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The spiritual Trojan horse

 

This article describes a spirit that entered the Church many centuries ago and has been eating away at the spiritual heritage of believers in the Body of Christ. We will begin by establishing certain spiritual principles from Scripture. We will then put these principles together and reveal what this Trojan horse is.

 

Index

Justice before mercy

Mercy unto justice

What is mercy?

What type of "mercy" does the Church perform?

The hidden agenda




Justice before mercy

There are several Hebrew words in the Old Testament that are translated as "mercy" in English. Most of these Hebrew words, however, most closely correspond to English words such as "compassion" and "affection".  The Hebrew word that most closely matches the English word "mercy" is checed.

 

The first time checed appears in the Bible is in Genesis 19:19, when Lot is thanking God for saving him from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. In this same passage, however, Lot makes the mistake of asking God to allow him to flee to the "small" city of Zoar, instead of fleeing to the mountain, as God had told him to do. This mistake, as we will study in a future article (God willing), opened the spiritual door for him to commit unknowing incest with his daughters later in that chapter. We can say, therefore, that the word "mercy" is said for the first time in the Bible by a man with a half-hearted faith.

 

As an interesting contrast, the Holy Spirit decided to have the Hebrew word for "justice" or "righteousness", tsedaqah, appear for the first time in Genesis 15:6, and in Genesis 18:19 the second time, exactly one chapter before the first appearance of checed in Genesis 19:19:

 

"And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." (Genesis 15:6)

[Here, the narrator (i.e.-  the Holy Spirit) is speaking about Abraham]

 

"For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." (Genesis 18:19)

[Here, God is speaking about Abraham, prior to telling him about the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah]

 

We can say, therefore, that the word "justice" is mentioned twice in the Bible before the word "mercy" ever appears, and both times it is used by God Himself in reference to Abraham, a man of full-hearted faith.

 

The Hebrew word for mercy, checed, is said 12 times in the Bible before it is ever quoted directly from the mouth of the Lord just before He gives the 10 commandments:

 

"And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (Exodus 20:6)

 

Notice that the first time that God is quoted as using the word "mercy", He directly associates it with those who love Him and keep His commandments, i.e.- those who abide in His "justice" or "righteousness". The next time checed appears in Scripture is in the next passage:

 

"6And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." (Exodus 34:6-7)

[The words translated as "goodness" in verse 6 and "mercy" in verse 7 are the same Hebrew word checed. Isn't it ironic how the King James translators (along with most other translators) can translate the same word so inconsistently in two contiguous verses?]

 

Notice how verse 6 joins the word "mercy" (mistranslated as "goodness") with "truth", meaning that, for God, "mercy" is not legitimate unless it is accompanied by "truth", and no one can live in "truth" without abiding in God's justice and commandments, as the next passages illustrate:

 

"1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart." (Psalms 15:1-2)

[The word translated as "righteousness" is the Hebrew word  tsedeq, which is related to the word tsedaqah mentioned above; this word can also be translated as "justice" or "righteousness"]

 

"And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day." (1 Kings 3:6)

[The words translated as "mercy" and "kindness" are the same Hebrew word checed. Again, the King James translators did not even translate the same Hebrew word consistently within the same verse!!! The word translated as "righteousness" is the Hebrew word tsedaqah mentioned above]

 

To live in "truth", i.e.- to abide in God's justice and commandments, is not a matter of human effort, of man trying to reach God's perfection in the flesh. It is an attitude of the heart, a disposition to live under God's judgment fire and to allow the already righteous inner man inside of us to be manifested (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10). In 1 Kings 3:6 quoted above, Solomon speaks about God's mercy towards David, who is called a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22). What drew God's mercy towards David was not his human effort to live a righteous life, but rather his disposition to live under God's judgments (Psalms 19:9-14) and to constantly yield his will to the will of God.

