Tag: unfaithfulness

The Peril of Unbelief – W.E. Smith

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end  (Heb. 3:12-14)

Dear saints of the Most High God, it is not an overstatement, by any measure, to suggest that so much of the letter to the Hebrews is spirit-touching-bone exhortation pointed straight at us here in the waning hours of this age. Our prayer in the spirit in this hour is that all of you will be heeding this admonition, and actively encouraging one another in the spirit as these dark days advance, and the hope of what lies ahead for all of us draws palpably near.

For the many in this dispensation, as with those delivered out of Egypt, have already fallen away from the faith once delivered and the author and finisher of the faith. The many who name the name of Christ with their lips have perhaps already angered the Lord with an “evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God”; and the “deceitfulness of sin” has borne its rotten fruit. “The soul who sins”, declares the Lord – “will die” (Eze. 18:4), “and whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Rom.14:23).

Unbelief is no minor thing to our God, and to be hardened in this hour to such things can be deathly serious. Which ever way you choose to take it, Hebrews is a book of forceful precedents and warnings, and to ignore such gracious admonition by the Holy Spirit pertaining to entering into the fullness of salvation can only prove fatal. Hyperbole? Overstatement? We do not think so, brethren.

For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? (Heb. 2:1-3)

Here in a nutshell is a divine principle being conveyed throughout this epistle, that – “every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”. This proved true first to the angels and then to the nation of Israel coming out of Egypt into the land of promise. If it was true for them, and the Lord does not change (1 Sam. 15:29; Mal. 3:6; James 1:17), then it stands that this principle applies to us also.

Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,
“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME,
AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,
WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me,
AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS.
“THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION,
AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART,
AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;
AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’ (Heb. 3:7-11)

There is indeed a faith that comes forward and claims the covering of the Lamb’s blood as gift from the God of Grace. Yet salvation is so much more than this, and it is not so great a salvation until we have entered into the fullness of the divine purpose; until we have entered in to possess the land and the fullness of His testimony. The faith deemed worthy to receive the gift, to be delivered from death in Egypt, must lead on to a faith large enough to withstand the rigors of the wilderness and entrance into all of His precious promises. Salvation entails both a gift and prize, and only faith can ensure that we receive both, as intended by the Lord. If the example of the angels who fell, and ancient Israel who forfeited the prize, is not compelling enough for us, then perhaps we too will fall in this wilderness.

Take care brethren” indeed! For the time of either entering or not entering His Rest is imminent, and the many will not, having already gone astray in their heart. And do not allow yourself to be misled, fellow Christian, for this promised rest is not merely going to heaven or eternal life, but involves something far more profound and specific than that. Study the Word carefully, let the Spirit alone teach you, and you will discover the wondrous and sobering truth that the “land” and “rest” out ahead of us in this dispensation is nothing short of entrance into His millennial kingdom of glory. Praise God for His gifts, but also for the glorious prize that await those who are deemed worthy to attain it!

The precedent set before us here reminds us that all of Israel was covered under the paschal blood, that they all passed through the sea of death and deliverance, they all came into the wilderness as led by the pillar of fire and the cloud, and they all received the law by the Law Giver Himself, then stood on the cusp of the land of rest and promise. It was theirs to be had. All that was needed was the enduring faith and obedience to advance and possess it. They were redeemed by the gracious gift of the Lord, but the reward that lay ahead (the land of promise), required enduring faithfulness and obedience. We know this most certainly because that generation did not actually possess it, though in every soteriological (pertaining to salvation) sense, they were a saved and redeemed people.

Note here my friends that, although they were indisputably His ransomed people, purchased at such a price and precious to Him, the Lord was provoked to anger by their unbelief. Their persistent unwillingness to take Him at His word, and to advance in obedience to that word – the “hardening of their hearts” – not only resulted in them not being able to claim the inheritance of the land, but it also elicited the heated anger of the very God who redeemed them with the precious blood of His Son.

