THE TROJAN HORSE
By B.H. Clendennen
In Acts 2:42, "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." "…he that endureth to the end shall be saved," (Matthew 10:22) said the Lord Jesus. When you read the word "stedfast," it indicates they were up against something. "They continued stedfastly." This indicates they were resisting something to stay where they were. There was opposition; something was attempting to pull them down. There was something trying to get in, trying to make them like everything else. The word says of the early church, "they continued stedfastly." They held on, they saw revival, and they saw God work. You cannot change the principles of this Bible.
When the enemy was able to compromise the word of God, the church was reduced to a form without power. Everything was eventually lost and the world went into the Dark Ages. To let down anywhere means that sooner or later you will let down everywhere. That is a truth that cannot be ignored. You have been a part of a system that has brought the church to where it is. Today we see the end results of the fathers rejection of Biblical authority. Look at the church today, there is so much homosexuality. The church almost winks at adultery; so much drug addiction. Much of the church actually condones social drinking. We have become so immersed with filth we think nothing of going to the theatre anymore.
The word of God still declares, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Psalms 66:18) The blessings of God are still promised to those, "…that hath clean hands and a pure heart..." (Psalms 24:4) The church has changed, but God has not changed. Today, I believe God wants an audience with His church. The church is trying through human effort and programs to lift itself. God is not interested. He does not ask man to draw Him a blueprint. God wants an audience with His church. She must discern between the clean and the unclean, between the vile and the pure. God is the same Holy God that He has always been, and He says to His church, "…be ye holy, for I am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 20:7) God declares that He will be our Father if we will “…come out from among them…and touch not the unclean thing." (II Corinthians 6:17)
A new look at the fall of Troy, I believe, will bring home some real truths to you and me, in a spiritual way. If you remember, the Athenians had laid siege to Troy, and for ten long years, in the twelfth century, they tried and failed to break the defense. All of the Greek states united to avenge the insult in 1184 b.c. They built ladders in an attempt to scale the walls, but every effort was turned back. They tried to burn the city. They even made slings out of trees to hurl large stones over the wall, but the people of Troy resisted every effort. For ten long years they refused to give in. After ten years, the Greeks saw the futility of an open warfare against Troy, so they changed tactics. They built a beautiful wooden horse and during the night they pulled the horse up to the main gate of Troy and left it. The Greek army then returned to the ships.
In those days, the leaving of a gift meant that you had given up. So the Greeks left this wooden horse, better known as the Trojan Horse, outside the gate of Troy to signal that they had given up. Unbeknownst to the people of Troy, Greek soldiers were hiding in the belly of that wooden horse. For a while the citizens of Troy looked at the horse with curiosity. After a few days, with no Greek soldiers to be seen, the Trojans decided the war was really over, and brought the horse inside. With the belief that the war was over, Troy began a celebration. After all, they had been under siege for ten long years. That night, while the city was caught up in a drunken state, the Greek soldiers slipped out of the belly of the horse and opened the gates of the city. The Greeks came in and the city was slaughtered. Some legends say only two people escaped to tell the horrors of that last night of Troy.
That was a tragedy of history, but it is not near the tragedy that I want to share with you in this lesson. For 50 years the great Pentecostal church resisted the devil of compromise. Our fathers before us resisted every effort of hell. We refused to open our doors to idolatry, unholiness, and worldliness. We were ostracized, mocked, persecuted, but we refused to give an inch to that which we recognized was not of God. Like the prodigal, we were hated because we were different. The prodigal, you remember, when he had wasted all in riotous living, beat on the door of the world asking for something to eat. The world said to him, “Feed my hogs, and I will feed you.” To a Jewish man, that is an insult that is against everything he believes. His convictions of religion was the price the world asked for its help. The world hated him because he was different. The world said to him, “If you will be like us, we can help you.”
That same world beat on our church doors, screaming to be let in, on their own grounds. "Let down the wall a little and you will attract more people," was their cry. In the beginning of this great latter rain outpouring, God called men from every walk of life. It was a time when the church was dead. There was no presence of God. An empty form and hollow mockery had replaced the mighty moving of God. God called our fathers from the market place, from the farm, from the pulpits of major churches and denominations, and they became the vessel for the outpouring of God. They separated themselves unto God. They knew God was different from the world. They knew also that the world was their enemy. They were labeled fanatics and worse.
