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Saturday, October 26, 2013
Perfection or Damnation
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)