Quote for Today
“Those who would have clear views of heaven, must get as near to heaven as they can, on the mount of meditation and faith”
– Matthew Henry
“Those who would have clear views of heaven, must get as near to heaven as they can, on the mount of meditation and faith”
– Matthew Henry
“Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better”
– Florence Nightingale
“By Faith Moses… choosing and
Esteeming the reproach of the Christ
greater riches than the treasures in Egypt,
for he had respect unto the
recompense of the reward”
Our estimation of Christ is revealed in the life we live. The previous verses describe what Moses did, this verse tells us why he did what he did. What people do (not what they say) reveals their true life and the motivations of their heart.
Moses forsook Egypt though he found himself a part of the Egyptian Royal Family to a life of luxury and comfort. The scripture tells us he “choose” to suffer with God’s people rather than to enjoy the “pleasures of sin”. How little emphasis is put upon the choices we make daily in terms of our walk with God.
“…choose you this day whom ye will serve”
Joshua put forward his admonition to the people of God in his day; “Choose you this day”. The life of a true Christian is revealed in the everyday walk. It is expressed in the choices and the decisions we make. God Himself is the witness to our everyday conduct. He sees the hidden thoughts, the agendas and the intentions behind all of our actions and words. They who know and walk in the abiding sense of His presence are ever aware of His eyes being upon them. They who are insensitive to these things walk in the foolishness of this world.
The ever present word of God to us all…
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you,
that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore, choose life…”
“I am the resurrection”
Wherever and whenever the heart of a wandering soul, a lost soul or a dying soul meets the wonder of Him, resurrection and life are the immediate result. He is not only the Resurrected One, He is the ever resurrecting one. Regardless of age, status in life or circumstances, He is our resurrection. Newness of life, joy, worship and praise are the on-going expressions of any life beholding Him. Death, sorrow, fear, discouragement and despair flee from His presence as shadows disappear from radiant light.
Linger not in the shadows of human reasoning or the stains of sin or unbelief. Come to the fountain which will never fail; whose waters are filled with the abundance of His Life, cleansing, refreshing and replenishing us with the vigor of His eternal life.
“Come ye saints, look here and wonder,
See the place where Jesus lay;
He has burst His bands asunder;
He has borne our sins away;
Yes, the Lord has risen to-day”
“And an highway shall be there, and a way*,
and it shall be called The way* of holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it;
but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men…”
In every generation there have always been “the wayfaring ones” who walk in the way of Holiness. The Hebrew word translated “highway” comes from the root word meaning to “lift up or exalt”; it might better be translated “high way”. It is also the narrow way of which Jesus spoke. Its proximity to the broad way of the masses may seem close at first but the ends of these two paths are radically different.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”
The broad gate (easy gate) leads to destruction while the narrow way leads to life; His Life within the hearts of those who choose to travel such a road. The narrow way is the “Way of Holiness”. It is for the wayfaring ones who can no longer abide in the tents of Hagar. They can no longer be bound within the confines of a system and a contentment of the “partial faith” as was Ishmael. Part Faith (Abraham) part flesh (Hagar: the Egyptian), a mingling of the two where the ways of men exalt the flesh while attempting to declare the ways of God. The nature of Ishmael will always mock the child of promise. Nevertheless, the day will come that God brings separation and speaks His decree.
“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless, what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman” Galatians 4:28-30
The Way of Holiness is the way of the wayfaring ones. It is a lonely way with the painful discovery of all that we are by nature: broken, sinful, selfish, vile and unloving. The Way of Holiness is the pathway to the seeing of Him and in the seeing of Him we see ourselves. The Way of Holiness is also the way to discovering His unmerited grace and wonder! In knowing our condition Grace is seen in its reality. Mercy is no longer just a religious word. It is the very power of God at work within to enable us to rise up and follow Him who “first loved us”.
Inherent within His own, the wayfaring ones, there is a cry and a desire to see Him, to know Him and to please Him. The cry rises from deep within, for it is nothing less than the cry of the spirit of adoption whereby we cry “Abba Father”. It is the result of the Life of another beating within our hearts, a cry which cannot be ignored nor pacified by the programs and ways of a dead and impotent religion. These wayfaring ones are filled with a hunger and a thirst for His righteousness to be worked out in their own lives. They do not leave the religious things because they think they are better; they leave because they can no longer ignore the need to know Him in a deeper and fuller way.
