Submission and Obedience


When Howard Pittman had a near-death experience in 1979, he saw a most frightening reality. During the 15 minutes he was clinically dead, God harvested 2000 souls. We know He wouldn't consider it a harvest if He took souls from the world at large. God had to have removed people who were part of the Church, Christians by their own profession.

What Pittman witnessed as God gave him vision were 50 people who went into heaven. What about the other 1950? They all perished in hell! Figuring the amount statistically, that means about 2.5 percent of professing Christians will go to heaven. That's what God let Pittman see.

Jesus declared, "Strait is the gate and narrrow the way, and few there be that find it." The way to heaven isn't quite as easily found and followed as we're told by many TV preachers and evangelists. "The strait and narrow" must be sought and selected apart from the many easy routes declared to be the path to heaven, and most people are not willing to devote themselves that earnestly to the pursuit of God.

Recall, also, that at the judgment before Jesus,

"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessess.'" Matthew 7:22-23.

How many people who profess to be believers in Jesus and do wonders in His name will be shocked to learn their works were dead and Jesus wasn't in them at all?

Pittman himself was a Baptist pastor at the time of his near-death event. A gastric hemorrhage took him to the critical place he called 'the veil' between life and death. There he prayed he would live, but to see his desire realized, he had to plead his case before God.

Pittman told God all the things he did as a minister of the Gospel. He carried a PA system in his car trunk that he set up on street corners where he preached and handed out tracts. He led a church congregation, and he and his wife adopted 32 foster children who had been abused in horrible ways.

Yet, when he had told God everything, God told Pittman his good works were an abomination to Him because they had been done from a spirit of Pharisaism. Though he called God "Lord, Lord," he never had made Jesus Lord of his heart and life.

Then God relented and told PIttman he would live, but would not pastor a church again. Instead, he would go to people God selected, and declare the following five pronouncements:

  1. We are in the Laodicean age.
  2. The church is lukewarm, not hot or cold. She lives for herself and is self-satisfied, and she is absorbed with all sorts of activity and busyness that keep her from her knees.

  3. The devil is a very real adversary against whom we must battle.
  4. The true church wears the armor of God outlined in Ephesians 6. She never takes it off, but is constantly, minute by minute, prepared for warfare. When confronted by the enemy of souls, she stands with God and for Him in the might of the Holy Spirit.

  5. We are in the days of Noah (Matthew 24): all people want are riches and pleasure.
  6. Whether or not we like to think of them as such, wealth in all its forms, skills, talents and distractions like technology and social media can be idols that govern our attention and to which many, many people bow their knee and are fully absorbed with their functions.

  7. We must walk our talk and be real Christians.
  8. Every denomination or religion has its particular culture, attire, conduct in church music, demeanor, and the list goes on. Anyone who spends a little time among a group can learn the patterns of words and behavior that equip them to go along with the crowd without having one bit of true salvation in their soul. It is called learned behavior, but learned behavior will never get anyone to heaven. What comes out of your mouth as a professed Christian must be totally true deep in your heart, born of a relationship with Jesus. Otherwise, your works are dead!

  9. We must be baptized with the Holy Spirit AND with fire! (Matthew 3:11).
  10. John the Baptist announced Jesus' coming at the start of His ministry. He declared that Jesus would baptize with the Spirit and with fire! That means the un-God-like chaff must be burned out of our character, meaning we bow in total submission to Jesus and His work by the Spirit! Call it undergoing the surgeon's knife, if you will!

Pittman said he believed the baptism with fire, though a necessity, will happen to the Church only because of persecution and hardship. Nothing else will stir her enough to come clean with God, and she must be thoroughly purged to be ready to meet Him...or she won't.

Pittman died in 2019 after years of preaching and teaching what God gave him when he stood at the threshold of eternity. Those same declarations are still in effect today. Reader, do you meet God's standards as given above?

Meet God's conditions for heaven while you have time. Do not be satisfied with performing religious acts and following traditions handed down by previous generations. Hunger and thirst for righteiousness, for you will be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). Make sure you are included in the 2.5 percent who make it to heaven. Don't rest until you know for sure!

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®
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