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Temporary Faith

KJV Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. 6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. (Acts 5:1-6 KJV)

It is common for a person to come to a church, be saved, be restored, and be delivered for a time. God works with the person and continues to work with the person. Finally, the person leaves a godly church, which has the heavy (deep) anointing. Soon afterward, judgment will fall. Generally, there are two types of judgments. The first type of judgment is to judge in order to save. The second type of judgment is to judge in order to destroy.

God has given various people throughout hundreds of years opportunities within godly churches with the fire of the Holy Spirit to repent. The leaving of people from this church and others is an indication that what they had was only temporary. And judgment will soon fall. The only thing keeping them from God's judgment is a godly church with the power of God. Once, that protecting power of God is removed, the power of God turns into judgment.

I have seen this various times in this church and before it in various other churches.

For example, Peter Cartwright, a famous evangelist of a slightly later era, told of a skeptic at one of his meetings who was taken with the jerks and in a particularly vicious spasm snapped his neck. He died, a witness to the judgment of Omnipotence but gasping out to the last his “cursing and bitterness.” It is common for judgment to follow.

God gives people opportunities under His presence. If they chose wrongly, judgment will fall. According to my mother, she recounted several stories about people for a time being in a church and leaving. Soon afterward, judgment came. I heard various ministers say the same thing. Recounting my father's stories, both men and women would come and get temporary faith, lose it, and their lives were destroyed.

Father Nash gave a prophecy over several young men who resisted the moving of the Holy Spirit in the Second Great Awakening. From his prophecy, we can see his determination, faith, and strength in God. In Father Nash, there could not be any compromise.

Charles Finney, who was a witness of the incident and the prophecy, wrote, The next Sabbath, after preaching morning and afternoon myself–for I did the preaching altogether, and Brother Nash gave himself up almost continually to prayer–we met at five o’clock in the church, for a prayer meeting. The meeting–house was filled. Near the close of the meeting, Brother Nash arose, and addressed that company of young men who had joined hand in hand to resist the revival. I believe they were all there, and they sat braced up against the Spirit of God. It was too solemn for them really to make ridicule of what they heard and saw; and yet their brazen-facedness and stiff-neckedness were apparent to everybody.

Brother Nash addressed them very earnestly and pointed out the guilt and danger of the course they were taking. Toward the close of his address, he waxed exceeding warm, and said to them, “Now, mark me, young men! God will break your ranks in less than one week, either by converting some of you, or by sending some of you to hell. He will do this as certainly as the Lord is my God.” He was standing where he brought his hand down on the top of the pew before him, so as to make it thoroughly jar. He sat immediately down, dropped his head, and groaned with pain.

The house was as still as death, and most of the people held down their heads. I could see that the young men were agitated. For myself, I regretted that Brother Nash had gone so far. He had committed himself, that God would either take the life of some of them, and send them to hell, or convert some of them, within a week. However, on Tuesday morning of the same week, the leader of these young men came to me, in the greatest distress of mind. He was all prepared to submit; and as soon as I came to press him he broke down like a child, confessed, and manifestly gave himself to Christ. Then he said, “What shall I do, Mr. Finney?” I replied “Go immediately to all your young companions, and pray with them, and exhort them, at once to turn to the Lord.” He did so; and before the week was out, nearly if not all of that class of young men, were hoping in Christ. 18

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