Destroyers of True Intimacy

Monday, August 7, 2017, 5:55 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Oh, To Be Like Thee.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 33 (Select vv. ESV).

A Destroyer (v. 1; cf. Psalm 2:1; Rev. 11:18)

Ah, you destroyer,
who yourself have not been destroyed,
you traitor,
whom none has betrayed!
When you have ceased to destroy,
you will be destroyed;
and when you have finished betraying,
they will betray you.

What comes to mind here is John 10, in particular v. 10, where it says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

So, who are these thieves and robbers, i.e. these destroyers? They are the nations spoken of in Revelation 11:18 and in Psalm 2:1 who rage against Jesus Christ and his gospel of salvation, who persecute and martyr Christ’s followers, who kill innocents, and who overtake kingdoms, confiscate property not their own, and destroy lands and houses. The US government and their political allies are the ones who are doing this today.

Yet, they are also those strangers who have entered the gatherings of the church by a door other than Jesus Christ. They are false shepherds of the people, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and hired hands who care nothing for God’s people, but only for themselves. They have infiltrated the assemblies of the church for the very purpose to deceive, manipulate, lead people astray and to destroy the relationship between the church and their Lord.

Their goal is to pull as many people as possible away from the One and Only True God of the universe, who is the creator of the world and the people who live in it. And, it is to lead them to follow the world, the beast, the culture of society, and their own flesh. It is also to render spiritually powerless Christian men and women and church leaders, and to vilify those who are truly following Jesus Christ in pure devotion and dedication. It is to call evil good and good evil, to put darkness for light and light for darkness, and to put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Is. 5:20).

These destroyers have been working at this for many years, to bring the church down, to emasculate Christian men, in particular, to destroy the gospel by diluting it beyond recognition, and by physically conquering peoples and nations throughout the world. They have reinterpreted key Bible verses to make them not say what they are saying, or they have ignored them and have focused on only a few verses which fit with what they want to believe, which fits with the lifestyles they want to live. As well, they have placed lewd images in grocery store checkout lines, in store windows, on TV, and on general sites on the internet to lure men and women into sexual sin.

They have redefined marriage, have stirred up strife among various people groups, have falsified information, and have persuaded many to believe their lies and deceptions. They also have convinced many to abandon the true faith in Jesus Christ in favor of a more lenient, acceptable and tolerant religion which accepts all religions as viable and sinful lifestyles as standard (customary). And, they have persuaded many to believe that repentance and obedience to Christ are not only not necessary, but not required by God at all, and that God is pleased with them no matter what they do.

Our Stability (vv. 5-6)

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
and he will be the stability of your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.

A day is coming when the Lord will put an end to the work of these destroyers and it will be payback time. What goes around comes around. What they have done to others will be done to them. The nations which have destroyed others will be destroyed. God will judge them, and that includes the USA, most especially, for all the evil they have done throughout the world to others, and including within our own nation. And, this includes all these false shepherds of the people, too, who feed only themselves, and whose goal it is to bring down the church and to destroy the gospel.

For, the Lord is exalted, and he will revive his adulterous people and he will bring many to faith in Jesus Christ. Not only will he judge, but he will also save. He will judge not only to punish, but to revive his people. Yet, this judgment will bring hard times on many people. If what our nation has done to other nations is done to us, much of our country could be reduced to rubble, as well as we could suffer much financial loss, loss of liberties, and loss of human lives, too. Yet, our Lord God will be our stability. And, the fear of the Lord will be, if it is not already, our treasured possession.

Who Walk Righteously (vv. 13-16)

Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;
and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
The sinners in Zion are afraid;
trembling has seized the godless:
“Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire?
Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”
He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
who despises the gain of oppressions,
who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,
he will dwell on the heights;
his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
his bread will be given him; his water will be sure.

When judgment comes, which it will, those who are rebelling against God will be afraid, for they will not be able to stand in the judgment (See: Ps. 1:5; Rev. 6:17). Thus, the call of God is that all people would pay attention to what He has done (or will yet do) in judgment, and that they would acknowledge his might (power and authority), that he alone is God, and he alone is to be worshiped, sought after, and honored above all else.

Only those who walk righteously before God will be able to stand. They are those who, by God’s grace, have repented of their sins and are walking in obedience to their Lord, who reject evil, and who pursue what is godly and holy. Only they will be able to dwell in peace with God, who is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:28-29). Only they will be able to withstand the judgment and not lose faith, but will persevere and endure to the end, but only in the strength of the Lord, and empowered by the Spirit of God living within them.

Those who walk righteously, i.e. who conduct our lives according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, and who prefer what God prefers, will live in God’s continual presence. We have the Lord as our security and as our provider. He will supply all that we need. The fear of the Lord is our treasure. He is our defense and our stronghold (fortress). So, even though the earth gives way, and all hell breaks loose all around us, and even though God visits our nation(s) in judgment, and supplies are scarce, and troubles and hardships are numerous, we can rest in the Lord, believe in his promises, trust in his mercy and compassion, and lean on his strength. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will be our constant in a changing world. And, our desire will be for him, and to be like him.

