“And Abram went up out of Egypt… Unto the place of the altar…”
The faith of Abraham will produce a forsaking of Egypt (the world) and a journey “unto the place of the altar”. At this altar, by the mercies of God (Romans 12:1), we offer ourselves unto Him as a living sacrifice. True faith communicates the nature, works, and heart of Christ. It is the divine enablement to live beyond our own resources and to draw from the wells of the living Christ. What is impossible for man becomes a natural outflow of life from those in whom resides the living faith of Christ.
In Hebrews 11, we read of the lives of regular people, just like us, who “by faith” lived to see the extra-ordinary works of God – despite the fragility of their earthen vessels. “By faith” we can partake of the same resources. We have the same surety of God, the same assurance of faith, by which they made a difference in their generation.
The leading of God is ever out of Egypt and unto the altar. The altar is the way of life to those who are in Christ Jesus for it is in the losing of our own selves that we discover Him. It is in looking past the faltering resources of self that we discover His vastness. The “I can’t” of Romans 7 is swallowed up by the “Law of life in Christ Jesus” of Romans 8.
The Altar is the place of our transactions with God. It is here where we exchange our strength for His; here that the doctrines of salvation become flesh and substance in our lives. In the offering of all that we are, we become partakers of all that He IS. Our partaking of Him will be in proportion to our offering.
“Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?”
1 Corinthians 9:13
“And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh, and the blood, upon the altar of the Lord thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the Lord thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.”
The priests would eat of the Burnt Offerings they offered and herein lies the secret of His provision for each one of us. “Give and it shall be given unto you” is the measure of our receiving. It is in this freewill offering that we discover the glory and wonder of our God.
We are bidden by the “mercies” of God to offer ourselves as living sacrifices unto our God (Romans 12:1). While many speak of God’s mercies as a sentiment, the power of mercy upon the human heart enables us to offer ourselves without reserve.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
“And the fuel on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it morning by morning.”
The altar of the Old Covenant is a representation of our hearts in the New (Romans 12:1). It was the duty of the priests to keep the fire ever burning by adding wood “morning by morning”. In the morning as we set aside time to commune with our God who is “a consuming fire”. There is a necessity to touch the flame of the Eternal One that our own hearts may burn with a love for Him. It is this burning which keeps us from the temptations of the world and the impurities of our own selves.
As one man, greatly used of the Lord, stated: “an empty altar receives no fire”(1). Each morning we arise and lay ourselves before Him as a fresh offering that we might walk circumspectly and alert throughout the day. His fire ever falls upon the altar of sacrifice; as it was in the days of Elijah it shall be in this day.
May we discover the secret of His Flame. May we feel the embers of our hearts stirred by His Holy Breath until we are filled with the fire and intensity of His Spirit. He has an answer for cold hearts, for the lethargy in His house. It is nothing less than His presence burning within.
“Who maketh his angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire”
His true ministers carry the flame of God burning within their hearts. They cannot be satisfied with tepid prayers, powerless sermons and the lifeless conjectures of those whose lives do not align with their words. The fire of God purifies. It warms the very soul of man and brings Him into the zeal of the Lord for His House (John 2:16-17). There is a lamentation within over the condition and the temperature of the hearts of His people. There is a seeking of the purity, power and intensity of His Spirit to see His Unity arise in His House.
It is the “fervent prayer” of a “righteous man” that avails much, that brings forth the moving of His hand in the earth. Let us keep the flame burning within; let us seek out fellowship with others who will stir the embers of our hearts that we may know, to quote a good friend, “the fellowship of the flame”(2).
His beauty will arise out of the ashes of ourselves.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified”
What is the purpose of these people?
“And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations”
This is the Day of the Lord and He Himself is appointing unto them who mourn over the state of the Zion of God in our day; beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness! Let His fire fall afresh upon our hearts that He may be glorified by the lives we live and the words we speak!
