Conserve What Is Good, but That Is NOT Enough
I was attending a denominational church that believed in the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit, but seemed to put certain limits on that power. This denomination has since opened up to the power of the Spirit to a greater degree than it had at that time. At that time, they were not all that open, but being Bible believers, the pastor was teaching from the Bible. One Sunday the pastor taught about the Holy Spirit and His mighty power and how one of the words used to describe the Spirit is the same word from which we get the word, dynamite. I left that service on cloud nine. To think that this mighty Spirit of God is available to us!
A couple of days later, I was in my car thinking about this mighty Holy Spirit. I wasn't very conservative of my old spiritual deadness. I was open to God's Spirit. Suddenly, it happened. I can't give a name for it, but my life was changed. I had been saved since I was about four years old. I don't remember a time when I didn't have the faith of God. Now, at about 19 years old, I was changed, never to be the same. The Holy Spirit was on me in a way that I had never experienced before. I had moved on to a higher height and deeper depth in Christ. The Bible opened up to me and it became exciting and alive. The worship services at our church became wonderful and full of the glory of God. My young wife wanted me to be more restrained, but I was about to jump out of my skin and into the arms of my Lord.
Scripture verses that had never made much sense suddenly made a lot of sense. I went to the pastor and asked him about apostles, prophets, miracles and speaking in tongues. He told me that those things were for the "apostolic age," as if there were such an age. He told me that those things were only temporary until that which is perfect is come according to first Corinthians 13, but his words rang hollow. I said, "Isn't this happening anywhere?" He said, "Nowhere." He was conserving deadness. I could no longer do so.
God has been restoring. There was a great falling away beginning in about the fourth century under Constantine, an expert politician who used Christianity for his political ends. Beginning in the fourteenth century with Wycliffe, then the Lollards, then Luther, Calvin, and the Anabaptist movement in the sixteenth century, God began His restoration. There were always those who wanted to conserve the spiritual deadness and that which was not according to Scripture, so there was persecution. In the eighteenth century, much was restored, but the emphasis shifted to an imbalance where doctrine had become devoid of the life factor. Just in time, God raised up the Wesleys and Whitfield and breathed life into the doctrine once again. This unfolding of Scripture and of Jesus Christ has continued, but each group seemed to, all too quickly, lose its ability to move on with God.
People can become conservative of the wrong thing. There was nothing wrong with the revelation when it was given. The revelation they received came from Scripture as unfolded by the Holy Spirit. In an effort to conserve the revelation, the people enshrined the concept (they actually enshrined a mental exercise) rather than the great revealer, Jesus Christ.
They refused to move on with God because they became disconnected from God and connected to an idea, a mental exercise of rationalized pseudo-faith rather than spiritual faith. They tried to put God's flowing stream into cisterns, but, as the prophet said, they were broken cisterns. So God moved on without them, still loving them and blessing them with what they had obtained from Him, but finding a new group of people in which to work.
In many cases, those who had refused to move on with God formed organizations, denominations, that eventually split into more and more denominations. Some kept pure the doctrine they had receive, though not moving onward with the Spirit of God. Some mutilated the gospel and have earned themselves shame. Some have even lost their very salvation having strayed so far from the truth that they are no longer connected to Jesus Christ or they sometimes become connected to a different Jesus.
The point is that it is good to conserve that which is good, but that is not enough. We need to move with the living, flowing Spirit of God, to higher heights and deeper depths in God.
Last updated: Nov, 2011
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