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    What Does An Unbelieving Believer Look Like?

    What Does An Unbelieving Believer Look Like?

    Does this sound like a contradiction or an impossibility? At first glance it may but upon closer examination, it is all too common. Let me explain why...
    2 Kings 17:5-23
    Israel Carried Captive to Assyria
    Now the king of Assyria went throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
    For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. Also the children of Israel secretly did against the Lord their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the Lord had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger, for they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”
    Yet the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.” Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them that they should not do like them. So they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone.
    Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. And the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight. For He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and made them commit a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the Lord removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.
    There arose a time in Israel's history that because of their turning away from the One true God and serving idols that God sent His prophets to warn them and call them to repentance. They rejected His messengers and their calls to repentance, so God sent their enemies against them to drive them out of the land promised to their fathers and to them. He has warned them time and again, from generation to generation and they still refused to walk in obedience to the Lord their God.

    It was during one of these times of dispersal of the Jews that we see a unique story unfold. The resettlement of Samaria by peoples not under the covenant of God.
    2 Kings 17:24
    Assyria Resettles Samaria
    Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities.
    Something special began to happen to these people who are not God's chosen.
    2 Kings 17:25
    And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them.
    No one expected the kind of reception that awaited them as they were placed in the land God had given to Israel. Remember how God had judged the people who occupied this land before Israel came to drive them out? He also promised to do the same to Israel if they turned away from God to serve idols. Will He not also continue to judge any nation who occupies the land not intended for them?

    So what can these people do? Look at the interesting solution they came up with...
    2 Kings 17:26-28
    So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the rituals of the God of the land; therefore He has sent lions among them, and indeed, they are killing them because they do not know the rituals of the God of the land.” Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Send there one of the priests whom you brought from there; let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the rituals of the God of the land.” Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.
    Their solution was to send one of the priests removed from there to teach them how they should fear the Lord! Think about this for moment. God drove out His own people because they all turned their backs on God, including the priests of the Lord. And now, one of those rebellious priests who did not fear God, was being sent to teach these people how to fear the Lord! This is truly a case of the blind leading the blind. Look what happens next...
    2 Kings 17:29
    However every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them in the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt.
    Apparently, this wayward priest did NOT teach them the fear of the Lord, for HE did not fear the Lord himself. You simply cannot give what you do not possess yourself. As a result, these people continued to make and serve the false gods of the countries they came from
    2 Kings 17:30-31
    The men of Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
    Consider now the condition of these replacements in the promised land of the Jews.
    2 Kings 17:32-33
    So they feared the Lord, and from every class they appointed for themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places.

    "They feared the Lord, yet served their own gods—according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away."

    2 Kings 17:34-41
    To this day they continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the Lord, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the Lord had commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel, with whom the Lord had made a covenant and charged them, saying:“You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them; but the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice. And the statutes, the ordinances, the law, and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall be careful to observe forever; you shall not fear other gods. And the covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. But the Lord your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”

    "However they did not obey, but they followed their former rituals. So these nations feared the Lord, yet served their carved images; also their children and their children's children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day."
    They "feared the Lord," but continued as before, serving their own gods made from their own hands.

    It is obvious to us today that this "fear of the Lord" they practiced is not the same "fear of the Lord" as defined by God. That "fear of the Lord" they practiced came from a priest of the Lord who also did not truly fear the Lord. In today's language, this can be identified as a watered-down gospel.

    In essence, these people only wanted to know enough about God and His rituals to keep immediate judgment from falling on them. That is all! As long as the lions did not kill them, they were satisfied and continued on with their lives as before....unchanged from where they each came from.

    Today, this describes many of those who call themselves Christians, which means "Christ like". Although they wear the label "Christian", they do not walk as faithful children of God. Like these nations that were transplanted in the land promised to Abraham and his descendants after him, these "Christians" in name only, continued to live their lives according to their own will and their own desires. They only want to know enough about God to convince themselves they have staved off judgment and hell. Instead of living a life by the cross of Christ, their lives are spent without a moment of reflection of who God is much less than who He is to them each day.

    They do not walk with Him in the "cool of the day" to learn His heart and will for them. He is not in all their thoughts. When asked, they will say they believe in God but their lives shout out something entirely different. They spend their free time, not in pursuit of God's kingdom and holiness. They do not seek His righteousness as ones who desire earnestly the sincere milk of God's word. Instead, their focus is on how they can please themselves. Their free time is spent going to parties, dance halls, worldly concerts, movies, sex, drinking and doing drugs. Generally, most of their free time is spent seeking the carnal pleasures of this world without any thought for the consequences of their sin.

    Even Christians who have confessed Jesus as the Lord and Savior have been caught up in this same spirit of selfish pleasures rather than redeeming the time as Holy Spirit has breathed His Word. God's word warns us not to be carnally minded but this warning falls on deaf ears as many Christians seek first self satisfaction ABOVE self denial to the carnal pleasures and distractions of this world. They may not be involved in sexual sin, alcohol and drugs but they are drawn away and enticed through their own desires as they seek entertainment that does not exalt the Name of the Lord, nor does it bring edification to their most holy faith.

    Brethren, these are but Satan's most effective instruments to draw you away from your precious time seeking His kingdom's establishment in your lives. They are all but effective distractions under the guise of "much needed recreation to relax the mind". These are not as you suppose but are cleverly disguised tools to keep you from that place God desires for you, His secret place.

    It is time to not be found in those places of relaxation, as you so call them, but it is time to be found in the business of walking in and obeying the Father's every command. When you are called upon, can you honestly say that you have submitted yourself as a love slave of Jesus Christ and His Father? Or will it be shown that you are a slave to your own pleasures?

    Will you be shown to be in likeness to those who were transplanted to live in another's promise but not enter into that promise yourself by continuing to serve the gods of pleasure and self gratification. Or will you be of those who through repentance, return to the land promised you by God and serve Him faithfully all the days of your life?

    Does your life look like an unbelieving believer? Or does it look like Jesus.
    1 John 2:3-6
    The Test of Knowing Him
    Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

    He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
    If we say we are His then we ought to walk in he same manner as He a slave to His Father's will.

    For those who may object to this word by saying "There is nothing wrong with seeking a break from religion or His word from time to time", let me ask you a personal question...
    When in heaven, will you be seeking a break from time to time away from Him? Consider from what attitude of heart you are challenging this word to you. Are you still seeking your own pleasure? Do you truly delight yourself in God. For He grants the desires of the heart of His people who delight themselves in God. If pleasures away from God is your delight, them God is not your true delight.
    Romans 6:16
    Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
    If you yield yourself to serve your own pleasures then it will be your pleasures that become your god. Man cannot serve mammon and God at the same time.
    Matthew 6:24
    You Cannot Serve God and Riches
    “ No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
    If you find that this message is addressing you and you recognize your need to change, then it is time to "cut off" that offending appendage so that you may enter heaven. In this case, that offending appendage is your self will. It must be "cut off", "judged" so that you may live. Confess this as sin and God promises to forgive you your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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