For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. (Heb. 3:16-19)

Note this sobering passage in Ezekiel, in reference to the exile’s worthiness to repossess the land of Israel –

Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Son of man, they who live in these waste places in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one, yet he possessed the land; so to us who are many the land has been given as a possession.’ “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “You eat meat with the blood in it, lift up your eyes to your idols as you shed blood. Should you then possess the land? “You rely on your sword, you commit abominations and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Should you then possess the land?”’ “Thus you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “As I live, surely those who are in the waste places will fall by the sword, and whoever is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and in the caves will die of pestilence. “I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and the pride of her power will cease; and the mountains of Israel will be desolate so that no one will pass through. “Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I make the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations which they have committed.” (Ezek. 33:24-29)

Unbelief, willful defiance, rejecting the word of admonition and exhortation given through His prophets – these will prove fatal for any generation of the Lord’s people hoping to enter into the fullness of His salvation.

The Faith that Follows

As the New Testament makes unmistakably clear, the promise stands before us today brethren, and the requirements and the stakes are as high as they ever were. We are exhorted and encouraged to learn the tragic lesson from those redeemed out of Egypt (sin and the world), and to be careful not to let our hearts become hardened with unbelief and the deceitfulness of sin that accompanies it. The Scriptures offer even greater insight into what actually provoked the wrath of Jehovah against that wilderness generation, as they came to Kadesh-barnea and stood on the precipice of the destiny that the Lord had determined for them –

Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God; and you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘Because the LORD  hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. ‘Where can we go up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, “The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large and fortified to heaven. And besides, we saw the sons of the Anakim there.”’ “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be shocked, nor fear them. ‘The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.’ “But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go. (Deut. 1:26-33)

Now as Joshua and Caleb encouraged the people to advance, to trust the Lord in the face of impossible and overwhelming opposition (the giants or “Anakim in the land” – see Deut. 9:2, Num. 13), I also want to encourage and embolden you, to look only to the Lord of All Victory, and to trust Him alone to clear the path before us and to bring us all the way home. Only if we endure to the end, with full assurance, faith, confidence, hope and trust in the Lord alone, will we ultimately partake of the kingdom blessings bound up in Christ Jesus, the King of Glory! (Heb. 3:14). We are to emulate Joshua and Caleb, not the many who scoffed at and challenged the Lord –

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” (Num. 13:30)

Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. “If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. “Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.” (Num. 14:6-9)

We shall by all means possess it!” We will surely overcome it” – this is the confidence we need in this dread hour saints of the Lord, and we will surely have it if we go to Him who grants us all things in His Omnipotent and Faithful Son! Notice again what Caleb said 45 years after this –

“I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. “Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the LORD my God fully.” (Josh. 14:7-8)

“But I followed the Lord my God fully”. Oh brethren, can we genuinely say that in this hour? Can we honestly confess that we are following the Lord our God fully here at the end of this age; that we have a faith that follows? Are we placing our trust in Him alone, as the only One who can save us, and bring us victoriously into His soon-coming kingdom? What was it that Joshua and Caleb saw; what was it that they possessed, that everyone else in Israel did not? This is a question that is so very important for us in this hour, dear brethren. Pray the Lord will reveal this to us, and help us to enter into the spiritual reality of it.

Is the Lord pleased with us then? Do we truly and ultimately trust Him with all that we are? Will we advance forward against seemingly impossible enemies (the world, the flesh, the devil, fear of the present circumstances and what lay ahead perhaps) such that He alone, in all His strength and glory can give us the victory. Do we, as Joshua and Caleb, behold the Lord in all His irresistible power and glory and provision, or do we see only the giants in the land, and the Hittites and Amalekites? Do we hold fast to His promise that we “can do all thing through Christ who strengthens you” (Phil. 4:13)? Or are we plagued with doubts, divided thoughts, other priorities and plans perhaps? Is the Lord growing grander in our eyes, or smaller, in the face of seemingly impossible conditions and our own weakness in the flesh?

