Category: Prophecy

Loving His Appearing – W.E. Smith

Dear brethren, beloved of our Precious Lord, I pray for all of you always, that He might find you waiting and watching in this hour; for His appearing for His little ones. Be strong and of great courage, for our King is coming! That which is held in mystery in the present will soon be manifest; and let all who name the name of Christ Jesus be found standing fast in the faith when He comes to fulfill all of His promises.

Now there is a night and day difference between loving our Lord’s “appearing” and loving this present world. I draw your attention to 2 Timothy, where the Apostle Paul makes this vital distinction –

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. (2 Tim. 4:6-10)

Here we see that crowns (reward in His soon coming Kingdom) are destined for all those who love His appearing, and yet those who love this present world forsake the will of God. Early in this epistle, Paul prophetically declares the state of the Christian testimony “in the last days” –

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (2 Tim. 3:1-7)

Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”; yet still wanting to appear very much righteous and christian-like, they hold to a “form of godliness”, yet deny the true spiritual power of this new life in Christ Jesus. I humbly ask you brethren – does this not most accurately describe the current state of the testimony of Christ in this hour? Indeed, maybe you may feel tempted to attribute this state of things to the unsaved world at large, yet this cannot be so. For the children of the devil have always fit this description. What the Lord is revealing through Paul here is the abominable state of the popular and professing church just prior to His appearing. And just like Demas, many Christians will abandon the true testimony of their King for the things of the world – pleasure, money, the glory of men, and a powerless religion that will never produce true godliness or peace in this world.

What about you my brother or sister? What is it right at this moment that you love first and most. Are you like the believers in Ephesus that seemed to have all things together but let slip their first love?

But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. (Rev. 2:4-5)

Are you so caught up in your buying and selling, and arranging your little space in this world that you will be found unworthy and unapproved when the thief comes at night to take away His precious things? Is our Lord your first and deepest love? And does His coming for His saints pervade your hope and attention in this last hour?

And yet what does this mean to “love His appearing”? It would seem, my brethren that this is precisely what the message to Timothy is primarily about (and indeed many others as well). Here you will find a continuing exhortation to endurance, patience, and holding fast to the faith and to the Lord when seemingly everyone else abandons Him for the world, its things and its god. Hardship and discouragement may be the result, and deep confusion, as all things Christian seem to be turned inside out and upside down. The command by our Lord in the letters to the churches, written for precisely this time, is –

TO WATCH!

TO OVERCOME!

TO STRENGTHEN THE THINGS THAT REMAIN!

TO HOLD FAST WHAT YOU HAVE UNTIL HE COMES!

TO PERSEVERE!

TO RETURN AND REPENT IF NECESSARY!

TO KEEP THE WORD OF HIS PATIENCE!

Now if this sounds something like a siege, then may we suggest that this is precisely what it is, and we have but a little strength (Rev. 3:8) until our Liberator comes. In the meantime, we are not to give in or give up;  we are not to lose hope. Yet our faith and resolve must be tested by He who must know He can trust us; that we are faithful and true to the One Who is the rightful heir and king.

Consider the definition of the word “persevere” –

To persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly. (Dictionary.com)

Indeed, the counter influences of the flesh and the world, and even the false testimony of Christ that is all around us besiege the child of God daily. Its opposition flows from the enemy himself; the god of this present age who knows he has but a short time. Only in Christ Jesus, only in the Spirit that keeps us, can we truly hope to maintain our purpose and not abandon our present course. He will never abandon us certainly (for He is coming quickly as a thief in the night), but the question remains – will we, as Demas, abandon Him for this present age and its empty promises?

Dear saints, if you have not done so recently, I would encourage you to prayerfully review all of these letters to the churches in Revelation, as well as Titus, James, 1st and 2nd Peter, 2nd Timothy and 2nd Thessalonians. For this admonition is directed to us today, and whether we are a Demas (a lover of the present world) or a Paul (a lover of His appearing) depends on whether our hearts receive it or not.

In his letter to Titus, Paul once again draws this distinction between the Lord’s appearing and this present age.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2:11-15)

Rather than love (and be caught up and conformed by) this present age as Demas, we are to stand against it as a living testimony by living “sensibly, righteously and godly”, “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus”. For we are a new creation in Christ and a heavenly people. We are not of this world but of His Holy Kingdom that will soon subsume all kingdoms of this present age. All that remains is for the Father to put all of His enemies beneath the feet of His Beloved Son – Jesus Christ. He has been anointed and He is currently marshaling all of His “mighty men” (consider David wandering in the wilderness prior to actually assuming the throne over a united Israel) to serve with Him in His kingdom.

