by: GARY R. KANE
37For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. 38But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." 39But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
It seems so many are caught up in their own world they do not have time for the fellowship of the brethren, or to do the Kingdom work and service. There is far more to Kingdom service than preaching. If all Jesus and his followers ever did was preach, we would have no example of true love, or even the true and only God. We must learn how to hear His Spirit, and follow Him, every moment, in every thing we do.
This takes discipline, and being filled with the Word of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, and obeying that which we have taken to heart in our fellowship with Him. The more we listen, the more He will speak to us. The more we obey in an instant what He has spoken to our heart, the more He will continue to speak to us. He knows He has an obedient servant He can count upon to do His will in the Kingdom of God, so that ...."It will be done on earth as it is in heaven..."
Spreading peace, goodness, His love, healing, deliverance, salvation. The good news of and about Jesus Christ, and doing what Jesus did. What He commissioned us to do. "The works, the same works, He did while on earth..." This is when the Kingdom of God, as Jesus said, "Is come among you..."
Well, nothing has changed. God has not changed. He still wants the Kingdom of God to come among His people, and those lost sheep in the earth. The Kingdom of God is within us by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the blood of Christ Jesus. We can do what He has command us to do, only if we are continually being filled with the Spirit of God, and obeying His voice in even the smallest things, and not always looking back or growing weary in doing good. Paul admonishes us ..."not to grow weary in doing good..." This is to say, go about doing good. Go about doing the Kingdom works of Christ. Not good works just for 'works sake.' Not good works to earn salvation, or stay in good standing with God. No. Good works, because Jesus command us to do so, and James tells us that faith without these works, is dead faith, and this faith cannot save anyone.
14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. (emphasis mine). 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
In the post office the other day, standing in line, was a guy with a red robe rapped around him, and a shaved head and sandals. The line was filled with many people, and it was very quite in there. The Holy Spirit told me to tell this man that there was no way to heaven except through Jesus Christ. I bathed it in 'verbal whispering prayer for a few seconds', to prepare his heart to hear and receive, and then turned to him, and gave the message the Holy Spirit had directed me to give him.
Everyone in there leaned over the counter and stared at us. He said... "I do not believe in any God. There is no God. God does not exist." I told him that he was very wrong, and that "there is one God, and His name is Jesus Christ". He smirked and said, "I have read your bible and you are wasting your time with me. Good try though." I replied, "I am not trying to give it a good shot. I am simply telling you what God wants me to say." Again he replied," There is no God." He continued to say, "how do you know what your bible says is true ? There are so many religions, how do you know yours is the right way?"
I simply said, "Because mine is the only one that has the living God. One who lived and died for me. Took my place on the cross and bore my sin for me. Although buried, rose again three days later, and is "Alive" at the right hand of the Father. Who brings me salvation by grace through faith, not my works, not my good deeds but by faith alone." He replied, "You walk in blind faith, and your faith is not sound, it is blind." I said, "You believe there in NO God, yet tell me my faith is blind ? You 'expose' your blindness with foolishness" ! I continued.. "You have absolutely nothing to believe in or on, and no one to lead you or guide you, other than your own philosophy, or that which enters your own mind, yet you say I walk by blind faith, when I have the living God in me who loves me and speaks to me, and directs my path" ! I was next to go to the tellers desk, so I said, "at least think on what I have said...." He grinned at me like I was the biggest joke he had ever heard, and that was that.... I was going to wait for him outside and speak with him some more, but the Lord would not allow me to.... Those who will not listen, or believe, or obey, will not hear any more from the Lord. This is true of those in the world, or Sunday morning in the pews......
I have come across a host of people of late, that just will not listen, or believe. Most are in a Church.
I talked with a brother I have not seen in a long while, who was trying to encourage me to go to a meeting held by a man I do not bear witness with in the Lord as bringing forth the truth 'without mixture'. I said brother, why would I do this? I told you this man is not someone I remotely bear witness with. He said, "but he sat under Brother so and so's teaching, and was associated with this name and that name" etc. I said, "so what. I do not care who sat under who. That does not mean they walk with the Lord." That does not mean they teach the truth "now." I knew of this minister and his teachings, and wanted no part of it.
I said, "I have seen those who have sat under my ministry for years, turn around later on down the line and sit under women pastors, and joke tellers, and false prophets. I have seen those I have spoke the truth to for years turn aside to neglect, and complacency concerning the things of God. I have seen those who have sat under the names you dropped on me, then later on act like pagans, like brutes. I have pastored those who have sat under so called names, and they have turned upon me and tried to render me like swine".
I tried to convince this dear man of God, that so called big names in the ministry do not matter, and people will fall away and walk away from Christ, or just end up mediocre and lazy spiritually, "if they do not practice what they have seen and heard..." There is one name. Jesus ! What matters is, are you focused on this name. Are you sitting at His feet? Are you sitting under a pure word from Him through a vessel that is walking with Him, and under His authority, and anointing. Are you obeying what you have heard ? He did not seem to have an ear to hear, so I had to be quiet by the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Some are more intent on being sick than being healed by the Spirit of God. More intent on their misery than receiving their healing by faith. I am not condemning them. I am saying, we have got to pick up this bible and believe it, and with complete abandon to the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit, and that by faith, do what it says... Fear, unbelief, and 'figuring it all out', puts us in the same position as the man in the red robe at the post office ! Nothing but our own guidance, and reasoning to lead us, while dropping in a prayer here and there....
Some people just put more faith in Satan to keep them in bondage, than they do Christ to deliver them !
Also, just as the man at the post office said.. "There is no God." To him there was not. In his religion there was not. No where to go, no one to turn to for help and mercy and grace. Oh how very terrifying, what a horrible thought !
But did you know that you could be just like this man ?
Psalm 14: 1
1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
The fool says in his heart, "there is no God." Did you know that there are multitudes in the Church saying this every week, every day ? Every time the Holy Spirit puts His finger on an area of our lives that we 'do not' want to die to, or surrender, we are saying, "There is NO God going to touch this part of my life. I am not going to allow God to have all this. I will surrender here, and over there. I will give this much, and yield this much, but There is NO God going to get this part...." That is right ! Every time a person says, "I am keeping this bitterness, I am never going to forgive him, I will not move here or there and serve God, I will not let go of this fear to be giving and generous. I will never listen to that part of the gospel, I will never get rid of this infirmity, well, this is just the way I am. Rude. I will always be this way. I will not honor all men as God commands me to. I will not take the time to spend with God in prayer and praise and worship, so as to know Him better, I am to busy, or I have to many other things going on in life."
Every time, we 'will not' surrender to God what He wants, and we 'will not' let go of certain attitudes, and sins of the heart, and actions that God has shown us, perhaps for years in some cases.. We are saying clearly. "There is NO God going to have that area of my life." One can join the company of "Fools" very quickly in such a way as this. What then, with this attitude, will separate what you say that you serve, from that which the heathen says he serves ? What difference will those around you see between the heathen and Christ Jesus in your life ? What purpose now, will your 'showing up' to the meetings each week serve if this is your attitude? And if you have once again, become a fool, from once you escaped by repentance, and trusting Christ, have now gone back in your heart through your refusal to deal with what God is after. Then, what service do you offer to the one you call your brother or sister in the Lord, or to those in the world ?
Proverbs 3: 1-15
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (a fool will not do this) 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; (this is the walk of pride), fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. ( this is just 'part' of 'showing your faith' through your 'good deeds of love', walking in God's kind of love, we saw in James) 11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, (this will make you wise, if you will receive his rebuke) 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. (the eternal, is far greater than the tangible, than that which will pass away) (emphasis mine).
Unfortunately this seems to be the direction of the body of Christ for the most part. "leaning upon their own understanding." "Being wise in their own eyes.." (pride). And in Vs. 1 "Forgetting His teaching, and the teaching they have received from those God has sent into their lives..."
Fear. Fear of dying to the flesh. Fear of turning over "all control to the Holy Spirit."
Yet all the while we are told not to have fear. Not to let fear have dominion over us. Not to allow anything to have dominion over us, except the precious Holy Spirit of God.
Joshua 1: 1-9
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: 2 "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Instead of our borders being "broadened,' and our "territory" being expanded, or extended, to take us into the depths of Christ, and walk in the resurrection realm, in the deep with the Lord, some have allowed the "Hittites" to hinder them. The word Hittite, means fear dread and confusion. This is a good description of the last days church. The Babylon church. Fear to move on with the Lord. Fear to follow His Word and ways. Fear to let go of their excessive luxuries, (for these have become a necessity for worship), fear to come out from under the house of merriment, and the places of a laughter that does not come from the true joy of the Holy Spirit, but comes from the light hearted soft comfort of her amusement for the flesh. Rather than find a mourners bench, and fall upon the "Rock," Jesus, and cry out for mercy and healing and repentance. Now, as we see in the passage below in Revelation, and the next passage from Matthew, the "Rock (Christ), will fall on them.."
Revelation 18: 1- 11, 21-24
1After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2With a mighty voice he shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! (this Babylon spoke of, represents a Church, a Nation, a people, that have not and will not surrender to God with all their hearts. They still say, " NO God will have 'that part' of my heart" ). She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. (often in scripture we find that 'unclean bird' or 'detestable bird' refers to demons. Remember what Jesus taught about the 'birds of the air' swooping down to steal the word of God. Remember, where you have un-repented, un-dealt with sin, no repentance coming forth, no walk of righteousness, you have "flesh." where you have flesh being god, you have a home for demons ). 3For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, (literal kings, and 'flesh kings.' Those who will not submit all upon the altar of God's perfect will for them, but cling to their idol of greed, lust, bitterness, whatever it may be), and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries." ( a very good number of what is called church today, are more concerned with their comfort, and their luxury, than having a pure heart before God). 4Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, (does God clearly say to "His people" who sit in these houses of famine of the Word of God, these houses of comfort and luxury, these houses of tradition and easy believe-ism, to "Come Out ?" YES ! "And here is why look" ) so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; judgments, "so they will not be "destroyed". This is not a once saved always saved walk beloved. Look at it in your Bible ! Who is God talking to? what did he say was the reason to leave the house of incorrect doctrine that does not conform "His people" to righteousness ? ) 5for her sins are piled up to heaven, (because she won't repent), and God has remembered her crimes. 6Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. (emphasis mine)
I will insert here, scripture from 1 Corinthians 10: 14-22
14Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
18Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons. 22Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (emphasis mine).
Our "Participation in fellowship", is supposed to be strictly at the table of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to, as Jesus instructed us, ..."eat His flesh, and drink His blood..." What does this mean? It simply means this. We are to 'take to heart', (agree with), the Word of God. It is being one with Christ, and abiding in Him, and Him in us. In short it is true spiritual communion with Christ moment by moment through the Holy Spirit ! This is the 'bread intake.' The Word in us through prayer.
We are to "be doers of the Word of God." This is our walk of obedience walking in blood covenant with Him. The Christian "can not" have it both ways. Eating at the table of the Lord in obedience to Him, and eating at the table of demons, and resisting the dealings of the Holy Spirit time and time again ! This is the Harlot Babylonian heart, to continue in sin after once turning to Christ for salvation by grace through faith. Meaning as we saw a moment ago. "I will never forgive them, I will never let go of this. I will never give those up." "There is NO God going to get this part of my life.' !
This is the 'maddening wine' of the Harlot hearted double minded adulteress.
As for Revelation verse 14, we saw above. Let us look for a moment at what "God calls Idolatry." There are so many who would not dare think they are Idolaters. Here is what God calls Idolatry.
Colossians 3: 5-10
5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Let us continue in Revelation where we left off.
7. Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, 'I sit as queen; (who do you think is the King? Jesus). I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.' (in other words, "once I am saved I am always saved they say." Being a widow here means divorced from Christ, and these stubborn people, Jesus just warned, "His people" to "come out" , are saying in their pride, "I'll never be a widow" ! God just told them they would be if they did not run from these false teachings ! ) 8Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. (does this sound like the world today? Does this sound like this nation today? Does this sound like a great deal of what is called church today? Spiritual death. Mourning not over sin, "but because of it" ! Famine of hearing the true Word of God. All of it !) She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. 9"When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: " 'Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!' 11"The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more ( does this sound like what we are now seeing in the world, the nation, and a good deal of what is called Church ) ?
21Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: "With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. 22The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. (there will be no more truly anointed praise, no true shouts of joy) No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again ( the millstone was for grinding out grain, and that grain made into bread, which becomes the fruit, the one loaf of the body of Christ. Christ likeness, that now, those in need can eat off this tree of life, those bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit are becoming a place of refreshing, a place to receive hope, all because of Jesus in them, by the work of the Holy Spirit. A people who believed, obeyed, and did not faint ! But because of their disobedience, this grinding out the grain to bring the life of Christ is gone.) 23The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. ( is the true Word of God supposed to be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path ?) The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. (the voice of the bridegroom, Jesus, is gone, because the voice of the bride to be would not lift her voice to repent). Your merchants were the world's great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. 24In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, ( the blood of the prophets and the saints. This was because those who loved their sin more than God, and would not deal with it, rejected the voice of the prophets, and those remnant saints of God buy putting them to death), and of all who have been killed on the earth." (emphasis mine).