“Pursue peace with all, and holiness,
without which no one will see the Lord”
What is the promise of a faithful God to the wayfaring ones?
“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion (Heb. 12:22) with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” Isaiah 35:10
The hardness, loneliness and sorrow of the way is the journey into the Joy and Gladness of the Lord. Blessed are those who remain true to the leading of His Spirit.
“Blessed are they which do hunger
and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled”!
*Note: Strong’s Definitions: דֶּרֶךְ derek, deh’-rek; from H1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action, often adverb:—along, away, because of, by, conversation, custom, (east-) ward, journey, manner, passenger, through, toward, (high-) (path-) way(-side), whither(-soever).
“Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am Holy”
1 Peter 1:16
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will,
and prepared not himself,
neither did according to his will,
shall be beaten with many stripes”
A Word to those who feel secure in being part of the remnant. The remnant are they who prepare themselves for the DAY that is upon us. The remnant are they whose obedience is full; for Obedience is the revelation of our submission to Him! God is not interested in what we know or think we know; HE covers those who hide themselves in HIM.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”
2 Corinthians 5:17
The depth of our being in Him is correspondingly expressed by the new life which is exhibited in our daily living*. This is a word to God’s people. This is a word concerning today. Somehow we have to come to think that being born again is like a “get out of jail free” card; we no longer have responsibility or accountability for how we live our daily lives. The context of this scripture is one that should cause us to radically consider our ways and our concept of what it means to be His own.
“But and if that servant say in his heart, my lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” LUKE 12:45-48
From these very words we can clearly see that HE REQUIRES MORE of His people than of the world. The more we know of HIS Kingdom the more shall be required of us. Greater understanding brings greater accountability. Rather than being puffed up with knowledge we need to be sober and filled with fear and trembling as we walk before Him. The “fear of the Lord is the beginning (chief part) of wisdom”. Men who do not fear Him do not know Him. Men who seek and desire preeminent places of standing, who seek recognition and favor from others, know not God. It is a day to walk lowly and humbly before our God. It is a day to prepare ourselves for the fury of that which is about to break forth in our land.
The Greek word used here for prepare** is the same Greek word translated in the Gospels when speaking of John the Baptist’s ministration as a fore runner to prepare the way of the Lord. It is a warning to us that we are to be prepared. In the Greek it is an active verb which means it is incumbent upon us to be ACTIVE in the fulfilling of this word. The judgment comes to those who do not PREPARE themselves and they who know and do not are in greater judgment than those who knew not. Let us take heed to this. Let us know that our boldness in the day of Judgment is determined by our likeness to Him.
“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness
in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world”
How we are in this world determines our day of Judgment. The Day of preparation is all about the heart. It is about right motives and intentions; for it is the PURE IN HEART who shall SEE GOD. Our greatest need in this hour is to SEE HIM for that is the only hope we have of becoming like HIM (2 Corinthians 3:18). Malachi prophesying of our day speaks of Him coming to His people as a refiner’s fire…
“But who may abide the day of his coming?
and who shall stand when he appeareth?
for he is like a refiner’s fire,
and like fullers ‘soap: And he shall sit
as a refiner and purifier of silver…”
The DAY of HIS appearing is unfolding before our eyes. The distress of nations is upon us. Fear is beginning to grip men’s hearts. The very foundations of society are being removed and men do not know where to put their trust. It is for this Day that the scriptures warn us to be a people who ARE preparing ourselves and are warning those around us as to the day and the hour in which we are living. It is not the Day for business as usual. This is no time for routine Sunday sermons and fire-less prayer meetings; casual Biblical discussions that do not bring conviction, the fear of the Lord and a stirring of the heart unto love and devotion to Jesus.
Many will say in that day “Lord, Lord…” to which Jesus will respond “I never knew you…”
May God stir our hearts afresh to be vigilant and sober that we be not overtaken by the slumber and apathy of this hour.
“Prepare ye the Way of the Lord”
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”
It is in view of these truths that I am sending this out to anyone anywhere who desires to meet together, seek His face and cry out unto Him for change, purity of heart and to be found completely HID in Him. Many are seeing the apathy all around us but somewhere we MUST come to a new abiding place in Him. A knowing of a fresh new faith which brings His resources to us in order that we may live beyond our own abilities. There is a call going forth to gather ourselves unto Him even as Anna and Simeon who spent their days in prayer for they KNEW HE was coming; and they saw HIM!