 

From the above, we can conclude that the Bible, from the beginning, places a higher emphasis on justice than on mercy. This contrasts with most pastors' sermons, which generally focus on His mercy and rarely speak about His justice, in an effort to preach a Gospel that is pleasant to the believers' souls and "acceptable" to unbelievers. When God speaks about mercy, however, He immediately associates it with "truth", "justice", and "judgment", and this pattern continues throughout the entire Bible, as the next few passages show:

 

"My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man." (Proverbs 3:1-4)

 

"By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." (Proverbs 16:6)

 

"And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness." (Isaiah 16:5)

 

"And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies." (Hosea 2:19)

[The word translated as "lovingkindness" is the Hebrew word  checed, so it should really say "mercy" instead of "lovingkindness"]

 

"Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land." (Hosea 4:1)

 

"Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you." (Hosea 10:12)

 

"Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually." (Hosea 12:6)

 

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8)

[Notice that justice is mentioned before mercy in this verse]

 

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (Matthew 23:23)

[Again, the Lord mentions "judgment" before "mercy"]

 

If justice and judgment go before mercy in the Bible, how can we explain our salvation by faith? Even though our salvation is an act of mercy from God on our behalf, justice came first in two ways:

  1. Jesus had to die on the cross to pay for our sins. God could not wave off our sins and pretend like they never happened. God has been, is, and always will be a God of justice and judgment, so He always abides in "truth". To act as if our sins never took place would be a lie and a departure from truth. This is why He sent His Son Jesus to die for us and to take the judgment that our sins deserved.

     

  2. Even when Jesus died for the sins of all mankind, that "sin payment" is not made effective until we repent and yield our lives to God. When we recognize that we are unrighteous men and women under eternal condemnation (John 3:18) and that we are incapable of saving ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-10), what we are actually doing is accepting God's judgment about us. We are agreeing with what God is saying about us, and, when we humbly accept that verdict and cry out to God so that we may enter into His justice and righteousness, God's mercy is released upon us and we are saved. This is why the Lord said in John 16:8 that the Holy Spirit would come to convince the world of sin, justice, and judgment. All true believers come to Christ through conviction of sin, through the work of the Holy Spirit that makes us aware of God's judgments against our iniquity. When we accept Jesus into our hearts, we participate with Christ in His death, meaning that we share in His judgment:

     

    "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:1-4)

     

    When you and I were born again, we accepted a death sentence on our lives. We died to ourselves and yielded the rights of our lives to God. In conclusion, God's mercy could not come to our lives without first passing through God's judgments.

 

This twofold manifestation of justice before mercy in our salvation is the reason why the Hebrew word for justice, tsedaqah, appears twice in the Bible before the first appearance of "mercy" (checed in Hebrew), as we mentioned at the top of this section.

 

To emphasize the precedence of justice and judgment over mercy, let's revisit a passage quoted above:

 

"6And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." (Exodus 34:6-7)

 

Notice how the Lord speaks of mercy manifested through forgiveness in verse 7. But, in this same verse, He also speaks of not "clearing the guilty" and of visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children until the third and fourth generation. To truly understand this verse, we must first understand the Biblical interpretation of "visitation". In Scripture, visitation is always associated with two things:

  1. Judgment on evil

    In many passages where the Hebrew word for "visit" (paqad) is used, it is in reference to God visiting a people to execute judgment on anything and anyone that is in opposition to His Kingdom. It is similar to a "health inspector" who visits a restaurant to see if it is abiding by the city's hygiene code, ordering the correction of all violations, and even closing the place down if the restaurant is in flagrant and repetitive violation of the city's hygiene laws. Some examples of passages where the word "visit" is used in this context are Psalms 89:32, Isaiah 26:14, Jeremiah 14:10-11, Jeremiah 23:2, Lamentations 4:22, Jeremiah 6:15, Jeremiah 5:29, Isaiah 29:6, Exodus 32:14, Psalms 17:3, Psalms 89:14-18, Luke 19:43-44, and 1 Peter 2:12, to mention a few!!!

     

    It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for "visit", paqad, is translated as "punish" by the King James translators in many passages such as Hosea 4:9, Jeremiah 50:18, Jeremiah 25:12, Zephaniah 3:7, and Isaiah 13:11.

     

  2. Salvation of the righteous

    When God visits, He not only comes to destroy what is evil but to bring salvation to those of just and righteous hearts who are being oppressed by that evil. Examples of this are Genesis 50:24, Exodus 4:31, Exodus 13:19, Psalms 89:14-19, Psalms 106:4, Luke 1:68, and Luke 1:78-79.

