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(PROSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH) SCRIPTURE - ISA. 1:21                                                       NOVEMBER, 1996

HOW IS THE FAITHFUL CITY, BECOME AN HARLOT?! IT WAS FULL OF JUDGEMENT: AND
RIGHTEOUSNESS LODGED IN IT; BUT NOW MURDERERS

SUBJECT - THE PROSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH!!! [PART 1]

In this message, we need to see, just what God is saying about the way we live our lives today, and just what the primary cause of all of our problems, is.

[ECCLE. 1:9] says, '... there is no new thing under the sun.' lending credence to the fact that what is happening to us today, is nothing new. It has happened before, and will happen again, if the Lord tarries. The same cause of our problems today, with the immorality, crime, the hopelessness, is addressed in the subsequent verses to the subject scripture. It is my sincere hope, that after you read this entire message, that you will no longer be ignorant of what you need to do.

What is a harlot?? It is a woman, who, for money, or other gifts, will do whatever the person giving her the said, money or gifts, desires for her to do. This is usually, but not always, along a sexual nature. Today, we use the term, prostitute.

Well, the subject scripture, puts forth the question, 'How is the faithful city, become an harlot?' The faithful city, talked about in this verse, is the city of Zion, (a.k.a. the City of David). And just what were the main characteristics of this city? It, in effect, was the earthly representation, of what the Kingdom of God, was all about. It was a place, where righteousness, peace, and joy, were to reign. Named after David, a man, after God's own heart, it was a place where the reverence of God, and His laws and statutes, was its very foundation. When anyone committed sin, they were told to repent, or judged and punished. That punishment, consisted of anything from being whipped, all the way to death. Sin was not tolerated. When disputes arose, judgement was rendered, strictly on the outlines that God directed. The fear of judgement, and the knowledge, that God was dwelling in their midst, brought total peace, and thereby, joy.

But, something has gone wrong. This city, has changed. Where once, no person would even think of committing sin, now it is everywhere. Or more specifically, out in the open. It, in effect, has come out of the closet. There is no fear of God. Judgement has been perverted. There is no more righteousness, joy, or peace. Those that do good, are victimized, by the ungodly. The value of everything that they had, that attracted people from all over the world, like the Ethiopian queen, Sheba, who heard of the wisdom, and wealth of Solomon, and came to see it for herself, was now little more than yesterday's news (vs. 22). The influence of God, had departed. What happened??

Verse 23 says it all. God is saying, 'Your leaders, have become corrupted. They have taken up with thieves. They all love to receive gifts, and try to do whatever it takes, to get rewards from, not God, but from the people. In other words, whoever has the ability to give them the most money or the best gifts, will usually be able to do whatever they want. To make it simple, they prostituted themselves. When the just, came before them, with a complaint, they did nothing, and sometimes, punished them. People were taken advantage of, like widows, and orphans, and nothing was done.

Now, let's stop right there. Just what does this represent today?? It represents a place, where God's laws and statutes were to reign. It, in effect, was the earthly representation, of what the Kingdom of God, is all about. It was a place, where righteousness, peace, and joy, as well as the power of God, was present. The city of Zion, the City of David, has a new name, it is the Church. That's right, the Church.

When the Church first came in to being, (Acts 2:1-4), it had the total backing of God. It was empowered by Him. Each apostle, having walked with Jesus, had understood what God wanted them to do, and they did it. They preached His word, and enforced all things that God said they should do. As a result of this, the miracle working abilities that Jesus Christ did, while He was here, continued, in them. As a result of their first sermon, they put the fear of God in to everyone that heard, and understood what they were saying, and 3000 souls were saved. Throughout the book of Acts, many signs and wonders followed them.The Church was truly a place of righteousness, peace and joy. Just the way that God designed it. Sin, was not tolerated. Preachers, would get up in front of their people, and preach hell fire and brimstone. Signs of God's influence were there, backing them up. Read(Acts 5:1-10). God's judgement fell on a couple, that tried to deceive, what they thought was just a man, but was actually a representative of Jesus Christ, and they paid for it with their lives. That is the way the Church is supposed to be today. But, something has gone wrong.