“But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, to the festal gathering and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better than that of Abel. See that you don’t refuse him who speaks.”!
“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.”
Jesus did not come to annihilate the soul of man; He came to save it. The crucified life is one that chooses to reveal His resurrection in a fragile clay vessel that His power might be seen. Many speak of the cross in a future tense, but such is not the language of the New Covenant.
“I die daily…”
1 Corinthians 15:31
The folly of words that speak of future things while ignoring the call of Christ “Today” is the bane of religion. We are called to live His Life NOW, to walk daily in the wonder of this flesh and bone existence. Those who speak of things in some distant future while they allow the sands of time and the opportunities of today to slip through their fingers live in the danger and peril of a religious faith.
“…but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live”
The way of the cross is not a doctrine, a teaching, or a concept; it is the doorway into His life, present tense. Jesus did not come to share a new teaching; He came that WE may have life and have that life abundantly!
The life that you and I NOW live
is the revelation of our
daily participation in the Cross of Christ.
“Consecrate yourselves (today), for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
Our depth of consecration today will determine God’s work in and through us tomorrow.
The Daily Offering
“Beside the burnt offering of the month, and his meat offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord”
The Old Covenant speaks of New Testament truths in Christ. We are called to participate in the “daily burnt offering”. The offering is one of ourselves, daily, unto Him alone who is worthy. Do we not hear the voice of His Spirit calling out to us in the “now” of our life?
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship”
This is not some future truth or call; it is the heart and desire of all true disciples. It is the way of life, His Life, in us. The religious adherent talks about the cross in abstract and rhetorical words of philosophical wisdom. The disciple embraces it with the full knowledge that the Life of Christ cannot be apprehended by any other means.
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win*(see note below) Christ”
Paul counted the cost in His pursuit for the full apprehension of Christ. His life was spent in the “loss of all things” to the end that he would “win” Christ. Few understand this pursuit to “win” *(see note below) Christ. It is in large part an unknown quest, a mystery which few have looked into. It is however the mystery of the call of Christ unto each of us.
“That I may win Christ”
Paul’s pursuit was to “win” or “gain” the fullness of the majesty and wonder of Christ. He was “reaching” unto something beyond the perspectives of man’s concepts and teachings. He was stretching, reaching, pressing unto the fullness. There existed in him a passion for the “One Thing”. In light of this “prize” he could not and would not rest in his current knowledge of Him. Oh, may we see afresh the vast horizons of glory reserved for those who feel the fire and call of God in Christ Jesus!
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me”
“Metaphorically used of persons meaning to gain or win someone, i.e., as a friend or patron, referring to Christ (Php 3:8); a brother (Mat 18:15). To gain over to one’s side, meaning to win over to Christ and thus bring to salvation (1Co 9:19-22, where it is equivalent to sṓzō [G4982], to save or to deliver in 1Co 9:22; see 1Co 7:16, where sṓzō is used; 1Pe 3:1).”
“The Complete Word Study New Testament” (Word Study Series) Dr. Spiros Zodhiates
“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me”
It is important for us to reacquaint ourselves often with the words of Jesus during his earthly walk. Let those words reverberate within our hearts and pierce through the rhetoric. There is something so uncompromising about His Call. May we meditate upon these words of His and allow them the full and undivided attention of our hearts. The solemnity of His Call to us is not to a mere forgiveness of sins (as overwhelming and precious as that is). His Call is to Himself. Our redemption is for His glory and the following of Him. His whole design is to bring forth a people who are no longer their own, but rather “As He is, so ARE WE in this world” (1 John 4:17).
Look at the depth of His conversations with those who heard His Call:
“He said to another, “Follow me!” But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.”
“But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce God’s Kingdom.”
