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Saturday, October 26, 2013
Perfection or Damnation
Dear Beloved, here I pray that the Lord will show you through His Word that if we do not maintain, through His grace alone, a perfect heart before the Lord, we will not be ready to stand before the Son of man on the Day of Judgment. Surely, it is impossible to reach a state of the true perfection of God here in this world. For it is indeed when we see Him face to face that we shall become like Him for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2), when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away (1 Cor 13:10), and it is not as though we have already attained, or are already perfect, but we follow after, if that we may apprehend, or understand, that for which also we are apprehended of Christ Jesus. We do not count ourselves to have apprehended: but one thing we do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. We press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be PERFECT, be thus minded: and if in anything we be otherwise minded, may the LORD reveal even this unto us. (Phil 3:12-15)
Everyone who has been counted worthy to stand before the Son of man throughout history has maintained a perfect heart towards him from the moment of conversion until the end. This is not to suggest that there were never any temporary straying, drifting, and slumber periods, but these were kept by the power of God though faith for the salvation that is to be revealed (1 Pet 1:5). The Greek word for perfect, "Teleios" means complete, brought to its end, perfect, wanting NOTHING necessary to completeness. Consider King David's whose heart was called as perfect with the LORD his God (1 Kings 15:3), Asa whose heart was perfect with the LORD all his days (1 Kings 15:14), and Hezekiah who walked before the LORD in Truth and with a perfect heart, doing that which is good in His sight (Is 38:3). Dear saints, the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him (2 Chron 16:9)! Examine the perfection of David: he said, "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt Thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart" (Ps 101:2). Read his words:
"7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.11 Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.13 Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be UPRIGHT, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression." (Ps 19)
This Psalm portrays the state of perfection within King David's heart:
* He trusted in the atonement of secret faults (for if the Lord should mark iniquity, who shall stand? (Ps 130:3)).
* He relied upon and utilized the power of God to be kept from presumptuous sins; they had no dominion over him.
Thus, he was UPRIGHT, and INNOCENT from the great transgression in the eyes of God, and in his own conscience. The Lord had thoroughly purged his conscience. We who have seen the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6), who have believed and experienced the Gospel, know that such a good conscience can ONLY be wrought by the blood of Christ. For how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, PURGE OUR CONSCIENCES from dead works to serve the living God (Heb 9:14)? And thus we may draw near with a TRUE HEART in FULL ASSURANCE of faith, having our hearts SPRINKLED FROM AN EVIL CONSCIENCE, and our bodies washed with pure water. O how thoroughly does the blood of our Lamb perfect us in every sense! Positionally, Christ alone is our righteousness, and not only this, but His blood truly cleanses our consciences in the very moment that we are believing, and thus we may not serve the prince of the power of the air, but rather we may serve the living God! We who are believing the Gospel, we who are dead with Him, surely do serve the living God! If we do not maintain this state of perfection, that is, the state of true belief in the eternal Gospel that results in loving obedience to Him, until the end, we will not be saved. That very burning and slaying of the carnal soul through the loving-kindness of the Lord, the mortification of the flesh, must continue. O it must continue! If it is not continuing at the present time, we have no security.
Consider Christ's command to be therefore perfect, even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect (Mat 5:48) and His Words to the rich young ruler that if he would be perfect, he must go and sell that he had, and give to the poor, and he would have treasure in heaven: and to come and follow Him (Matt 19:21)! Christ is the One Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Col 1:28). Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of the world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought (1 Cor 2:6). For strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb 5:14). We must labour fervently in our prayers, that the saints may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God (Col 4:12). Night and day we must pray exceedingly that we might see the faces of God's people and perfect that which is lacking in their faith (1 Thess 3:10). We must let patience have her perfect work, that we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James 1:4).
Dear saints, we must hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience (1 Tim 3:9). A guilty conscience is unworthy in His sight! For herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as He is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is NOT MADE PERFECT in love. O, we love Him, because He first loved us! (1 John 4:17-19). We maintain a clear conscience by abiding in Him, that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (1 John 2:28), and by girding up the loins of our mind, being sober, and hoping to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:13). We have need of patience, that, after we have done the will of God, we might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, His soul shall have NO pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. (Heb 10:36-39).