The injunction for us is to STAND FAST, as this false and lifeless  testimony of Jesus pervades the church and the world like a cancer, and as our Lord allows all iniquity, in Israel, the church and the gentile world, to flourish unto judgment. And what was yet future when Paul and John wrote these epistles, is now the present for us. Those with eyes wide open in the spirit know this to be true. It is not merely one man’s opinion or perspective, but the conviction of the Holy Spirit of truth and the eyes of our Lord as He surveys His flock just prior to His appearing.

HE IS COMING!

And the prophetic witness borne of the Spirit indicates that the hour is imminent!

“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Rev. 22:7)

But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ. (2 Thess. 3:3-5)

Go to Him now, my friends, and ask that this might be so. And we must also ask Him to reveal our hearts to us most fully, that the love of this present world might be replaced by the love of His appearing; and that we might have patience until He comes.

Then pray for one another dear children; that our hearts might not be –

… weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

This is our sincere prayer for all of you; and may our Lord encourage and establish you in this hour, in all watchfulness and readiness, in all faithfulness and hope; that He might preserve you for His heavenly kingdom (2 Tim. 4:8), and that He might not come as a thief unexpectedly and find us distracted by worldly things.

We are further admonished in Ephesians to be “making the most of the time because the days are evil” –

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:15-18)

One way we do this is by allowing the Holy Spirit full reign within our hearts to fully sanctify us – spirit, soul and body – before the coming of the Lord. This is nothing less than the complete reproduction of the nature (or image) of Jesus Christ in our human spirit (in fulfillment of Genesis 1:26).

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (1 Thess. 5:23-24)

While we are here in 1 Thessalonians, let us back up a bit and include the verses that proceed those above, for they speak of this very subject, and the dark and difficult times in which we live –

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thess. 5:1-11)

Again, do not presume that those caught asleep and unaware are children of darkness, for it is readily apparent that these words are written for Christians (whatever their condition) and not the children of the evil one. That these (like Demas) are sleeping saints is obvious once you comprehend this and other such admonitions given to the servants of the Lord throughout the New Testament. To allow oneself, as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, to become intoxicated by the pleasures of this present age, is to invite shame, loss and devastation at His appearing. A strong message indeed my brethren, but these are the times in which we live, and again, all of this was foreseen by the Spirit at the inspiration of these apostolic epistles. Jesus Himself asked –

However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)

That there are indeed such back-sliding and ill-equipped Christians (then and now) is further confirmed in Paul’s letter to the Philippians –

Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Phil. 3:17-21)

So do we set our minds on earthly things to the neglect of our heavenly inheritance in His kingdom? Have we determined that these few fleeting and hollow moments of sensual gratification and earthly glory are worth more than sharing in our Lord’s glorious inheritance of the Kingdom? Have we so quickly forgotten His command to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” and effectively forsaken our first love? Have we allowed our belly to become our god, and to lead us away from our Lord’s table? Are we little more than the Israelite scoffers in the wilderness, pining for a return to the delicacies of Egypt?

Dear children, this cannot be, for the time is at hand, and our Lord will come with eyes of fire to judge His people, and who can stand in that day?

Again, James encourages us to –

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. (Jam. 5:7-8)

Then Peter reminds us of the glory of the heavenly inheritance that is as sure and certain as our Lord Himself –

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.  (1 Pet. 1:3-9)

Oh that we would pray for one another always that we would be kept in this awful hour by His mighty power, and that the proof of our faith might be fully proven and realized. I pray this for all of you dear readers, if indeed you have this hope within you, and you are one who loves His appearing for His saints.

Peter continues, echoing the end-time exhortation of the Apostle Paul –

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours  in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” (1 Pet. 1:13-16)

Are you ready therefore brethren, for the time will come and indeed is here already, when many (even those professing Christ) will scoff at His appearing, as though it were some kind of impossible dream.

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their  mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the  heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, (2 Pet. 3:3-14)

We see then, brethren, that the admonition for those truly seeking the Lord and loving His appearing in this final hour before the Thief’s coming is consistent among all of the apostles, as the Holy Spirit inspired them all. He alone can keep us, and help us to stand fast in the hope of our salvation, and the coming of His righteous and eternal kingdom, of which we are to share in His inheritance. Only He can establish our hearts against all of the impending unbelief and earthly wisdom pervading the testimony of Christ on the earth at the end of this present age.

Now I realize fully that this is a hard message to bear, but the time for ear-tickling, soul-gratifying and flesh-affirming words is long past. Dark and difficult times are upon us, and we may well be that final generation on the earth before the commencement of the final days of tribulation yet to come.