“And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house”
“And Jesus said unto him, no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”
There is power in the Call of Christ that defies logic. There is a stark contrast between then and now; between the perception of Jesus in our day and the Jesus presented to us in the Gospels. The Call of Christ is to the “whole” of us, not just a portion. Our response is not to be a casual one where we fit His Call into our daily life as if it were a part-time occupation. The Call is to Him; to sacrifice and to a determined relinquishment of all that we are.
Paul reiterates this in his plea to the Church at Rome.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”
There is a pleading in the ministration of the Call of God that this becomes an experiential truth. The things we allow in ourselves, and in the lives of those who claim to know Him, reveal our ignorance of His claim upon us. Sin no longer disturbs the majority. We look lightly upon the issues of others because we look lightly upon the issues within our own hearts.Lethargy is contagious; as contagious as any pandemic with eternal implications far beyond the loss of life here on earth.
Paul left no doubt with the Church at Colosse as to the purpose of the true ministry of God.
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”
What did this intensity of heart look like?
“Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily”
The mighty working of Christ within is revealed in a life of labour without; it is the exposé of His claim upon us. There is no place for the lethargy and indifference men and women display to the Call of God.
We Are Not Our Own
We may declare such things, we may present our claims of following God, but the reality of the life we live may reveal something different. The works of a life reveal the faith of the life. In Revelation God declared unto every location of the Church in that day, “I KNOW THY Works”. God is ever beholding our works for by them He knows our faith.
The validity of our love for Him and the power of Him working within us is readily expressed in our interaction with our brothers and sisters. Paul sums up his expression of the workings of Christ within: “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom…”. If mere confessions of faith were sufficient (as is commonly taught today), why did Paul express warnings, admonitions, and exhortations to the people of God? To the church at Ephesus, one of the crown jewels of the early church, Paul declared:
“Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears”
The deception and lethargy of a confession-based gospel has produced the slumbering church of our day! It produces a blindness to the magnificence, grandeur, and enormity of His Holiness. We have reduced Him to professions which require nothing more than a mental assent which consequently requires nothing, costs nothing, and correspondingly produces nothing. A confession without sacrifice leaves people without resources to face what lies ahead. Ministries must heed the Call of God to build up His Church and to prepare His people for the storm which is about to engulf our land. He is coming first of all to judge His church to the intent that in righteousness He may then be free to judge the world.
“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? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
1 Peter 4:17-18
The time IS COME upon us! Let those who have ears to hear tremble and seek Him afresh that we may be found “doing” when our Master returns. Take no comfort in confessions and doctrines which do not produce the Fear of the Lord, that do not bring forth a growing holiness and purity of heart. Forsake the delusion of heart which enjoys hearing the word, discussing the word, while yet refusing to obey the word.
A New Ministration of Mercy
It is a day to seek a new ministration of His Mercy; a mercy which produces sacrificial living and bringing forth of a new worship which is costly, pure and holy.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice…”
The true mercy of God enables men and women to give themselves wholly unto God, not to comfort them in their sins and rebellion.
May we as His redeemed rise up to respond wholly to the Call of God in Christ!
“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power”
2 Thessalonians 1:11
“…be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble”
1 Peter 5:5
Humility is the allurement for Grace. As bees are drawn to fragrant flowers, humility invites the grace of God. How wise and good is our God; His ways and His mercies are past finding out. As we develop in Him, we begin to comprehend the interaction of His graces in our lives.
His mercies enable a life of surrender unto Him.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship”
Just as the mercies of God bring us into the submission of our hearts, so humility leads us into a life of obedience.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death…”
It is through the workings of Grace that obedience becomes our joy and purpose in life. The Apostolic ministry has one purpose: to bring all men to the obedience of Faith unto God.
“through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of (the) faith…”
The evidence of mercy received is a surrendered life. A life of humility is expressed in obedience and the ministrations of His Spirit to others.
The inner workings of God’s grace must always find expression in our external walk. A life unlived and unfulfilled is the result of not allowing His graces to work in our lives.
“You shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water… I will fulfill the number of your days”
Is not this the cry of every redeemed human heart; that the number of our days be filled full of Him?
