When I was a child growing up in a small town in Idaho, there was a spiral slide on the back side of the three story courthouse/jailhouse that served as a fire escape for the entire building. It was such an irresistible attraction that we would risk the displeasure of the sheriff and climb up the slide (with great difficulty) to the third story, slide down, run away and hide behind a nearby hedge. What fun! When I consider the passage above, I think of that slide. Once you began down the slide it was very difficult to stop until you hit the bottom.
The wisdom of the world spirals downward through three definable stages of decadence, each adding its strength to the other, at every stage departing further from the true wisdom of God. It is first earthly and then it becomes sensual and then, as it spirals ever downward, it becomes overtly devilish.
If the church embraces this worldly wisdom they, regardless of their heavenly calling, put themselves in the gravity of this world system. So begins their downward spiral slide. Whatever the world is doing today the worldly church will be doing before ten years have passed. Every political move, however godless it may be, has over time been received and approved by religious leaders. It should not surprise us then that "same-sex- marriage" is now being approved by an unnerving percentage of young evangelicals. According to a study commissioned by Religion & Ethics News Weekly, 26% of young white evangelical Christians support same-sex marriage. Fifty-eight percent of them support either civil unions or same-sex marriage. The same is true of abortion. Where does this wisdom come from? This wisdom is first earthly.
Those who embrace this wisdom will soon become victims of the dark angel who still covets the most sought after throne (See Isaiah 14: 12-15). This is just the beginning of sorrows. This earthly wisdom views greatness as the world views greatness. It defines prominence in terms of wealth, education and position and so concerns itself with money, title and rank, which all stand in direct antithesis to the servant-Christ. In Philippians chapter two, Paul contrasts this ambition to be great and the electioneering required to accomplish it to the lowly mind of Christ. When we lose this mind we have lost our way and this is exactly what has happened.
Years ago my wife, Charlotte, and I were part of a small, relational body of believers in Montana. In the beginning this group was a family, living in community and serving one another in the love of Christ. Before long, the leaders of this small assembly felt it necessary to go to Kansas City to receive training from a church there that was on the "cutting edge of church government." When they returned they brought with them the literature needed to teach this earthly brand of leadership to the rest of us. This new program became suffocating and soon the life we had in Christ was choked out of the gathering. Since then, over about a 25 year period of time, I have watched that same church in Kansas City that introduced this false teaching gradually and increasingly become more sensual and devilish. I don't mean to blame them for all the bad fruit that followed in our little Montana church, but with the introduction of their teachings things immediately began to unravel. Before long the windows of that little church building had plywood over them and the doors were locked for good. That building stands today as a witness against the worldly wisdom that destroyed the fellowship gathered in it.
Since then there has been a marked move from the purely earthly to the sensual in that Kansas City church and the others that have spun off it. Three of their most predominant "prophets," as they call them, have repeatedly committed gross moral sin. The one that they referred to as "a super prophet" has since been exposed as a homosexual and an alcoholic. Another, perhaps the most controversial of them all, was exposed for encouraging women to undress in his office so they could stand "naked before the Lord" in order to "receive a word." At this point things had gone well beyond the earthly to the sensual. But there was more to come. This wisdom would soon take on fuller manifestation. The earthliness and sensuality would soon give way to an overt manifestation of the demonic.
When we judge things by their fruit it becomes apparent that something is either very right or drastically wrong. The wisdom that comes down from above is full of mercy and good fruit, but if it is earthly it soon becomes sensual and expresses an appetite for the sensational. This means anyone selling religious wares must keep pace with this degeneration. They must go with what appeals to their customer base and so they become more and more sensory in their hype and delivery and the people love to have it so (see Jeremiah 5:31). New extremes must be reached to satisfy the sensuous crowd. The emphasis is more and more on "feelings" and the titillation of the senses.
Recently an evangelist also connected to the church in Kansas City ran across the stage and violently kneed a man who had stomach cancer in his stomach, cheered on by the sensuous crowd . Needless to say, the man went down "under the spirit." This same evangelist in that same series of meetings bragged about kicking an old lady who was praying at the altar in the face with his "biker boot" because God said He would not move if he didn't do it. The sensuous crowd laughed and applauded with glee as he told this story. Needless to say, that little old lady also "went down under the power." Then he told another story about a time when he ran down the aisle and hit a little Asian man, knocking him down and knocking out one of his teeth. The crowd shouted, applauded and "gave all praised the Lord." (I used to think that I was a street fighter before Christ redeemed and gloriously transformed me, but now I realize that I was an evangelist.) It didn't stop there. It never does. It became devilish. Added to all this sensationalism were "miracles," satanic lying signs and wonders.
When we go the way of the earthly we will soon crave the sensual. If left unchecked we will soon be driven by a heroin-like addiction for the sensational that requires a greater and greater fix. We go down the spiral slide to the next and last manifestation of this wisdom which calls from below. With spiritual discernment left far behind, Satan himself is able to come unopposed as an angel of light, posing as God, sitting in the seat of God showing himself to be God (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) . He long ago declared his desire to "sit upon the mount of the congregation" and now he is doing it. Soon everything becomes devilish. And the churches that embrace this wisdom finally become the haunt of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. (See Revelation 18:2 KJ2000.)
This is the deception of all deceptions because it is thought to be divine. They call it "revival." They think it is a "blessing" and they want to take it around the world. Unsurprisingly, however, before that could happen this very biker evangelist "entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff" and the last we heard is suing for divorce. Many are now calling this fruit by its correct name, but not all. Few in leadership--if any-- will denounce the "wisdom" that led to it. This is the real concern. Things will become increasingly devilish as men continue down the slide. This degenerative wisdom will continue to grow and manifest its rotten fruit until we repent of it or are found under the judgment of God.
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:4-5 RSVA)
To offset this evil, Father God has set the following passage of scripture before our eyes as a guiding principle of life.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:1-11 RSV)
Father, give us the wisdom and grace to forsake the wisdom of this world and its prince! Free us from our greed of money and our lust for position and popularity and the strife that follows the pursuit of them. Give us eyes to truly see your Son who showed us the wisdom of heaven. Though He was equal with You, He made Himself of no reputation and became an obedient servant even to the horrible death of the cross! This is the wisdom of heaven. Give us that wisdom, Father!to top