Approval of Man

approval of man

Apostle Paul said, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ “(Gal. 1:10).

These Inspired words carried much weight back then and especially today. Sadly, there are untold masses of “believers” that say “I want approval of man, and if I get it then I will discuss Christ.” Sure, not openly, but in their heart and mind.  Oh how we cower at the thought of being “unpopular” or “rejected” of men and women!

Our Lord experienced this rejection first hand.

“He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”

These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this , said, ‘This is an hard saying; who can hear it’? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, ‘Doth this offend you? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

But there are some of you that believe not.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, ‘Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.’ From that time  many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, ‘Will ye also go away?’

Simon Peter answered, “Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:56-68)

Here Jesus was talking of some very deep things spiritually, yet even after having done great miracles prior to this, many were showing their true colors by their surface belief. Can you imagine being the Son of God and just having raised a young boy to life, and then to have most of your followers desert you because they can’t understand some things you said? We can only imagine the great feeling of rejection and disappointment He experienced.

Today, we have this very wide-spread problem. Truth is largely disdained among His professed people, for the sake of “human approval” first and foremost. Recently a personal experience brought this home so clearly that it prompted me to write about it.

Our local church as most churches do, has some “Bureans”. A certain woman, we’ll call Sally (name changed) and I had been discussing present truth over lunch. I gave her a two-part CD audio set called “God’s end-time servants”. She later listened to them and was quite joyful to learn truths of which she did not know. Our church, as we have posted many times, largely discusses the “past truths” instead of present truth, so this was quite refreshing to her.

She later called me letting me know her appreciation for giving her the CD’s. Later she told another church member Debra (name changed) and lent them to her. Debra got back to her very excited. So much so that she soon set up a Bible study in which she wanted to have several people discuss this “new light” she had heard and believed was truth.

I get a call from Sally saying there was to be a Bible study over the CD set I gave her, and that there were friends from church that were excited to learn “new truth”. She gave me Debra’s number and I  gave her a call. I introduced myself as a member of the local church of which she goes as well. She spoke about the Bible study to follow the next day. We discussed the CD set and what it contained.

Debra kept saying things like “This is truth and we need to tell the church about it!” Of course I agreed and said the present truth on the CD’s are not being allowed in church because it awakes the members to whats really going on. The leaders want the people asleep with the “peace and safety” message. All of this she agreed to and brought up some of her own good points.

We finished with her asking where I got the CD set from. I mentioned that it had come from a close Davidian brother. There was silence. Then she recovered and said she’d see me tomorrow at the Bible study.

After this,  apparently she began to delve more into the teachings and the next day she called and said, “Hi this is Debra, we’ve decided to cancel the Bible study, because we found out this is Shepherd’s Rod teachings.”  I was confused, yet I knew all too well who was behind this–the spirit of darkness! The one who wants truth hidden and out of view! And those he knows listens to his voice!

I calmly asked her why she had agreed that the truth on the CD’s were so powerful and backed up by Scripture and SOP only, yet now she was saying they are not truth? She wallowed around talking senseless points about how the Rod believers have beliefs she does not agree with. Yet she offered no examples or proof to support her mistaken understanding of the Lord’s Rod.

I ended with the point that the “truth” is what matters and if it comes from a “monkey rod” or the Shepherd’s Rod , it should not matter. For Christ is–truth, and in whatever form we find It! It fell on deaf ears. After I hung up , it occurred to me I could have asked her what “Rod” is it that the Lord wants us to hear?

“The LORD’s voice cries to the city–Wisdom shall see Your name: Hear ye the Rod! And Who has appointed it!” (Micah 6:9)

So there is a perfect example of how someone who “heard” things and did not take upon herself to investigate it–succumbed to the peer pressure of rejecting the Lord’s Rod. Her fear was most likely that of being rejected by the church for professing belief.

“Those who allow prejudice to bar the mind against the reception of truth cannot receive the divine enlightenment. Yet, when a view of Scripture is presented, many do not ask, Is it true–in harmony with God’s word? but, By whom is it advocated? and unless it comes through the very channel that pleases them, they do not accept it. So thoroughly satisfied are they with their own ideas that they will not examine the Scripture evidence with a desire to learn, but refuse to be interested, merely because of their prejudices.}” (Testimonies to Ministers, p.105-106)

Then we have the most pitiful story of the blind man’s parents as told in John 9:1-38. After Jesus had restored the man’s sight we pick up the story in verse 18.