Christ's teachings are plenteous with regard to watching that we may be ready to stand before the Son of Man. He commands His disciples to WATCH and PRAY, that we enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matt 26:41). He tells us that heaven and earth shall pass away: but His Words shall not pass away. He tells us to take heed to ourselves, lest AT ANY TIME our heart be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon us unawares. For as a SNARE shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. And thus, He tells us to WATCH therefore, and PRAY ALWAYS, that we may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:33-36)
"42 WATCH therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 3 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.44 Therefore BE YE ALSO READY: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, my lord delayeth his coming;49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt 24:42-51)
"6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.13 WATCH therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (Matt 25)
"34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.5 WATCH ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you SLEEPING.7 And what I say unto you I say unto all, WATCH." (Mark 13)
"35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find WATCHING: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.40 BE YE THEREFORE READY also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." (Luke 12)
Dear saints, we must watch, stand fast in the faith, quit ourselves like men, be strong, watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, and make full proof of our ministry (1 Cor 16:13, 2 Tim 4:5). We must REMEMBER how we have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If we do not watch, He will come upon us as a thief, and we shalt not know what hour He will come upon us (Rev 13:3). Behold, He comes as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garment, the righteous robe of Christ, by faith, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame (Rev 16:15). We keep our garment by continuing in the Gospel, by holding on to charity out of a pure heart, unfeigned faith, and a good conscience (1 Tim 1:5). We must keep His commandments without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim 6:14). We must be patient, therefore, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. We must also be patient; stablishing our hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh! (James 2:7-8)
"4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him." (1 Thess 5:4-10)
"But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." (1 Pet 4:7)
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Pastors According to Thine Heart
Dear beloved, the sheep are scattered because there is no shepherd: and they are meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. They wander through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, His flock is scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none do search or seek after them. (Ezek 34:5-6) True elders, true pastors, true under-shepherds are scarce. The diseased have not been strengthened. The sick have not been healed. The broken have not been bound up. Those who were driven away have not been brought back. Those who are lost have not been sought. (Ezek 34:4) But with force and cruelty false shepherds mingle and rule among the famished sheep. The gates of His people are sunk into the ground; He hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find NO vision from the LORD. Still other elders of the daughter of His people sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of His people hang down their heads to the ground. (Lam 2:9-10)
As today’s intercessors pray, their eyes do fail with tears, their bowels are troubled, and their livers are poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of His people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city. They say to their mothers, “Where is the corn and wine”, for the Chief Shepherd has said, “I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger” (John 6:35) and “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53) What thing shall the LORD take to witness for us? What thing shall He liken to us? What shall He equal to us, that He may comfort us. For our BREACH is great like the sea: who can heal us? Our prophets have seen vain and foolish things for us: and they have not discovered our iniquity, to turn away this captivity; but have seen for us false burdens and causes of banishment. (Lam 2:11-14)
You say, “No, there is a risen Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd! What more need we?”
Yes, indeed the sovereign Chief Shepherd, when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having NO shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest”. (Matt 9:36-38)
The LORD has so chosen to exercise His sovereignty by leading His people through under-shepherds after His own heart. When His hand is extended in favor upon us, He will set up shepherds over us which shall feed us: and we shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall we be lacking (Jer 23:4). O that He would give us pastors according to His heart, which shall feed us with knowledge and understanding (Jer 3:15)!
“The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one Shepherd.” (Ecc 12:11)
Christ is sufficient, and may we not fail to remember that when He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the PERFECTING of the saints, for the WORK of the ministry, for the EDIFYING of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT MAN, unto the MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the TRUTH in LOVE, may grow up into Him in all things, Which is the Head, even Christ: from Whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Eph 4:8-16)
We need these under-shepherds for our perfecting, the work of our ministry, the edifying of ourselves. We need them.
Lord, have mercy!
Lord, have mercy!