 

This means that, when the Lord says in Exodus 34:7 that He will visit the iniquity of the fathers on the children until the third and fourth generation, He is actually saying that, in His love and mercy, He will execute judgment on the iniquity of the fathers upon their future generations in order to destroy that iniquity and save those future generations. For example, if a sincere believer has a sexual addiction, his children will have a door of iniquity open to them. If they decide to take up this "inheritance" of sexual addiction and continue in that iniquity, God will visit those children, bringing judgment on their lives in order to get them to leave that addiction. God will continue doing this until the third and fourth generation. After that, the iniquity becomes "hard-coded" into the descendant-line, and the believer's future descendants are left to the hardness of their hearts and cast off from God's purposes (until a righteous man or woman comes along and pays a price for their restoration, if that restoration is still possible). Notice how, once again, God links His mercy to His justice and judgment.

 

Mercy unto justice

The Word declares the following about God's mercy:

 

"4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:4-10)

 

Notice how this passage begins talking about God's mercy and ends by saying that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. This means that God pours out His loving mercy upon us to redeem us from iniquity so that we may walk in His righteousness. As we said above, this walk of righteousness is not through human effort, but by a disposition to yield to God's will and to allow the righteous man in us to be manifested. This "righteous man" is placed inside every believer when he or she surrenders his or her life to God. This "righteous man" is a just and righteous spirit, sinless and holy, which proceeds from God and is placed inside of us (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10). When God says that we have been "justified" (Romans 5:1), it is not as if He placed a bumper sticker on our foreheads that says "Righteous" when we really are unrighteous. It is not God pretending as if we really are righteous when we are not. God does not deceive Himself. When He calls us righteous, He does it because of the righteous "inner man" that He Himself placed inside of us. God is not interested in "improving" our sinful fleshly nature; He abhors that nature and wants to do nothing but destroy it. Instead, He wants you and I to manifest the righteous man inside of us, allowing that man to grow as our soul diminishes. This is why John the Baptist said,

 

"He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30)

 

This is also why the prophet Jeremiah said,

 

"In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness." (Jeremiah 33:15-16)

 

As the inner man inside every believer grows, that inner man becomes a source, a spring from which  justice and judgment emanate and is sent out into the world. We becomes vessels of justice and judgment that unleash God's kingdom on Earth. We can see, therefore, that God's mercy is for the purpose of the manifestation of justice and righteousness in us. This is why Paul wrote the following:

 

"1Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Corinthians 4:1-7)

 

Paul realized that God's mercy on his life (v1) was not so that he could live a self-centered biological existence of ease and comfort, but rather to be a vessel through which truth would be manifested on Earth. As we saw above, truth is intimately tied to justice and judgment in Scripture. Notice also how Paul commends himself to every man's conscience in the sight of God (v3). Since the "conscience" is the part of man that makes judgments (1 Corinthians 10:29), Paul is exhorting believers to judge him, and, when he says "in the sight of God", he is declaring his awareness that God is constantly watching him, so his works are constantly exposed to God's judgments. As a side note, it is interesting how Paul was willing to let fellow believers judge him, while most pastors today frown on any congregation member daring to say anything negative about them. Obviously, there is criticism in the flesh, and that type of criticism is wrong, no matter who it is directed at, but all believers have the authority in the Spirit to judge (1 Corinthians 2:14-16, Psalms 82:1, 1 Corinthians 6:1-4), and their judgment should not be a "respecter of persons" (Colossians 3:24, Ephesians 6:9, Romans 2:11-13, Acts 10:34). No one escapes judgment in the Spirit, not even pastors.

 

In verse 6 of the passage above, Paul says that God has commanded the light of the glory of God in the face of Christ to shine out of us. In Scripture, the Glory of God is associated with the weight of His justice; this is why men who faced the Glory of God fell on their faces to the ground (Ezekiel 1:28, Revelation 1:12-17). Therefore, we can say once again that the Bible shows a direct link between God's mercy and the manifestation of justice and God's Glory in us. The purpose of God's mercy is not to make us "feel good" but to make us be like Him. God's nature is Holy and Righteous. This is why He is described as a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29, Isaiah 33:14-16), a consuming fire where anything that is sinful or unrighteous is burned away. No unrighteousness can stand before God's Glory, and He wants you and I to emanate that same glorious presence on Earth. This is why He poured out His mercy to save us.

