the language and wear the garb of the Real, yet they are phonies and fakes. Their main objective is to promote error and impose on others for their own advantage and gain.
In Galatians 1:6, Paul mentioned a Counterfeit Gospel - "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel."
"Another Gospel" would be one -
...of no restraints, no denying of the flesh, no Death to Self, and no Cross
...that doesn't change the individual from a sinner to a "new creature in Christ" where all the old desires, cravings, longings, attitudes, dispositions, habits, etc. of the past are gone and all things are become new
...that doesn't have a profound effect or influence on the Whole conduct of man
...that allows for ungodliness and worldly lusts and excuses Sin at every chance
...that is weak and can't hold up against Satan's power to tempt, seduce, and deceive the individual
...where everyone seems to be religious yet they have some bondage or propensity to Sin in their soul that still has control.
No such Gospel exists in God's Book! It's a Counterfeit - one that, unfortunately, many are embracing today.
In James 4:3, the Apostle James addressed the issue of Counterfeit Prayers - "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
So many were deceived into thinking that - because people were flocking to the Churches after the September 11th tragedy - America was experiencing a Revival of some sort. Yet now we see many of these same people have resorted back to their old ways, and many churches are just as dead, lifeless, and empty as ever.
From this verse, we understand that prayers can be offered with a right or a wrong motive. Just because people are praying does not mean that God is very much impressed.
Why are they praying? The Apostle James rebuked the people in his days for "asking amiss."
They were actually -
...asking evilly and wickedly
...seeking their own gain and prosperity
...covetous and quarrelsome and living with no regard for the feelings or rights of others
...desiring everything to go well for them so that they could spend their days in riotous living
With hearts so wicked and full of Selfish Indulgence, they went before the Holy One of Israel - Who reads the hearts of all men and knows the motives of each - and really thought that He would be obliged to give them the desires of their hearts!!!
"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss..." One thing about it - You may be able to deceive yourself, your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers, or brothers and sisters in Christ - But you can never "pull the wool over the eyes" of the Lamb of God!
Proverbs 15:3 tells us - "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good."
Hebrews 4:13 adds - "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do."
And Counterfeit Christians!
In Revelation 3:2, The Lord Jesus warned us to "Be watchful."
1 Corinthians 15:34 lets us know that it's time like never before to "awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame."
Revelation 3:1 states - "...thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."
May it never be said of us as Christians that we are Counterfeits!
May God Shine the Light of His Word upon our Souls this day - causing us to turn from that which is fake to that which is real.