If He rends the heavens and comes down, that which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities therefore, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass under the hands of him that telleth them. (Jer 33:12-13) For behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and PRINCES SHALL RULE IN JUDGMENT. And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. For the vile person will speak villainy, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice HYPOCRISY , and to utter ERROR against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also of the churl, the mean-spirited man, are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right. Yes, this is the state of the present day. But the liberal, the generous, deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. (Is 32:1-8)
Beloved, there are two breaches of our day (in addition to others):
1. We have not understood the Counsel of the Word of God with regard to our need to continue in the eternal Gospel.
We think that we see, but our eyes are dim. We think that we hear, but we do not hearken. We think that we understand knowledge, but we are rash. We think that we speak plainly, but we stammer. For we have largely misunderstood, forsaken, and ignored the Scriptures warnings from falling away from the true faith that we have had in the past. Most have not even understood that they could fall away from the faith. And as we approach this great falling away, this plaque of apostasy, we are horrendously unprepared, for we do not see falling away as a possibility. And because of this specific blind-spot, much of the Counsel of the Word of God that commands us to lay hold of eternal Life now, to add to our faith, knowledge, virtue, temperance, patience, Godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (2 Pet 1:5-7), to labor to enter His rest, to guard the faith entrusted to us, to ABIDE IN HIM watchfully and prayerfully until the end, for we know not when the end will come...,because we do not believe that we can fall away, we do not understand the urgency nor experience the force of much of the Scriptures. For this doctrine should compel us to utterly rely upon the power and Word of God, the working and outpouring of His Spirit, and should rush our souls to the throne of grace: into the very life of Christ…relentlessly and constantly!
2. There is a severely scare number of elders (under-shepherds) who are both anointed and who understand the whole Counsel of the Word.
In Spiritual view of our potential to fall away and our need to attain to perfection, that is, the state of having a conscience purged by the blood of Christ from dead works to serve the living God (Heb 9:14), the state in which all the faculties are consciously subjected to one’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, falling short of true perfection, but nevertheless devoid of continual willful sin and containing faith in the present atonement of hidden sin, we may understand the need for true under-shepherds who will watch over our souls.
The heart of a true under-shepherd is described in Paul’s last words to the Ephesian elders:
22 And now, behold, I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing SHALL grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also OF YOUR OWN SELVES shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I CEASED NOT TO WARN EVERY ONE NIGHT AND DAY WITH TEARS 32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the WORD OF HIS GRACE, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. 33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:22-35)
Ponder upon these aspects of a true under-shepherd:
· Experiences bonds and afflictions
· Bound in the Spirit to finish his course with joy
· Has received the ministry from the LORD Jesus to testify to the Gospel of grace
· Does not count his life dear to himself
· Pure of the blood of all men (a faithful watchman; see Ezek 3:17-21)
· Feeds the church of God, which Christ has purchased with His own blood
· KNOWS that after his departure grievous wolves SHALL enter in NOT sparing the flock, and of their own selves false prophets would arise
· For three years, warns EVERYONE day and night with tears
· Covets no mammon
· SHOWS them all things: how to labour to support the weak
Even when the people fail to listen, the true pastor speaks. When the people said to Jeremiah, “Where is the Word of the LORD? Let It come now”, he did not hasten from being a pastor to follow God: neither had he desired the woeful day that the apostate people deserved: God knew that what came out of his lips was right before Himself. He said to the LORD, “Be not a terror unto me: Thou art my hope in the day of evil. Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.” (Jer 17:15-16)
A true elder may say, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1) and “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). Consider Epaphras, the dear fellowservant of the Colossians, a faithful minister and servant of Christ, who always labored fervently for them, that they may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Such great zeal he had for them! (Col 4:12-13) Consider again Paul: he rejoiced in his sufferings for God’s people, and filled up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in his flesh FOR HIS BODY’S SAKE, which is the church: whereof he was made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which was given to him, to fulfil the Word of God (Col 1:24-25) He longed to see his people, that he may impart unto them some Spiritual gift, to the end that they be ESTABLISHED (Rom 1:11).
Specifically with regard to the Scriptures doctrine of keeping the faith, lest we fall away, Paul exercised his authority as an under-shepherd:
“2 For I am JEALOUS OVER YOU with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Cor 11:2-3)
“’I am AFRAID OF [for] YOU, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” (Gal 4:11)
Finally, the true under-shepherd views God’s people as his JOY and CROWN!