There is much here, brethren, to inform our prayers, and I beseech all of you to go to Him now, in supplication and fasting to plead for His grace and help in this time of need. I also solicit your prayers on our behalf, for we are all one in Him dear ones.

In Jesus’ Precious and Mighty Name. Amen.

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The Fire

Oh dear saints, dear, dear saints and brothers. Have our hearts so fully and uncompromisingly been given to the interests of the Lord in this hour, in this time of such utter abandonment and declension? He has tolerated so much these many centuries since He left us in the body, hasn’t He? So many ideas, concepts, expressions, ambitions – so much that is of men, and not from Him at all. So patient has He been, so long-suffering, as everything associated with His name has become so recklessly degraded, earthly, limited.

Consider the gap between the Old and New Testaments, from the time of Ezra to John the Baptist, and how this reminds us of what we have seen since the beloved apostle John left this earth.
Synagogues and sects and divisions; merchants as veritable fixtures in the temple. A religion borne of human scholarship, so very well documented yet barely breathed in the lives of men. Division, declension, fleshly and false religion.
So that when He arrived in the very flesh, they knew Him not. Simeon and Anna did, yes, for they were not part of the many and their religion. They were given wholly to the Lord’s interests. They did not follow men and creeds and groups and isms or  ‘ologies. They were not this or that; they were merely all in for the Lord.
Oh how patient is our Lord and Judge. But there comes a time when the fire comes, and when it does, all that is of men, and all that is of the soul will be purged away. This is what the letters to the churches speak to us. “I know your works….” He declares. He sees with piercing eyes, and all that is not truly of Him and from Him and for Him will not stand.
Please be pierced by this word from Bro Sparks –

(From Brother Sparks)

The fire will test the quality of each person’s work. (1 Corinthians 3:13 NIV)

I have no doubt that you love the Lord. I am not raising any question about that. But, I do say again, we are involved in a great system which is a very complicated thing, and a great deal of it is not of the Lord. It is something that man has brought in. Man has put his hand upon the things of the Lord, and man has made things according to his own mind, and therefore a great deal has come in which is of man and not of the Lord. And when we say that, we are not only thinking of Christianity in general, we are thinking of ourselves. This is true of ourselves. We have all come into something called Christianity, and we have all taken on something of Christianity, and there may be a great deal that we have to get rid of, and come back to the simple fundamental reality. And the fundamental reality of all realities is the presence of the Lord. We have got to know that the Lord is with us, and that the Lord is with us in all that we do, that this did not originate in our mind. It did not originate in our will, it did not originate in our emotion. It did not come from our soul, this thing has come from the Lord in every detail, like the tabernacle. Just like Jesus Christ, in every detail it has to come to us from God.

That ought to send us back to our knees – to go through all our work. It may be necessary for us, from time to time, to stand back and ask the Lord about all that we are doing. ‘Is this out from God, or is it something out from ourselves? Is this way of doing things the mind of God, or is it our mind? Is the Lord in this, or have we come into it?’ You see, that is a great deciding matter. Make no mistake about it! Everything that is only of man is going to perish. Sooner or later it will be shaken. Every man’s work shall be tried in the fire, says the Word of God.

Psalm 88 – W.E. Smith

O Lord, God of my salvation;

I cry out day and night before you.

Let my prayer come before you;

incline your ear to my cry!

For my soul is full of troubles,

and my life draws near to Sheol.

I am counted among those who go down to the pit;

I am a man who has no strength,

like one set loose among the dead,

like the slain that lie in the grave,

like those whom you remember no more,

for they are cut off from your hand.

You have put me in the depths of the pit,

in the regions dark and deep.

Your wrath lies heavy upon me,

and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah

You have caused my companions to shun me;

you have made me a horror[b] to them.

I am shut in so that I cannot escape;

my eye grows dim through sorrow.

Every day I call upon you, O Lord;

I spread out my hands to you.

Do you work wonders for the dead?

Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah

Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,

or your faithfulness in Abaddon?

Are your wonders known in the darkness,

or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

But I, O Lord, cry to you;

in the morning my prayer comes before you.

O Lord, why do you cast my soul away?

Why do you hide your face from me?

Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,

I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.

Your wrath has swept over me;

your dreadful assaults destroy me.

They surround me like a flood all day long;

they close in on me together.

You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;

my companions have become darkness.[d]

Dear saints, the following is a psalm of instruction, a maskil, designed to teach us something important of the ways of God, something very deep. It is not for those newly born, or with untried and untested legs in the faith.

And so what does it teach exactly? What is it trying to convey? What happy evangelical truth is it presenting?

Oh beloved – how we have been misled by the very source and purveyor of all mixture and corruption.

