Quote for Today
“The measure of your holiness
is proportionate to the goodness of your will”
John of Ruysbroeck
“The measure of your holiness
is proportionate to the goodness of your will”
John of Ruysbroeck
“The reason why wicked men and devils hate God is, because they see Him in relation to themselves. Their hearts rise up in rebellion, because they see Him opposed to their selfishness”
– Charles Finney
“Religion is the fear of God, and its demonstration good works; and faith is the root of both: For without faith we cannot please God; nor can we fear what we do not believe”
– William Penn
“So then death worketh in us,
but life in you”
2 Corinthians 4:12
Words are simply containers; in themselves they have little worth. We use them to convey our thoughts, desires, feelings and the chit-chat of everyday interaction. Words in the Christian culture are multiplied in our technological world of books, sermons, podcasts and social media, yet we do not see a corresponding growth and depth of character in the reality of Christ! There must come a realization that in the clutter of words there is a missing ingredient perpetuating this crisis. We must hear in our spirit this one significant truth:
“For the kingdom of God is not in word,
but in power.”
1 Corinthians 4:20
Let this sink into the very core of our hearts. “The Kingdom of God is not in word.” There are many who are mere purveyors or merchants of words, ideas and concepts. It is a dealing with information which may tickle the intellect of men and women but never reaches the heart. These words contain no fire, no pulse of the living God. Words with fire bring conviction and produce change. As long as we are content with words without fire, sermons which produce no change and breathe no conviction and meetings in which people leave with the same outlook as when they came we will go no further in our walk with God.
Jesus is God’s Word
Jesus is not only the thought of God, He is the Power, the Substance and the verity of God the Father. The fullness of the Godhead dwelt and revealed itself in His full purity of life, love and wisdom. The words of an individual can only convey what is IN the individual. Where there is no spark there is no fire. When there is no identification of the vessel with the cross there can be no power of the life of Christ. The Gospel is more than words; it is the very communication of the life and power of God.
“For our gospel came not unto you in word only,
but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost,
and in much assurance;
as ye know what manner of men
we were among you for your sake”
1 Thessalonians 1:5
There was a connection between the ministration of the word and the manner of life of those who spoke the word. We cannot communicate something that is not within us. Fire is the result of touching, tasting and abiding in Him who is a consuming fire. Individuals who have no fire cannot give it to others. We must realize that mere words (even the scriptures) when ministered apart from the Spirit are cold and lack His power to convict, to inflame, to bring warmth and the light of change into the lives of those to whom we speak.
Each Sabbath in Israel the words of the prophets were read, but because there was no living ministration of those words they did not “hear” the voices of the prophets crying out concerning Christ!
“For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers,
because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets
which are read every sabbath day,
they have fulfilled them in condemning him”
Jesus said His Words are “spirit and they are life” and to whatever measure we are in Him will it be so of us. It is this relationship which brings vitality and life to the words we speak. The ministration of His Life can only be found in corresponding measure to the depth of His rule and His love within us.
Lord save us from being merchants of words and make us instruments of your life and wonder. Keep calling us to deeper places of abiding, beholding and eating of You so that we will convey You and not just empty words about you.
“Where the word of a king is,
there is power…”
The power of our words will be found in our submission to the King of kings. There is no other remedy for our condition. To bear the Word of the King one must be ruled by Him. Obedience to Him is the vital element to speaking His Word and it is only then we will see change in the world around us. Obedience is not something we can learn from classes, books or sermons; it is by the actual operation of the faith of the Son of God ruling and reigning within our own heart. No one else can walk this out for us; it is as personal as our relationship with Him.
“For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ,
but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches
deceive the hearts of the simple”
Fair speeches and good words are plenty in our day but words ministered without the impetus for men and women to walk and live in them leads to deception.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves”
“Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of; in nothing on which you might not pray for the blessing of God; in nothing which you could not review with a quiet conscience on your dying bed; in nothing which you might not safely and properly be found doing if death should surprise you in the act”
– Richard Baxter
“…in everything commending ourselves as servants of God”
2 Corinthians 6:4
“Ah! If our likeness to God does not show itself in trifles, what is there left for it to show itself in? For our lives are all made up of trifles. The great things come three or four of them in the seventy years; the little ones every time the clock ticks”
“And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest,
has turned My wrath away from the sons of Israel
while he was zealous for My sake among them”
True priests of the Lord are zealous for God’s glory. They have a burning passion within for His ways, His Holiness and His Glory. They do not sit idly by while men in their insolence disregard His glory and bring dishonor to Him in His house. Those without zeal will not react to the situations before them. They may cringe a bit, they may be saddened or even give themselves to prayer, but the true priests of God act out of a heart that is “zealous for His sake” among the lukewarm people of God.
This rising up of Phinehas happened in the midst of a great judgement from God. Israel’s backsliding had brought the worldly ways of men to the very people of God!
“And Israel lived in Shittim.