All of a sudden, the Church, doesn't have the power that it had back then. There seems to be a total lack of understanding, as to what God says is right and wrong. There is no feeling of guilt, when a person commits sin. A God fearing person, goes to the preacher in the Church, and says that they were mistreated by someone else in the church, and they are told, we all have to love one another. Forgive them. They are then looked down on as troublemakers, and probably forced to leave the church. Every kind of foolishness is now in the open, in the church. People, come in to the church, burdened down, and leave the same way. It has become nothing more than a meeting place for all those that have ungodly motives.

Why is this happening??? The same thing as back then, has taken place. The leaders, the preachers, have corrupted themselves. They have sold out to the ones that can give them more money, gifts, and power, in their communities. These men, and sometimes women, have left the things of God, to pursue things that seem more readily available. All it takes, is for them to overlook certain things, or say that God doesn't have anything against what they are doing. Their message, is one of compromise. Gone, is the hell fire and brimstone message, replaced by the Burger King message of, 'have it (religion) your own way.' Come one, come all. We are here to make you feel good about yourself. We have all sorts of good things, that you will like to hear. Every one is o.k. It's not your fault. God understands. You can't help it. You were raised up in a bad neighborhood. You were abused as a child. You were born that way. God, is a God of Love. He is merciful, and won't let you go to hell. Once saved, always saved. Preachers making folks believe that they, the preacher, can preach them in to Heaven, no matter how bad a life they lived. These preachers, have turned churches, in to dens of iniquity. Adultery and fornication going on in the choir, on the deacon board, and in the congregation, and like the Church in [1 COR. 5:1 - 2], they get puffed up, and think they are in to something. And they are. Judgement.

Now, in verse 24, God is saying what He will do about them. He calls them, the preachers back then, and today, His adversaries, and His enemies. Remember, we are talking about religious leaders, right now. [1 PE. 4:17] says, ...judgment must begin, in the house of God, ... It must begin here, because, these are the ones that are responsible for getting God's message out, to you. And, if they have corrupted the message, by words or deeds, then, the end result is, that those that listen to them, will turn out corrupted.

Back then, the advisers to the king, were the priests. God, told the priests what to tell the kings, as far as ruling over the people, and in cases of judgement, and preparing for war. The kings, before they did anything, always went to the temple, or to the prophets, to seek the advice of God. They knew the importance of seeking, and hearing from God, before they did anything. To do otherwise, meant disaster. Therefore, if the man of God, delivered a false message, then a catastrophe, would result.

It is no different today. If you will notice, many politicians, make a habit, of going to church, so that they can appear to be seeking the consul of God, while they are, in reality, seeking votes. Now the fact that they come to a church, makes a lot of preachers popular in their communities, because they figure their pastor, has clout. Well, in case you don't know it, meaning you would have had to be asleep for the past fifty or so years, there is a big trade off. Those politicians, will usually attend churches, where they know the message being given out, aligns with their political agenda.

And sad to say, much of what these politicians stand for, especially the ones with a jackass as its symbol, is totally against God. But, because their pastor, says nothing, then the people think there is nothing wrong. So they support that politician, and he gets elected, and pursues the agenda he ran on, and somewhere down the road, it causes a disaster, and the people, as well as the politician, blame others for the problem. They never think that God, put the brakes on their plans, and not the other party.

These religious leaders, by not saying anything, helped destroy a city back then, and they are helping to destroy this nation, today. But, they don't care. Why?? Because their popularity with the community grew, when these politicians visit their churches, and give a good word, to other leaders in the community, who in turn support the pastor. This in turn, leads to larger congregations, which means larger offerings, which means bigger salaries.

Next month, we will see, just what is happening in this nation, and how preachers have caused the majority of our problems.

NEXT MONTH'S MESSAGE - THE PROSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH !! (2) [DEC. 96]

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