“Arise, sleeping ones and stand up out of the dead ones, and Christ will shine on you”
Ephesians 5:14 (LITV)
The shining forth of Christ from an individual is realized by the vigilance of a heart to stay alert and awake to the Life of Christ within. How easy it is to let the awareness of His presence slip (Hebrews 2:1); and to pass through life with His Words on our lips without the corresponding passion within our hearts. A common deception among believers is the presumption that belief alone is sufficient. However, the evidence of His Life is that we “live, move and have our being” in Him. If we do not know the wonder of new revelations of His Life, the movings of His Spirit within and without, and the experiencing of His ever-changing work in us, we have fallen into a life of slumber.
“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being…”
The absurdity of claiming to hold the King of kings within our hearts without the power of His Spirit producing the evidence and demonstration of His heart to the world around us is deception.
“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him…”
“Let us rouse ourselves in so far as we can, most beloved brethren, and, breaking the sleep of old inertia let us awake to the observing and keeping of the Lord’s precepts. Let us be such as He Himself ordered us to be when He said: ‘Let your loins be girt, and your lamps brightly burning, and you yourself like to men waiting for their Lord when He shall come from the wedding, that when He comes and knocks, they may open to Him. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He comes, shall find watching.’ We ought to be girt, lest, when the day of departure comes, it finds us burdened and entangled. Let our light shine forth in good works and glow, so that it may lead us from the night of this world to the light of eternal brightness. Let us always with solicitude and caution await the sudden coming of the Lord, so that, when He knocks, our faith may be vigilant, ready to receive from the Lord the reward of its vigilance. If these mandates are kept, if these warnings and precepts are maintained, we cannot be overtaken while sleeping by the deceit of the devil; we will reign as vigilant servants with Christ as our Lord”
“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (Prov 5:3-5)
“And he said, WHO art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, WHAT wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:5-6)
“He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words…”
Jesus clarifies the verity of an individual’s love for Him. The criteria are simple as is the faith to walk in it. Many may declare their allegiance to Him, they may pray, they may speak of deep and esoteric things, they may ascribe to teachings and associations, but the Spirit of Christ cuts to the core. Obedience reveals the truth of our hearts toward Him.
Isaiah declares who it is that God sets His eye upon:
“…but I will look to this man, even to he who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word”
One who understands the enormity of God’s Word, and the inherent need to draw from Him the grace to walk in it, captures His notice. The religious readily acknowledge His Word yet feel no need to honour it with a life of obedience. They are not loving Him for who HE is, but for the sake of easing their conscience. They ascribe to His Salvation but not to His Lordship; they use grace to absolve themselves of the doing. They find refuge in His promises but remain unaffected by the power and love of Him through which the heart becomes subservient to that Word.
Jesus asks a penetrating question:
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
There is no time like the present to face the truth concerning our relationship with Him. Jesus does not leave us with any ambiguity as to our condition. Do not let the obscurity of a false gospel blind us to His clear word. Religion will rob God’s Word of its authority and leave the conscience untouched. Rather let us allow the Word to strike our hearts with His full power and intent.
“He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words…”
The litmus test for our heart is not in what we know, how well we pray, or in how many good things we may involve ourselves. The proof of our love for Him is always obedience.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments”
The true life is the simple life.
Those who truly love will truly obey.
Allow nothing else to cloud our hearts. Let our growing obedience to Him be the sole measure of our love. Love always serves the object of its desire. Those who love themselves will end up serving themselves – even in the Name of God. Those who love Him, serve only Him.
“…having been perfected, He came to be the Author of eternal salvation to all the ones obeying Him”
“God Himself – His thoughts, His will, His love, His judgments are men’s home. To think His thoughts, to choose His will, to judge His judgments, and thus to know that He is in us, with us, is to be at home”
– George MacDonald
Prayer is the means to discovering the “Go” of God’s Will. It is in our time with Him that He communicates and empowers. In the enormity of Jesus facing Calvary’s wretched death, He who knew no sin about to become the sin-bearer of the world, He drew near unto His Father for strength and grace to walk out the Will of the Father. So it must be for us. Through the intimacy of prayer, we hear Him speak and have the privilege of participating in His Will in the earth.
“…making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself”
– Ephesians 1:9
The KJV of this verse speaks of something past tense: “having made known to us the mystery of His will”. There is something amiss in this past-tense translation which is not at all expressed in the original Greek. The Will of God is a daily thing. It is a mystery which unfolds as we commune with Him and allow His Lordship to speak into our hearts His purposes for the now of life. The true Christian Life is an adventure which can only be experienced through the medium of Obedience. Paul, writing to the Church at Ephesus, used the Greek participle concerning God “making known unto us the mystery of HIS will”. How blessed we are to discover fresh opportunities of Faith to walk in His purposes!