 

Most pastors, unfortunately, seem to think that God's mercy is designed so that we may live a nice and comfortable existence on Earth, with all our material desires fulfilled. This is why most believers are blinded to the linkage between God's mercy and His justice, and they end up visualizing His mercy as the mercy of a nice and kindly grandfather who wants to spoil his grandchildren with presents, without regard for their ethical growth and their development as responsible and mature human beings. God's mercy is eternal in scope:

 

"The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever." (Psalms 111:2-3)

 

"O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD" (Psalms 117:1-2)

 

"Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever." (Psalms 118:4)

 

He is out to make you and I to look just like Him for eternity. He wants you and I to shine like Him, to shine with His Glory forever and ever. I would say that that is more important than a nice house, a nice car, and a comfortable and uneventful existence on Earth.

 

What is mercy?

We have talked a lot about mercy so far, but what exactly is "mercy"? To answer this, we must go to the following passage:

 

"Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Luke 12:33-34)

 

The word translated as "alms" above is the Greek word eleemosune, which is derived from the Greek word eleos, meaning, "mercy". In other words, "to give alms" is to practice mercy. Therefore, mercy is giving to others who cannot provide for themselves. We can expand this definition of mercy through the following passage:

 

"41But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. 42But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (Luke 11:41-42)

[Notice how, once again, Scripture ties mercy (i.e.- giving alms in verse 41) to judgment (v42)]

 

The word translated as "such things as ye have" in verse 41 is the Greek word eneimi, which literally means, "what is within". This means that true, Godly, mercy implies giving of oneself. This, then, adds to our definition of true mercy:

True mercy is the giving of oneself to others who cannot provide for themselves

 

True mercy is more than giving something external. If something of yourself does not go with that external gift, it cannot be called "true mercy". This is why the following passage appears in Scripture:

 

"41And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." (Mark 12:41-44)

 

Giving out of your abundance is giving of what is not essential to you, so it really is an external gift with nothing from inside of you. This is why most people prefer to receive a shirt or a tie as a gift from a loved one rather than cash, because the shirt or tie implies that the giver put some thought into the gift, took time off of his or her busy schedule to go to a store, and went through the agonizing effort of deciding which shirt or tie would please the other person the most. All of this implied giving of oneself to produce a gift that would bless the other person. A cash gift is not as valuable because it involves little more than taking out your wallet and "shelling out the dough" (this is not to say that giving money is always bad or wrong, since money also represents the result of hours of work and effort, so something of yourself may be going in the money that you give, especially if you are not a millionaire with money to spare).

 

Jesus' death on the cross was an act of true mercy. He gave His entire soul life so that we might have spiritual life. When God decided to forgive our sins, He did not simply put out a decree in Heaven that gave us amnesty for our sins. That would not have been true mercy, because it would have been an external act that cost God nothing. Being a just and righteous God, He knew that justice had to be fulfilled, and decided to give His Only Begotten Son that we might have life (John 3:16).

 

This "giving of self" principle is reinforced by this passage:

 

"11And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? 12But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Matthew 9:11-13)

 

The phrase "I will have mercy, not sacrifice" in verse 13 means that God is not interested in us making external sacrifices for Him. As we mentioned in a previous article, God is not interested in your tithes and all the time you spend doing church-related activities if He does not have your heart. All your external acts should be manifestations of an internal sacrifice to God. You should do all things out of obedience to Him, not as a modern-day version of medieval "indulgences" that serve as payment to maintain control of your own life. God wants you to obey Him, and if that obedience means going against man's decrees and taking criticism and rejection from your peers (and even from your brothers and sisters in the faith), so be it. God is after you, not after what you have to give Him. If you are not willing to pour out your soul as a living sacrifice so that the purpose of God can be fulfilled in others, you are useless in His Kingdom, and all the "pastor-pleasing" church work and tithing in the world is worthless to Him. The Pharisees of Matthew 9 never got to understand this, and that is why they never got to practice true mercy.

