Word for Today
“Tomorrow is the Day
when idle men work
and fools repent”
“Tomorrow is the Day
when idle men work
and fools repent”
“Most recently, it was discovered that a comatose patient at a nursing facility in Phoenix, Arizona, gave birth, despite having been in a vegetative state for 14 years. The staff at the 24-hour care facility said they were unaware of her pregnancy until late December 2018, when she went into labor. She delivered a healthy boy…. After hearing about this horrific act, I felt filled with disgust and could not make sense of it. I buried myself in books by the great moral philosophers and spiritual leaders — Socrates, David Hume, C.S. Lewis, Pastor A.R. Bernard, Adam Smith and, of course, the Holy Bible — to try to understand, and hopefully make sense of, our broken moral and spiritual code. Make no mistake, “the system” is more than just flawed; it is broken on many levels. No one can deny that increasing levels of moral relativism have resulted in tragic outcomes that we never thought possible.”
– Armstrong Williams – (read article)
The above article was written by a secular man in response to a current news story. I was struck by the passion and clarity with which he wrote in calling out the depraved society in which we live; a passion that is seldom seen even within the people of God. It begs the question; why is there not a united voice from within God’s people decrying the wickedness in our land resulting in intercession unto our God? How is it that we have become so desensitized to the horror surrounding us in North America? How is it we hear little, speak little and spend little time concerning these things? It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit moving and reigning within the lives of His own where sin and disobedience is addressed…
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me…”
We, the Church as a whole, are becoming as desensitized to sin as the world in which we live. The spiritual decay is almost complete. A gospel which does not speak to sin in its own ranks will have no force or power to stem the rising tide of debauchery without.
Can we not feel the growing tide of dissipation, depravity and wantonness filling our land? Is there no comprehension of the day we are in and the implications of what our children are being subjected to every day? Can we not see the stain of the world pervading the Church of Jesus Christ? The invasion of sin robs God’s people of the fervency of heart and the fire of God.
“Because of the increase of wickedness,
the love of most will grow cold”
When pornography, divorce, strife with one another, greed and power mongering is rampant within how can the Church of Jesus Christ be a light to those without? It is a Day to “consider our ways” to repent of the flippancy of a “seeker friendly” gospel, to repent from men’s desires to build magnificent buildings and ministries, and increase their appetites for worldly wealth all the while neglecting the condition of God’s House. The day of seeking to fill the pews rather than the hearts of God’s people with Godly living is bringing the Judgment of God to our land first and foremost upon His Own Church!
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
1 Peter 4:17
“And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience,
when your obedience is fulfilled“
2 Corinthians 10:6
It is hypocrisy to speak to the sin without while we hold to the same within our own hearts. God’s answer to this dilemma is simple…
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent”
“How art thou fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
how art thou cut down to the ground,
which didst weaken* the nations!”
Nations always fall from within before falling from without. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is never about politics; its message is one of righteousness, integrity, honesty and above all love. These qualities are to be the foundation of a nation and are the unshakable virtues of a strong unified country. When the Church of Jesus Christ ceases to be the light of a nation its fall is inevitable. God’s people are not called to be political and the Church is not to involve herself in the carnal warfare of worldly politics. She is to be the inspiration to lead the nations to the Light of Christ. It is in Him alone that people find saving grace and the virtues which make a nation strong and true. Righteousness cannot be legislated; that is the error of religion and politics. The only way for people to be free and live with respect and love for one another is for His law to be written on their hearts; not by a law given from without.
We are exhorted to pray for those who are governing, not to criticize or condemn. Those who are Christ’s are not of this world. Paul and the other Apostles of that day, in exhorting the people of God to pray for those in authority, was speaking of Nero the Roman Emperor. The reason we see the decline in morality and an increasing anger, hatred and vehement attitudes is because the Light of God has grown dim within the lives of His people. The same selfishness, the same carnal agendas, the same politics which are in the world are found within His Church .(**see below)
In the void created by the absence of Light God allows Satan the destroyer of nations to arise. With all the vices and malice of his own being he is allowed to infiltrate a nation bringing lawlessness and darkness in the stead of light and love. Wherever the Gospel is dimmed, darkness will rule in the hearts of the people. God never ceases to be God but He hides Himself and allows men to destroy themselves. The condemnation upon the world is not because men are evil in their natural state; it is because they choose darkness over light, they love wickedness rather than goodness. They become more evil by the choices they make. The people of God in Jesus’ Day chose Barabbas over Jesus! So it is even today.
“And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.”
The judgement of God is upon our land. It has already begun and the ramification will be one of great suffering for His people. The insidious weaving of Satan himself into the very fabric of the religious world is a precursor to the weakening and fall of a nation. His stratagem has not changed over the course of history. One simply needs to read in the Book of Romans as Paul sets forth with great clarity the process of God’s judgment; it was already at work in the Roman empire of his day and is now at work in ours (Romans 1:18 – 2:29). Read this with fresh and anointed eyes to see the parallel in our day. Paul begins by speaking of the people who willingly reject God. God in great wisdom gives them over to the inevitable growth of wickedness in their hearts culminating in sexual perversion and reprobate minds. He then turns his attention to the Church at Rome who stand in judgment of others while they themselves are guilty of the same thing .
“Then the one teaching another, do you not teach yourself?
The one preaching not to steal, do you steal?
The one saying not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery?
…For the name of God is blasphemed
among the Gentiles through you…”
Romans 2:21-22, 24
We may speak against the evil without while we ourselves are guilty of the same things within. **We need look no further than the rampant evil of pornography and the infiltration of it into the very soul of many believers. We need look no further than the horror of the political culture of the organized church which sets one church in competition with another. We need to look no further than the gossip, evil speaking and the lack of willingness to invest ourselves in the development of Christ in the lives of those around us. We need to look no further than the rampant rise in divorce and unfaithfulness within the Body of Christ to know how far we have fallen. We need look no further than the indifference within His own concerning the condition of God’s house. It is in the face of all this we hear little from His watchmen, pastors and prophets. We clearly see the condition of the backslidden lives of God’s people addressed by the prophet Isaiah in former days (there is nothing new under the sun):
“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant,
they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark;
sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough,
and they are shepherds that cannot understand:
they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”
The shepherds in these days, to a large extent, are hired to fill the pews, to grow the “church” in numbers while neglecting the spiritual condition of the people. They who should be watchman in God’s house have become “blind”. They are as dogs who do not bark (to warn His people) at the coming judgment which is about to fall! We have become more interested in numbers rather than God’s Glory. Compromise with the world is the very darkness of the church. Words without fire and faith without works are the hallmarks of a compromised people. We cannot be of this world and be the light of God to it at the same time. It is the greatest contradiction of all.
“If my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
We hear this verse quoted much in our day with the emphasis on prayer. It is rarely mentioned in the context of seeking His face and even more rarely in “turning from our wicked ways”. It is as we seek God’s face in truth that we will see the wickedness of our own ways. Our collusion with the world, our infatuation with things other than God, our treatment of our brothers and sisters, are all part of the “wicked ways” from which we need to turn. God’s word to us is always IF. When the IF is fulfilled, God is sure to be our THEN.
First and foremost, it is HIS people who need to turn, who need to repent and who need to humble ourselves. The Light of God must, by His design, shine into the lives of His own before it will shine into the world around us.
“Ye are the light of the world.
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid”
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another.”
Discipleship is not a teaching
it is a life.
* NOTE: “weaken” Hebrew Word meaning to prostrate, by implication to overthrow, decay…
Strongs Hebrew Dictionary
“…be established in the present truth”
2 Peter 1:12
The great exhortation to the people of God in the Book of Hebrews is as true and valid today as ever “and so much more as we see the DAY approaching”.
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith,
TODAY if ye will hear his voice,
Harden not your hearts…)”
The Word of God is ever TODAY! Many declare there is a word coming, there is a day coming. This is true but if the WORD today is not mingled with the obedience of faith the word tomorrow will be of no profit.
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:
but the word preached did not profit them,
not being mixed with faith in them that heard it”
It is not in our hearing/knowing the truth preached but in our doing of it that we benefit by the power of His Life within us (see James 1:23-25). The Scribes and the Pharisees had knowledge of the day of the Messiah yet they could not “see” Him standing, speaking and doing the works of God in their midst.
“But exhort one another DAILY,
while it is called TODAY;
lest any of you be hardened…”
“And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
The “present truth” of the living Christ carries the strong exhortation “while it is called today”! The deception and folly of religion today is the absence of strong exhortation. People only want to hear good and pleasant things; things that make them feel comfortable in their relationship with God. We want to hear His promises without the corresponding obedience by which the confidence in God becomes ours. This is a generation who wants constant affirmation of their standing in God, but it is only through the medium of obedience that the true confidence of knowing Him is experienced.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing”
Whenever and wherever the people of God distance themselves from the daily exhortation to walk and be established in the present truth of God know that deception, hardness of heart and the folly of religion has replaced the fire of God burning within the human heart.
Let us give all diligence to walk in the present truth of growing and exhorting one another unto “love and good works”.
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things,
be diligent that ye may be found of him
in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
“Now is the dwelling place of God himself”
— Thomas Raymond Kelly
Note: The Present Truth Parts 3 – 5 were written as one writing and are best read as such. The last three parts were divided for the sake of brevity only.
“…be established in the present truth”
2 Peter 1:12
What was the “present truth” of which Peter speaks? The “present truth” is revealed in the context of the above scripture. Being established in the “present truth” is not a teaching or an acknowledgment of the scriptures; it is a life of interaction with Him who is the truth. It can only be known by the wonder of our participation in its work of bringing us to a life of authenticity. “Present truth” requires diligence and effort. It requires communion, prayer and discipline to discover the mystery of drawing from Him (the vine) the divine enablement to grow by the miracle of His Life in us. The context of the “Present Truth” scripture being the following exhortation…
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ
2 Peter 1:5-8
Read this chapter in its context to grasp the significance of what the present truth is.
It is as we add to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance…patience… godliness… brotherly kindness… God’s love that we “make our calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). These graces are the evidence of the I AM becoming our I AM experience. The adding of these things to our faith is simply the expression of living and growing in Christ daily; the “now” life being lived through the “faith OF Christ” (Gal. 2:20).
Doing of truth in our daily lives is the only way to come to the greater light of His Life within us.
“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light”
We are exhorted in the scriptures concerning “Today” in our relationship with Him.
“And Joshua said unto the people,
Sanctify yourselves (today):
the Lord will do wonders among you”
The sanctifying of the people today was the present truth which would result in the tomorrow of God’s wonders. The religious of today wants God’s movings while ignoring the sanctifying truth of today!
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand”
It is in our “having done all” today whereby we will be able to stand in the evil day of tomorrow. The careless and unenlightened ones forfeit the opportunities of obedience today which is the requirement to be clothed in Him tomorrow. The lamps of the foolish virgins went out because of their casual indifference to the truth and importance of TODAY.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day”
2 Timothy 4:7-8
The confident “henceforth” declaration of Paul was because he had (past tense) “fought the good fight” and had “finished his course” in God. He had been faithful to keep his faith active and alive in his daily life. His confidence was born of obedience to the I AM.
They who have the true understanding of the time in which we live know the significance of walking in the “Present Truth”.
“Men that had understanding of the times.”
1 Chr. 12:32
“I cannot doubt that this sentence, like every sentence in Scripture was written for our learning. These men of Issachar are set before us as a pattern to be imitated, and an example to be followed, for it is a most important thing to understand the times in which we live, and to understand what those times require”
― J.C. Ryle
– Continued in Part Five –
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”
The I AM
“I AM the door of the sheep…”
“I AM the door…”
“I AM come that they might have life…
“I AM the good shepherd…”
“I AM the good shepherd…”
The Life of Christ as expressed and communicated to the disciples was present tense. I AM is not future tense. It is the present truth of His being, the ever existing One, ever dwelling and working and subsisting in the now of our life. Just as breathing is essential to our natural life so is His Presence to our spiritual life. The error and misconception of religion is that it offers a historical Jesus (we are saved by what He did) and a future Jesus (we will see Him in heaven). Of course these things are true but without the infusion of “present truth” we are bereft of the power and the dynamic of the “now” life. In I AM, Jesus presented Himself as the current One and the ever present One. Eternal Life is now; free from the earthly concepts of time, distance and human limitations. It is a life which can only be known by the union of relationship in Christ Jesus. Those who are in Him have this life and those who are outside of Him have not eternal life (1 John 5:11-12).
Jesus is always seeking to bring His disciples to the power of living in the moment:
“Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”
This trusting, child-like, faith rescues us from the worries and anxieties of the cares of this life. It is not irresponsible nor neglectful; it is a life of peace that takes no thought for tomorrow. It sows seeds today knowing that tomorrow’s provisions are assured in the doing of today. It is a life held in the peace of God by knowing He is the I AM of our tomorrows. It is because of this true understanding that obedience becomes paramount in our daily life. The religious do not concern themselves with “present truth” for their lives are lived in teachings and doctrines; heaven is assured because of what Jesus did historically and their present tense life has no bearing on future events. These ones are careless, ignorant of the “doing of truth” present tense; their time on earth passes in a fog of illusion and deception. It is in the now that eternal destinies are determined.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I NOW live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me”
Paul’s life of identification with Christ was revealed in the now life he lived. The I AM of Jesus became the I AM of Paul. “I am” crucified was the declaration of Paul’s life in Christ. Not ”I will be” but present tense “I am”. The eternal “I AM” truth must become ours. It is in our obedience to the “present truth” in the “now” of life where the peace and power of this life is experienced.
Abraham’s Present Truth
“And he said, Take NOW thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah…And Abraham rose up early in the morning…and went unto the place of which God had told him“
“If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham…”
– Continued in Part Four –
“For this reason I will not be negligent
to remind you always of these things,
though you know and are established in the present truth”
II PETER 1:12
Present truth should produce in us a life that is the revelation of HIM who is TRUTH in the NOW of our lives. If any ministry finds contentment in simply giving forth a teaching, a sermon or a theologically correct seminar without expecting a corresponding revelation of that LIFE of Christ within the recipients of that word; then they know not the heart, life or purpose of all ministry.
True ministry should be to the end that the people of God are strengthened in the truth in the NOW or the PRESENT tense of their lives. It is truth alone that can strengthen us to live in the present moment. There are many with great knowledge and who have been exposed to all the latest teachings; yet when it comes to LIVING His Life in the present tense there is a tremendous lack of reality. This is because we tend to equate teaching with truth rather than seeing that teaching only becomes truth in us through the medium of obedience. It is in us becoming strengthened and established in the PRESENT TRUTH that we really know the truth. The Name of the Lord as revealed to Moses is the I AM. His purpose for us is to live our daily lives in the showing forth of HIM as the great I AM.
HE is our refuge and our present help in time of need in every situation. He is to be our strong tower, our Rock and the lifter of our head when our hearts are overwhelmed in the midst of trouble. Let us go on and find HIM in this day, tomorrow and the days that are soon to be upon us. HE is our strength and our God who is ever HERE to make us stand in the evil DAY.
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
even though the earth be removed”
“To me, it has been a source of great comfort and strength
in the day of battle, just to remember that the
secret of steadfastness, and indeed, of victory,
is the recognition that
“the Lord is at hand.”
– Duncan Campbell
“For this reason I will not be negligent
to remind you always of these things,
though you know and are
established in the present truth”
II PETER 1:12
The Apostle here is writing with the full understanding that he was soon to leave this world as a martyr. There was no panic or concern for himself; his concern was for the welfare of the people of God. We see him here showing a priestly diligence to remind and exhort the people of God to be faithful. The phrase he uses here “…established in the present truth” in the Greek reveals the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord to Peter many years earlier…
“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;
and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren”
The Greek word translated “established” is the same Greek word translated “strengthen” in the Lord’s statement to Peter (Luke 22:32)! We see the impetuous Peter despite all of his weaknesses becoming the man seen here revealing the priestly heart of the Lord Jesus Christ. How encouraging it should be to us to see Peter, even in his last days, ever seeking to encourage and strengthen people in their walk with Christ. Let us be encouraged that the promises of God are TRUE, and that HE is ever here to watch over HIS WORD and HIS PURPOSE for our lives. Let us not become discouraged, but let us be established and strengthened in HIS ability to see us through. Let us conduct our daily lives with the hope that our strength and our confidence is in HIM not in ourselves. Our part is to be obedient, diligent and faithful for HE is not a GOD who can lie; one who will not leave us as orphans but HE who died for us now lives for us that we may be “more than conquerors, through HIM that loved us”!
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest,
that is passed into the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the
feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are,
yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”
HEBREWS 4:14 – 16