*personal note: I wish to thank all of you who have prayed for my husband’s health these last
almost-eight months as he has undergone four different surgeries. His heart, hip and eyes are
healing well and we give all the glory and praise to our Lord and those who faithfully prayed to
bring him through this long ordeal. Bless you all. 💗
THE SIMPLICITY OF JESUS
“ the simplicity that is in Christ” 2 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV)
This is a true story in all of the sweetness and simplicity that only the Lord by the power of His Holy Spirit could orchestrate. Therefore, I will tell it all to you in that spirit.
After my husband and I and our two teenagers were born-again in the 1970’s our first military assignment was to Honolulu, Hawaii. Since base housing was not available at the time, we rented a house two miles straight up a hill overlooking Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base.
There was nothing run-of-the-mill about what happened in those three years in Hawaii.
For over a year the Lord burdened my heart for the teens on that island. Repeatedly, I would find myself in deep intercession after the kids went off to school. Then we moved on base at Hickam AFB. Our kids made friends at school and at their jobs as baggers at the base commissary. There was a small Sunday School of about 10 kids on base. One weekend a retreat was planned and our kids asked us to be chaperones. My husband had a deep desire for the Lord to reach one of the young teenagers…and, gloriously, at that retreat, He did. A week after we came back from that retreat, the base Head Chaplain phoned and surprised us with a request: the present Sunday School teacher was divorcing his wife and resigning from Sunday school – would we take over the position? We waited on the Lord and happily agreed. That next Sunday attendance multiplied in size I think because of that wonderful retreat.
This is where the real wonder of God’s story begins. About a month after we began the class a noted Christian speaker came to a hotel in Honolulu – his topic: Rock Music. We told our Sunday School class to bring all their friends and about 40 kids showed up. After listening to this anointed speaker for only about 20 minutes, our group began talking among themselves that they wanted to leave. They had heard enough to be deeply convicted. We went to the rooftop of the hotel’s outdoor garage and ministered to those broken teens. One of them couldn’t stop sobbing no matter who talked to him and no one could understand what he was saying. Finally, someone discovered what he kept repeating: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” He was completely under conviction about the music he’d been listening to.
Eventually, we had everyone go home… we thought. We took our niece home only to discover when we returned to our house that the living room was filled to the brim with all the teens we thought we had just left. They still wanted to talk! That was Friday night. Two days later was Sunday School – but it did not go according to plan. All the teens had gotten together, brought in a 55 gallon drum, put it in the middle of the classroom and – their idea, not ours – began to toss all their rock music records, tapes, etc. into the drum with the instructions to us that we were to find a way to dispose of all of them! In addition, they also decided that Sunday school was not sufficient; they wanted classes on Friday nights also so they could learn more about the Bible. So began classes that often lasted 2-3 hours as we dug deep into God’s Word.
The story doesn’t stop there. Two weeks after we began our Friday night Bible study sessions a young man showed up, the guest of one of our regulars. Three of our saved boys took him out to the lanai to speak with him as the praise and worship and Bible lesson went on in the living room. Then my son called from the lanai and asked me to come outside because “Sam” was acting strangely. Sam was a skinny track star. Two of the guys with him were of heavy-weight wrestling build. When I came out, they could barely hold Sam still. He was struggling mightily in their grasp. In addition, he was speaking atrocious blasphemies in the most horrendous, guttural, unnatural voice any of us had ever heard. I tried to lay hands on him to pray for him and he instantly turned pale as a ghost and fell over. In actual truth, we all thought he was dead. (I know this sounds dramatic but each of us there will never forget it). All I knew to do was plead the Blood of Jesus over him and command this “thing” to leave him – I surely had never seen anything like this. We decided to move Sam into the living room. We explained to everyone there what was happening and asked anyone who wanted to continue praying with us to stay in the living room while my husband took the rest of the group out to the lanai. Some stayed, including a female track star. During this time, Sam opened his eyes once – they were completely black with one yellow slit in each one – like a cat.
One of the teens who stayed received a verse from the Lord that brought to light that as soon as Sam’s voice was normal and the blasphemy was gone that that meant Sam had been set free. Not even five minutes after we prayed for him in the living room, his eyes blinked, he smiled the sweetest smile and all was well. Jesus had set him free exactly as He had done so often in the Bible.
A couple of months later the teens came to us stating they wanted the base Chaplain to instruct them in baptism so they could be water baptized. Oh, the joy of that day as we watched all those kids be baptized in the Pacific Ocean!! In addition, each week as they requested, we would pray for them to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. They initiated all these actions, not us. More accurately, God moved on them to do so.
I will end this on one more incredible note. Remember the female track star who watched as Sam was set free from the power of the enemy? Well, she announced to the group one Friday night that she had leukemia and asked us to pray. This was almost 35 yrs. ago when leukemia was basically a death sentence. So we prayed…and felt led to the story of Jairus’s daughter who was thought to be dead yet Jesus brought her back to life. We went to this young track star, anointed her with oil, laid hands on her and asked her thoughts. They were so beautiful. She said: “I’ve seen with my own eyes the power of the enemy and I’ve seen the power of Jesus over him. I know Who wins.” Miraculously, He did. All the many months we still remained in Hawaii she kept running in track meets and performing exceptionally well. Yes indeed, “He won.”
