April 4, 2020
Calvary –A Counterfeit Cross
John 14:6 (KJB) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
God’s Word emphatically declares the only way to an eternal relationship with God is through Jesus Christ.
Yes, sadly, even the precious shed blood sacrifice of Calvary has a spiritual counterfeit at work in this world. It is a darkly inspired effort cleverly designed by satan to dupe gullible people. Satan desires to hijack the natural heart and mind of mankind by filling it with increasing darkness, a critical spirit, condemnation, and blame rather than harboring the presence of God alive in a changed heart forged by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Satan has an analogous but spiritually bogus agenda at work in this world intended to capture the attention of wayward men and women. It is a dark platform on the highway of life upon which mankind can effortlessly stand in his own strength and will for there seems there is no personal cost in doing so. It is a free-spirited and fun pathway which is constructed in such a manner to look similar to God’s graceful pathway. Satan’s avenue appears outwardly to be a palatable pathway of fun. A nice, moral, and kind avenue filled with an abundance of love and acceptance. Nevertheless, spiritually speaking, it is vastly dark and deadly; it has no sense of sin or judgment and far removed from God’s holy and righteous way.
Exactly what does Counterfeit Christianity convey into the hearts and minds of the spiritually dead or those who are wayward but have been spiritually regenerated? How about things such as staunchly standing in worldly ways, erroneously by downplaying God’s Truth and authority while elevating oneself. It a preacher who chooses to entertain rather than preach, has a passion for singing the wrong songs, and reading and studying with corrupt Bibles. He speaks with the wrong words; he stands when he should be kneeling, or stands to face in the wrong direction. He chooses to teach about facts and mistakes rather than articulating about the Truth and commandments of God. He chooses to walk along many wandering pathways instead of walking upon the narrow pathway. He centers worship around other people, objects, and gods, rather than devoting it upon The One and Only God.
Counterfeit Christianity is always spiritually cut throat, cunning, sly, and deceitful. It draws upon unsuspecting men and women to imprudently partake of satan’s brand of spiritual darkness, always readily available to serve up to hungry hearts. Counterfeit Christianity aligns the dead in spirit, or the disobedient man, to “dance with the devil” rather than to humbly fall to his or her knees in reverent worship and honor of God.
Counterfeit Christianity is centered upon worshipping created things rather than properly honoring God, who is The Creator. The book of Romans speaks of this ghastly spiritual phenomenon in Romans chapter 1:24-25. The natural man is fond of worshipping things of this world, rather than choosing to celebrate things of a divine eternal nature. The waving of a counterfeit cross is centered upon the hailing of worldly things, while Calvary spiritually salutes the eternal nature of God. Only Calvary allows a renewed man to find eternal victory and unmerited favor of God through faith placed in the finished spiritual work of His Son Jesus Christ.
Counterfeit worship is nothing new in this Age of Grace. False worship was celebrated in ancient biblical times by the Israelites while on the way to the Promised Land under the godly leadership of Moses. Moses was busy obediently serving God on the mountain top Aaron and the unruly crowd waiting below in the valley were busy celebrating and worshiping in an idol of a golden calf. Aaron’s choice of behavior proves any man called to serve God can get waylaid by following a wrong or alternate spiritual pathway.
It is not uncommon for spiritual leaders today to be leading nowhere but to hell. Sadly some are pretending to stand tall and lead others in a godly spiritual direction. Still, many in this crowd lag inwardly while outwardly being pew warming congregations. Choosing to be “Sunday only Christians,” sadly, they decide to feed their flesh six days a week and partake of a few righteous spiritual bites during Sunday services. The false professors, the wayward hearts, and the spiritually lost souls all have spiritual issues, perhaps an ear problem, an eye problem, and a heart problem individually or collectively. Instead of hearing and seeing Jesus Christ’s precious blood willingly sacrificed on Calvary, these men can only hear blah, blah, blah, and focus on only palatable pleasures found in this world rather than finding lasting joy in things of God. The wayward heart sees and understands the shed-blood sacrifice of Calvary but makes his choice to remain spiritually indifferent and foolishly apathetic by taking the easy way out by walking on the wide avenue of this world rather than trudging through spiritual ravines and challenging times while serving and savoring God along His narrow way.
The wayward man may be hard-pressed to break down and separate what seems at first to be inconsequential differences between God and that of satan. Just like Eve, when mankind does not intimately know and apply God’s scripture, he is unable to place truths of God in their proper perspective or cares to strive to be obedient. That is why many unsuspecting professing spiritual people can are found to appear tall but are facing in the wrong eternal direction. Instead of looking at the cross of Calvary, they are looking at dead sacrifices, reasoning, and earthly origins, all of which are socially fashionable in this world. Their feet are busy moving along a pathway that “seems” to be spiritually genuine but ultimately leads them away from eternal truths of God and into the pit of hell.