God’s Word to me the other day…
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”
This was Noah’s portion BEFORE the Flood.
“Come together, make everyone come together, O nation without shame; Before the Lord sends you violently away in flight like the waste from the grain; before the burning wrath of the Lord comes on you, before the day of the Lord’s wrath comes on you. Make search for the Lord, all you quiet ones of the earth, who have done what is right in his eyes; make search for righteousness and a quiet heart: it may be that you will be safely covered in the day of the Lord’s wrath”
Zephaniah 2:1-3 (BBE)
1. To make ready, prepare
2. To make the necessary preparations,
get everything ready
3 Metaphorically drawn from the oriental custom of sending on before Kings on their journeys persons to level the roads and make them passable (Isaiah 40:3-4)
To prepare the minds of men to give the Messiah a fit reception and secure his blessings.
BLB Greek Lexicon
“Then were assembled unto me
every one that trembled at the words of the God”
To understand the future one must have knowledge of the past. There is really nothing new under the sun. The apathy and backsliding of one generation is simply the pattern for the next; hearts of men have changed little. God’s Word (through the traditions of men) is gradually robbed of its power (Mark 7:13) as men use it to support their own agendas and their desire for preeminence. This is all within the context of a “religion” that has a form without the life. In such an atmosphere men no longer heed the Word for what it says and as a result they stumble in the darkness of a religion that offers no direction or purpose. The Word is still quoted to support this lukewarm and tepid thing but the hearers are “twice dead”; the very means of their deliverance has been robbed of its power and meaning. Within this man-induced atmosphere “the famine of hearing the word” (Amos 8:11-12) has been pronounced upon such a generation. God Himself strikes men with the blindness of Sodom and the ignorance of the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus day. In hearing they shall not hear and in seeing they shall not see (Matthew 13:13-15). The evidence of this is people running “to and fro” searching for anything to fill the emptiness within their hearts. Because of this they are given over to strong delusion for they refused the LOVE of THE TRUTH (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
In the midst of this spiritual landscape there are those who are sensing the NEED to assemble and to cry out to the ONE who can save, who can hear and who can hold them firm within the shelter of His Own Being. These are those who tremble at HIS WORD and govern their lives accordingly. They can no longer abide within a church that has a “name that it is alive but it is (in essence) dead” (Revelation 3:1). A church which goes through the motions and rituals of something that resembles life but the emptiness of such a religion has rendered it superficial, impotent and sterile.
“The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding
shall remain in the congregation of the dead”
They that honour and obey the Word of God cannot remain in the congregation of the dead. Obedience is the revelation of a life that honours His Word. Men who hear without obeying are like those who “build their house on sand”; it looks good until the flood comes and washes it away. Those who hear and obey are likened unto those who “build their house on the rock”; when the floods come the house stands. This parable clearly shows that the strength of the house is not in itself but in that upon which it is built.
They who tremble at His Word are those who have the Fear of the Lord. His Word IS His Will and because of this they know that in obeying His Word they are in fact honouring Him. The flood is coming and so is the revelation of every man’s work. There must be within those who tremble at His Word a new and fresh gathering together unto Him that will ignite the fires of repentance to the purifying of our hearts. It is to such that HE will arise, with healing in His wings.
“No principle is more noble,
as there is none more holy,
than that of a true obedience”
“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream.
Not so with My servant Moses;
He is faithful in all My house.
I speak with him face to face,
Even plainly, and not in dark sayings;
And he sees the form of the Lord”
NUMBERS 12:6-7 (NKJV)
While much of Christendom glories in dreams, visions and supernatural experiences there is something that is much higher; it is called relationship. We live in a day of many voices and as the scripture declares they are not without significance (1 Corinthians 14:10). They all seek men’s attention and clamor for the hearts and minds of God’s people. Spiritual Gifts are necessary for the building up of the Body of Christ. We are exhorted to seek and desire them; but let us recognize that they are a MEANS to God’s end. They are not in themselves the goal of a true child of God. The purpose of all true expressions of the Holy Spirit is to bring us to the KNOWING of God Himself. While the Lord will speak to some by dreams and visions God’s highest call is to find men who KNOW Him face to face. Relationship with the Most High is beyond understanding; His presence transcends knowledge and gifts. How HE longs for His own to see and understand His purposes.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding”
The “…knowing of the Holy is understanding”. True understanding brings men and women to the realization of what Holy is, what it means, and what it conveys to us of the “Fear of the Lord” and the Glory and Wonder of His Presence. It takes very little observation to see the state of the “church” today and lament the utter lack of the sense of the mystery of Holiness. While we have much in terms of “gifts” operating in our midst, and no end of men and women speaking forth great words and prophetic utterances, and the telling of dreams and visions*, we have become much like the Church of God at Corinith. She excelled in the operation of the gifts (1 Corthians 1:7) and yet was filled with sexual immorality, carnality and sectarianism (I am of Paul, or Apollos, Peter… etc). Paul called her carnal.