 

Based on Matthew 9:12-13 quoted above, we can now complete the definition of "true mercy": 

True mercy is the sacrificing of self so that those who are needy of God's justice may be healed of their sin disease and may enter into a life of righteousness in Christ, the Anointed One

 

True mercy lifts other people up so that they may achieve their full spiritual potential in God. This is why, when the lame man of the gate called the Beautiful asked alms (i.e.- mercy) of Peter and John, they replied by doing the following:

 

"4And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God." (Acts 3:4-8)

 

True mercy does more than provide for a temporary need (which is represented by the "silver and gold" of verse 6). True mercy takes people by the right hand (which represents the righteousness or justice of God) and lifts them up (v7) so that they may walk in the righteousness of the Spirit (Romans 8:4) and fulfill God's mighty calling for their lives.

 

What type of "mercy" does the Church perform?

So far, we have established three Scriptural principles concerning true Godly mercy:

  1. Justice and judgment must precede true mercy

  2. True mercy is done for the purpose of producing manifestations of justice

  3. True mercy is the sacrifice of self so that others may walk in righteousness (i.e.- justice)

 

In the Body of Christ, unfortunately, the connection between justice and mercy is lost. Most pastors are currently emphasizing a mercy devoid of justice. They preach a God of "love and mercy" that is more concerned about "blessing" us than about the manifestation of righteousness in our lives. Pastors are constantly adapting the "Gospel" they preach to the likes and the soulish interests of the people they preach to. If the young people want Heavy Metal music, they give it to them, mixed in with "Christian lyrics" to make it sound "spiritual". If the young ladies want to dress and behave like Britney Spears, they don't mind, as long as they come to church and participate in the activities of the youth ministry (and as long as they don't end up pregnant, because, of course, that would cause the pastor and the congregation major embarrassment!). I know of congregations where members who sing in the choir have defrauded fellow members in business deals, without the pastor seeming to mind until the incident becomes public and threatens to "divide" the congregation and scare "sheep" away; in the meantime, they encourage the defrauded members to "forgive and forget", because God is "loving and merciful".

 

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not legalistic; I abhor legalism, because it is a sin against God (and, by the way, my taste in music would definitely shock most conservative Christians), but something is terribly wrong with the "gospel" that is being preached. There is no desire to preach a Gospel of love and sacrifice where we yield our lives completely to God so that His power and Glory may shine through us to convict those who do not know Him in order that they may enter into righteousness and live out the Glorious and Powerful prophetic purposes for their lives. Most pastors seem to preach a Gospel where we seem to be more concerned about what God can do for us than about what God wants of us. If the Christians of the Primitive Church had believed in the gospel that is being preached today, most of them would have abandoned the faith after the first wave of Roman persecution and slaughter.

 

We seem to believe that, by turning the God of Israel into a kindly and gentle Santa Claus, we are doing God a favor, because more people will "dig" the gospel and be saved, but, notice what the prophet Isaiah said, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit:

 

"9With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. 10Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. 11LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them." (Isaiah 26:9-11)

 

This is exactly how the prophetic remnant of today feels. Those who are part of the latter-day prophetic remnant are desiring, are desperately longing for the manifestation of God in the middle of the night of religiosity that has enveloped the Church (v9). As verse 9 declares, their spirits are seeking God early; they are waiting for the rising of the sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2). They are longing for the judgments of God to fill the Earth (Psalms 105:7), so that the inhabitants of the world may learn righteousness (v9); notice that they are longing for His judgments and His justice, not for His "blessings". As verse 10 declares, they understand that showing favor to the wicked (i.e.- to those who are unrepentant in their hearts) is useless, because they do not learn righteousness. They can be surrounded by upright people at church, but they will continue in their ways of unrighteousness, without regard for the presence of God. Verse 10 does not mean that we are not to show mercy to the unbeliever. Jesus came to save those who were lost, and that means that we are to be willing to sacrifice ourselves in love in order for them to enter into righteousness. When Jesus showed mercy towards the unbeliever, He allowed nails to be driven through His wrists and feet. He did not show mercy by pampering the iniquity of sinners. On the contrary, He constantly pointed out iniquity throughout His entire walk on Earth. He never condoned evil but instead fought against it, and (speaking in human terms) that fight cost Him His life.

