Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? – Isa. 2:22
In the Old Testament things that were hallowed were things clean and set apart for God. The Lord hallows what He pleases, such as a house for His name (1 Kin. 9:7) or firstborn humans and beasts (Num. 3:13). The word only appears twice in the New Testament (Matthew and Luke) and both references are to the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus says, “Hallowed be thy name”. It all carries the meaning of being set apart (actually sanctified) and venerated.
Hallowing God’s name is what I call a “first cause” in the same sense as when Jesus pointed out that having Abraham as your father is more than a question of lineage.
They answered him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. - (Jn. 8:39)
We also see this sense of first cause in this verse:
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. – (1 Jn.2-19)
From these verses you should be able to see what I mean by first cause. In both cases it is established that if a particular thing is really true (first cause) then certain actions follow.
If they don’t, Jesus wants to know why.
But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say? – Luke 6:46
In other words if your first cause is calling Jesus Lord, where’s the obedience to prove that we mean it? These verses reflect the truth that accurate understanding is gained by checking out the fruit (Mat. 7:16). I love how Scripture is its own best interpreter.
When we’re children we easily hallow things by appearance because we haven’t yet developed discernment. Unfortunately, it seems to be the case with many adults as well. We hallow celebrities and all manner of things that lend themselves to us by way of a pleasing appearance, or things that seem to make sense on the surface; things easy to believe and that we don’t put a lot of thought into.
But the truth is lost on us that when you hallow something you make it a first cause in your heart. Or do you think it was by accident that Jesus made the first cause of the Lord’s Prayer hallowing God’s name? He made it a first cause so that, if one obeys that order, he or she need not worry about what comes after. It will all fall into place.
This, in my opinion, is why some are so confused about God’s will. They feel they have to discover it by hard labor and fretting as if it were not God’s good pleasure to give them the kingdom (Lu. 12:32). They end up almost ready to join Saul in consulting the witch of Endor. But it never occurs to them to make sure their first cause is established.
Now, I may be about to step on some toes here. That’s not my intention. But still I feel this needs to be said. If we had to depend on some of those who have set themselves up as teachers of God’s word, particularly some on television, our spiritual growth would be that of cripples. I have in mind a particular man – John Hagee. Hallow him as a first cause at your own peril.
Hagee comes across like God’s avenging angel, as a friend once characterized him to me. He preaches with a dispensational time line in the background that has more to do with science-fiction (in the manner of Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind series) than with sound biblical understanding. He’s very good at telling people what they ought to be about while it’s clear that he doesn’t have the discipline to turn down a plate.
How many times do evangelical Christians have to be hit between the eyes by God before they cease this foolishness of venerating those who depend more on emotional manipulation and sensationalism than substantive study? It is clear to anyone with a few functioning brain cells that the form of Christianity in American evangelical churches is in complete need of reformation and renovation.
The building of “faith cities”, the continual cries for money (while disregarding God’s established method of finance), slobbering all over Israel like a bunch of rock-star groupies, worshipping idols of political salvation and substituting a cramped and blind moralism for a healthy, well rounded, holistic approach to life – these are just some of the reasons why the evangelical church is dying in the wilderness just like the children of Israel did. And men like John Hagee are leading that wilderness march while believing they lead to the land of milk and honey.
His often belligerent tone of voice from the pulpit belies his exaggerated sense of self-importance. In times of great uncertainty such as we live in, the overbearing, take charge manner of Hagee fills a gap and a need for certainty in the lives of Christians who don’t understand that their belief system is designed to thrive in uncertainty. Yet they sell their birthrights for a mess of evangelical pottage in the form of John Hagee, who serves the faithful pre-chewed meals of dispensational doggerel. It’s disgraceful!
Just as the children of Israel insisted on having a king over them when God wanted them to be mature enough to live under His direct rule, evangelical Christians insist on having leaders who lord it over them and spare them the work of exercising the minds God gave them in a vigorous manner.
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock… - 1 Pet. 5 2-3
Hagee is a war monger, actually believing in an end-times scenario where we can hasten Christ’s coming if we help certain events to occur. That’s why, in his bestselling book Jerusalem Countdown, he supports a pre-emptive strike against Iran to help fulfill God’s plan. Not only is that sick, it’s not his job.
I don’t have space here to go into details about the error riddled first cause of dispensationalism which permeates everything Hagee says. So here’s just one web site where you can study this subject at your leisure.
Here’s a recent article on Salon.com regarding Hagee’s support for John McCain. Salon.com is not a site friendly to Christians, so know that I don’t use it as the best example, yet it is revelatory of Hagee’s dementia.
But for good balance read this article by
Laurence M. Vance, who is a Christian, about Christian warmongers, and he definitely references Hagee. If you’re inclined, Vance is a very good source to learn about how evangelical Christians love war far more than peace.
If you take the time to check these things out, well, it’s no guarantee you’ll see this subject the way I do. But if you give it a hearing and make a sincere attempt to sort it out honestly, I think you’ll see that the very people we don’t need as Christian representatives are men like John Hagee. Maybe you won’t see that. Maybe you’re convinced I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about. If so, just be sure you know that because you’ve checked out things for yourself. All I can do is say what I believe to be true.
John Hagee’s breath is in his nostrils, meaning it comes from God as a gift, yet he breathes it out like fire. For Jeremiah, trying to hold in the words God wanted him to speak was like fire shut up in his bones (Jer. 20:9).
God’s people once caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech,
... which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination… Jer. 32:35
A sizeable number of Christians appear content to pass through the fire of John Hagee’s breath as he blazes it from the pulpit each Sunday. I don’t think that ever came into God’s mind, either.