Because of the experience of the Holy Ghost, the people who were called fundamentalists labeled them demonic. But in spite of the world, the flesh, and the devil, they touched the earth with the Gospel. It is true, our fathers were extremists. They refused to join a church membership, believing that could be the mark of the Beast. They not only preached holiness of heart, they preached holiness of conduct. They knew God, and they knew the enemy. They knew where they came from, and they knew where they were going. For the most part, these men did not come from a religious seminary, but they knew God. They refused to give an inch to that compromising spirit. As men of God they stood for truth, purity, and holiness; not only with the words they spoke, but also with practical living. They were the truth they preached. They were different, and the world hated them. Christ was their life and nothing else mattered.
The church today has no enemies, because she has no Gospel. You have been called to restore her to that virgin purity of the Gospel given her. For 50 years the enemy stormed the walls and was driven back again and again. To go to our conventions, you knew we were Pentecostals. We never went to the places the world went. We never smoked their cigarettes nor drank their liquor. We walked their streets as men and women of God. They knew we were different. We were hated because Christ was among us and in us. We were strangers on this planet; and our only interest was Christ.
The world and the religious crowd laughed at our lifestyle, saying we did not belong in the 20th century. In the 70's, I preached in one of the great churches of this century. The church was founded by one of the great men of God of this century, Dr. Mayo. On one occasion, Dr. Mayo said to me, "God ought to have taken me out of here 20 years ago." I said, "Why do you say that Brother Mayo?" He said, "Because I don't fit." I remarked to him, "That's the reason people like you and I are here. We don't fit.” God has to have somebody who does not fit. He has called you out to make you a man who does not fit into the religious thinking. The Pentecostal church resisted the pressure for 50 years. The world called us devils.
In 1956, the world saw the first meeting of the Charismatic Renewal. On that day, the horse came to our gate. We woke up one morning and everything was quiet. No rocks were coming over the wall, no battering rams striking our gate, no slurs hurled at us, nobody screaming “Holy Roller,” nobody is saying we are demonic anymore. All is quiet. Sounded like the war was over. Out of curiosity, we peeped over the wall, and lo and behold, standing at our gate was a beautiful horse left there by the religious of the world. And wonder of all wonders, it was a tongue talking horse. It is all quiet now. What began did not end there. We asked no questions, we simply opened the gate. The horse came in quietly at a meeting in 1956 called the Charismatic Renewal. A door was open, a crack was made, and the horse made his entrance.
There is no gift greater than the ability to communicate with God in the Spirit. Nothing is more wonderful than to pray until you touch the realm of the Spirit, and pray in the tongue of the Holy Spirit. I cannot speak too highly of that gift, but I cannot and I will not demonstrate that gift to the carnal religious crowd any more than Jesus would turn stones to bread. The Holy Spirit is not something to play with. Tongues come as the Spirit gives the utterance. The devil hates the real because he doesn't know what is going on. The devil decided, after 50 years of storming the camp and trying to break our convictions, that the only way he would ever get in would be to counterfeit what we believe.
The Antichrist that came against us was not a fundamental Antichrist. He was not Baptist, he was not Methodist, he was not Catholic; he came as a Pentecostal. He had to be what we were. He came as one who once knew this power, but got caught up in the prosperity of the world and lost what he had. But he still knew how it worked. Satan was aware that sin, worldliness, unbelief, and hell were guaranteed against anything and everything but this divine fire. The devil knew what had kept us strong.
Hell's way to infiltrate is deception by imitation. Our fathers knew that half naked, liquor drinking, worldly crowd was not of God, and they resisted that pressure. For over 50 years other religions screamed at us, “Why can't you be like us? Why don't you preach and live like we live?” There was no way idolatry could be a part of us. As we preached, these things were exposed.
In the Congo in 1970, as I proclaimed the Gospel, men saw the truth and they piled their fetishes and burned them. I didn't have to tell them. All of that has changed with the appearance of this strange horse. Standing at our gate was this strange horse, dressed in a miniskirt and talking in tongues. The emphasis was not on being baptized in the Holy Ghost; the emphasis was on a prayer language. There came into our midst an imitation spirit, but on imitating the great gift of tongues, and we opened the door and let it in. Demons were hidden in the belly of that horse. Those demons opened the door for every unclean and hateful bird.