“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God”
God’s heart is for us to be overtaken by His Blessings.
“But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person”
1 Corinthians 5:11
The Life of Christ will naturally conform to and fulfill the Word of God. Christ Himself is the Living Word and His Spirit in us must, by its very nature, empower us to live in its Holy Way. We are here to “do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God”. It is not Mercy to compromise with sin; it is mercy to hate any sin in our lives as it is to confront sin within the Body of Christ. The purpose of Mercy is to enable men and women to give themselves as a “living sacrifice” unto God. It is never intended to give people license to remain in their sin. How short-sighted are those who would preach a gospel contrary to the purpose of God in His Mercy. The ministrations of God’s Justice and His Mercy are never in conflict. (see note below**)
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service”
Mercy truly received will always produce a life which grows into the very righteousness of God Himself. Those who would pervert mercy as a license to sin have no understanding of what Salvation in Christ means. It is a “different” gospel which speaks of compromise and godlessness; a gospel which leaves men and women powerless with regards to the victory of Christ over sin. Such a gospel leaves the individual bound to their sin and brings them to the very gates of hell itself. Christ came to inject the very dunamis of His Life to save us, empower us and resurrect us unto righteousness and godly living. May we ever be exhorted to “fight the good fight of faith” and to contend in Christ for the ascendancy over sin.
“Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from* their sins”
*Greek Word: ἀπό (apo) “any kind of separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed” Thayer Greek Lexicon
“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid”
**NOTE: This exhortation of Paul was written to cut off those who live in sin and flaunt it without remorse or desire to change. There are those who struggle against sin, who seek help and ministry, to whom we are to pour out our very souls unto God on their behalf that they may also know of the power and the victory which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. This word of exhortation is that there would be a standard in HIS CHURCH so that sin and the stain of its consequences would not be tolerated in the Body of Christ. Compromise is the downfall and the sin of a worldly and powerless church. It is a day for the Church to begin to arise with His Light and Glory (Revelation 19:7).
“But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, not lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these…”
2 Timothy 3:1-5
Jesus in His presentation to us of the Kingdom of God begins with this fundamental truth…
“The sower sows the Word…”
Mark 4:14 (LITV)
The thing sowed is not a word, a thought or an idea; it is The Word Himself (John 1:1). It is sown in seed form, it is sown un-germinated as an embryo filled with the potential, the power and the divine possibilities of us becoming full grown, matured manifestations of all that Christ is; not by any virtue of ourselves but by the power of the vine pulsating and pouring forth His Life into the branches via a living relationship!
“But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name…”
The Greek Word translated power means “the freedom, the right, the privilege, the potential and ability”
He is ever the Only Begotten Son, He is ever the Christ (The Anointed One) and it is simply in our abiding in Him that we are made partakers (“joint-heirs) of His glory. The Life is in the seed or better yet the Life is the seed. The Kingdom of God is in this WORD and outside of this Word there is no ability to see, understand or enter into the Kingdom of God. It is in our receiving this Word which grants to us the potential, the right and the privilege to become sons in God. This parable speaks of a seed which denotes growth, development and a living process, not a one-time event. How short-sighted are those who present the receiving of the Word as a completed transaction. The central truth of this parable is that the fruitfulness of the seed is determined BY the soil, not the seed. The same potential which fell in seed form upon the hard ground, the thorn infested soil and the good soil was the same! It was the soil which determined the outcome! May God grant to us the deep and powerful truth of this “key” presented to us. God’s sovereignty is presented in the universal sowing of the Seed and it is our response to the Word which determines its growth and development! The Kingdom of God is not a teaching it is a relationship which denotes interaction, a mutual communing and sharing with one another in order for fruit to be produced.