Please remember my friends that immediately prior to the people of Israel rejecting the encouraging report of Joshua and Caleb, their wayward hearts had already drifted back to Egypt (the world), and they had rejected the Lord’s heavenly provision (manna) and direction (Holy Spirit). The rebellion that was rooted in the will and in the heart, was practically complete prior to the spies returning with their report. It was inevitable by this time that they would not take the Lord at His word, or be exhorted to advance and receive the promised inheritance and rest; that which the Scriptures call – so great a salvation. The ultimate end of salvation is to enter fully into the eternal purpose of God; this is what Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians conveys; this is where all beginnings must end!

How Bad is it Really?

Is your heart melting with fear as so much of what our generation has known and trusted in this modern, push-button world is crumbling all around us? Oh it is dreadfully bad out there my friends, far worse than the political and financial elites, and the mainstream media are letting on. The blood letting in the global, greed-driven economy, by all accounts has only just begun. Massive corporations are imploding and entire industries are being shed; millions upon millions are losing their jobs, their livelihoods, health care insurance, nest eggs, homes and any sense of hope in the western dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The daily torrent of news and events washing over people is increasingly apocalyptic in both tone and content. Hundreds of thousands of jobs being shed every month here in the U.S. alone. The inevitability of continued failures, scandals, and bankruptcies in century-old companies persists. Even many nation-size states, like New York and California, appear to be on the brink of utter financial ruin. Folks, the sheer scope and scale of this current crisis sets it apart from anything history has ever presented the human condition. It is systemic in nature, not merely cyclical, as many crises in the past to which it is compared. Its root cause and impetus is as old as the devil himself – pride, greed, covetousness, rebellion, selfishness, licentiousness, scoffing at the revealed wisdom of God, an independent spirit, humanism; in short – the full-bore, unrestrained manifestation of the Adamic flesh in all of its ugliness and corruption.

The entire world, its people and populations, all of the nations, bound and blind in sin under the Pharaoh of this age, reaping the whirlwind of 6,000 years of contemptuous rebellion against the Creator and Author of Life. All of its systems and assumptions, ideas and philosophies, everything that it represents, stands in utter contempt of, and opposition to the Living God, who has every right to judge and destroy it in His infinite wisdom and righteousness.

What we are beholding brethren, before our very eyes, is nothing short of the whole world reaping what it has sown, and coming to the violent and inevitable end of itself. All is imploding from the sheer weight of the lies upon which it is founded – that man can live independently of his Creator; that he can find his own way, that he can solve the inevitable problems caused by his own sin and rebellion; that the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and that which is “pleasing to the eye” can ever be sanctioned or blessed by God; that man can reject the Savior of the world with divine impunity.

America, for example, fancies itself a Christian nation with a God-ordained and blessed beginning. Church buildings or holy monuments on practically every corner in every community. Public prayers by political notables accompany important events and times of crisis. The invoking of the name of Jesus Christ and familiar Scripture passages is common-place. People uttering “God bless you” almost without comprehending what they are saying or how God’s blessings are actually derived. Numberless prayers being floated into the ether, for every manner of personal endorsement, deliverance, blessing and sentiment. Yet for all of this, consider the absolutely godless and wicked testimony that this so-called God-ordained nation has delivered to all the world – one of unbridled greed and corruption at the highest levels, a political system founded upon and fueled by lies and hypocrisy, and an imperial ambition that rivals and surpasses that of any godless empire that has ever existed.

Is This the End Then?

Like many of you brethren, I am wondering if this current state of things is actually the end or even the beginning of the end, such as I understand it  from the prophetic Scriptures. Although I am generally reluctant to make emphatic statements about such matters, I definitely believe the state of the world is very much positioned such that many of the pivotal events associated with the end of the age and the starting of Daniel’s final week are squarely in place.

Israel is in the land in a condition of blindness and unbelief (the fig tree has started to bring forth leaves – but not fruit), and we are told by the Lord Himself that the generation that lives to see this will not pass away. The unification of the nations of the world, as demonstrated by the cascading impact of the current financial and banking crisis, seems to be very much complete. And this unity is very much a greed-driven and man-glorifying unity under the current god of this age.

