Tag: and the people love it so

…And the People Love it So! – W.E. Smith

As usual my brethren, I am not real sure where this message will go, so please forgive me if it jumps around somewhat. Also know that my heart and spirit is with all of you “out there” in this pathless wilderness, where only the sound of His voice and His Word lead us from moment to moment, and place to place. Our time will come dear saints. The sands of the hourglass marking the end of this present age are falling little by little now, and His coming is imminent; I can almost feel it in my bones if you know what I mean.

davids_mighty_menI pray that this message finds you strong and patient dear brethren, and that you are redeeming the time with much prayer and petition and seeking  Him with all thirstiness in this barren wilderness. Oh that He might refine and prepare His own, as did David his mighty men in the dark caves of mystery leading up to his manifestation to all Israel as their rightful king. Let us not be tempted to expedite the arrival of the glorious reign before the time of readiness, as did those who would have readily dispatched Saul into Sheol; for the times and seasons, my friends, lie with the Lord –

He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. (Dan 2:21)

Our place is not with this world and its kings; with its wisdom and ways; with its lofty words and superficial reality! For the illegitimate reign of Saul (the people’s king) will soon be at an end, by the Lord’s hand and not ours. Our hope must not be bound up in the empty promises of those who know not that this present world has already been judged, and that the sword has already been drawn from its sheath, ready to strike at His word. There is no future for the nations as we know them, nor for anything wrought in this day of Adam, this day of man –

“Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” (John 12:31-32)

Yet now is the time for those loyal to the future King to do great exploits in the spirit; to prepare for battle against the “world the flesh and the devil” with all provision and preparation, for the days are evil, and all that is presently veiled in mystery and hidden from men (including most believers sadly), will soon be made manifest –

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He  is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,  and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,  that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess 2:7-12)

armorarmor-of-god-postersMy prayer for you in this dark and final hour is that of the Apostle Paul, who knew intimately that we are the “mighty men” of this age, and that the enemy before us is great; not only the Canaanite in the land, but all those among the redeemed who follow Saul, and seek the scraps from his table –

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,

for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Eph. 6:10-20)

No less than three times here, brethren, we are admonished to STAND FIRM; to be established, to stand against all that might prevent us from winning the day and entering His Glorious Kingdom! This will not be possible unless and until we fully comprehend – in the spirit – the truth of such matters, and the urgency of the hour! Continued and earnest prayer, petition and patience is vital, such that we maintain our focus, faith and zeal, as we await the appearing of the Rightful King!

The hour is close is my friends, and our hearts must be set on His soon coming, and being prepared in all readiness in the Spirit. The fig tree (Israel) is in bud , as are the other trees (nations) (Luke 21:29-33), and this generation will by no means pass away until all things are fulfilled according to His Word. Dear friends and saints – His Word cannot and will not fail us! Yet we can most certainly fail Him! Let that not be so among those who love Him and love His appearing; those who seek a place at His table in His Kingdom; those who are running the race so as to win that crown of righteousness for all those found worthy at His seat of judgment. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

fig_tree_fsThen He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” (Luke 21:29-33)

If this be so brethren, that His words will by no means pass away, why is it that so many of us so readily, so casually it seems, set His words aside and trust rather in the empty claims of men – (men of science, politics, religion, philosophy, etc), who have no power whatsoever to bring it to pass? It is as though Christians today (the majority anyway) want so much to believe that there is a future for their particular nation, or the world at large, when such an investment of hope is foolish and contrary to all that is recorded in the prophetic word of scripture.

A WORD OF EXHORTATION –
FOR THOSE WHO WILL RECEIVE IT

I want to exhort all of you who name the name of Christ Jesus, in the Spirit and love of He who will complete all that He has begun, to hearken to the Word of the Lord. For if we refuse to acknowledge and take to heart what became of His people Israel, and fail to understand the message to our generation – then we may very well suffer the same loss and rejection at His Coming (please read that again and ask the Lord, by His Spirit to impress this truth upon your heart).

Consider the word given to Jeremiah, for example,

An appalling and horrible thing
Has happened in the land:
The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule on their own authority;
And My people love it so!
But what will you do at the end of it? (Jer. 5:30-31)

Here we have a most deplorable condition among those blessed as the very apple of Jehovah’s eye (Zech. 2:8), and yet the very worst part of this is not so much that the priests and prophets (spiritual leaders in the land) had abandoned the Lord and His Truth (this is sad enough to be sure), but that…

THE PEOPLE LOVE IT SO!