It is true; the natural man cannot hear and perceive the truths of God because his spiritual eyes and ears have been shuttered. He cannot recognize the Truth until his spirit has been quickened alive, supernaturally by God. Perhaps unsuspecting men in this world can be hoodwinked by fake and fickle idols, ideals, and sacrifices, and foolish people can choose to be misled, but God is never surprised by any natural man’s ill heart condition. Satan’s alternate spiritual agenda always works with the darkness found inside man’s natural heart condition. The Prophet Jeremiah understood this. In ancient times he asked this in Jeremiah 17:9 (KJB) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? This prodding question helps us understand that man’s innate heart condition is desperate and spiritually deadly. Good and eternal spiritual health can only found in a personal relationship with God.
God knows the heart of every man and every trick of satan. He always knows exactly what condition resides inside the heart of every man, despite the presence of any pretense or spiritual sham working in a person’s life. Wrongly believing “phony baloney based beliefs” about God and His Son Jesus Christ is always a heart issue. This spiritual ill condition relies upon faulty ears and eyes and reliance upon a worldly foundation, which is based on emotions and bound up in circumstances, rather than being securely grounded upon the solid eternal footing of God. Bogus dark agendas are easily swayed by the opinions of man and blown about by strong contrary winds blowing in this world rather than relying on the never-changing presence, and tranquil peace only found inside the supernatural strength of God.
Calvary has always been a spiritual fixture. A glorious spiritual event prophesied by God since the beginning. Yes, Calvary was on God’s mind since the foundation of this world. It was not a surprise or last minute plan that was thrown into the biblical record of ancient history. Take note of the plural “us” in this scripture verse recorded about creation:
Genesis 1:26 (KJB) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
This verse boldly points to the involvement of the trinity of God; Father, Son, Spirit, from the very beginning of creation. God, in His whole essence, is involved in every aspect of mankind and of every event of this world from the commencement until the very end of time, for He is The Author and Finisher of our faith as aptly inspired by God to be recorded in the book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 12:2 (KJB) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Calvary represents a secure and eternal holy transaction completed in God’s timing. There is no need for it ever to be altered or amended. Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is the reason that man’s choice of “religiosity” or “natural foolishness” can only progress so far. Man’s work is always halted by supernatural conditions found beyond satan’s limited strength and control. The supernatural power and presence of God are above satan since the beginning and cemented with the final transaction of Calvary.
Churches operating in spiritual darkness rather than inside the light God are missing many necessary spiritual factors, including some or all of the following: Recognition of the spiritual work of Calvary and His resurrection, making eternal life available to all mankind. Dead churches are often missing sermons with any mention of Jesus Christ, His Word, or fail to provide a clear warning about sin. Instead, there are thoughts and discussions involving physical disease rather than spiritual sickness, the making of mistakes, and dealing with facts, rather than fiery preaching about sin. There is no altar call or conviction, no sowing seeds of Truth, or witnessing to others outside the church for plating His gospel message for desperately sick hearts. These “Pseudo Churches” attempt to magnify God as a best friend. A good buddy. God is characterized as a god of love and having nothing to do with judgment and hellfire. God is not presented as an eternal King, an earthly King, or a King desiring to be present inside sick hearts.
But… Wait a minute! Hold the door!
Do you know that many people are seen in the right position (kneeling before God), to be walking on the right pathway, singing the right music, praying to the name of Jesus Christ, using the right Bible, tithing to God, and so forth, but internally are loaded down with huge internal spiritual hitches because the working attitude of their heart is far removed from spiritual agreement with God?
Counterfeit Christianity can also be found outwardly to look right, smell right, sound right, taste right, and feel right, but on the inside of the heart, it poses as an imitation, a mock Christianity. Such a heart position is eternally wrong. Only God intimately knows about the condition of every man’s heart and knows his or her spiritual standing in Jesus Christ.
God’s eternal spiritual business commences with Calvary, for without it, there is be no possibility of living forever. A Counterfeit Cross only leads to eternal death. Genuine faith placed in the precious sacrifice of the Lamb of God upon Calvary ushers in unmerited grace and eternal life for mankind.
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Sign up to receive Take Up Your Cross Daily Devotional blog HERE The Gordons reside in rural North Central Ohio, have two grown sons, and a spoiled German Shepherd and a Lab puppy, and enjoy camping in their free time.
Copyright © 2021 The Crucified Life Ministries*, All rights reserved www.tclministries.org