“For ye are yet carnal:
for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions,
are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith,
I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”
1 CORINTHIANS 3:3-4
Spiritual gifts are not a reflection of a man’s relationship with God. They are gifts given because of the merits and mercy of God as revealed in Christ Jesus. They are necessary for the building up of the Body of Christ, not ourselves.
Relationship with God, as we see here revealed in Numbers, for Moses was based on his faithfulness to God. Moses never placed his relationship with men above God. His concern was for God’s Glory and God’s purposes. Because of this God did not speak with Moses in dreams, visions and riddles. He spoke to him as a friend face to face. Such is the depth of relationship that HE has called us unto. While many are satisfied* with the reading of books, listening to sermons, religious works and attending conferences there is a call of God in that “still small voice” to turn aside unto the seeking of Him. For those who seek shall find that HE IS COME to bring us from the shadows of service into the brightness and glory of a growing relationship with Him.
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants;
for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:
but I have called you friends;
for all things that I have heard of my Father
I have made known unto you”
Friendship with God is costly for it requires obedience which is far beyond religious adherence to a doctrine or teaching. It beckons us to better things, it draws us away from the broad paths into the narrow gate, and it fills us with the promise and hope of knowing our God as HE is. Although (by the knowing of Him, Isaiah 6, Revelation 1:17 ) there is an awareness of our own weakness and unworthiness His Spirit is persistent in its drawing to follow Him despite what we see in our self. It is in the receiving of His Words, hiding them deep within our hearts and applying what we hear into the common course of our life, that we begin to touch the hem of the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God.
“My son, if thou wilt receive my words,
and hide my commandments with thee;
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom,
and apply thine heart to understanding;
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge,
and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver,
and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD,
and find the knowledge of God”
Through the medium of obeying
We grow through the shadows
Of thought and form
Into the growing light
Of the seeing of His Face
And the knowing of His Heart
* While these things have value (depending upon their authenticity), if they do not bring us into the “knowledge of the Holy” their value is suspect in terms of all that God has purposed. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord“
“Truly, truly, I say to you,
you will see the heavens opened*”
How wonderful is the spontaneous response of Jesus to Nathanael’s heartfelt declaration “Rabbi, You are the Son of God!” An “open heaven” is really the ability of an individual to see and understand the things of God; to see past the appearance of a thing and to see the substance and reality of that which is real, eternal and true. The open heaven is not available based on our intellect, cleverness or schooling. It is open to all on the basis of Faith, Obedience and Purity of heart.
“By faith we understand…”
Without the faculty of FAITH the word remains sealed and uninviting. It holds facts and doctrinal statements that we may use to form a religious guideline by which we navigate this world with an understanding of its precepts. While there is great benefit to be garnered by these we are merely sailing upon the surface of the waters of life that he has for us. We can study the scriptures and put together sermons based upon a topical analysis of them with some profit to the hearers. There remains however that hidden dynamic pulsating with the breath and life of the Son. It is the precious function of FAITH to enable us to see THE SON in the reading of the WORD. While some see facts, concepts and precepts others see and hear the Living God and because of this they are pilgrims and sojourners in a strange land. They feel the futility of man’s ways and efforts and the absolute necessity of why Christ was crucified. They know that without the branch abiding in the vine they will wither and die. They are no longer content to dwell and gather in temples made with hands for they have heard and seen a LIVING TEMPLE “a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God”. The Word is no longer a historical document, no longer an ethereal book that tells us of things to come after we die. For those who by FAITH survey its sacred pages it is THE TRUTH that is LIVING and RELEVANT TODAY. As it states in the Book of Hebrews “TODAY if you will HEAR HIS VOICE…” Those who are content with the status quo, the division and sectarianism and the powerlessness of the religion of today, have not touched the heart and cry of the SON. Those who are not broken over the carnality, strife, emulations, and the spiritual poverty of the North American Church have not felt the heart of the Son; that same Son who wept over Jerusalem and the fate that awaited her. They could not see HIM of whom the scriptures spoke for they had not the faith of Abraham. Jesus said that “Abraham SAW HIS DAY and was glad”. Faith ever sees and beholds the Living Christ. An OPEN HEAVEN is the fruit and the recompense of the wonder of HIS FAITH living and breathing within our hearts.