 

Notice how verse 11 of Isaiah 26 ends with a warning about a judgment that will be unleashed upon the iniquity in the Church. Those who preach the gospel of "unjust mercy" do not see God's hand raised, ready to strike, but those in the prophetic remnant see it. A mighty operation is about to take place in the spirit world, and it will open the door for a Gospel of justice and judgment that will unleash the greatest manifestation of life and power the world has ever seen:

 

"26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:26-31)

 

Notice how Hebrews 10:27 above speaks of a fire that will "devour the adversaries", the same way that Isaiah does in verse 11 of chapter 26. This fire will be impelled by a remnant that is prophetically interceding, crying out in agony to God for a manifestation of His Glory and judgment. While most believers are interceding for longevity, cars, and natural blessings, the prophetic remnant is interceding for a presence of God so powerful and Holy in churches around the world that it will feel like a thick and heavy cloud, a cloud that will drive anyone physically close to it to a deep repentance and to a total transformation of his or her life. They are interceding for a powerful Church where all believers move mightily in the prophetic and the apostolic anointing, performing signs and wonders at a scale never seen before, fulfilling the prophetic words of the Lord:

 

"12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:12-14)

 

When Jesus tells us to "ask anything in His name" (v14), He is not talking about greedy believers asking for brand new cars and houses. He is talking about a prophetic remnant yielded to God's will, praying for a mighty prophetic move that will empower believers and release the salvation anointing among the unbelieving world like never before in human history. God will grant the desires of this prophetic remnant because it will be a group of believers focused on His kingdom and His judgments:

 

"1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 6Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday." (Psalms 37:1-6)

 

Verse 4 above is quoted frequently when pastors teach believers to ask for material things from God, but notice how this verse is surrounded by verses that speak about frustration over the surrounding iniquity and the longing for a manifestation of God's righteousness and judgment.

 

The hidden agenda

Why is "unjust mercy" the order of the day in today's Christian Church? The answer can be found by considering the famous story of the "Trojan horse". As many of you might know, a Greek writer named Homer wrote a story called "The Iliad", depicting the war between the Greeks and the Trojans. In Homer's story, the Greeks unsuccessfully besieged the city of Troy for 10 years in an attempt to rescue Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, who had been kidnapped by Paris, the son of the king of Troy. Because Troy's walls made the city impenetrable, the Greeks gave up on the siege strategy, and decided to overtake Troy through trickery. They built a giant, wooden horse, with some Greek soldiers hiding inside its hollow belly. They then gave the wooden horse to the Trojans as a peace offering, pretending to give up on their attempt to take the city. The Trojans accepted the gift, and were so excited about the end of the Greek siege and their humiliating surrender that the entire city went into a drinking frenzy. In the wee hours of the morning, as the Trojans continued to celebrate, the Greek soldiers inside the horse climbed out and proceeded to kill the Trojan sentinels at the gate. They then opened the gates of the city to the rest of the Greek army, which then entered Troy and slaughtered all the males, capturing all the females and selling them as slaves.

 

The Trojan horse in this story represents an act of giving that appears as kind and generous on the outside but which really has a hidden agenda behind it. Pastors refuse to preach a Gospel of justice and judgment, first, because their carnal minds cannot distinguish between legalism and righteousness, but also because they fear losing congregation members. Much like Aaron in Exodus 32, pastors are swayed by the concupiscence of men and fashion golden calves to the people's liking:

 

"1And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 2And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. 6And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. " (Exodus 32:1-6)

 

Isn't it interesting that verse 6 above speaks of "peace offerings", and that the Trojan horse was given by the Greeks as a "peace offering"? Isn't it also interesting that verse 6 speaks about the people eating and drinking and "rising up to play", and that the city of Troy went into a drinking frenzy after receiving the Trojan horse? The people got impatient when Moses "delayed to come down" (v1), and, in the same way, today's Church has gotten impatient waiting for a latter-day revival that never seems to come. Instead of seeking God's face to understand how He plans to get the revival started, pastors are feverishly looking for methods and techniques to get the congregations to grow in size, while watering down the Gospel to please as many people as possible. They fashion the calf according the people's pleasure, and then proceed to call it the "God that saved you from the bondage of Egypt", much like Aaron did in verse 4 above. This is why pastors preach of mercy without justice, reducing "righteousness" to a mere bumper sticker that God places on us when we are saved, and which serves as an authorization ID to get anything from God that we desire.

 

When pastors practice mercy without justice, condoning iniquity in an apparent act of love and understanding, they are not practicing true mercy, because, as we saw above, one of the key elements of true mercy is its giving of self, in other words, it's selflessness. True mercy gives without any hidden agenda. It does not give to get something back. It does not give to seduce souls and have a larger congregation. In John chapter 6, Jesus began to have a great number of followers who were impressed by His miracle of feeding 5,000 men with only 5 loaves of barley and two fishes. But, instead of thanking God for the "supernatural growth in membership", Jesus began to speak to them about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Such teaching sounded so ludicrous to these new followers that most of them left. Why didn't Jesus preach what they wanted to hear? Why did He have to scare them away with such a strange sermon? Because He was not after a "large congregation" or a "successful ministry". He was after Father's will, which is to beget sons and daughters in righteousness and judgment, people who will follow God out of a desire to abide in His righteousness and do His will, not out of a desire to get something from Him. Those new "disciples" followed Jesus because they wanted more free meals, and most believers today are following Jesus to see what they can get from Him, and that angers the heart of God.

 

Many pastors use their spiritual gifts to win the unconditional loyalty of the congregation. They subconsciously minister to the congregation a sense of dependency, portraying the members as sheep that need the spiritual gifts of the pastor and who are desperately lost without those gifts. Again, this use of spiritual gifts is not "true mercy", since the ministering of the gift is done in order to gain control of people by winning their adulation and their unconditional faith. When Jesus saw that the people wanted to make Him a king after the multiplication miracle (John 6:15), He departed to a mountain alone. He did not want their fleshly adulation and admiration. He did not want them to become soulishly dependent upon Jesus the human being. He wanted a people dependent upon God in the Spirit. This is why He left the Earth and sent the Holy Spirit. If Jesus, who is the incarnation of God's Word, refused to have other men depend on His humanity, why should pastors accept and promote this type of dependency?

 

True mercy also gives in order that justice and righteousness will be produced in the person who receives the mercy; if justice is not produced, the mercy giver will consider his or her effort to be "unsuccessful":

 

"37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 23:37-39)

 

Here, "Jerusalem" represents the established and recognized religious structures of the Church. When Jerusalem refused to accept God's judgment against its religiosity, against its man-made methods and structures, it denied itself access to "a peaceful surrender" and to God's mercy, because, as we saw before, acceptance of His justice and judgment must precede access to His mercy. When Jesus' attempts to give mercy failed because of Jerusalem's hard-heartedness, the judgment they refused turned from an opportunity to repent into total destruction and desolation. In the same way, today's Christian leadership has refused to accept its sin and repent, so God will unleash a spiritual judgment that will utterly destroy the human structures they so fervently protect, paving the way for a Church that will practice true mercy and shake the foundations of the world.

 

A few days before I began to write this article (on May 18th, 2004), I was praying to God, asking Him if the subject of "true mercy" was what He really wanted me to write about. I then heard God whisper the word "Troy" in my right ear. To be honest with you, I was surprised to hear that word, and, for a few seconds, I wondered what it meant. I first thought about Helen of Troy, and then remembered the story of the Trojan horse. As I thought about the story's meaning, it all became very clear in my heart. The next day, I was going through a newspaper and realized that the movie "Troy" had debuted at movie theaters a few days before.  I honestly had not paid any attention to the movie's publicity before then, and, if you had asked me, I would not have been able to consciously recall the movie at all. I believe it is part of God's prophetic purposes that this movie is being released at this time. Just as the enemy has introduced the Trojan horse of "unrighteous mercy" into the Church, God has already prepared a Trojan horse of His own to destroy His enemies!!! God willing, this will be studied in greater detail in a future article.