Where is this man in the psalm? Where is his heart, where is his relationship with God? Is he walking happily along? Is he sitting comfortably at the feet of Jesus with a wide grin on his face and a melody in his heart?

Or is the stench of death all over him? Is he grappling with all his strength with the very One who He loves and knows and seeks?

Where is His God in fact? Out in full view? Or hidden? Silent? Does he feel forsaken by the very One he knows can save him?

Is he surrounded by good Christian brothers to cheer him up? A men’s group perhaps? Or maybe he has just returned invigorated from a recent conference or retreat?

Is he full of answers or dark questions?

Is he a backslidden saint – has he turned his back and his heart away from His God?

So what is this trying to teach us? What cheerful truth is it trying to convey? What saintly conclusions does it draw?

I will leave it to you to answer such questions, but be careful, be honest in the spirit.

You see every trial, every test has at its core a fundamental reality, and it is this – the cross as it is applied us personally will cut to the very heart and core of our relationship with the only One who can deliver us from the grave of death. In fact, it is not so much the outward afflictions at all that represent the deepest pain through it all, but the sense that He has indeed hidden Himself, that He is silent, that He has put His right arm back into His cloak. “Father, Father – why have you forsaken me?”. All my friends asleep, the dark cloud of death closing in, and yet the only One who can act on my behalf is hidden away. He is not responding. Note the section which reads – “What good can come when I am dead?” he is saying. What can You teach me when I am in Abaddon? “Oh Lord if only You had come sooner”, said Lazarus’s sister. “If only you had not delayed”

So why do I trouble you so with this psalm? Why do I presume so much to take it upon myself to interrupt your comfortable christian life with such discomforting things? Should I not rather be encouraging you with “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you” or resounding a chorus of Onward Christian Soldiers?

Because dear ones, darkness is coming, nay it is already here. And everything we believe, everything we have been taught will be tested in these fires. Everything will be shaken, and men will be forsaken by the very ones they least believed would do so. And everyone of us will be left alone on that dread hill of Gethsemane, alone and crying out to our God through the storm and the silence. Deep and dark questions will flood our soul and spirit, and the very foundations of what we believe will be shaken and tested.

Are you therefore bold enough for this? Are you tough enough? Are you deep enough with the Lord to endure this?

When He not only rocks your little world but also your little faith – will you stand? When Leviathan is unleashed, will you trip and stumble and let Him go?

Dear friends – as I beheld that meteoroid flash across the sky and explode yesterday, then shake the very foundations and windows all around, I thought of only one thing, and it was this –

Satan is coming!

Are you ready? Am I?

Oh Lord, make it so.

A Word to God’s Remnant -The Spirit of Gideon (Frank Mceleny)

Now in the days of Gideon, a time of judgement, the Midianites and the Amikalites oppressed the children of God. No matter what the Israelites planted, they never got to see the fruits of their labor. The Midianites and the Amakilites would come in like locusts and devour and take everything. And so, Israel was greatly impoverished. Can I suggest that we face the same landscape and problems in Christendom today? We are impoverished spiritually and financially and no matter the work done, it is consumed by the idols and the enemy which seems to be all around us like locusts.

Now, in their distress, the children of Israel cried out to God for a deliverer, and the Lord sent them a prophet. The prophet reminded them of God’s faithfulness and how they had rejected Him (Jud 6:8-10) Now, at God’s appointed time, when all is desolate, He speaks to Gideon who was threshing wheat in the wine-press in an effort to hide his activities from their oppressors.(6-11) “The Lord is with you mighty man of valor.” You see how God is calling what is not as it would be. Hiding from your enemies in a defunct wine=press in an effort to get some bread is hardly the stuff of valor. Brothers and sisters, I want you to see Gideon as a type of the Remnant God is in the process of raising up right now. Do not focus on the 300 as of yet, for that is still a ways off. We as people are not ready yet. Listen to what Gideon says to the Lord.

“Oh my Lord, if the Lord is with us, then why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles which our Fathers told us about saying,”Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?” But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”(v 13)

How many of us today, brothers and sisters, would cry out the same thing as Gideon just did? Does it not seem to you that we are surrounded by darkness on every side? Maybe in your personal life you feel forsaken? Maybe it’s been a long time since you have experienced the presence of God if ever? Have you ever said in your own heart, just like Gideon ” Where are all the miracles?” Maybe it’s been a long time since you have seen a loved one or anyone for that matter, well saved and radically regenerated?

And after Gideon gets through with his complaints to God, the Lord speaks to him and says “ Go in the might of yours and you shall save Israel…….have I not sent you?” (v 14) You see how God refuses to take on board what Gideon has just complained about and again affirms His calling on Gideon’s life? Saints, take heart at this for God has called you, listen to how Gideon replies and see if this reflects your own heart. ” How can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manassah and I am the least in my father’s house.” (v15) To which the Lord replies “ Surely I will be with you.”