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare…”
The conception and the bearing of fruit is the outcome of a deep and intimate relationship. It is by the power of relationship with Christ Himself whereby the power to know of this life of bearing fruit. Knowledge by itself will leave a life impotent and barren in the things of God. In the parable of the Vine in John 15 the fruit is the result of the branch abiding in the vine.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing”
The power of the life of the Christian is not one of the seed only, it is not of the soil only it is the seed being received INTO the soil whereby the wonder of Christ is realized individually. The greater the submission of the soil to the Life of the seed is what determines the fruitfulness of the Life of Christ. Without the seed there is no life and without the soil there is no medium for the seed to grow. Fruit is simply the revelation of the seed growing IN the soil.
It is here where we begin to discover the “key” presented to us in our ability to understand all the other parables is given in a convincing and graphic setting forth of God’s Sovereignty and man’s responsibility. The seed represents the power, the might and the life of ALL that God is after yet it is found in our response to His sovereign grace which determines the end result.
In Romans chapters nine through eleven we are presented (as in nowhere else in scripture) the majestic portrayal of the sovereignty of God. Yet Paul continues his thought of the complete presentation of this truth in Romans chapter 12:1!
“I beseech you therefore (because God is Sovereign), brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”
Paul is pleading in the power and the love of the Holy Spirit… Because God is so sovereign I beseech you therefore brethren by the great mercies of God that you may respond to this sovereign God by the presenting of yourselves to Him! Why? That you may be transformed by the renewing of your mind… God is inviting us into relationship with and in Himself. The depth of a relationship is contingent upon the depth of the interaction between the individuals of that relationship. There is a continual giving and receiving in order for a relationship to continue to grow and develop; this is the fundamental law of relationship. Relationship is the mystery of life. It is here within the context of relationship that God has sovereignly determined to reveal Himself and empower us to grow into His Likeness.
“This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent”
When Jesus defined eternal life He defined it by a personal relationship not by some acknowledgement of a teaching or a dogma. How sad would be a marriage if its only merit was the event of their wedding day! Even as marriage is a life long experience between two people even more so is our relationship with God and Christ.
“For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh. This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly” Ephesians 5:31-32
“For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled”
The last days are days filled with great suffering, unimaginable evil, unspeakable glory, vengeance and retribution. It is a time of the End of things as we know it and the beginning of New things filled with the Reign and Majesty of God. It is a day of endurance, faith, malevolent hatred, and overcoming love.
“Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another”
The rising up of these great and evil beasts in the earth is the result of the Spirit of God striving upon the sea of humanity. These beasts are the influences and work of the principalities and powers of wickedness in high places. They ever seek to remain hidden from the eyes of the natural man, their work is insidious and pervasive in their dominion in the affairs of men. Their success in their evil ways is achieved by their staying unseen. It is God who forces these evil beasts into the light to the intent they may be judged.
“But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light”
In this day God is moving to bring the hidden things to light. He is allowing the full expression of Evil to be fully manifested to the end that it may be fully judged without remedy. The consequences of this Day are far reaching and the endurance required by the saints of God is well beyond the abilities of human strength and power. Even as Christ overcame through suffering and death so must the Church Triumphant overcome AS He overcame. The beasts that are rising in this day must arise for in the wisdom of God these things must be in order to fully manifest His wisdom, justice and power through His Church. The overcoming life of God in His people is to be displayed in the grand and terrible Day of the Lord.
“Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them…”
The Church of Jesus Christ will be fully given over to the power of this beast for a season (as Jesus Himself was delivered over to wickedness) but the final verdict stands sure. The Last Day Church (the true church) must experience the full experiential identification with His death in order to know the fullness of His resurrection. Identification with His death is essential to the knowing of the power of His resurrection (see Philippians 3:10-11).
“But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even for ever and ever”
Why will the saints possess the Kingdom forever? BECAUSE…
“… the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom”
The victory of the Church over the full expression of evil will be the great testimony of the power of God at work in His own. Their victory is in Him arising on their behalf to execute the judgement and the victory of Christ over all darkness.
The Day that is upon us must be faced by an overcoming people whose lives are no longer their own. They have found in Christ a grace which has so worked in them a freedom from their own will, their own ways and their reliance upon the strength and strategy of men.
There is within the ranks of His people in this day a movement to stop this rise of evil by political and carnal means but it will be to no avail. The rise of evil must come for it is in itself the very judgment of God upon the earth (every form of evil has within itself the seeds of its own destruction). The attack on the divine institution of marriage, the rise in sexual perversion and the growing resentment of the world upon all that is right and holy is the very expression of these things being allowed of God for His final victory.
In Romans Paul declares that the propagation of all sexual deviation and unbridled lust IS the judgment of God upon all nations.
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections…”
(Please read the whole context of this verse)
The reason God gives a nation over to these things is because they willfully and arrogantly refused the truth of God within their hearts. It is the great judgment of God on a people and nation.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened”
God’s judgment is already at work within our land. The rise of these things is the clear and evidentiary revelation that His judgments are upon us. The beasts are arising and will continue to arise until the Ancient of Days arises to cause the saints of the Most High God to possess the Kingdom. It is here in this environment where God will unveil a salvation which has been reserved for this Day.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls”
1 Peter 1:3-9
The Day of Vengeance is upon us to the INTENT that ALL things which have been written will be fulfilled. The Day of Vengeance will be completed and brought to its full end when God’s people have come to the fullness of total surrender and submission to Him whereas “they love not their lives unto death”.
“If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you”
A tender heart is a teachable heart. The way into truth is one of much correction and repentance. In the progressive revelation of all that He is we are confronted with all that we are. His beauty, His purity, His grace, patience and Holiness is beyond comprehension. There are no words to convey His glory. How privileged we are to behold Him, to receive His corrections and to have access to a grace which empowers us to turn from our ways to walk in His.
As we turn at His reproof and correction He pours out fresh ministrations of His Spirit. These on-going ministrations are intended to bring us into deeper communion with Him. In this ever-deepening relationship there is the unfolding of His Word to us.
“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning”
A wise man hears the reproof of the Lord. There is a passion to know Him experientially. This willingness to hear His correction will result in a continual change of our seeing, hearing and thinking. God is ever at work within the lives of those who are sensitive to the admonition of the Lord. Transformation and change are the evidence of those who know and love Him; the marks of one who loves and desires truth.
“…be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”
It is by the transformation of our thinking that we are equipped to know the will and purposes of God.
“You have magnified Your mercy which You have shown to me in saving my life. And I am not able to escape to the mountain lest some evil overtake me and I die. Behold, now, this city is near, to flee there, and it is a little one. Please let me escape there!”
This is the first instance in which mercy is mentioned in the scriptures. God’s impending judgement upon Sodom could not be executed until Lot left the city (because of Abraham’s prayer). God told Lot to go to the mountain to be safe but Lot was fearful and called upon God’s mercy to circumvent God’s will! Rather than obeying God he used God’s mercy to walk in a partial obedience. Such is the half-hearted response to God throughout the history of man. God granted Lot’s request but it is a sad testimony.
This scripture came to mind the other day as I was praying. I found myself asking God for His mercy to do His will. Not only did the above scripture come to mind but also the following:
“For this reason I make request to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you will give your bodies as a living offering, holy, pleasing to God, which is the worship it is right for you to give him”
Romans 12:1 (BBE)
These two passages show the contrasting ways in which we avail ourselves of God’s mercy; one for partial obedience and the other as a complete offering of ourselves to God. Though God may allow the partial we must recognize our tremendous need of His mercy to walk in full submission to Him. True obedience is only possible by the outworking of His mercy in our lives.
The natural man cannot walk with God; the unregenerate heart will always insist on its own way. To whatever extent our lives are yielded to Him will be the measure of His ministrations of grace and mercy being received.
“Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed”