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By Harlan Morgan

Ezekiel 22:26 -"Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them."

Matthew 3:12 -"Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. "

Is it just me, or does it really appear that the master of deception has exponentially accelerated the progression of his activity? Certainly, I must be way out of touch, because I am finding it more and more difficult to get with the program of today's Pentecost culture. Was I born out of my time? Am I truly as out of step as I feel? Does anybody else feel displaced in today's modern Pentecostal society? What in the world is going on?

Having been raised in the home of a preacher and having been in the ministry now for over 20 years, my head is spinning with the acceleration of compromising positions and the rejection what I believed we all considered basic principles of holiness!

It seems to me that this modern Pentecostal culture is requesting the best of both worlds -the acceptance of the world and the approval of God. "We will just travel down the middle of the road and adapt to current trends as they come." While the old argument that traveling down the middle of the road will keep you out of the ditch may be true, it will also cause you to be involved in a head-on collision! It is especially dangerous to travel the middle of the road in smoky or foggy conditions. It is impossible to see what is coming your way! As Evangelist John McFall recently said, "[Today, it would seem], we are choking in the smoke!" It is time to decide which way you are going, and stay in that lane.

I recall in the early 1990's hearing Bro. JR Ensey preach a message, "The Alchemist's Dream," at Pure Gold Conference in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In that message, Brother Ensey explained the work of the alchemist and his attempt to create gold by mixing lesser elements. The efforts of the alchemist often resulted in chemical explosions and catastrophes, but the result was never the creation of gold. Gold is not created by mixing lesser elements; it is discovered and refined! It is not the result of a mixture; it is the result of a process of separation!

Twenty-plus years after that prophetic message, we are once again witnessing the apostolic alchemist in his attempt to create a golden experience by mixing materials that were never intended to be combined -the holy and the profane, the vile and the valuable, the bitter and the sweet, the carnal and the spiritual, the righteous and the unrighteous. This experiment in compromise is creating a substance that will be catastrophic at the very least!

When once our churches were filled with the sounds of heartfelt worship, now the sound of strange music is echoing from the walls of our sanctuaries. Surely, many of us have repeated Moses' question as he came down from the mount. "What is this sound that I hear?" It is difficult to identify. Being naturally positive, I have attempted for a number of years to pass it off as a matter of personal preference. When the beat of the drum, however, and the alluring sway of the singer appeals more to the carnal nature of man rather than satisfying the Spirit of God, we must admit something is drastically wrong.

Once, we truly were a holiness movement, being adorned with modest apparel. It would seem, however, that modesty has become a relative term. Perhaps to some, the increasingly popular style of short skirts and revealed legs adorned in such a way that would have once caused an apostolic woman (or man) to blush is considered modesty. After all, we are living in modern times. While it may be considered "modesty" or "acceptable" to some, it is still rather grievous to this preacher.

When once, we demanded nothing less than masculinity in our young men and boys, why are we suddenly tolerant of effeminacy? What is the motivation behind wearing a suit that appears to be two or three sizes too small? Is this just another fashion statement, or are spirits involved here?

Is nothing considered worldly anymore?

Then, we must consider our motivation in gaining a crowd. During a recent visit, an elder told me he believed the transition from "evangelism" to "church growth" has affected our movement negatively. While evangelism is about the salvation of the soul and preparing a bride for Christ, church growth is simply about gathering a crowd. Evangelism is about reaching the lost, but the church growth mentality does not care how the crowd is gathered, even if it means wounding one's own brother and ravishing another's congregation to grow his own.

There are far too many specific issues to be dealt with in this epistle. We must, however, assess our motives. Who are we using for a pattern? Who are we emulating -the alchemist or the refiner? Are we involved in creating an unrecognizable mixture, or are we involved in the process of being refined?

Can you still say Shibboleth?

As the master of deceit leads the blind leaders into his laboratory to concoct yet another mixture, the Refiner of pure gold, the Separator of right and wrong, stands with His fan in His hand, separating the wheat from the chaff. God's elect have never been elevated through mixing and intermingling; they have always been revealed through separation.

We are drunk with our own deceitful philosophies, and we are repulsed by the doctrines of Christ. We have replaced the gold of the temple with brass, and we confidently profess that nothing has changed, when very little remains unchanged.

Remember, Bro. Alchemist, every man's work will be tried by fire to reveal what manner of work it is -everything except the true gold will burn away. Your concoction will be tested by the refiner. Stop the sensationalism. Forget that new philosophy. Quit the attempt to concoct some palatable mixture. He will only buy gold - tried in the fire.

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