Can you see how the Lord picked the weakest man from the weakest clan? It’s not about the man brothers and sisters, it’s about the God that goes with the man. If God is with us, who can be against us? This truly represents the Remnant believers today. We are the weakest men and women. The reply that Gideon gave to God is the right reply in the right spirit. Without God we are nothing and can do nothing, but by the same token, when God is with us , and He says to Gideon “Surely I will be with you,’ then there is nothing we cannot do. This is the spirit of the people of God today. They acknowledge their own weakness and this is through their personal experience. They have experienced failure and they know what it is like to feel abandoned, this has been a journey and it ends with them knowing their utter helplessness without God being with them

Now brothers and sisters, this is a theme all through Scriptures. Consider what Moses says after forty years in the desert after fleeing Egypt and believing ( rightly) that he would be used to deliver his people. Again it comes in encounter and the Lord commissioning , this time in a burning bush “ Who am I that I should bring the children of God out of Israel? (Ex 3:11) You see, as with Gideon, there is an encounter with God. Consider Jeremiah as he encounters God ” Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I sanctified you. I ordained you as a prophet to the nations. Then said I, Ah Lord behold I cannot speak for I am a youth.” (Jer 1:6) You see the reluctance of the prophets who know their limitations but it is God who calls and it is God who send and it is God who goes before.

One more example would be the prophet Isaiah in chapter six. He encounters God and cries out ” Woe is me for I am undone because I am a man of unclean lips.” (Isa 6:5) There are many objections, and they are sound reasons, these prophets are not lying when they tell God how unworthy they are or how unable they are or how they cannot speak or are so very very weak. God knows these things. Yet God will share His Glory with no man. He picks the weak things of this world to confound the wise and to bring glory to Himself. It is He who does the calling, and it is obedience to the calling that is required. If you are not allowing God to use you because of how weak you are then maybe all of these prophets should not have moved forward with God either?

The Lord raises up who He will. And now, in these latter days, He and He alone is raising up a remnant. And despite all of your objections, it matters not for He deliberately raises up the weak and the over-looked so that the glory that is soon to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea will be all His. He is raising up the broken and the battered, the lowly and the humble, to come against the proud and the strong and the mighty and the many.

After Gideon’s encounter with God he begs Him not to leave. (v18) Can I tell you saints, one encounter with God, with the presence of God, ruins you for this life. His presence will become your all-consuming passion. Gideon, in a day of poverty and famine, insists on sacrificing to the Lord and he prepares the little that he had and he offers it to God. This is what happens saints when we encounter the living God. What was ours becomes His. We gladly give Him what we have, and if it is only a widows mite, we see from Scripture that the Lord is well pleased with this kind of sacrifice. Gideon’s sacrifice to God was well pleasing and acceptable, we see this because fire falls on acceptable sacrifice and consumes it. What will you sacrifice saints?

After the offering Gideon cries out “ I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” (v22) This changes Gideon forever. Saints, have you had such an encounter? Has your life been drastically changed from the inside out? This encounter , not unlike Isaiah, was so traumatic that God has to speak into Gideon and say ” Peace be with you, do not fear, you shall not die.” ( v23) Now, how can we tell if we ourselves have been effected as Gideon? Well, when one encounters the Lord then idols have to go. Nothing can come between God and His people. And this is exactly what Gideon is called to do. Now, the children of Israel in that day worshiped Baal just as the those that surrounded them did. There will be a severe price to pay if Gideon breaks down the altar of Baal, in fact, in means almost certain death. I wonder if the saints of today are willing to pay such a price to see the idols of today torn down? Can we buck the system and the ways of the world and survive.just as the Lord has asked Gideon to do?

Well, Gideon gets himself ten others who are willing to go with him, and at night, they tear down the altar of Baal. It does not take the people long to figure out who tore down their idol’s altar. They find Gideon’s father and demand that he hand over Gideon to be killed. Now, in wisdom that undoubtedly came from God, Gideon’s father says to the crowds that if Baal is so all-powerful, why are they here pleading on his behalf? Surely Baal is strong enough to exact revenge on his own? This argument works and of course Gideon did not die for Baal is a false God. Now, every time the people saw Gideon it was a testimony to the impotency of the god that they worshiped. Can you say, brothers and sisters, that you are a living testimony to the impotency of the enemy of our soul?

Saints, God is raising up a remnant people who are a testimony to the one true living God. By defying the convention and idols and gods of our day, then we ourselves become a testimony and a witness to the world. Can you see the process we have to go through prior to the ultimate defeat of the our adversary? Gods children have to follow the same path as Gideon, before ever being involved in mightier battles to come. First Gideon had to see the desolation of a country devoid of God. Then he had to believe that he had been forsaken because this truly highlights our utter helplessness outside of God. Then he had to encounter God and see himself as he truly was, so that when God accomplishes great things through him he will be in no doubt that it was not by might nor power but by God’s Spirit and the Spirit alone. Then we see the hunger and thirst after Gideon’s encounter with the Lord and his willingness to give al that he had. It’s in this process that it is learned that God has called us, He prepares us and He anoints us. Then there is the obedience to defy the culture of the day and live as God has called us to live.

This is the preparation process. There can be no short-cuts. Where are you in this process saints? Be encouraged, know that you have been called and you will be sent. Remember that God used the weakest man from the weakest clan who complained of being forsaken. Do not say that God cannot use you, for it is by calling that you are called. Follow the example of Gideon and continue to prepare. The time is short saints, the remnant are being raised. Reject the world and all that it has to offer and rise with them by the hand of God.

From Scottish Warriors for Christ

The Reward of His Suffering – W.E. Smith

The disciples came to Him and asked, “Do You realize You offended the Pharisees by what You just said?” Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by My heavenly Father will be uprooted.” (Matthew 15)


He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” (Matt 13)

“I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” (John 18)

Dear saints, the Father is the sower and He knows what He has planted and where. All that He has not planted will be uprooted and burned. This is a most solemn reality that comes under the sovereign lordship of our Great and Wise God. We must therefore not concern ourselves with doing what the Word says only the Lord will do in time. He knows what He has planted and what He has not planted. He knows precisely where His plants are, for He is the sower. We are merely the seed, or better yet, the product of the Seed, which is His Son, sown in the world.
 
Yes, with the clear and searching eyes of the spirit, we may conclude that all is leavened, and even perhaps that all is without hope. Yet this is not what He declares. He will lose none of those that the Father has given Him. None! We must therefore conclude that the many are those not given to Him by His Father. Do you see this? That which an enemy has done, God has not. He has no part in it.“Many are called”, yes, but “few are chosen”. And of those He has chosen, He will lose none.
 
Are you therefore chosen? Have you been planted by the Father in the field of this world, while an enemy looks on? Are you one of the few, or one of the many? You all know in your own heart the answer to such questions.
 
The kingdom of god comes not but by force. It is a violent and costly thing. There are many forces attempting in one way or another to prevent it, to keep us out, to keep us from entering, and then entering still deeper into the life of Christ that is the life of His Kingdom. And the Word is clear, that such violence comes from the many, not so much initially from the world, but from satanic energies operating in the false religious sphere, from strongholds of falseness and anti-christinfused counterfeits. It has always been thus, it seems, from Cain, to the false temple life, to the sects of the Jews, and even down to our day, to all of these self-named groups and factions falsely representing our Lord. 
 
They grow up together, side by side, until a day of reckoning, until the sower stands up and identifies all that He has planted, and burns all that He has not. This is a serious business my friends, a serious business indeed. Yet He has declared it, and He will lose none of the few whom He has hidden away. He has, after all, purchased the entire field (the world), remember, with His blood, with His life, just so He could redeem His hidden treasure. He has sold all that He had, for that single pearl of great worth.
 

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt 13)

Dear saints, are we close? Is the day near? I do believe in my heart that it is? Are we at the close of the age, when the angels themselves are stirring in preparation for their solemn work of separation? Are you hearing the flutter of angels wings deep down where spirit touches bone, when all that is real and genuine is proven and tried?

Is our Lord and Redeemer ready to claim the full reward of His suffering? Will He be satisfied with all that the Father has given Him for His faithfulness and loving devotion?

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. (Isa 53:11)

Dear ones, it is all about Him now? All about what He has every right to claim for Himself! All about His Father granting to Him the unfathomable blessings He deserves. We are merely part of the reward, and that we are so highly and wonderfully esteemed is to His credit and worthiness alone; not ours. Let our thoughts turn now to the King! To He who holds the Scepter and will soon stand to claim all that is rightly His own. All that He has won, and purchased at so great a price! His Mighty Hand is not shortened, nor is there anything He does not see or know. Let us all bow our knees to the Righteous King, the Lamb slain, who now reigns over all that His Father has given Him. Let us rejoice and remain true to the One who alone is Truth, and Righteousness, and Faithfulness and Wisdom!

Let all our thoughts and attention turn to learning Him in Life, as He intended, to laying down our old life that He may rise up, and become that precious pearl of great price in each of us, as one body. 