“The Jews therefore did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight, and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered them, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees, we don’t know; or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself.”

His parents said these things because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if any man would confess him as Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.”

Wow. Here this couple had given birth to a son who could not see, and decades later, along comes the Son of Man and makes him whole, restoring the priceless gift of sight. Then at their moment of test before God’s eyes, they fail!   The approval of man took precedent over the approval of God! Fear won over courage!

You see my brethren, our King places a premium on courage. In fact “cowards” are the very first one listed who do not make it to heaven!

“But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars–their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”(Rev. 21:8)

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to allmen liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)

You lack courage? Just ask. So we come to a fork in the road many times in our life–take the brave road, regardless of circumstances or results, or take the safe easy road, complete with “man’s approval” and life’s easy chair.

There is a test that we are now being made to prove before God where we stand– it is the acceptance of our present truth– The Lord’s message of Elijah. Where do you stand? Do you cower and mumble under your breath that you believe, yet when the opportunity comes to step forward, you retreat back? God does not miss this. He is watching us and what we do with His truth today. Are we like Debra or the blind man’s parents? Willing to acknowledge truth only as long as we can hold our church  membership?

SOP says –-“God means that testing truth shall be brought to the front and become a subject of examination and discussion, even if it is through the contempt placed upon it.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.453)

Yes we are counselled to  be as “wise as serpents and harmless as doves”(Matt 10:16), but at no time are we called to deny His truth. God knows how to test each of us and that test will be bearable. We only have to step forward when called. Often, such as in my example, we can proclaim His truth and can still be a part of the church. Yet, we must use good judgment and wisdom and most importantly–love.

Here’s another example of trusting the approval of man instead of God. About three years ago, I became friends with “Dean” (name changed) from our church. We talked one morning before service in the foyer. I had mentioned that I had a great study on the 144,000. His ears perked up and he said, “Do you? I would love to see that.” So I promised him that I would bring the CD audio to church the following Sabbath.

The next Sabbath I handed it to him and he listened that week. The next Sabbath I met him before service again in the foyer. “Wow” he said. “That study is awesome! We need to make copies of this and spread to our church.” I readily agreed ( I had not been demoted as Deacon at this point). So the next week I came with several copies to give him. He again voiced a most positive attitude. He agreed that the Scriptures and SOP both teach that the 144,000 is a literal number. Keep in mind these CD’s were composed of Scripture and SOP, nothing else.

Fast forward a couple of months. One day after speaking as a pre-Sabbath school attendant to the church (which I was asked to do on several occasions), and after receiving several complimentary comments from  the members, a church elder told me that the temporary pastor (we were in transition in finding a new pastor) wanted to speak to me later that week in his office.

Well, as I have posted before, someone got upset at the straight testimony I gave and told the pastor I was teaching Shepherd’s Rod teachings. Later I did not deny I was a believer in the meeting and was asked to either deny the teachings or be demoted from deacon to regular member. Obviously I chose truth and accepted their decision.

Later Dean got wind , as did many in the church, of my affiliation with the Lord’s Elijah message. From then on he acted as if I had leprosy! Just a quick “hi” as he passed me by. I knew he had chosen the church over the Truth. So sad yet very common.

In our last example, we remember Joshua and Caleb. Out of the vast multitude, only two adults where able to step forward and say they believe in the Lord. All the rest cowered at standing up for these two unpopular servants! Sure, there may have been quite a few that mumbled under their breath that they admired Joshua’s and Caleb’s courage, but God want’s action, not wishy washy lukewarmness! (Rev. 3:16)

In closing, let us truly love Truth. Man’s approval does not and should not supersede God’s approval. My Dad used to be a championship race car driver, and I remember telling him “You know Dad, our life on this earth is a test run, practice laps, for the main event.” In other words we must qualify here before we can make the main event–heaven. Yes indeed, we are to step forward and “love the truth” even if it means we become unpopular and/or avoided. Our Lord was our perfect example!

“Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” (Isaiah 66:5)

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.”(Jer.17:5)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: