Quote for Today
“Whoever is a hypocrite in his religion mocks God, presenting to Him the outside and reserving the inward for his enemy”
– Jeremy Taylor
“Whoever is a hypocrite in his religion mocks God, presenting to Him the outside and reserving the inward for his enemy”
– Jeremy Taylor
“So speak ye and so do”
We live in a very strange time when individuals can study the scriptures, memorize them, and readily discuss them with others; yet live their lives contrary to the very words they speak. The only way to honor His Word is by obeying it. Obedience is the evidence of a life who truly honors and treats His Word for what it is: Holy. If we do not reverence His Word through obedience we will reap the consequences. How foolish it is to speak His Word and yet not honor it not with our lives.
“For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense; how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation”
They who esteem His Word lightly, lightly esteem the One who speaks it.
“And if any man obey not our word by this epistle,
note that man, and have no company with him,
that he may be ashamed”
2 Thessalonians 3:14
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy”
We are told in the Parable of the Sower that “the seed is the word of God”. Those who sow such precious seed must do so in the same Spirit in which that Word was given. Many may speak the scriptures, but few sow the “Word of God”. When the word is sown by the Spirit of God it teems with His life and power. There is an impartation into the lives of those who hear with ears of faith; the fire of Life burns, the heart of man is quickened, and Jesus is glorified.
“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes”
In order for the ministers of God to speak with authority, their lives must be subject to the authority of the Word. Authority comes from submission. Otherwise, if men share His Word but their life is not subject to His Word, that authority of Jesus will be lacking. Even the Roman Centurion knew and understood this.
“For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it”
The true authority in the Spirit comes to those who are under His authority. His Word has precedence in their lives. It takes very little discernment to know those who serve God and those who do not. There is a fire and the fragrance of Christ’s lordship in the hearts of those who are subject to His will. This touching of His life in one another is called fellowship. The fellowship of the Spirit is not the result of adherence to a teaching, but of Light; His Light resident within His own.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another”
1 John 1:7
The fellowship of the Spirit is not a function of teaching but of Light, His Light resident in His own.
Submission to the Word
is revealed in our obedience to it
“The church ceases to be a spiritual society when it is on the lookout for the development of it’s own organization”
– Oswald Chambers
“Them that sin rebuke before all,
that others also may fear.”
1 Timothy 5:20
The true love of God cares about others within the Body of Christ. It is not silent nor does it turn a blind eye to sin within His House. The “wages of sin is death”. Do we really believe this? Has sin become so rampant, so common and prevalent that we care little about its horror? Have we become so anesthetized in our own hearts that we dare not confront that which is without because of the compromise within?
Paul followed his charge (the above scripture) to Timothy with:
“I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality”
1 Timothy 5:21
Denominations, sects, kingdom-building and the desire to please others, has become more important than the truth of God. We are more concerned with people’s opinions of us than we are with staying true to God’s Word and purpose. The need to fill the pews and be popular outweighs the purity and power of God’s living truth. We sacrifice truth upon the altar of our agendas and desires. We place men upon pedestals and hold them to a different standard than we do others.
Paul speaks this truth concerning himself:
“But even if we or an angel out of heaven should preach a gospel to you contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed!”
The love of truth, for the sake of God’s glory in our midst, must exceed the love of our personal relationships. God’s house is to be holy and pure, having the same love one for another; it is to that end we live and move within His Body. There are to be no schisms or sects and no favoritism. Timothy was charged with the solemn task of accountability to God, he was to live in the simplicity of honoring and glorifying God. There was no favoritism and the repulsion of treating one member differently from another.
Truth is not relative! The devastating lie of “relativism” has crept into the very core of the Church of Jesus Christ. We may speak truth to one brother and turn a blind eye to another but God has a word for such an unspeakable act: HYPOCRISY.
The condition of the Church of Jesus Christ today is a sad testament to this hypocrisy. The Love of God has fallen to such a low degree where we have set His Call to holiness below that of our relationships with others. A relationship that cannot survive the speaking of truth to one another is a carnal relationship and is based upon something other than God.
Woe to us if we walk in partiality, sectarianism and the horror of a love that only loves its own. Woe to us if we walk in anything less than the pure love of truth.
The Call of God is going out to bring forth a people who love in deed, word and truth without partiality.
“For while one saith, I am of Paul;
and another, I am of Apollos;
ARE YE NOT CARNAL?
1 Corinthians 3:4
How many today speak these same things? I am of the Pentecostal church or the Alliance church; I follow a certain leader or a particular teaching; are we not carnal? Within these boundaries partiality flourishes and so does sin!
“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying,and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
1 Corinthians 3:3
There is a simple solution to this.
Love is the only motive and power which can cause the walls of sectarianism, denominational-ism and carnal factions to be removed.