And as bad as things truly are, there does not appear to be any new ideas or direction forward. The best and the brightest in the spheres of economics and government are apparently mystified, not knowing the best course of action, or any certain solution (other than to perpetuate their own hold on power, of course). It was, in truth, their failed ideas and lack of foresight and wisdom that brought us to this current situation in the first place.

All has been tried it seems. All has failed. And perhaps the American experiment of broad, representative democracy and unrestrained capitalism (leading to the so-called American Dream) is man’s last hoorah for human ingenuity and self-government. In many respects, it has been the utter failure of the American system that has brought down all of the other nations that have willfully attached themselves to this empty dream. The iniquity of the “Canaanites” is almost full, and the sword of judgment in the Lord’s hand is ready to strike.

As a student of recent history, my sense is that we are entering (or perhaps have already entered) a time of uncertainty, instability, and despair on the part of the working classes that we have not truly seen in the modern sense since the period between the wars. By carefully analyzing the 1930s, we gain a great deal of insight into what will likely occur in the immediate future. And if that period is any guide, we know that what inevitability follows, as men blindly look to any potential deliverance and hope, is extremism, despotism, nationalism, xenophobia, the surrender of civil liberties, and ultimately the rise of pragmatic and charismatic leaders empowered by the spirit and agenda of anti-christ.

This, I believe will be the environment into which the beasts (anti-christ and false prophet) and the ten kings who join him will emerge and assume fascist-like control over the peoples of the world. They will have apparent answers to the seemingly impossible conditions under which humanity will find itself. They will offer hope to the many (although it will be based on a lie), and the lost (spiritually unregenerate humanity) and unwatchful (born again but caught up in the life of the world) will be willing to forsake all else (even the living God) to enter into this hope.

Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus

Dear brethren, I am firm believer in the physical translation of the saints (both the dead and the living) prior to the commencement of Daniel’s 70th momentous week. Yet nowhere in Scripture are we exhorted to look to this singular event as the hope of our calling in this present dispensation. We are, however, admonished to look to the One who has “passed through the heavens” before us (Hebrews 4:14), and to “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (verse 16). Further, we are exhorted –

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:1-2)

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb. 12:13)

Dear friends, I would be dishonest to suggest that there are not times when I do in fact take my eyes off my faithful Lord and High Priest and “grow weary and lose heart.” I need this exhortation (and the mercy that follows when we stumble) no less than any one. I also need your love and prayers more than any one, as I know how hard-hearted and faithless I am at the best of times. I know how hard it is not to fixate on the happenings and conditions that surround us in this world. These are certainly dark and difficult days in which we live, and although we know how things will ultimately turn, the immediate impact of daily life under such conditions can be hard to bear.

My sense is that conditions where we live and work will get much, much worse, and that, in addition to our prayers, we will need to actively demonstrate that brotherly love for one another that the Lord said would identify us as His own (see Acts 4:32-37 for a glimpse of what this looks like).

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)

The fact of the matter is that we do not know specifically when the Lord will come for His own, and snatch us away to Himself. Things could get a great deal worse before this happens, and as much as we need to be looking to the Lord and to be encouraged by the hope of His Appearing, we also need to be caring for one another with true brotherly love until He comes. We need each other now, little ones, and we will need each other more as the days advance and the temptation to get distracted, deceived or discouraged increases.

I will close this message with some encouraging and confidence-inspiring words reminding us that the Lord is in complete command over all things. His plans are set and His Word cannot fail. He is forever faithful to fulfill His promises on behalf of those who love Him and are willing to take Him unconditionally at His Word. And although (to our eyes and emotions) it may not seem like it at times in this difficult hour, He has not abandoned us, nor has His love failed or faltered. By His very nature He can never leave us nor forsake us! And He won’t!

Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.
Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands.
They stand this day according to Your ordinances,
For all things are Your servants. (Psalm 119:89-91)

Gracious and Loving Father, I pray for all those reading these words, that they might be encouraged to believe the good report of the promised rest that lies out ahead of all those who will believe and advance in obedience. Grant us such faith Oh Lord, such as Joshua and Caleb possessed, and help us to look only to the Faithful One, and the absolute certainty of the victory that You have promised. Help us to endure, dear Father, such that we might win the prize and enter into Your precious rest!

And Father, on a very practical level, as many of Your little ones are suffering the loss of jobs and livelihood, help us not to look to the world for relief and assistance, but to one another and to You. As ambassadors of the Kingdom to this present world Father, we know that our sustenance comes from You alone Lord, and that we are not to look to governments and nations in this world to provide for our bodily well-being. Grant us the faith and love to make this so, and that we would not worry about the loss of worldly things, or the spoiling of our goods, or our place and prominence in this world.

Please Father, make the connections necessary in this scattered wilderness such that those who have might meet the needs of those who do not. For all things belong to You dear Father, and we are Yours too, having been bought with the precious blood of Your Beloved and Perfect Son. It is in His Name we pray. Amen.

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Unbelief – Plain and Simple! – W.E. Smith

“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)

I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by. ” (Ecclesiastes 3:14-15)

“Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

“May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,
“THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS,
AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.” ” (Romans 3:4)

“…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,” (Titus 1:2)

Dear saints, lest we forget in this hour – the God we serve is no mere mortal! He cannot lie! His Word cannot fail! His plans are perfect and He will never repent of any of them! NOT ONE! If He has said it! He will do it! PERIOD!

Whether it relates to blessing or cursing, judgment, prophecy, past, present or future events –

HIS WORD WILL NOT FALL TO THE GROUND EMPTY! HIS PURPOSES WILL BE ESTABLISHED PRECISELY AS HE HAS DETERMINED!

Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the LORD your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed. (Joshua 23:14, emphasis ours)

“For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:18)

It will perform all and everything it was intended to do! NO EXCEPTIONS OR EXCLUSIONS! Every stroke, jot and tittle will be fulfilled! And all will be done according to His divine and perfect schedule; without delay or interruption; whether your or I or the devil himself agrees with it or not!

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power (Acts 1:7)

Now your friends, family and loved ones can and will let you down. Your pastor or teacher can disappoint you or lead you astray! All are flesh! All subject to weakness and corruption! All imperfect and inconstant!

But the God of All Creation; the Architect of All Life will never disappoint you! He who is OMNIPOTENT, OMNIPRESENT, and OMNISCIENT! He who holds all the universe in the hollow of His hand! It is impossible!

He knows your frame; that you are dust! BUT THE LORD  OF ALL LIFE brings forth life from out of the dust. Glorious Life! Eternal Life! God-blessed and God-breathed life!

Why do we limit Him then? Why do we reduce Him so; He who sits above the circle of the earth and rules from on high?

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. (Isa 40:22)

earth

Why then do our needs and situations become magnified beyond His reach and help? Why do we fear and grow anxious, and let circumstances melt our hearts? Why do we worry about tomorrow or next week when He is already there? If He carries us today will He not carry us  then also?

Why do we love this present world and invest ourselves in it, when He has already judged and condemned it? It is as good as over already!

If He has spoken it dear saints, will He not also perform it?

Why do we limit Him so, and doubt His Word?

Why is it that what our eyes see and our hands touch is somehow more real, more reliable, more trustworthy than what the Creator of All Life has said?

Why brethren, why?

His Word says it is UNBELIEF! Plain and simple! And it is in all of us dear saints (myself more than anyone), and is far more terminal than any cancer that plagues the body!

If His Word is not enough for us; then I fear NOTHING WILL EVER BE ENOUGH, and I dare say we may not enter into His Glorious Kingdom if this is where we stand!

To reject His Word is to reject Him! To reject the Son is to reject the Father! To reduce His Word is to magnify the creation above all that He is, and this is nothing less than idolatry, and it will not stand – in you or me or any creature!

Read the passages above again and ask the Lord that they become rooted in your very spirit! Do not let them go. Do not put them down. Do not let the ‘birds of the air’ pluck them out of your heart. And these are only a sample of so many others declaring the preeminence and uncompromising fidelity of our God!

Our great and glorious God has been reduced and limited for far too long – not by his enemies even, but by those who claim to love Him. His Word has been suppressed and eclipsed by human experience, and human thought, and human ideas, and human philosophy, and human self-determination and human religion and human will – FOR LONG ENOUGH, and it is high time the people of God started believing Him again!

It is high time we start taking Him at His Word!

It is high time we started trembling at His Word!

It is high time we started closing our eyes to everything that contradicts His Word!

It is high time that we started fearing the Lord and taking His Word seriously again!

The nation of Israel, begotten, redeemed and  blessed of the Lord,  began to look upon their enemies and their place in the world as their only reality, and so when the very LIVING WORD OF GOD clothed in flesh stood before them and reached out to them, and pleaded with them to receive Him – they shrunk back in pitiful and inexcusable unbelief!

Beware brethren, lest the same be said of you, and you suffer a similar fate! And make no mistake –

Persistent unbelief (subsequent to coming to Christ in faith and being born spiritually from above) will prevent you from receiving the Lord’s commendation at the judgment seat, from entering the Father’s rest, from entering into the Lamb’s wedding feast, from partaking of His millennial kingdom (and glory), from ruling with Him for a thousands years, and most importantly, from bestowing upon our God the honor and dignity that He so richly deserves!

Note how Robert Govett associates unbelief with unreadiness, in his commentary on the parable of the faithful servant (Matthew 24:42) –

govettAs faith is the principle that brings to Jesus, so does it keep us abiding in Him; and unbelief, on the contrary, separates from Him. This unbelief of the heart soon manifests itself in the conduct. The sense of his responsibility and of account soon to be rendered would have made him diligent, humble, separate from evil. But, with unbelief, every other sin is connected, and he becomes proud, faithless, persecuting, and worldly.

He begins to beat the men-servants and the maidens. He ought to feed them; but he administers blows instead of food. He ought moderately to exercise his Master’s power; but he lords it over God’s heritage.

… He eats and drinks with the drunken. He is partaker then with other men’s sins. He is worldly with the worldly. They are taken up with eating and drinking, disbelieving the tidings of the Lord’s return. “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die” (1 Cor. xv. 32). His secret unbelief consorts well with their own incredulity. For in these day are scoffers, denying the promise of the Saviour’s coming.

“Secret unbelief”. To men perhaps, but not to the Lord who searches the hearts of his servants. And when He descends into His Presence, and begins to plan His thief-like snatching away of the treasures within the house, what will be the state of our heart? Will we be a scoffer, or undecided? Will we be playing it safe and hedging our bets; with one foot in this world and one finger in His Kingdom? If so, then deep down we really don’t believe Him, do we?

Dear Christian, it all comes down to whether we trust His Word or not; whether we actually take Him seriously. Yet the time is running out and I do believe the hour is soon upon us. And so do we truly and deeply believe Him and all that He has proclaimed? This is what each of us has to determine for ourselves.

For He is God and there is no other! He is God and there is no other like Him!

And…

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb 10:31)

A word delivered in Jesus’ Name,

Do with it as the Spirit leads.

Oh Gracious and Faithful Father, please help our unbelief, that we would be found watchful and faithful at the coming of our Lord. Please help us Father. Help us.

In Jesus’ name. Amen

The Scab of Unbelief – W.E. Smith

Only a soul fed with pure truth accepts each new phase of it, and thereby grows in intelligence and confidence towards God. The soul that refuses truth is hindered in its course, stunted in its spiritual growth, and moves farther toward the flesh and the world with each rejection. (R. Govett)

Dear friends, precious to our Lord and Shepherd and King…

To walk by faith is everything, and yet it is that which is least amenable to this old man who lives persistently by his will, desires and worldly wisdom (all entering his being through the eyes primarily). Notice here what Robert Govett has written about this –

“There are many wrong motives and states of the heart, but there is only one right motive. Whatsoever is not of faith – is sin.” (emphasis added)

As the Lord, through His Spirit in the Word, reveals His treasures to us (especially those related to our heavenly inheritance as adopted sons and co-heirs in His Kingdom), He expects us to be perfectly obedient to that truth, wherever that obedience might lead. As the Lord forewarned all those contemplating allegiance to Him –

“Count the Cost!”

…for the costs are high – rejection, hardship, false accusations, sacrifice, loneliness, the forsaking of all that people of the world take for granted, the waiting indefinitely for a home and a place where you truly belong.

govettFor Robert Govett, it meant the abandonment of all the security, honor, worldly esteem, and privilege bound up in a career with the Anglican Church. And yet our Lord blessed this faithful servant mightily in the priceless revelation of His Word, perhaps unrivaled since the time of Paul the Apostle (and I choose this comparison carefully).

If we however, are disobedient to that which our Lord and Teacher reveals to us, this scab of unbelief will fester and thicken upon our hearts. He will no doubt persist with us for a time, as He is ever gracious and longsuffering with His students. But if this pattern of unfaithfulness and disobedience persists, this dullness of hearing and hardness of heart will develop into what well may be an irreversible condition of blindness and unprofitableness, such that He no longer reveals His treasures to us at all. This happened to the children of Israel, and it can happen to twice-born followers of the Lord’s Anointed as well!

How pitiful and tragic!

At that point, although birthed spiritually from above, at a most precious cost (in the blood of His Beloved Son) to Himself, we are (or become over time) good for nothing. Our salvation (the regeneration to life of the spirit within us making it at once possible to receive spiritual food) has thereby become cheapened and wasted. We have become what the scripture refers to as a vessel of dishonor and vomit for the spittle –

So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth (Rev 3:16)

Dear ones, please let the enormity of all of this settle deep into your hearts for as long as it takes. These are His own He is referring to here, so please do not be deceived into thinking that these are the lost. Here the Prince of Peace is actually spewing from His mouth those to whom He gave His precious and perfect blood to redeem. Astounding and terrifying!

“Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” (2 Cor 5:11)

Now it was said of the children of Israel after being brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand, that they failed to understand the Lord’s wonders wrought on their behalf –

Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, But rebelled by the sea-the Red Sea. (Psalm 107:7)

After this it is revealed that they actually forgot these very wonders, but before this they failed to comprehend what the Lord was doing in saving and redeeming them. I considered this prayerfully for some time and I believe the Lord was impressing on me how vitally important it is that I comprehend (as the Spirit leads me) what my spiritual birth means in the larger context of His Glorious Purpose in Christ and His Kingdom.

To be saved or born again is indeed a marvelous and mighty thing dear saints, no less a miracle than when the Creator brought forth Adam from the dust and breathed life into him, or the Lord delivered Israel mightily out of the land of death, through the sea. Yet, we also, as His elect in this age can fail to understand the Lord’s ultimate and age-lasting intent in showing forth His life-giving power on our behalf.

For Adam, it was that he would exercise dominion over that which the Lord God had restored, in consort with the queen that was to come from his very body.

For the nation of Israel, it was that they, as His First Born Son would first meet Him in the wilderness, become a holy and enlightened people, then subsequently inherit the earthly and heavenly promises given to Abraham, and ultimately be a light of salvation and blessing to the gentiles.

And for us, it is precisely the same, that we might rule and reign, from the heavens, over the dominions of the earth, with our King on His Eternal Throne, in all holiness, justice and wisdom, for a thousand years.

And so to first understand what is involved and at stake is everything isn’t it? Then to trust Him and obey Him and follow Him as he leads us the long way home to the promised inheritance by One greater than Moses is essential. The lessons preserved for us are more than clear for those with eyes to see them, and a heart to receive them.

Oh that we would learn such lessons from former times and people; that there is in fact no good (none whatsoever) in ourselves; that, quite apart from how enlightened or fit to rule we think we are, there is no light in our eyes, and that to think we can attain the prize without first being trained and tested and brought to holiness and wisdom, is a delusion straight from the serpent. Indeed, this is the first lie isn’t it – that we can exercise the intended dominion without the requisite wisdom of God (fruit of the tree of life) to do so. To reign over God’s domain, apart from Himself – His blessing and provision, such that He receives no glory whatsoever? This is preposterous! For we were born anew solely that we might display His pre-eminent glory among those who have no knowledge of Him and His ways!

“I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. (Ezekiel 39:21)

Fellow saints and brethren in the Lord, I must follow Him and be faithful to Him wherever that leads, and to be perfectly honest at this point, I am not sure where or what this is. Yet He who authored my faith (when I was born in Him) will also finish (or perfect) it as His coming. I believe this with all my heart and mind and spirit! It is truly all I have to hold fast to! And yet it is enough to be sure.

(Though on far too many days, more than I care to admit, I do not live up to these high sounding ideals, and become fearful, self-willed and small, distracted and hesitant to accept the full cost of obedience – forgive me and cleanse me dear Lord, for my heart so often dreams that which I cannot live up to).

But oh that He would enlighten my eyes, and help my unbelief, and bring me further into the wisdom of His Kingdom, into the mature knowledge of His Word, into a more perfect and complete understanding of the riches of His grace in Christ Jesus! Oh that I would enter deeper into His fullness, that will one day fill all things! That I would trust him completely and absolutely and without equivocation! For it is not He or His Word that is untrustworthy and faithless but I! I have failed Him many, many, many times, but it is impossible for Him to fail me!

Impossible dear ones –

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (1 Thess 5:24)

But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thess 3:3)

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1:9)

Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments (Deut 7:9)

Please pray for me my friends, and all of His little ones who hear His voice from outside the door of this Laodicean age, that we would hear Him and follow Him, whatever the cost; that we would be found faithful at His Coming, that we would follow Him alone as the Way and Truth and Life, through this wilderness onward to perfection, maturity and glory!

All is by faith! All we have and need is to be found faithful to His Word (Read all of Psalm 119 – on your knees preferably). Though everything seen and all evidences known may contradict His Word and His Promises, we must grip tightly to all that He has “breathed” into the world, lest this scab of unbelief leads us away from Him and we die in this wilderness, not having received the promised inheritance. The threat is real and tangible, and the many in this generation will (tragically) fall away. But let it not be said of us, that we did not endure to the end, that we did not keep the word of His patience with steadfastness, that we failed to overcome, that we did not trust the good report of the land out ahead of us, and the Lord’s ability to establish us therein.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Rev 3:22)

Oh Gracious and Loving Father, Lord of all Life and Glory –

Please complete that mighty work which you began in us, and lead us to the ultimate purpose for our being created anew in Your Beloved Son – to reign with Him in His Kingdom such that You alone might receive all the Glory Father! Help us Lord to walk by faith alone, and to abide by every word which you have breathed into this world. Teach us and feed us with your glorious and precious scriptures Lord, and lead us in all things by your Most Holy Spirit. In patience correct us, and help us to lay down all and anything that is revealed to be false or incomplete, regardless of the price to be paid – the approval of men, church membership, security in this world, job and salary, even family and friends – whatever the cost, however high Oh Lord, help us to be willing to pay it in faith and love to everything you have commanded us. Thank you Father that all of your promises are AMEN, and that your word will not and cannot ever fall to the ground; that everything that we have set our hopes on will be fulfilled. Lead us home to the place you have prepared for us dear Lord, such that we might serve you and love you forever!

In Jesus Precious Name. Amen

Note: for my readers who are not familiar with the writings of Robert Govett, I encourage you to visit the web site of Schoettle Publishing, and review the many offerings there. His books are rare, so this is the best place to get started. You will not be disappointed my friends. I dare say, that in in my most humble opinion, there has not been a servant of the Lord since Paul the Apostle who has so fully brought forth the whole counsel of God, past present and future. (WES)