Life out of death, beauty out of ashes, a breath breathed into clay. Oh Lord, breathe on us now, and claim the full and much-deserved reward of Your Suffering! Amen.

The Wine of Her Fornication – W.E. Smith

Dear ones –

A drunken man has no discernment. All is haze and confusion. And this is a serious business. Notice the following passages –

“Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, ‘Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between the holy and the unholy, and between the clean and the unclean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.’” (Lev. 10:8-11)

“Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and the unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” (Ez. 22:26)

“No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court…and they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” (Ez. 44:21-23)

Now notice this relating to our very day –

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” (Rev. 17:1-3)

Babylon represents confusion and mixture, where the holy is not distinguished from the unholy. All is worked in together. Tares and wheat, leaven and meal. Babylon is a quasi-religious system where all is mixed together, the natural and the spiritual. And those who are drunken can not discern the difference; their eyes simply do not see it. They have no spiritual sense. It has gone long beyond understanding. The Lie has worked itself into them deeply, into their heart, their desire; their lives. You cannot convince them otherwise for they are wedded to Babylon and all she represents. Her uncleanness goes far too deep. Like the harlot who cannot merely change her clothes to become other than she is. Her fornication refers to her unholy communion with the powers of the world, the political, the economic, anywhere and everywhere the enemy has principalities.

The product of the harlot’s illicit union with the world is “the wine of her fornication.” This wine is the intoxicating influence of the mixture of this religious system. The mixed system does not try to sort out the things of God from those not of God. It mixes them all together into one confusing mass. This mixture influences all people on the earth in the realm of religion. All people, including genuine Christians, are put into a stupor, being unable to discern the pure truth concerning knowing, serving and following God. They are influenced by the teachings, and the natural and worldly philosophies, ways and practices of this religious system, Babylon. As a result, people cannot distinguish between the holy and the unholy. (Tom Finley)

The harlot is the very woman who has hidden the leaven in the meal.

Coming Soon - The Prophetic Urgency!

Next notice how Austin-Sparks suggests this will only lead to trouble for those attempting to stand outside of this confusion, this mixture –

I have told you all this so that you may find your peace in Me. You will find trouble in the world – but, never lose heart, I have conquered the world! (John 16:33 Phillips)

When the spiritual stands to confront the merely formal, traditional, nominal and “natural,” then there is going to be trouble. This is not now merely the reaction from the world: it is the reaction from religion. I would go further, and say it may be the reaction from Christianity. There is a very great difference between formal, traditional, nominal, “natural” Christianity, on the one side, and spiritual Christianity, on the other; a great deal of difference. So much so, that this also becomes a battlefield – the battlefield of a lot of trouble.

Leave formalism alone, and everything will go on quite quietly. Leave traditionalism alone – that is, the set order of things as it has always been; that framework of things as it has been constituted and set up and established by man; that Christianity which is the fixed, accepted system of things – and you will escape a great deal of trouble. But seek to bring in a truly spiritual order of things, and trouble arises at once. And YOU are the trouble maker! The truth is that the trouble lies in the existing condition, the situation, the state; but it is only brought out by your action. And so spiritual men and women, and spiritual ministry, are called “trouble makers,” because the two things cannot go on together. That is where Israel was. They had the traditions, they had the oracles, they had the ordinances, they had the testimonies; they had the forms, they had the system – they had it all; but, in the days of the prophets, there was ever this vast gap between the “externals” and “internals” of life in relation with God. The heart is far removed from the lips. The spiritual reality is not found in the formal. You may have it all – but then bring in the truly spiritual meaning of things, and trouble begins in that very realm. It is the trouble which arises when what is external and traditional comes into conflict with something which is truly spiritual.

They tolerate us now, but the animus will be loosed soon, the restrainer will be removed, the locusts will swarm out of the pit. And then where does that leave us dear ones, all those who seek the true, the holy, the clean, the pure?

Where are you in your heart? Whose side are you on really? Is there mixture in your life? Are you intoxicated like the priests who brought unholy fire into the temple of the Lord? What do you tolerate, or reason away? What is the Lord Jesus to you anyway, deep down where spirit touches bone and life is revealed for what it truly is?

The time is at an end, and Babylon is rising dear saints. A new epoch is upon us. Babylon is not so much a place but a condition, a delusion appreciated only by those who are drunk with the wine of the harlot’s fornication. It stands for everything opposed to the Kingdom of our God, and her King!

Do we have eyes clear and sound to see such things? Are we drinking the pure water of the Word, and leaning in to hear the Masters voice? Is the Spirit groaning within us in unspeakable ways, in a language only God knows?