When we allowed that horse on the inside, there came this phony celebration that men called “praise”. We had reached the place that we did not know what we were hearing. This false thing, once it was in, leapt every boundary. Roman Catholics said the rosary in tongues, and Pentecostal believers thought it was real. A friend of mine was a speaker at a Full Gospel Businessmen's meeting in Denver. This was soon after the Charismatic Renewal began. He was the morning speaker, and a Mormon was the night speaker. At the breakfast meeting, sitting by the Mormon, my friend said to him, “I am very anxious to hear you tonight. I've never heard the testimony of a Mormon who has been born again.” The Mormon said to him, “I don't have that yet.” “What do you mean you don't have that?”, my friend asked. He said, “I've not been born again, but I talk in tongues.” The horse is on the inside now.
A lady in Houston, at a Full Gospel convention gave this testimony, "Tonight, before I came, I had 2 cocktails. But as I started to have the 3rd one, the Holy Spirit said two is enough.” May the real Holy Ghost please stand up? You have been called to see that He does stand up one more time. The horse came to our door. He never changed anything; it was just a matter of adding a few things. We were overwhelmed by the fact that he was talking in tongues. We opened our gate and the horse came in. It was beautiful to behold, and we were rocked to sleep. Everything of the world, flesh, and the devil came in with that horse. What we once believed, we don't believe anymore. What we once stood for, we don't stand for anymore. We have become the foreigners. It is considered negative and a lack of love to be against anything anymore. We are afraid to declare truth. We say to the people, “You can have all of this junk and the Holy Ghost too.” We have let the horse on the inside. The hedge has been broken and a snake has bitten us. God has called you to do something about it.
The devil came to the three Hebrew children and he implied to them that God did not really mean all that He said. He came to those men just like he came to Adam and Eve. I am sure he said to those three men, “You don't have to die. Just bow your knees, with your fingers crossed signifying you don't really mean it in your heart.” I've heard that until my stomach is sick. God does expect me to be a fanatic. He does expect me to stand against the world. The horse is on the inside and the gate is open. Everything is lost or being lost. What will happen to the next generation if somewhere down the line somebody doesn't evict that horse and close that gate? It will not be easy. Going to hell is not easy either.
The church must stand up in this hour. When the music sounded, everybody else bowed to Nebuchadnezzer's image. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were like three sore thumbs standing alone. For over 50 years we were those sore thumbs who stood, refusing to bow. All of a sudden, we are popular. The world loves us. We were the people the theologians wrote about. We were the fanatics. We were the demon possessed, according to the world. But with this horse on the inside, what once was a great Holy Ghost move is compatible with the world. Standing up in that knee-bowing, compromising religious crowd, the Hebrew children were visible targets. Soldiers grabbed them, and the king threatened them, but they refused to bow. Because they would not bow, they could not burn.
The world beat on our door; called us devils. All you had to do to be hated was to be Pentecostal. When Brother Bishop went to Seguin, the sheriff met him 5 miles out of town and told him, “We don't allow trash like you in here.” Pentecostals were looked upon as being worse than gypsies. We do not know all that it cost to bring this message to the world - the trouble, the harassment, and the hatred, all the things those old pioneers endured to bring this message. They couldn't buy property. The cost of planting this message in Texas was high. Dr. Parum and his little band of believers lived off of raw turnips for 6 long weeks to plant this Gospel in Texas. Pentecost is a life transforming message. It is God's grace and God's victory. It's the only message of our time. It is the final revelation of God.
This is the latter rain - no other revival since the rain of Acts is like this one. Pentecost will not stand to be watered down. The only way the world could get in, and did get in, was through imitation. We fought the system of Babel until the sword cleaved to our hand. We preached against a “handshake religion.” We stood against all that was not Bible. Then that horse came to our gate, a Pentecostal Antichrist, and he fooled us. We fought long and hard, and we were tired. There he stood with his prayer language. "Look," he said, "I can do what you do." It totally disarmed us and we opened the gate. There was nothing demanded - he came in as he was.
We thought he joined us, but he led us to the slaughter. Fifty years of battlefield experience had been traded off for a worldly crowd with a taught tongue, a taught dance, and a taught Christ. The cost of this deception cannot be calculated. The same sins that are in the world are now in the church. The nation sinks in a moral crisis. Healing has been reduced to a confession. Salvation is reduced to just going to church, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost is a taught tongue. We didn't change the horse, he changed us, and we called it revival.