The true love of God will not and cannot stand idly by and watch a brother/sister or fellowship/church destroy their lives or the life and unity of the Body of Christ without speaking to it. It is an impossibility. When sin is viewed from a lethargic heart it is easy to say nothing. When it is seen for the deadly thing it is we cannot remain silent. Apathy begets apathy. Love is the only answer to apathy. Love is the only thing which can and will break down the walls of carnal thinking and carnal doing. Where the fear of man reigns secularism and denominational-ism will prevail. Whenever love and truth are the impetus, God is glorified.
There is a simple test to know the validity of our relationships. Set your heart to the speaking and receiving of truth. If the relationships hold then God is the foundation. If contention and strife arise then know that the foundation is built upon the sand of men’s ways and not God’s.
The call of God today is to seek with all of our hearts to be true within the secret places of our lives. Love God above all. Be true to Him and from such a spring you will drink the refreshing waters of the eternal fellowship of Christ IN His Body.
“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
“The fear of the Lord is THE instruction of wisdom;
and before honour is humility.”
Let the power and substance of this verse sink deeply into the very core of our being. “The fear of the Lord is THE instruction…” His fear in our lives is what teaches us the true wisdom of His ways. It is in knowing “the fear of the Lord” where access is given to the “hidden wisdom” of His ways. Without the fear of the Lord there is a limitation in understanding the wonders of His Covenant or the mysteries of His righteousness.
“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him;
and he will shew them his covenant”
The fear of the Lord is His way of instructing us and keeping us free from the snares of man’s methods, ways and teachings. It is His way of preserving us from the “wisdom of this world” and the folly of the religious ways of men.
It is the fear of the Lord that causes us to walk circumspectly and to consider our words, our thoughts and the motives of our hearts. Without this hidden operation of touching His Holiness there is a dimming of the wisdom, understanding and spiritual discernment of our God. The religious ethos of any generation in which the fear of the Lord is lacking will be revealed in the lawlessness of “every man doing that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).
“But what things they do not know; they speak evil of these. And what things they understand naturally, like the animals without reason, they are corrupted by these. Woe to them, because they went the way of Cain, and gave themselves up to the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the speaking against of Korah! These are sunken rocks in your love feasts, feasting together with you, feeding themselves without fear, waterless clouds being carried about by winds, fruitless autumn trees, having died twice, having been plucked up by the roots; wild waves of the sea foaming up their shames, wandering stars for whom blackness of darkness has been kept forever”
This is not the description of those without, it is a warning to those within!
“They feed themselves without fear”
Wherever grace is promoted at the expense of righteousness hypocrisy and worldliness will flourish.
Can we not hear the crying out of wisdom unto all who would be instructed in the way of the Lord? His way is the way of life and it is in our knowing the “fear of the Lord” wherein we are instructed to abide within the walls of His salvation.
“Come, ye children, hearken unto me:
I will teach you the fear of the Lord”
“Am I now seeking the approval of men,
or of God? Or am I striving to please men?
If I were still trying to please men,
I would not be a servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10 (BSB)
The Holy Spirit IS come to make His people “witnesses” unto God, not men. We are not here to conduct ourselves in order to gain men’s approval. We are here to live inwardly and outwardly to seek God’s approval.
“But ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”
The power is given unto us that we might live lives solely unto Him. We are not here to please men but to serve God. We live in a day where the church in general is trying to live “nice” secular lives in order to persuade people to come to their church or fellowship. To live in this mind set Paul declares that we are no longer the “servants of Christ”! Jesus said if HE be lifted up He would draw all men unto Himself. We are here to live by Him, unto Him and through Him and in so doing we are freed from the horror of trying to please people. Authenticity is the freedom to live out of the well of all that we truly are in Him.
The Holy Spirit is come to make us witnesses UNTO God. The power of God is given to glorify Jesus.
“…because as he is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17
“Now in the morning as he returned into the city,
And when he saw a fig tree in the way,
he came to it, and found nothing thereon,
but leaves only, and said unto it,
Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.
And presently the fig tree withered away”
Fruit. God’s purpose for every life is to bear fruit. His purpose in coming was to make the barren fruitful, the desert to blossom and the lame to walk.
Fig leaves represent the response of Adam and Eve to their fallen state. The religious response to man’s need for a covering. It is an inherent desire to be covered on the outside; to appear good, honest and spiritual. This leaves the life barren and unfruitful in the things of God. We may walk in an outward show of righteousness but the inward reality may be void of His Life and power.
Deception comes to those who seek to deceive. The lie of living to appear right will always result in a greater lie.
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived”
2 Timothy 3:13
Honesty and integrity are the means to Life in Him. We come as we are, transparent with Him and with those about us. This see-through living will bring us to the blood, the mercy and the covering of His garments of Salvation. In being who we are, fully reliant on all that He is, we can rest confidently in His faithfulness to bring glory to the Father.
Authenticity of Life is the fruit of integrity within and without
Fruit is not religious works. It is the result of the power of His Life within producing the fruit without.
“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit”
His sheep are those who follow Him. They hear His voice and they will not follow the voice of another. He leads them through green pastures, still waters, paths of righteousness, valleys of great shadows and even death; but the assurance to these will always be:
“Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”