THE PEOPLE LOVE IT SO!

Folks, as I drive around my community here in the mid-west USA, and behold these colossal (christian) “mega” churches springing up in so many former corn fields, with false teachers “teaching falsely” and “ruling on their own authority”, it mystifies me that so many of our Heavenly Father’s blood-washed children actually join themselves in spirit to these worldly bodies.

megachurch

Now we know, of course (or should know) at the end of this age that the tares must proliferate among the wheat, and the leaven must permeate the lump, just as our Lord assured us. Yet the degree to which His own; those precious sheep for whom He gave His very life, would so readily, so casually, and so willfully forsake His Word for the scraps at Saul’s table is positively alarming to this observer.

To whom shall I speak and give warning
That they may hear?
Behold, their ears are closed
And they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the LORD has become a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it. (Jer. 6:10)

Astounding! Incredible! Rather than tremble at the Word of God, and come to see it as the path to all blessing and life, the people of Judah utterly rejected it. It became, as the scripture says, a “reproach to them”. They took no delight in it, and for that reason they failed to understand the work of the Lord in their lives, and the rugged path to glory. Now there were many false prophets in Jeremiah’s day as there are in our own, and just as Judah was quick to receive these smooth and easy words, so the many in the church today seek those who will flatter and tickle their ears.

BEWARE MY BRETHREN!

Do not be deceived when you feel that light and wispy sensation tickling your ears and puffing up your heart and mind. For such words are not from the Lord at all but from somewhere else. This is not the time for the easy way, but to be tested in the harsh wilderness and caves, such that we might be found worthy at the inauguration of the TRUE and RIGHTEOUS KING! If we, like David’s mighty men, are to reign with the King we must also suffer His rejection and testing. The Kingdom of God and of His Christ has been won most certainly; yet it lies in mystery for an appointed time (and this time is close my brethren, real close). And during this time the King is training, testing and hardening all those who will rule with him in His kingdom as His officers. He must not only prove their love in this hour but also their loyalty and steadfastness. He must know as a certainty that they will never leave Him nor forsake Him, nor discount His Word, regardless of  what happens around them.They must be found faithful, not living by bread alone, but by every word breathed into the world by their Heavenly Father and His Son –

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” (Matt 4:4)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

Oh how I pray you will receive this dear ones, for it is not this writer’s opinion but the truth of the Living God to be sure! His Word is food and it is life!

And to reject His Word is to rebel against Him, and rebellion is not something the Judge of all the earth sniffs at or takes lightly. It makes Him angry! Yes angry at His own people! It is as reprehensible to Him as witchcraft, and a rebel will never hold a place at the Master’s table.

Indeed, had Judah, remaining in the land of promise, hearkened to the Word of the Lord and considered His judgments, they would have been severely admonished by what happened to their brothers in the north a short while earlier. For the house of Israel became wholly given over to idolatry and willful disobedience. They had effectively closed their ears and hearts to all that the Lord wanted to give them, and they would not receive correction, but chose rather to stiffen their necks and reject the Lord who bought them at such a price. This is important brethren, so I am inserting here the whole sad conclusion of the matter as provided in 2 Kings 17 –

Yet the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.”

Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God.  And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them.  So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.  And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.  Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone.

Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.  And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight. For He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin.  For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day. (2 Kings 17:13-23)

Note: I would strongly encourage you to read all of the chapters leading up to this one in 2nd Kings, and again ask the Lord to make it real and alive to you, in terms of its message and application. I was practically trembling as I made my way through this sordid history of rejection, abandonment and scornful rebellion shown by those who had been so blessed at the Lord’s hand.

So, despite the mournful pleading of the prophet Jeremiah, who came to them crying, “Hear the Word of the Lord“, Judah scoffed at the Word and hardened their necks to anything the Lord had to say. In fact, by this time their spiritual condition had become terminal, as evidenced by Jeremiah’s prophecy –

I brought you into a bountiful country,
To eat its fruit and its goodness.
But when you entered, you defiled My land
And made My heritage an abomination.

The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’
And those who handle the law did not know Me;
The rulers also transgressed against Me;
The prophets prophesied by Baal,
And walked after things that do not profit. (Jer 2:7-8)

And lest you think that this was describing but a few in the land; a minority perhaps, think again –

Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is given to covetousness;
And from the prophet even to the priest,
Everyone deals falsely.
They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed;
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time I punish them,
They shall be cast down,” says the LORD. (Jer. 6:13-15)

Everyone, from the least to the greatest, my friends, and to make matters worse, they were most especially confident and content in their condition. After all were they not God’s chosen people; His elect? Had He not brought them out with a high hand from bondage in Egypt, and did He not dwell among them in the house they had built for Him?