Where then are those who will stand apart? Where are those who will resist the seductive wiles of this harlot and the beast she rides? Where are those who love their Lord beyond everything and anything this world has or represents?

Dear saints, it is all under water – America, the nations, the world system – the Lord of All Judgment has declared it, and although He will never flood this earth again, He will bring His fire, oh yes, He will bring down His holy, cleansing flame, to extinguish the chaff.

And so I ask again – where are you? Where are you right now at this very moment?

Dear ones, I appeal to the life of Jesus Christ within you – Choose life, choose Him, Choose the Holy One! Flee Babylon, for her gates are never high enough for the Lord of All Light!

The Touch of Life – W.E. Smith

And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. (Luke 5:13)

And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” (Luke 8:43)

When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

“O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. (Matt 17)

Dear saints – leprosy, cancer, disease, demonism – it is all death. It is this fallen world dying. It is the life of Adam that remains – the grim legacy of sin and curse and death. It is in the very cells and molecules of all of us. We pass it on to our precious children, all the while the god of death wrings his hands and smiles.

Yet there is one, and only one who touches death. He reaches out and touches it, for He is willing and He alone is able. He touched death in the leper and His life flowed out of Him. The woman with internal bleeding touched Him and the life flowed out of Him. He rebuked the demons and they came out.

Rejoice Ye His saints – for Life has come amongst us in this cursed graveyard we call this world.

Where, where I say is the power and the life in His people? Why are we so dead and listless. Why do we not send the demons and death running by the very life that is in us? His life!

“O unbelieving and perverse generation,”

Spoken to his own, dear saints – spoken to His own – to you and to me.

Has He changed? Does He not want to manifest His power and life in the darkness and death of this world?

Where is the light and power and life in His people while all the world sinks into even greater death and depravity. Did He not say after He ascended that we would do greater things than He did? Then where, I submit, are they? What on earth happened? He changes not and remains faithful, so it must be us. IT MUST BE US!

Let me declare ever-so plainly that if so many of us did not actually love this putrid and death-filled world more than we love the Lord then things might not be so deplorable. We embrace death rather than life. We shrink back from, and even enjoy the darkness. We are riddled with unbelief, and our puny lives are merely evidence of our puny faith. All we have is a wispy religion propped up with programs and strings.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Cor. 3:17)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 6:63)

Oh dear ones, where then is the spirit and the life; where is this freedom promised?

Let us repent dear saints and pray for a quickening of our hearts unto the Lord. Let us turn to the Living One who holds the keys to death and Hades –

I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (Rev 1)

… and so how great is our God? – Oh that we would see Him personally, and be forever changed by what we see. John fell to the ground as though dead, yet today we seem not to have any fear of Him at all. We sings love songs to Him but we don’t tremble in His presence. We don’t seem to care that these same eyes of fire are now measuring each and every one of us.

Dear saints – I will start with myself, and end with myself – pray that I would fear this Lord, and tremble in His presence, and walk only in the life that He gives. Pray that all that resists Him in me will be burned away, by whatever it takes, whatever loss or pain or affliction. For I am the least and the last, and He deserves so much better than I.

Oh Lord – touch us with Your Life Oh Lord – touch us like you touched so many things that are dead or dying. Reach out and touch us that we will never be the same again. And show us Thyself Oh King! Show us Thy majesty and glory, and may we shudder in Your Holy Presence! Show us Thyself lifted up above this dying realm, above all that the stink and filth and rot of men and devils and this cursed world.

Oh Lord, we are dirty, so dirty Lord, so much in need of Thy cleansing blood. Purge us Oh Lord of all that isn’t Thee Oh Lord, all that is less than Thee.

Show us Thy need Oh Lord, how utterly empty we are without Thee. Whatever it takes Oh Lord – let us lay down our lives unto death, even the death and mortification of Thy cross oh Lord. Shake this world out of us, Shake it all Lord, shake it with Thy mighty thunders Oh Lord so that our only ground is Thee!

Saints of the Lord – hear me please – if you are not willing to go all the way with Jesus the Christ, then go back now. If you have never been taught what the cost is for following Him, that it is in fact your very life – then now you know. Count the cost then decide. Just decide deep in the very bowels of your being – make a decision. And then never turn back. never even look back – at all that you will lose for Him.

For dear ones – to gain this Christ is everything. He is everything! The pearl, the treasure, the gold and the glory.

Oh we believe Oh Lord, help our unbelief. Yes we are a perverse and unbelieving generation, but help us Oh Lord.

Go out saints of God, for the bread is on the ground – He is waiting. He is new every morning! Take Him into your mouth and live. Drink deep from the fountain that is our Savior and our King!

For to live is Christ and to die is gain!