God put a message on my heart I don’t feel qualified to deliver. I’m not a religious theologian; I have not studied world religion. But I profess that I see Satan’s fingerprints on every faction of Christianity – a body divided by perceived truths, ordinances and sacraments.
Satan is winning if the majority of Christians don’t understand his tactics. We are church divided by beliefs, each choosing what we will believe in, separated by denominations that were created so long ago, we likely can no longer explain the differences.
As I sat down to record the message God asked me to share, He whispered the name John Calvin in my ear. While it seemed familiar, I had to research to figure out what God was trying to tell me. Through my research I learned John Calvin was a founder in the early church, who created a new standard for Christian beliefs in the 16th century. Breaking away from the Catholic Church (currently accounting for 50% of Christians worldwide), he formed a new theology still supported by the majority of Protestant churches today (includes approximately 40% of Christians including Baptist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran denominations).
Calvin’s reformed theology focuses on the confession of faith, and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as visible signs of the covenant of grace. Unlike the Catholic Church who believes the Lord’s Supper contains a bodily presence of Christ, the reformed church believes it simply serves as a reminder of Christ’s death. Calvinism became the main theological system of the majority of Europe, spreading into the rest of the English-speaking world, including North America.
Reformed Protestants disagree among themselves about the definition and boundaries of the Reformed tradition, and often find it difficult to define what makes them reformed. Reformed churches do not have a single global leader or a set of confessional documents to summarize their beliefs.
Doesn’t this sound like something Satan would do to drive dissension amongst a group of believers? The Apostle Paul warned his prodigy, Timothy, of these perilous times. In 2 Timothy, chapter 3, he warns that “in the last days…men will have a form of godliness, but will deny its power.”
Power? Yes, power! God’s source of power for His children is the Holy Spirit – promised by Jesus before he departed the earth, as described by Luke in the Book of Acts:
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1: 4-5 (NKJV)
While Christian beliefs are based on the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, you will not hear teachings of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in most churches today. More than just reading the Word of God, one can experience God’s power through a Spirit-filled, empowered relationship with the Holy Spirit.
For those that heeded His promise and waited, the Day of Pentecost came:
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2: 2-4 (NKJV)
It’s right there in my Bible…they were filled with the Holy Spirit and begin to speak with other tongues. Neither the Catholic nor the Reformed Churches, which together account for 90% of Christians today, are teaching this lesson to its flock! This part of the Bible might as well not exist!
If the messages that Jesus delivered while on earth are our lessons, if we focus on His message of God’s love being the only way, in these simple truths we will be set free. Simplicity is how we will beat Satan every time.
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. (2 Corinthians 11:3 NKJV)
If you are curious about the power that can work in us, and your church is not revealing these truths, I’m happy to point you to one that is. Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas preached these sermons in 2012 – and they changed my life:
Jesus promised us a helper, and sent us the Holy Spirit, “And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you a Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth”. (John 14:16 NKJV)