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these.’

“For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor,  if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt,  then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. (Jer. 7:3-7)

Such things mean nothing to He who searches the heart and knows our true condition. And just to draw this cord a little tighter if I may, perhaps it would be helpful to translate this verse for our own days; something like this perhaps –

Thus says the LORD Jesus Christ, King of King and Lord of Lords: “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to sit on my throne with Me in My kingdom. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The church of Jesus Christ, the church of Jesus Christ, the church of Jesus Christ are these.’

Now the house of Israel (the ten northern tribes), removed from the land over 2700 years ago, have never returned, and will not until the Shepherd of Israel draws them home. They were accounted unworthy to retain the promises in that day. And although there is a Jewish population in the land of Israel today, they reside there in unbelief, before the time, and their current spiritual condition and response to the Word of the Lord has not changed from what it was in the time of Jeremiah.

Consider therefore, my brethren the “goodness and severity” of the Lord, and that these things are so; and that for whom much is given much more will be expected –

Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. (Romans 11:22)

For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:48)

Followers in Christ Jesus in this age of grace (while the kingdom is held in abeyance, and the King, although anointed, suffers rejection by the many) have the bloody example of the children of Israel fleshed out before them, and, although many feel that the Lord expects less of us than He did the people of the land, the very opposite is true. And further, although there are many who believe that there is nothing we can do to forfeit our inheritance in His Kingdom, saying effectively “peace, peace“, the very character of God stands against this heresy, as does the entire counsel of His Word. Be not deceived dear ones, for the gift of salvation by faith in the shed blood of the Righteous Lamb is merely preliminary to the prize or reward of entering His Kingdom once He assumes the throne of heaven and earth.

Note: if the concept of being accounted worthy to enter into the Kingdom is a new concept to you, perhaps the best place to begin is with Govett’s “Entrance Into the Kingdom“. Also, I would suggest becoming acquainted with the writings of Robert Govett, D. M. Panton, Watchman Nee, G.H. Lang, Arlen Chitwood, etc (linked on this site and elsewhere).

And so I put this to you dear reader – How do you presently receive the Word of the Lord when it is brought to you? Do you receive it gladly, with delight, or do you scoff at it, privately despising it in your heart for the many ways you feel it constrains and binds you?

If the Word of the Lord demanded hard things, or in some way challenges you, or exacts a cost from you, how do you handle this? If the Word of the Lord was to open your eyes to error or idolatry within your heart or even your local church (or denomination), would you immediately dismiss it? Or would you follow it wherever it leads; whatever the price? If the Lord was to ask you to give up all that you possess in this life; all that defines and clothes you – home, family, security, king, country, etc – how might you respond to this? If like Jeremiah, all that the Lord permitted you to possess in this life was Himself and His Word, would that be enough? Or is your life yours alone, to define and determine?

What, in the end, is your attitude towards obedience to every Word the Lord has breathed into the world? Do you see His Word, in fact, as the animating principle of all life; even your own? Do you understand what the scripture means when it says – “In the beginning was the the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”?

Can you say with psalmist –

Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever,
For they are the rejoicing of my heart.
I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, to the very end. (Psalm 119:111-112)

and..

Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.
The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:159-160)

Is the word of the Lord something you hold in your hand or in your heart?

When His Word offers the way of direction do you obey it readily, and when it offers the promise of things unseen, do you you believe heartily?

Have your eyes been opened, beloved of the Lord, to behold the many wonders and precious treasures contained in His Word; or is it mere orthodoxy, scholarship, moral injunction, dusty history?

And if proving faithful and obedient to His Word will invariably lead to persecution, affliction and rejection by the many, how will this affect your response to it? Will you therefore lay it down, or maybe in some sophisticated way convince yourself that it wasn’t really for you anyway?

Interesting questions to ponder most certainly, and I leave them with you, as the Lord has laid them before me. We must all decide dear saints, what we do, and how far we will go on behalf of He who awaits His Kingdom and Glory. And as I have perhaps said far too much here, I will end with something else for you to consider, and it is this –

Why in 2 Samuel 23, is not Joab, David’s trusted general and confidant for many years, not listed among his mighty men?

Hmm.

What is the lesson for you and me that in 1 Kings 2:34, it is told that Joab died “in the wilderness”?

I will leave this message there for now and pray that the Lord will bring it home to your hearts in His grace and mercy. In Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.

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