All this started by the Lord convicting a bunch of kids about the danger of rock music and their repenting. As simple and pure as that. With that conviction He put inside them a strong hunger for the Word of God coupled with a desire to obey Him. The base Head Chaplain, their parents and people at church noticed Jesus in these kids and commented on it to us. When we were transferred to another base, we were all aware that we had been allowed to participate in a Holy move of God. Forever after we would have a standard by which to measure if what we saw was truly of Jesus. These kids had a deep hunger for the Word of God and a sincere desire to obey Him. Their lives were evidence of their commitment. While there were times of high excitement during those many months, it was the steady, sure daily walk with the Lord that characterized their lives. There was a purity, peace and joy about these kids. The Lord changed so many lives forever during that time.
A DIFFERENT SPIRIT
Yet there was one event of a completely contrary nature that occurred that we also never forgot. A big-name Christian celebrity came to town and held a huge rally at Aloha Stadium, home of the Pro Bowl. The newspapers publicized the “extraordinary” activities occurring, mostly highlighting row upon row of people who “fell like dominos as they were ‘slain in the spirit’.”A number of our kids decided to go. Even though we warned them of the unbiblical nature of what was occurring, they were curious, so off they went. They came home sorely disappointed. Yes, it was very exciting as they all fell down like everyone else…but it also left them feeling empty. They realized that they fell down because they got caught up in the excessive emotions not in a true move of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, the power of suggestion is a mighty force. They learned a lot that night. So did I. Through all these ensuing years the knowledge I gained from these experiences has only cemented itself deeper into my spirit. I learned more of the characteristics of the holy and also of the profane.
Music can be used for the glory of God in holy praise and worship. Unfortunately, it is also powerful enough to be used as a force to excite the senses, soul and the spirit. There is a possibility it may not originate from the Holy Spirit but from a “different spirit” (2Corinthians 11:4). Through all these years with the Lord I’ve noticed something interesting: it is often those who have a desire for a deeper walk with the Lord who can be deceived. I think it is because of their deep zeal and want of a more intimate relationship with Him that makes them sadly susceptible to shouts of “More, Lord” and “Let the fire of the Spirit fall.” In their zeal they forget that the Bible has given us a sacred balance to our emotions. The freedom of 1Thessalonians 5:20 “Do not despise prophecies” is immediately balanced in the next verse by “Prove all things.” 1John 4:1 also warns: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test (prove) the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Today the need for this balance is even more necessary because of the mass explosion of deceptive teachings often aimed at the youth through the growth of social media, YouTube, and stadium-filled conferences.
When young men and women leave the safety of their family and their family church, they will be susceptible to many teachings that are different from what they – and we – are familiar with. Sadly, because of mass media, they may even, while they are at home on their phones, be listening to popular teachers not Biblically sound; parents and youth pastors may not even be aware of this.
Each of us has a part in the body of Christ. Each of us longs to fulfill our parts responsibly. I have known since my first year with the Lord that He has called me to be a watchman, to sound an alarm (Ezekiel 3: 10-27). When we were all first saved, the Lord blessed me with a simple picture to explain to my children,Tracy and John, about being a watchman. If they were about to take a bath and the water looked clean and pure but I realized that somehow poisonous and burning lye had gotten into the water, I couldn’t stand quietly by and allow them to be harmed but instead would shout loudly enough to warn them not to climb into the bathtub. I wouldn’t want even their little pinky toes burned by that lye-containing water. Well, there’s another way to spell lye. That way is lie. Throughout their lives I have warned them and anyone else who would listen when the Lord told me there was “lie” in the water. How do I know if there is “lie in the water”? I prove (1Thessalonians 5:21) the water by extensive research using the Bible as the standard (Isaiah 8:20 “ To the law and to= the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them”). Only then can I correctly label it truth or lie. The following verses spoken by Paul in 2Corinthians 11: 2 – 4 speak of these lies…and also express my heart:
2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it.
True love does not wish to see any lost to deception. It is in this spirit of the deepest concern and love for the body of Christ, specifically its youth, that this research paper is written. It is meant to unmask a Pied Piper that has crept in unawares to steal the affection of the youth in the Body of Christ away from the simplicity and purity of Jesus. In the original story, the Pied Piper played an enticing tune and seduced the youth. The authorities and the parents were helpless to stop him. The youth were never seen again. The Pied Piper in the church is secular music.
Historically, Satan is known as an “enchanter,” the pied piper. Legends of Pan with the flute, depicted a pied piper leading the people (children) astray by his music ability… It is the beat, the rhythm that excites and stirs our fallen human nature even without words. It can affect the body, raise the heartbeat, loose the mind as well as affect the soul…Loud music appeals to young concert goers because they don’t just hear it – they FEEL IT.
The danger to the youth of secular music combined with Christian is just as real. In order to ascertain the Biblical viewpoint on this subject a close look at scripture is called for. These verses in 2 Corinthians precisely set forth the Lord’s commands of not mixing the clean with the unclean:
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them And walk among them.
I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”
17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you And you shall be My sons and daughters”
I began my walk with the Lord 40 years ago with an immense burden for youth which I assumed was simply because Tracy and John were teenagers at the time. Perhaps this present burden is because of my grandchildren, yet the stakes seem so much higher, the seductions and deceptions so much stronger for this generation.
In the next blog I will discuss holy – and profane – examples of worship in the Bible. In the next few blogs after that I want to discuss these different gospels and different spirits that are drawing the youth – and even adults – away from the simplicity of Jesus. When I was a newborn Christian, out of a deep desire to know the Lord as closely as I could, I encountered one of these different gospels myself and was totally taken in by it until the Lord had me investigate its origins further and come to a knowledge of the truth. Sadly, almost 40 years later that different gospel still lives – and flourishes – today. Even more sadly, others have joined its ranks. I’ve seen too much and researched too much to share it all. Yet I do not think the Lord would have me be totally silent. There’s too much at stake to let other believers be harmed by the lye.