The more we obey the impulse of the Spirit the more we discover confidence; a growing boldness, a dynamic which arises out of our own experience with God. It is here the depth of our prayer life is revealed and established. Prayer without the communication of the Will of God to us should be disconcerting, for prayer is simply the participation of our heart with His. Obedience and prayer are harmonious. I know from my own personal experience the wrestling and struggles to obey that which He has given me to DO in my time alone with Him. Knowing and discovering His Will is a mystery which is only solved when I personally step into it. I can have a word or an impression of God to go, but until that step is taken His Will lingers, unfulfilled.
“Go ye therefore…”
“Go” is the impulse of God; “Go” is God’s heart to His Own. It is the word of God for us to explore, venture and invest ourselves in His purposes to make His salvation known to this world. What does that “Go” look like to you? Where does that “Go” personally take you? That is the exciting thing about the glory of prayer!The Go of God is bound up in us first coming in prayer, the secret place of communion (co-union) with Him.
“Come now therefore, and I will send thee…”
Unless we come to Him with a heart alive and burning with a desire to do His Will there will never be a “sending”. His Will is waiting for you to take His deliverance, His word of life and His love to heal the broken and lost of humanity. His House is filled with many who need His touch in their lives. Do we not hear the “Go” of God within our own hearts to be involved in making Him known?
It is the “lukewarm” who say, “I am rich, and I am made rich, and I have need of nothing”. They are content and feel no need to venture into the world around them nor expend themselves in making Him known. Those who need nothing will see nothing concerning the will of God. The soil which at one time received the seed of life with gladness has now become infested with the cares and comforts of this life and the life is choked with the thorns and thistles of their own sowing.
It is needful that we draw away from lukewarm living, carelessness and deception. Let us discover afresh the secret chambers of prayer and communion with Him. It is in this holy place that we feel the Fire of His Being igniting the altar of our hearts.
“Come now therefore, and I will send thee…”
God has a very simple and powerful remedy for us all: Prayer. The kind where we meet with Him and spend time alone in the holy atmosphere of His majesty. Not prayers asking Him for things, but prayers of communion where we learn to simply wait, child-like, without any other need but HIM. It is as we thus wait upon Him that we will find a renewing of our strength and a rising up to the honour of doing His Will. Prayer to the true child of God is not optional; it is the essential element of a fruitful life in Christ!
Eternal destinies are bound within our faithfulness to the talents He has graciously given us. The slothful, disobedient and the careless reap the disregard they show to the deposits of His gifts to us.
“And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine…”
To which Jesus declares:
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
“It is not the incorrect that the Lord despises but the proud; it is not the hot or the cold that the Lord spews out of his mouth but the lukewarm. When we are standing still out of fear of being wrong, we will certainly be regarded by him as ‘wicked and slothful’ not cautiously prudent.”
– Eric Foley
“A true and faithful Christian does not make holy living an accidental thing. It is his great concern. As the business of the soldier is to fight, so the business of the Christian is to be like Christ”
– Jonathan Edwards
Holy lives are the result of spiritual warfare. The Apostle Paul’s life exemplified one who was ardent, diligent and consistent in his pursuit of the “one thing”. The Holy Spirit has been given to lead us into the fulness of Truth, the fulness of Christ living and ruling within our hearts. He has come that we may come into the wonder of all Christ is.
Whenever the scriptures speak of life they speak of His life, there is no life outside of Him. There can be no other call or desire within the life of the true disciple. He is and there is no other.
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen”
“Even Christ pleased not Himself. He was utterly consumed in the zeal of His Father’s house. As man He ever moved for God. As God He ever moved for man“
– Geoffrey T. Bull
In the development of Christ within us, we too shall be moved for the welfare of “Our” Father’s House with the same zeal and the same love to see her radiate His Glory and to reveal His Unity among the true saints of God. The life of Him within will ever move us for His purposes and will in so doing by His Spirit we too will know the moving of God for man.
“And this is the writing that was written,
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.”
The “handwriting is on the wall”. This is no longer just a rhetorical quote. The Almighty God has made a declaration of judgment. It is a judgment upon North America. Just as Belshazzar in his prideful heart ridiculed the precious things of God, so this generation has mocked God and He has spoken “UPHARSIN” over our land. His Word in Daniel’s day was written in the Ancient Chaldean language and could only be read and interpreted by one who walked in the Spirit of God and understood that Judgment was about to fall. There are few in the church today who “see” the handwriting on the wall. There are few, as the Prophet Zephaniah declared, who can hear“the voice of the DAY of the Lord”. There is a voice in the Day calling us to repentance and preparation for His coming.
“The great day of the Lord is near, it is near,
and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord” Zephaniah 1:14
The great Day of the Lord is upon us and it will be unveiled in successive judgments. God’s determination is fixed. He will harden men’s hearts, and, in their fury, they will gnash their teeth. This will increase the suffering of God’s people even as did Pharaoh in the beginning of the plagues, but the Holy Verdict will accomplish God’s own purposes. God judgments will bring affliction upon all; the same fire which consumes the wood will purify the Gold. How little we comprehend of the Holiness and Majesty of our God!
God is speaking the final word of the sentence passed upon Belshazzar to North America. He speaks of division, lawlessness and anarchy. The rider of the Red Horse is coming, and his mandate is to take peace from the earth. The chaos and rending of division have begun and there is no stopping it.
“And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword” Revelation 6:3-4
UPHARSIN* means DIVIDED. “A nation divided against itself cannot stand”. The once proud and mighty nation will be swallowed up in its own destructive ways. We must prepare for the dark hour which is upon us.
*Note: UPHARSIN - defined “…thy kingdom is divided, or broken into pieces, and given to the Medes and Persians. The meaning is not that the kingdom was to be divided into two equal parts, and the one part given to the Medes and the other to the Persians; but פְרַס is to divide into pieces, to destroy, to dissolve the kingdom”Keil & Delitzsch
“PERES*; Thy kingdom is divided”
*NOTE: “Peres - In Dan 5:25 this is “Upharsin.” These are but different forms of the same word - the word in Dan 5:25 being in the plural, and here in the singular. The verb (פרס peras) means, to “divide;” and in this form, as in the previous cases, it is, according to Gesenius, participle meaning “divided.” Albert Barnes
Upharsin– Speaks of plural “dividers” and factions at work in a nation while the Peres speaks of the resulting division as the singular outcome. God is bringing this division and chaos to the nations in order to work His unity in His divided and carnal Church. All these things are working together for His purposes in the earth. The siftings of His Spirit are upon us and there will be divisions in the “professing” church for He will fully reveal them who serve the Lord from those who serve Him not (Malachi 3:18). He will fully answer the Prayer of Jesus in John 17… “That they may be one”. The pride and desire for pre-eminence will be broken in His House with the intent that they who are His will be fused in a love so deep, so pure and so divine that the world will marvel at His Work within the True Body of Christ. He is determined and will leave nothing of the residue of the fallen Adam nature to linger in His holy bride. (Brian Troxel)
“MENE*; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it”
MENE, MENE* means we have been measured. The literal Hebrew: Numbered as if falling short in stature and its length of days are finished*(see below). God is thorough. His judgments are meted out from beginning to end. In the Book of Revelation, He reveals Himself as “the beginning and the ending”; (not end but ending). His endings are a process; they tear down, they divide, they bring famine, pestilence and woe. When He judges a nation its ending is complete as it was in Egypt. It was an unrelenting series of Judgments to bring the land to desolation and great sorrow. In the midst of His judgments on Egypt He hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to bring His full justice upon their pride and arrogance. The ending of our land has entered its final stages. God has brought us to the precipice of a new day and with it comes the four-horseman. The great seals are even now being removed and their decrees are bringing the ramifications of judgment which will culminate in God’s glory.
*Note: MENE defined “Daniel accordingly interprets מְנֵא thus: God has numbered (מְנָה for מְנָא, perf. act.) thy kingdom, i.e., its duration or its days, וְהַשְׁלְמָהּ, and has finished it, i.e., its duration is so counted out that it is full, that it now comes to an end”Keil & Delitzsch
When God pronounced judgment upon the faithless and wicked priesthood of Eli, the prophet declared: “For when I begin, I also make an end”. The beginning of God’s work in our land is the end of a manner of life as we now know it. The insolence and pride of the Laodicean Church was one of frivolity and ignorance of her true condition; a deceptive, lethargic ethos to which God spoke “be zealous therefore, and repent”. May we have ears to hear and, more importantly, may we have hearts to respond to His assessment of our condition.
“TEKEL*; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting”
TEKEL* – We have been weighed. God’s judgments begin in secret and we see in His Word the process by which His judgments infiltrate the fabric of a nation upon which His Hand will fall. In the Book of Romans Paul sets forth the subtlety of His ways:
“Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves; who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error”
We must see that the rise of sexual perversion is God’s judgment upon a nation. Because they refused to acknowledge God, HE GAVE THEM OVER to be slaves to their lust and its consequences. May God open our eyes to the truth that His judgments have already began and there is no turning back. Paul goes on to describe the culmination of His Verdict whereby they are given over to a reprobate mind, incapable of repentance. Paul in his day was speaking to the Roman Empire; that same end is now upon us.
The Church has been weighed; her witness has been tarnished, her light is dim, and her words carry little weight or power for she has forsaken truth in the pursuit of worldly success. In her lust for worldly wealth, power and recognition she has denied the Call of Christ who, in His devotion to the Father, “made Himself of no reputation” and “humbled Himself” in perfect obedience. Instead, she has built extravagant buildings, and elevated various “ministries”, each one vying for the attention, allegiance and money of God’s people. In our own worldly lusts for gain and recognition we have fabricated a gospel to appeal to the masses; to fill our pews in order to justify our own ends. God is coming and He is going to humble and strip His people from the Babylonian garments, the shekels of silver and the wedge of gold (Joshua 7:19-26). When HE has finished His endings in our land, He will have a pure, humble and holy people and great will be the Kingdom of His Peace.
“I am come for thy words”
God is coming for our words. He came to His beloved Daniel for he was a man of integrity. His words carried the weight of one who feared and honoured God; for that he found protection under the wings of the Almighty. God came for Peter’s words who spoke right things but did not know the true condition of his heart; he failed in the day when he should have stood. God is coming for our words; our words which come from untested hearts, words uttered that are not backed by the life we live. Words spoken by the disobedient are idle words (in the Greek: words without works). God dealt with Joseph’s brothers who assured him (not knowing he was Joseph) “we be true men”; words without weight or substance. God weighs our words, our actions and the true intents of our hearts. We may hide them in garments of religion, but God searches hearts and will render to every man a just recompense in the Day we stand before Him.
“Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed”
1 Samuel 2:3
TEKEL – Our actions and our words are being weighed in the balances of God.
*Note: TEKEL defined “In תְּקֵל there lies the double sense that the word תְּקַל, to weigh, accords with the Niphal of קָלַל, to be light, to be found light (cf. תֵּקַל, Gen 16:4). The interpretation presents this double meaning: Thou art weighed in the balances (תְּקִלְתָּא) and art found too light (like the תֵּקַל). חַסִּיר, wanting in necessary weight, i.e., deficient in moral worth. תְּקִלְתָּ”Keil & Delitzsch
Are we living lives of moral worth? Is the weight of His righteousness brought to bear in our lives by how we live, in how we cherish and speak truth to our brothers and sisters? Are our business dealings ethical and free from deceit and covetousness? Are we good and faithful stewards in our service to our employers? Do our words carry the weight and life of Christ to effect change in the lives around us? Are our children raised in the fear and the admonition of the Lord? How will we be weighed in His balances when this life is over?
“TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances,
and art found wanting”
I do not like to share these things as I feel the weight of them and must consider myself in the light of them. The division has begun in North America and the rent will become violent to the point of an incomprehensible un-civil war. We must not get embroiled in the quagmire of politics. The Church is to be a light concerning the Kingdom of God not the politics of men. May we overcome evil with good.
“I am a debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to wise, and to foolish, so as far as lies in me, I am eager to preach the gospel to you in Rome also”
The secret of the power of Christ at work within the human heart lies in grasping our total indebtedness unto Him. The same God that saw the need to send His only begotten Son to the earth, desires that we in turn see the necessity to preach the Gospel of God to all who would hear. Notice the secret of Paul: “so far as lies in me”! The power of Christ is pressing and empowering us to make known the wonder of this salvation; expending ourselves in order to make the living Christ known. The power of the Gospel lies not in words but in the unction and the impression of His heart.
The Kingdom of God is not in word. It is not in the multitude of the words we speak amongst ourselves. It is in the dynamic of His Love launching us into “fields” ripe unto harvest. Only by the Love of God have men and women through the ages spent themselves for the sheer honour of declaring Him wherever they were sent.
The preaching of the Gospel has more to do with the power that lies within an individual than in the knowledge of words and religious phrases. Love is the power of the Gospel – it is the Gospel!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son”
That same Love burning within our hearts is the epicenter from which we reach the world. Without the breath of the Love of God, the New Covenant becomes nothing more than something to discuss and dissect with others of like disposition. It is a thing rather than a life; a mere idea which produces no wonder of empowerment, no horizons to pursue and no sense of the overwhelming purposes of God in Christ. The result is dimness of soul and a life bereft of participation in the declaration of Christ.
What is the power which is at work within us?
This does not put in question the power of the Almighty God. It does ask if we have allowed Him to empower us within.
“Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power”
The evidence of the gift of Grace within His own is men and women who are able ministers of Christ. Grace received produces an effectual ministry of grace to others. A genuine receiving of grace leaves us with a deep sense of our unworthiness and an awareness of a Love beyond comprehension. Love by its very nature is sacrificial and selfless. As we grow into the heart and mind of Him, we cannot remain untouched by the human condition within and without the family of believers. There is an abandonment to the will and passion of Christ to make known the Salvation He has provided to all.
Paul was “Made a minister, according to the gift of the grace”. Grace received cannot be held in fireless hearts.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me”
1 Corinthians 15:10
The evidence of grace received is the labour of the spirit within a life, just as the evidence of conception is the labour it ultimately produces.
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called”