“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” (Phil 4:1)
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (1 Thess 2:19)
O beloved, will you cry out to the Lord with me for God to anoint, teach, and raise up for us men of God who will lead us in this narrow way? O that we would have men who rule over us that we may obey and submit to them: for they would watch for our souls as those who will give account to our LORD (Heb 13:17)! Such elders that rule well are counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the Word and Doctrine. For the Scripture saith that we shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn: the elder who studies to shew himself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15)! And the labourer is worthy of his reward (1 Tim 5:17-18).
Friday, October 18, 2013
The Sweet Scroll Turned Bitter
Dear beloved, do you believe that the Lord has imparted His mind and heart to prophets who are alive in the present time? Who are they who have stood in the counsel of the Lord, and who have perceived and heard His Word? Who has marked His Word, and heard it? These are they who cause His people to hear His Words that they should then be turned away from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. (Jer 23:18, 22)
Who are the prophets, not the false prophets who proclaim peace, but the true prophets? Where are they? What are they saying? What is the message of the Lord to us in our day? What does He see when He looks down upon His people?
Yes, these prophets are alive. They are appalled. They weep and mourn continually. They see the masses in darkness. They see the regenerated people of God in slumber, deception, carnality, apostasy…the Word of the Lord to these prophets is sweet to their taste, but it has turned to gall in their stomach, for the Word is rejected and trampled as they declare it. For those who shun evil have become a prey. Truth cannot enter into the streets. This is the experience of true prophets throughout history:
Jeremiah prayed, “O Lord, Thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in Thy longsuffering: know that for Thy sake I have suffered rebuke. Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the JOY and REJOICING of mine heart: for I am called by Thy Name, O LORD God of hosts. I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat ALONE because of Thy hand: for Thou hast filled me with INDIGNATION. Why is my PAIN perpetual, and my wound INCURABLE, which refuseth to be healed? Wilt Thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?” Therefore thus saith the LORD to him, “If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before Me: and if thou TAKE FORTH THE PRECIOUS FROM THE VILE, thou shalt be as My mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them. And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD”. (Jer 15:15-20)
The Lord said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.” So he opened his mouth, and He caused him to eat that roll. And He said to Him, “Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee”. Then he ate it; and it was in his mouth as honey for sweetness. And He said unto him, “Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with My Words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel WILL NOT HEARKEN unto thee; for they will not hearken UNTO ME: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. Behold I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.” Moreover the Lord said to him, “Son of man, all My Words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears and go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, ‘thus saith the Lord GOD’; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear”. (Ez 3:1-11)
As the apostle John saw the visions of Revelations, he went unto the angel, and asked for the little book. The angel said unto him, “Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly BITTER, but it shall be in thy mouth SWEET as honey”. And he took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in his mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as he had eaten it, his belly was bitter. And the angel said unto him, “Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings”. (Rev 10:9-11)
The prophets who have stood in His counsel do experience the unsealing of the Word of God, which commands for continual Spiritual perfection, that is, the ongoing keeping of the faith in the eternal Gospel which results in a purging of the conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb 9:14). Such a maintenance of watchfulness, zeal, labor, and all this by keeping oneself in the love of God, is not an option, but a necessity for a worthy standing before the judgment throne: covered in the righteousness of Christ. O dear saints, if we are not progressively conformed to Christ’s image, we are not going to make it! We cannot stand before the Son of Man as we are: altogether lukewarm and in slumber! Furthermore, these true prophets have seen from the unsealed Counsel of Scripture that one truly can LOSE WHAT HE HAS ATTAINED. It is even guaranteed! NOW the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the LATTER TIMES some SHALL DEPART FROM THE FAITH, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1) And yet the vast majority of these sleeping virgins remain in a state of false security. They trust in the doctrine of “eternal security”, but were they to continue in their laxity, they would perish! A horrifying reality is that when these people of God fail to comprehend the need to continue steadfast in the faith, constantly abiding in the Vine, until the very end, watchful and, by the Spirit, waiting for the hope of righteousness by faith (Gal 5:5), THEIR FALSE BELIEF IN ETERNAL SECURITY WITH NO CONDITIONS OF ABIDING in CHRIST SEALS THE MIND AND BLINDS THE HEART TO MUCH OF THE COUNSEL OF THE WORD!!! And this is the state of far too many of God’s people now. And thus, the prophets are appalled at what they see. For if they continue in this deception, the Word of the Lord is unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they mightgo, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Is 28:13)
The prophets are appalled. They are as Daniel who fainted, was sick certain days; afterwards rose up, and did the king’s business; and wasastonishedat the vision he had seen, but none understood it (Dan 8:27). Their eyes roam the earth at each “Christian” profession, formality, institution, company, organization, structure…and they turn away in disgust, for these well-meaning people of God do not understand the times. They do not understand the fragility of their souls in their passivity. They do not understand the judgments of the Lord. For they that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things. (Prov 28:4-5)
The prophets are appalled. For the Lord says, “Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto My Words, nor to My law, but rejected it.” (Jer 6:19) The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the Word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them (Jer 8:9)? Our Lord Jesus has said, “He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My Words, hath One that judgeth him: the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48)
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine [the Word of God]; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (2 Tim 4:3)
What specifically have the people of God rejected from the Word of God? They have refused to heed the commands to absolute surrender, constant abiding, laying hold of eternal life at the present time until the end FOR SALVATION. This is the teaching of Christ: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure TO THE END, the same shall be saved” (Matt 24:12-13) For as Jesus spoke, many believed on Him. Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed on Him, “If ye continue in My Word, then ye are My disciples; and ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free” (John 8:30-32). Whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him (1 John 2:5). May we all thoroughly examine the teachings of Christ: remember the Parable of the 10 Virgins (keep the anointing; do not sleep), the Parable of the Sower (hold fast the Word with patience), giving up all to be His disciple, counting the cost, those who escape judgment have labored (fed the hungry/thirsty, given to the poor, welcomed the lonely, visited the sick…), the Parable of the Wedding Feast (keep His garment), the Parable of the Talents (be faithful with what we have granted; do not be slothful), the Parable of the Vinedresser (receive the Son), the Parable of the Prodigal Son (return when we go astray that we may be forgiven), the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (forgive or be damned) every branch IN HIM that bears no fruit is cut off, being ready to stand before the Son of Man (constant prayerfulness and watchfulness)…No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62) Finally His commission to His disciples: All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matt 28:18-20) We are to teach His people to observe ALL THINGS WHATSOVER HE HAS COMMANDED US. For every scribe which is instructed unto the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old, and the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household to give them their portion of meat in due season, for blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing (Matt 13:52, Luke 12:42-43). If we love Him more than “these” (everything of the world), we will feed His sheep! We will feed them the unsealed Counsel of the Lord, that is, we will teach and proclaim what the Spirit has revealed from His Word to us in the inner room.
This neglected but critical doctrine of Scripture, namely, of keeping our faith constantly until the end, of always keeping the garment of Christ’s righteousness by abiding in Him, is a doctrine which is in accordance with GODLINESS. As we are faced with this doctrine, our love for our Lord is tested. For only those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who cry out for the Holy Spirit’s filling and outpouring, who crave the flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ…will be able to joyfully, yet with fear and trembling, accept these teachings of Scripture. Is the Scripture sealed to you, dear one, because you are not willing to fully surrender your carnal desires to Him?For the vast majority of speakers are false prophets, false dreamers who heal the hurt of God’s people slightly saying “peace, peace” when there is NO PEACE (Jer 8:11). The Lord tells us that we shalt NOT hearken the words of these prophets, or these dreamers who dream: for the Lord our God PROVETH US, to know whether we LOVE THE LORD OUR GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART AND WITH ALL OUR SOUL(Deut 13:3). For His Word is very pure: therefore His servants love It (Ps 119:140) Jesus said, “If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the Word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me” (John 14:23-24) How we must love His law, making it our meditation all the day. We must hate vain thoughts and abhor lying, but His law we must love! (Ps 119:97, 113, 163)
Do you justify yourself saying, “No believer is perfect. There is no way that I have to live like Christ and the New Testament saints, truly, to enter the Kingdom of God. God is merciful. I will at least barely miss the flames…” But remember that the saints overcome the evil one by the blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of their testimony; and they LOVED NOT THEIR LIVES UNTO DEATH (Rev 12:11). They desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city (Heb 11:16). Mark His Words, beloved, if we do not bear fruit, if we do not continue in His goodness, we are going to be cut off, regardless of the righteousness that came from out of us in the past because of our prior faith (John 15:2, Rom 11:22, Ez 3:20).
“16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Rom 6:16-18)
The prophets are appalled because sound doctrine has been destroyed among us, and we are going to be damned if the Lord does not open up His Word to us. The Gospel alone is the power of God for those who believe and KEEP on believing. What astounding eternal security is to be found as we continue in the Gospel, as we continue in His Word, as we abide and bear fruit; how He keeps us by His own power as we trust Him! But this drifting, this coasting, this slumber…we will not overcome! We will not be found worthy! The prophets are appalled.
Sound doctrine is near to us, and refreshing, and yet we have rejected it. For His doctrine shall drop as rain, His speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because the Name of the Lord is published by His saints: may we ascribe greatness unto our God! (Deut 32:1-3) The Words of our Lord are the rest wherewith we may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet we would NOT hear (Is 28:12).
But our Lord is commanding us now to repent and to take heed to Him and His prophets who command us to keep believing and laying hold of eternal life lest we be damned! For in the multitude of His tender mercies towards His remant, they that erred in spirit SHALL COME TO UNDERSTANDING, and they that murmured SHALL LEARN DOCTRINE (Is 29:24). O, all things are possible beloved! For He gives us good doctrine and commands us not to forsake His law (Prov 4:2) He tells us to HOLD FASTthe form of sound words, which we have heard from the Scriptures, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto us, the Gospel, we must keep by the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us. (2 Tim 1:13-14) Till Christ returns, we must give attendance to READING, to EXHORTATION, to DOCTRINE (1 Tim 4:13) He tells us to take heed to ourselves and our DOCTRINE, to CONTINUE in them, for in doing this we shalt both SAVE ourselves, and them that hear us (1 Tim 4:16). The New Testament saints continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine (which contained strong warnings against the real possibility of falling away from Christ after having known Him) and fellowship, and the breaking of bread, and in prayers.WHAT MAKES US THINK WE CAN MAKE IT WITHOUT THESE THINGS?!?
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 9)
A faithful servant of the Lord, in this day, labors in prayer, stands in the presence of the Lord to hear from Him His mind and heart towards His people. O how they mourn in this evil day, refusing to be comforted, until the Lord’s Covenant is fulfilled towards His bride! Paul told Timothy that if he puts the brethren in remembrance of these things, he should be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and ofgood doctrine, whereunto he had attained (1 Tim 4:6), to let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they wholabour in the Word and doctrine (1 Tim 5:17), for he had fully known Paul’s doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, the deliverances of the Lord in the midst of these (1 Tim 5:17, 2 Tim 3:10-11), to preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine (2 Tim 4:2), to continue in the things which he had learned and had been assured of, knowing of whom he had learned them; and that from a child he had known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make him wise UNTO SALVATION through faith which is in Christ Jesus, for all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim 3:14-17). Likewise Paul told Titus to hold fast the faithful Word as he had been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both the exhort and to convince the gainsayers (Tit 1:9).
“18 Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease. 19 Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward Him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.” (Lam 2:18-19)My request to you, beloved: PLEASE read the book “The Condescension of God” (available free online) which I believe is an unsealing of the everlasting Word of God in our day through a humble prophet writing with the gracious empowering of the Holy Spirit (yes, there are other prophets alive with the same message). It is an awe-striking work, proclaiming nothing new, but simply bringing out hidden and old treasures of the Word, and is, I am assured, the most blessed proclamation of sound doctrine in the past several centuries (yes, before the Lord, I do mean to say this). If you have any desire at all to continue in the Gospel, to abide in our Lord, to overcome, to be counted worthy…
“And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.” (Jer 23:4)
“And I will give you pastors according to Mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jer 3:15)