People are still "putting to death" the prophets voice today as well. Some have literally been martyred, and most find themselves in the following position. As did Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 18: 18
18 They said, "Come, let's make plans against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priest will not be lost, nor will counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. So come, let's attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says."
Let's attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to what he says ! I can tell you, this is one way today, those in the world, and in the church who love their sin and their religious form of godliness put to death the prophets. Discredit them ! Lie about them ! Use their viper like tongues to spread a "bad report," about the one bringing the truth, 'and' about the message he brings. This way, no one will listen any longer ! Put to death, that which can save them, for fear of having to die to their flesh ! For fear of having to believe the truth, and walk by faith in the Word of God, and obey what they heard !
Again, back to Revelation 23
( By your magic spell the nations were led astray. Does this sound like the bewitching spirit Paul warned of in Galatians 3 ) ?
Galatians 3: 1-5
1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? (does this sound like the warning from Jesus to the Church at Thyatira ? )
Revelation 2 : 18- 25
18"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. ( does this sound like what we read in 1 Corinthians 10: 14-22 ? Teaching that does not conform to godliness, but rather leads to a divided heart, and trying to eat at "two tables" There is a spiritual immorality, 'not willing to put the flesh to death,' as well as a sexual immorality, they both bring a divided heart.) 21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. (if you want to see the grace and mercy of God, look at this ! God is willing to forgive this Jezebel, the one leading His own people into sin because of her teaching. Because of her so called deep teachings, her perverted revelations of the Word of God, and the truth that is "Omitted," to the people, suppressed, held back, never revealed. Causing these ones to eat at two tables, causing them to eat food sacrificed to Idols. That is to 'take in', other things along side Jesus, not just Jesus alone.. Is this what we read about in 1 Corinthians 10: 14-22 ? Not being participants with demons, but rather 'eat form the table of the Lord alone'. That is His Word, and then follow in obedience. Blood covenant ). (emphasis mine).
22 So, I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. ( does it sound like Peter was right? Judgment begins in the house of God...?) 24. Now I say to the rest of you who do not hold to her teaching (that is to say, they do not walk in her way of love for the flesh, an unwilling-ness to repent) and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): 25Only hold on to what you have until I come. 26To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— (emphasis mine).
Instead of Believing
and obeying by faith. The truth was rejected, for the comfort/s of the
Matthew 21: 42 - 46
42Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: " 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes' ? 43"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." 45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
The "Stone" Jesus, was being rejected by some of God's own people in the Church at Thyatira. Some were following their own devices, and that was instilled in them by a bewitching Jezebel spirit. We might see a certain teacher as a fine upstanding man of God. We may think what we are getting in the singles class is the "truth." We may feel that all the allurement, and entertainment, and razzle dazzle we are being fed is what Church is really like. We may even think that staying home and not going anywhere at all because of the foolishness we see makes so very much more spiritual. Dear one I have to tell you, these things may not at all be what they seem. Stain glass does not keep the devil out of the pulpit or the pews !
We need to line up with what the word of God says, and love the Word, and love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts. Surrendering everything to Him, nothing left undone. Seeking Him with a pure heart, and serving Him with pure motives. Not for selfish gain. Looking to the Holy Spirit for our instructions, for the next step and the next breath. Not seeking to be comfortable, not allowing ourselves to become indifferent and complacent. Not neglecting the Word of God and prayer, and worship in the Spirit and truth, nor neglecting the needs of those who need a touch from the hand of God in some way. We must be a people who will embrace the truth of God's Word with all our heart, and rely upon His love, and be servants of His kingdom, not trying to build or create our own. There must be a union in the body of Christ that takes place in our gatherings, that saturates, and permeates to the very marrow that which is the peace and love of God. Freedom, that comes from the truth spoke in love to one another. With one leader. Jesus. The Holy Spirit leading the way, giving the direction, and conducting the gatherings, not men deciding all the forms and traditional ways of what has become the standard worship service. Rather the pure undefiled presence of the Holy Spirit bringing a fresh fire into the atmosphere, and thus the kingdom of heaven touching each one, and they in turn bearing the fruit of God to another that the whole body grow up into one loaf, and have one mind, and be of one accord.
This is where we will see the healing, the deliverance, the salvation of Christ. This is where there is but one desire, and that is to know Him, and glorify Him as one body. This is where we will know and be known. This is the beginning of walking in the resurrection realm, and coming into the understanding of the will and heart of Christ.
20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Those who refuse to allow the Holy Spirit His way with their heart. Those who compromise and play with sin. Those who are to lazy to dig into the Word of God, and stay in prayer, and seek the mind of Christ, are not walking in 'God's kind of righteousness'. They are walking in their own form of godliness. I do not care who you know, or who you sit under, or what their names are. It does not matter what you prayed, or who lead you to the Lord, or by what name is on the sign in the front of the building you walk into. What matters is are you obeying today. Are you walking in obedience to Christ now.
1 John 2: 3-6 Makes this very plain !
3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
The Pharisees were filled with the fear and pride we mentioned a moment ago. Fear of "coming out" of their religious walk, and fear of full surrender to Christ. Fear of dying to the flesh. They have what Paul called in 2 Timothy... "A form of godliness."
2 Timothy 3: 5
5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (denying the power of the blood of Christ to cleanse from "all sin," denying the power of the Word of God by the Holy Spirit to do all He promised He would do in our lives and gatherings... Again, fear, unbelief, not willing to full obey ). (emphasis mine).
What are some of the signs, the characteristics of these pretenders with only a "form of godliness.?"
2 Timothy 3: 1-4, 6-9
1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:
24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. (in other words, His teaching was anointed, it had weight, it had power, unlike the teachings of the Pharisees) (emphasis mine).
Luke 6: 43-49
43"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
46"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? 47I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
Folks. The Church is filled today with these modern day 'teachers of the law,' and the 'teachers of folly'. Both are un-anointed, and carry no authority, or life, or power in their words, for they too, are slaves to tradition, and rules, and entertainments and sin. The "rains" are coming down even now, at this writing. We are seeing the judgments of God upon the earth, and the skirts of those who do not walk in righteousness will be lifted. Their nakedness will be, and is being exposed for the world to see. What a sad witness to those without Christ of what the true followers of Jesus should look like. On the other hand, this "exposing," can help to open the eyes of those who have long mocked the things of God and the people of God, to see that God is very concerned about it all. He will clean His house as well, and bring the 'true remnant of the Lord to the surface as pure gold', for she will be awakened, and trim her lamp, and will see to walk upon the path of righteousness. And that which is narrow, she will have no fear, because she knows her house built, even on a narrow way, has the broad arms of her risen Lord to hold her and keep her in the times of the great floods of Satan upon the earth. She is built upon the Rock, not the sand. So, when the flood comes, she will not fall. Christ will not let her go down !
Those floods have come. They are here now. Not only in the judgments brought forth because of sin, but these floods also have a powerful effect on the body of Christ as well. Not just the world.
13When the dragon (Satan), saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. (the flood). 16But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (emphasis mine).
A "Flood of lies"
15Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent.
Is Jesus the "Water of Life"? Well, here the serpent, Satan, is spewing from his mouth a water like a river. Notice "like a river." Jesus is the river of life, and it is the Word from His mouth that we are to live by. So, Satan comes along with the counterfeit. We have seen this time and again. A "mixture" of the truth, and the deception of flesh and hell. Why? Why is Satan doing this? To over take the woman (church), and sweep her away in the torrent (flood). What comes out of the mouth ? Words ! These are the words of Satan, all lies. For Jesus said that Satan is ..."the father of all lies..." These lies are being used (to those who listen and receive them), to weaken the body of Christ, and break down her spiritual immune system, and cause her to be of no effect to the body of Christ, or the world.
Again look at Revelation:
17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
What is the dragon, (Satan) doing ? He is becoming more and more enraged in these last days, and waging war like never before on the people of God. By the way, this is only to those who obey His (God's) commandments and hold fast, (don't give in, or give up), to the testimony of Jesus. Satan is not interested or worried about those who are luke warm. They are already holding hands with him !
Satan comes and lies to the people of God, and tells them they don't need to trust God completely. They do not need to surrender everything. They do not need to die to their flesh in every area, only that which is convenient, that which won't cause much or any loss to them. He has all but convinced most that what they take in hours a day on the television set is reality. Sickness, disease, medication galore. Trust in this for that. Trust in him, or this man, or this medication. Trust in your stocks, and bonds, invest in gold we are told. On we can go. Not just on the television, but from almost every form of what we see, and read, and are surrounded by each day, and from the pulpits as well. Unbelief is preached and practiced far more than the teaching of "true faith." I say true faith, because their is a faith being taught that is no faith at all. It is a passport to wealth, and prosperity, and a utopia type life with no problems, and no attacks form the evil one, and no repentance needed. Just be nice. Just know you prayed a prayer and now all is well.
Folks, there is no power with out true godly sorrow over sin. But wait. How can you know you are in sin, when it is rarely mentioned in the pulpit ! How can you know that you are in bondage when you are not taught to stay in the word of God, to know Him better. Some tell you to stay in the Word. But the reason is so you can create wealth. Most go to a building on Sunday morning and Wednesday night out of habit, and sit in the same chair, and listen to the same mundane messages without power to transform and bring forth the true life and miracle working power of God. Some go for all the sports, and other activities afford there. Then go home and sit in front of news papers and Television sets, and dirty movies, and are transformed alright. Transformed into further unbelief. Transformed into deeper conviction that God can't do a thing any more. Their dependence upon men grows stronger every day, they will go bankrupt without men. They will faint without men ! They will die without the hand of man !
Jeremiah 17: 5-8
5 This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. 7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
Look at the blessed hope in the next few verses !
Jeremiah 17: 7-8
7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
I tell you beloved, there is no need for you to go down ! When the heat comes, (the fiery trials), when the flood of lies try to overwhelm you, and the lies of Satan seem to be all about you, there is still no need for you to walk in fear at the sights around you, and those yet to be manifest in the earth. We are headed for the most horrible times in the history of this nation and planet, but there is HOPE ! Jesus will not let you down. He will not abandon you. He will not let you be thrown into the street and beg bread. He will uphold you in His hand of mercy.
The Word of God has always been to me my strength, my source of life and power through prayer and meditation, and fulfilled by the Holy Spirit in my circumstances as I trust completely I Him and Him alone. I love the whole Word of God, all of it. But I want to share with you a few passages that brought me through literal near death experiences more than once. Times when there seemed to be no hope. Times when there were no answers from friends or loved ones. Times when I could not understand, and had no one to comfort me, or help me. The most terrifying times in my life. God has always been there for me, and He will always be there for you as well, if you do not lean upon your own understanding, and simply submit to the Lord everything.
Let me share with you some scripture to bring to you hope in your darkest hours.... They have always been a source of life for me..
Psalm 31: 1-16
In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
Turn your ear to me,
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
Free me from the trap that is set for me,
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
You have not handed me over to the enemy
Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
My life is consumed by anguish
Because of all my enemies,
I am forgotten by them as though I were dead;
For I hear the slander of many;
But I trust in you, O LORD;
My times are in your hands;
Let your face shine on your servant;
Psalm 31:: 21-24
Praise be to the LORD,
In my alarm I said,
Love the LORD, all his saints!
Be strong and take heart,
Psalm 37: 3-11
Trust in the LORD and do good;
Delight yourself in the LORD
Commit your way to the LORD;
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
For evil men will be cut off,
A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
But the meek will inherit the land
Psalm 55: 1-8, 16-18
Listen to my prayer, O God,
hear me and answer me.
at the voice of the enemy,
My heart is in anguish within me;
Fear and trembling have beset me;
I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would flee far away
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
I call to God,
Evening, morning and noon
He ransoms me unharmed
Psalm 56: 3-4
When I am afraid,
In God, whose word I praise,
Psalm 55: 22
Cast your cares on the LORD
Beloved, in closing let me say to you that I pray these scriptures comfort you, and bring hope and healing to you in your time of suffering, pain, sorrow, or just strengthen you for what is ahead.
There is no need to walk in fear, and doubt and unbelief. It is time for the 'bride to be', to pick up the Word of God, and eat it, (take it to heart), and do what it says. It does not matter what those around you say or do, or what they do not do. You can live in the glory of God, and walk in His Spirit by faith, and overcome the lies, and workings of the evil one, and evil men, and every bad report given to you. Jesus said.. "All things are possible if you only believe..."
Place your faith in Him today, and settle it once and for all to leave it there ! Do not grow weary in doing good. Do not neglect those around you who are in a time of crisis, pain, need. Do not buy the lie of the enemy that you will go down if you reach out to those around you.
Do believe that Jesus said He will be with you always. Do believe what Christ said in Mark 11
Mark 11: 22-
22"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Do believe what Jesus said in Mark 16
Mark 16: 15-19
15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."
19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (emphasis mine).
"...and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it."
When did God change ? He hasn't !
"..Hold fast to your faith, it will be rewarded if you faint not......"
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