PODCAST – A Bible Study on the Church of the Laodiceans – Part One. (Revelation 3:14-22)
Thought for Today
Living Now For Eternity
“Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle,
even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me”
2 Peter 1:14
The life of the true believer is lived with the reality of eternity in view. Our life is to be held in the context of our departure and our readiness to stand and give an answer for the life we have lived here (2 Corinthians 5:10)*. Peter’s epistle is the result of seeing his life from the eternal perspective. His exhortation to the people of God is one of “endeavoring” to remind them to continue to add to their faith, to grow in the virtue of Christ unto godliness and love. There is a calm and settled approach to his departure from this world. His care is not for himself; his heart is for the condition and welfare of the Body of Christ. They who live with an eternal perspective cannot be uninvolved in the welfare of His people.
“And I will make every effort to ensure that after my departure,
you will be able to recall these things at all times”
2 Peter 1:15
A life unaffected with a concern for the condition of God’s people is the revelation of a life lived unto itself. The eternal Love of God in Christ must produce within His own an expression in harmony with the things that concern Him; to love the things He loves and to hate the things He hates. His anointing rests upon those who walk and live as He is.
“But unto the Son he saith…
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore, God, even thy God, hath anointed thee
with the oil of gladness above thy fellows”
“Transiency is stamped on all our possessions, occupations, and delights. We have the hunger for eternity in our souls, the thought of eternity in our hearts, the destination for eternity written on our inmost being, and the need to ally ourselves with eternity proclaimed by the most short-lived trifles of time. Either these things will be the blessing or the curse of our lives. Which do you mean that they shall be for you?”
– Alexander MacLaren
* “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad”
2 Corinthians 5:10
Knowing the Day of the Lord
“…for by strength shall no man prevail”
1 Samuel 2:9
Within the context of God’s purposes in the earth we are struck with the wonder of His wisdom and omnipotence. In the seven days of creation the specific work accomplished in each one of them was what defined and concluded each day. In other words the day was not defined by the passage of time; it was defined by the work completed. So too are His purposes in our day. The sun and moon were not even seen until the fourth day at which time they were set in the heavens for “them (to) be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”. Time exists in heavenly places as well as earthly realms but the measurement is entirely different. The measurement of time in the earth was set in motion by the creation of the sun and moon. In eternal realms time is still a reality but it is measured by the accomplishment of His purposes.
“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” Daniel 8:13
Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? Zachariah 1:12
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Revelation 6:10
These are small glimpses in the scriptures as to how time is viewed in heavenly places. Time in the Spirit is measured by the accomplishment of God’s purposes not by man’s diminutive concepts here on earth. Men and women who walk in the Spirit are cognizant of God’s Day. In every generation those who walked with God understood God’s will for their Day. To them it was the Day of the Lord and their lives were to be spent in the accomplishing of His purposes. Yet so many religious people live without the comprehension of God having a purpose and an agenda for their day. The generation that God led out of Egypt failed to enter into the land of promise. God’s purpose was not just to lead them out of Egypt but to bring them into the land of promise. So in our Day, the last Day (the Day of wrath and judgement and the consolation of the righteous), we have set before us the final evening and morning in this chapter of God’s work. There will still be eons and ages for the purposes of God to continue in His Kingdom; but for us it is here and now that we must be about our Father’s will. It is today that we must hear His voice and not harden our hearts.
“Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David,
Today, after so long a time; as it is said,
Today if ye will hear his voice,
harden not your hearts”
Here God speaks, after a seemingly long period of silence, of His “now” work. Herein lays the danger of His people failing to respond; with the passing of earthly time men become complacent and apathetic. Slumber of heart becomes the dominating effect in their lives and they become desensitized to His will. Those who are alive unto His purposes remain alert for they are aware of the Day of the Lord in their generation. It is the understanding of what His Day means that keeps them attentive to His Will. They are not distracted by the routine and tedium of the natural world.
If one generation fails another one must arise; the Day of the Lord will not pass until the purpose of His Day is accomplished. God reveals to the next generation His ongoing purposes which require a new faith, and a new “way” for His people to walk. The truths of the former will not work in the new. The ability to be faithful in the wilderness under the leadership of Moses gave way to new truths and provisions in Joshua’s Day. The provision of the manna ceased and a new provision (which required new responsibilities) was revealed. Men and women who had gathered manna in the past must now find His new provision by taking the land from the enemies of God. It was a day for them to “beat their plows into swords” (Joel 3:10).
“And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna anymore; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year” Joshua 5:12
There is a Day to “beat the swords into plowshares” (Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3) and there is a Day to “beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears” (Joel 3:10). These words of God are for their specific Day and it is the responsibility of God’s people to be “people of the Day”. This precludes the teachings of men and the ways of former days. Though good and true for those who were faithful in previous generations they will not accomplish His work in our day.
This is the Day of “beating our plowshares into swords”! It is a Day of war, a Day of “contending for the Faith” of God; not a war of carnal weapons or a time of seeking political influence. It is a Day to arm ourselves with the weapons of God: love, faith, longsuffering and kindness with sincerity of heart to see God’s end; a people fully clothed in the character and the life of the risen SON. Love of such intensity that we are able to stand in the midst of a coming hate that is beyond description or reason. People unified in Him who have cast aside the horror of sectarian division and carnal ways. People who can no longer abide in the partial will of God but live only see His will done on earth to the same fullness as it is in Heaven!
Earthly time will come to an end in the accomplished work of God. The seventh Day will unfold with new things in God, new horizons of wonder and unspeakable glory. Those who spend their lives to see His purposes fulfilled in This Day will partake of the rewards of That Day.
“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the day(s)* (see note below) of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets” Revelation 10:5-7
Those who linger and sleep in this hour will not be able to withstand the storm which is about to break. This is the Day for the perseverance of the Saints. This Day, as all days in God, begins in darkness and ends in light (see Genesis 1:5,8,13,19, 23, 31). This Day is even now unfolding in great darkness and in the midnight hour men will wonder in great perplexity where God is in the midst of the horror that must be revealed. Those of the Day will stand for they know His morning is coming. In the seventh Day (in Genesis 4:1-3) there is no evening; and so shall it be in this Day, it is an eternal Day of His presence and glory to those who stood true to their DAY.
“Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” Isaiah 13:6-11
The arrogance of the proud (worldly and religious) will cease and the Lord alone will be exalted in this Day. It is time to humble ourselves and find Him as our hiding place that we may face the storm hid with Christ in God.
“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city”
* Note: This word in the Greek refers to a singular day and in almost all instances is translated such except when a number is associated with it i.e. six days or the context indicates a plural value…