*Spoken of the heavens, to open the heavens or to have the heavens opened or divided so that celestial things become manifest (Matt. 3:16; Luke 3:21; John 1:51; Acts 7:56; 10:11; Rev. 19:11) SPIROS ZODHIATES (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament)
“O Lord GOD, thou hast BEGUN to show thy servant thy greatness,
and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth,
that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?”
Moses prays this after nearly 120 years of seeing the mighty hand of God in Egypt and the Wilderness. Moses prays this after a life of speaking with God, at times face to face, seeing His Glory in all of the various ways throughout all of those years and yet he prays thus… “Thou hast BEGUN to show Thy servant Thy greatness”! Can we not see, can we not catch a glimpse of the infinite Glory of our God? Is there not the infinite call of God to our hearts to come up higher, to go deeper, to KNOW HIM AS HE IS? Is there not a realization of the little that we settle for; the CRY for relationship that goes beyond teachings, meetings and the common course of the present day “Christian Life”? Is there not within the deep recesses of our hearts the Cry of the Son to know and please the Father? Do we not feel the Cry of all creation longing for the “manifestation of the sons of God…?” (Romans 8:19) While men debate what the “manifestations” should be of those who have the infilling of the Holy Spirit Paul states in Romans…
“For we know that the whole creation
groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
Not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
eagerly waiting for the adoption,
the redemption of our body”
ROMANS 8:22 – 23
The manifestations of the firstfruits of the Spirit are revealed in a people who know this groaning and the longing for the full expression of the redemption that was purchased at Calvary! Where is that longing to see, to know and to be fully alive in CHRIST JESUS our Lord? To be satisfied with the status quo of today is an unthinkable state of existence. We see all around us those who are satisfied with state of the Church, who are content to walk within the confines of a doctrinal statement concerning righteousness; content with the impotence and benign expression of the Gospel of the Kingdom because of the lack of vision and the purpose to which the ONE CHURCH has been called. We read in Paul’s Epistle to the Church at Corinth that an unbeliever would walk into their midst and one would stand up and prophesy and the unbeliever would fall on his face because the very secrets of his heart would be revealed. Paul called that Church carnal because of the emulation of the different ministries and the setting of one ministry above another. WHAT WOULD HE SAY TO US IN OUR DAY?
Let us consider Gideon who was living in a time when the people of God were defeated . He was gathering a bit of grain hoping that the enemy would not come and take even that from him. Do we not see the same today where we are no longer affecting those around us but are in more of a survival mode hoping we do not lose the few that are left? In the midst of this God appears to a man; a man who has been gripped by the haunting burden of the cry of God within his own heart…
“O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?
And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying,
‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’
God is not afraid of men who question the present day experience… HE LOVES THEM and He comes with an answer. HE comes because of them! He comes because they have the cry for something greater, something real, vital and true. Is it not time for us to read the scriptures anew? Is it not time to stop reading them as some historical novel and begin to compare WHAT WAS to WHAT IS? Is it not time to begin to question what all of our “ways” and our “wisdom” has produced? Is it not a DAY to turn from the deadness of the programs, the teachings and the building up of men’s organizations and men’s ministries and return again to the seeking, knowing, and walking in the ways of God? If we do not see the contrast between the present day expression and His purposes it is time to “consider our ways”. Jesus told us to pray… “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, ON EARTH as it is in Heaven…” Should not that be more than some religious prayer but rather the CRY within our hearts and the purpose of our lives to see it be so?
It is a DAY to question; a DAY to seek afresh HIS FACE. For in the asking, the seeking and the knocking we HAVE A PROMISE THAT THE DOOR SHALL BE OPENED; a door that leads us into new places and reveals HIM in a fuller, deeper and richer way. That door will transform the present day Church into a precious bride that is pure, holy and righteous.
“I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel,
to do it for them”