And the people began to fornicate
with the daughters of Moab”
Numbers 25:1 (LITV)
While Moses and the true priests of the Lord were weeping before the Tabernacle a brazen act of adultery was happening right in their midst. Zimri* (Song of the Lord) brought into his tent a Midianite woman Cozbi* (false, deceptive, a lie); the pollution of the Song of the Lord by the joining of it to the deceptive things of the world. It is against this backdrop that Phinehas rose up from the place of weeping and took a spear and slew both the Israelite and the Midianite in His zeal for the Lord. God’s response to this act:
“Wherefore say, Behold,
I give unto him (Phineas) my covenant of peace:
And he shall have it, and his seed after him,
even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood;
because he was zealous for his God,
and made an atonement for the children of Israel”
Do we not see the Song of the Lord in our day mingled with the flesh and horror of the world? Do we not see apathy in the midst of a carnal church which has been polluted with the ways and the wisdom of this ungodly world? Are there not those who will rise up in such an hour for His Glory to be restored to His Church? Where are the prophets, where are those who sigh and cry over the abominations committed in the very Name of God? The church is filled with those who break fellowship with one another, who allow His own to speak evil and perverse things and none lay it to heart. It is a day of blasphemy and disgrace for the things we allow in our midst. The true priests of the Lord will not be silent in this day. It is a day to rise up, to speak and to do concerning the mixture and pollution we see all around us. We see men who take unto themselves the money of the widows and the sincere to build up empires unto themselves and none lay it to heart! It is a day to respond to the horror of men’s ways; a day to become involved in the purifying of His house. Men and women allow God’s people to withdraw from others; they do not take seriously the ministration of the blood which binds us together with the cords of His love. No one wants to get involved. Every man attends to his own interests alone and in so doing becomes a participant in the tearing down of His house. This is happening because within the lives of many there is no zeal for God; they are content with the status quo. They hide themselves in the religious garment of prayer and do nothing. Prayers which do not lead to obedience and zeal for the Lord are the prayers of religious and vain hearts. True prayer brings us to the threshold of His Glory and in that awesome presence men rise up with the fortitude and love of God beating in their hearts to stand for Him in this day. Men who see and feel nothing DO nothing.
This new priesthood is one which contends for God’s purposes in the earth. They stand like beacons in the midst of the apathy and spiritual harlotry of today. They are grieved over the functioning of the carnal church which operates on the same premise as any worldly corporation. They cannot help but speak out to all who would hear “repent and turn from this wickedness”. God will give us a new heart to serve Him in the fervency of His Love for one another.
The call of God is going forth in this hour to those who have a zeal for His Glory in the earth; who become involved in the new wine-skin into which God will pour the New Wine. He will give a new heart to serve in the fervency of His Love to one another. Those who respond with the fervor of His Spirit have the heart of a priest unto Him.
“Blessed and holy is the one
having part in the first resurrection.
The second death has no authority over these,
but they will be priests of God and of Christ,
and will reign with Him…”
*NOTE: Hebrew Meaning of Zimri and Cozbi
Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names defines the verb that means to sing or make music, and reads “Song Of The Lord” BTN defines Zimri – “my praise” or “my music” in Hebrew.
The root-verb כזב (kazab) means to lie (Numbers 23:19, Isaiah 57:11), or to disappoint or fail (Habakkuk 2:3, Isaiah 58:11). Figuratively, this verb is used to describe a brook or stream that has dried up: Job 6:15, Jeremiah 15:18, also see Isaiah 58:11 (and the opposite of a lying river is a river whose water is sure — Isaiah 33:16;
Its derivations are:
The masculine noun כזב (kazab), meaning a lie, falsehood or deception (Judges 16:10, Amos 2:4, Isaiah 28:15).
The adjective אכזב (‘akzab), meaning deceptive or disappointing (Jeremiah 15:18 and Micah 1:14 only).
The Bible considers lies the ultimate opposite of whatever God is, stands for and wishes to bring about. Since God is Truth (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 14:6), Satan is called the father of lies (John 8:44), and an idol a teacher of lies (Habakkuk 2:18).
“Now when they heard this,
they were cut to the heart…”
True and anointed Words of the Holy Spirit convict and bring men to places of decision and repentance. They are Words that are living, powerful, penetrating and convicting. They are words of truth that reveal all that is untruthful; words that bring men and women to places of CHANGE. Faith without works is dead and so is repentance without change. John the Baptist declared in his day…
“Therefore bear fruit in keeping*
(Grk congruous or of equal weight)
The depth of our repentance is revealed by the depth of change wrought within our lives. Where there is little change there is little power in the words spoken. How accustomed we have become to powerless sermons and teachings that bring information without change. Every Sunday, all across our land, sermons are given and songs are sung in our many gatherings yet we see so little in terms of CHANGE in the lives of those that hear. If there is no conviction there is no repentance and if there is no repentance there is no change.
The disciples of Christ were of the common sort. They were fishermen, tax collectors, political zealots and such. They faltered, misinterpreted him, misunderstood him, and had very little inkling of the call that was upon them. However, after three and one half years of being with HIM, walking with HIM and waiting and seeking the promise of the comforter, on the day of Pentecost they became flaming ministrations of the HOLY SPIRIT! Let us consider the contrast of what we see in our land today.
Where are those words of life that bring conviction and change? Where are the hearts of those who would dare seek to represent HIS TRUTH in this hour? Where are the sermons that cut men to the very core of who they are? Where are those who cannot continue with a religion that has no power or reality?
We are more concerned with sympathy than conviction. We surround ourselves with those who make us feel good about ourselves. We associate with those who will not and cannot challenge us beyond the depth of our present walk. The unsaved and unbelieving are comfortable in our midst and can sit in our meetings without the slightest concern over their condition. Why and how can this be?
We speak of witnessing rather than being witnesses. We speak of truth as something that can be held in our intellect rather than being a power that produces change within ourselves and in the lives of those around us. We cannot compromise with sin in our own lives and expect to have a word that will convict others. If that Word of Life does not produce change within us, how can we give to others what we have not experienced ourselves? It is a day to consider our ways; a day to objectively consider what we have wrought in this life. Have we impacted the lives of others in terms of righteousness and truth and pointed them unto HIM who can transform into vessels of righteousness and glory?
Holy words proceed from Holy Lives
“Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the LORD”