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Thomas O. Chisholm / W. J. Kirkpatrick

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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A Stranger’s Voice

Sunday, July 2, 2017, 3:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “My Sheep.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read John 10 (Select vv. ESV).

They Will Flee (vv. 1-6)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Jesus Christ is the door (The Way, The Truth and The Life) to God the Father in heaven, to salvation from sin, and to eternal life with God. He is the ONLY door to heaven. There is no other way. The sheepfold is the church, his body, the saints of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, God’s Holy City. Yet, there are many false shepherds of the people who have infiltrated the gatherings of the church (of the sheep). These false shepherds have entered by another way, i.e. by a door of deception, wickedness, lies, and the manipulation of naïve minds. For, they do not truly know Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives, but they are “false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (See: 2 Co. 11:12-15).

Jesus Christ is also the True Shepherd who enters the sheepfold by the door, i.e. by way of his death and resurrection in putting our sins to death on a cross so that we might walk with him in righteousness. When we enter by the door, it is by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, in which we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Ro. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24). The true sheep hear the voice of the True Shepherd, they listen to him, and they follow (obey) him. But, they will not follow a stranger, i.e. one who enters by way of deception. In fact, they will flee from him, because the voice (teaching) of a stranger they do not know (intimately), in the sense of hearing, believing, accepting and following the stranger. The Holy Spirit will give them discernment to reject the stranger’s voice, and to only follow the voice of the True Shepherd.

To Kill and Destroy (vv. 7-13)

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

It is essential that we understand the difference between truth and lies, so that we do not follow the lies and reject the truth. Many false shepherds, who have infiltrated the church, are telling the people lies, and they themselves are rejecting the truth, as well as they are leading others to reject the truth and to accept the lies (See: 2 Thess. 2:1-12). Thus, they are thieves and robbers, because they are stealing the truth from people’s hearts in order to fill their minds with the lies of Satan, whose goal it is to deceive them and to turn them away from God and genuine faith in Jesus Christ. These false shepherds, who have infiltrated our ranks, are not there to lead us to Christ, but they are there to destroy and to kill all that is holy and is of God, for they are Satan’s messengers, and his goal is to destroy the church, Jesus Christ, his messengers, and the gospel of our salvation.

Since these false shepherds disguise themselves as apostles of Christ and as servants of righteousness, their messages will be a mixed bag of truth and lies so that it will appear as though what they are teaching is truth. But, the lies will be subtle, and will be cleverly inserted into the truth, so that naïve minds will easily accept them and not discern the error. Since this is the goal, these clever enchanters have devised a plan to discredit the gospel and its messengers by calling it “works-based salvation,” and to discourage all who would listen to the true gospel message from accepting it as valid. And, they cloak these lies in fine-sounding arguments, intended to sound as though they are somehow delivering the people out of the clutches of what is false, and that they are somehow leading them to true freedom in Christ, but nothing could be further from the truth.

What these false shepherds are telling the people is that they can have eternal life with God, salvation from sin, and the hope of heaven when they leave this earth merely by acknowledging Jesus’ existence, or what he did for us in taking our place on a cross to free us from the punishment of sin, and by accepting his forgiveness for their sins. And, they call this the gospel of grace. Yet, they also tell them that God requires nothing of them at all, other than to “believe,” i.e. to acknowledge Jesus’ existence, and to accept his forgiveness of their sins. They tell them that they don’t have to repent of (turn away from) their sins, and they don’t have to obey Jesus Christ or his commandments (his instructions to us), or submit to his Lordship, and that God is pleased with them no matter what they do. So, they give free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse.

Yet, the truth of the gospel of our salvation is that Jesus Christ died on that cross, not merely to free us from eternal damnation and to promise us heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us on that cross. He died that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. If we walk (in how we conduct our lives) according to our sinful flesh (in darkness), we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity. God’s grace is not a free license to continue in sin, but it instructs (commands) us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return.

[See: Luke 9:23-25; John 6:35-66; Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6:1-23; 8:1-14; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Gal. 2:20; Gal. 5:19-21: Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24.]

My Sheep / An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV

My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.

So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.

Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…

They know my voice, so they follow me.

The Good Way

Thursday, June 8, 2017, 8:08 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Jeremiah 6 (quoting vv. 13-20 NASB).

No Peace (vv. 13-15)

“For from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is greedy for gain,
And from the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
“They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.
“Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done?
They were not even ashamed at all;
They did not even know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time that I punish them,
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.

According to the news, there have been numerous terrorist attacks, of late, in the capital cities of at least four countries: London, UK (March 2017); Paris, France (April 2017); Stockholm, Sweden (April 2017); London, UK (June 2017); and Tehran, Iran (June 2017), among others. There have also been cries for solidarity with these nations, i.e. for “unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group” (Google). And, there has been numerous calls for the obliteration of terrorism, and for world peace and tolerance. And, by tolerance they mean broad-mindedness and acceptance of all religions as viable, and acceptance of and lenience towards sinful lifestyles.

All of this, I believe, is intentional and well-orchestrated, and its intention is to bring the world together as one, in unity under a one world government and a one world religion. In other words, this is the work of the New World Order “beast,” who (or which) has been using the US government and its military, and their allies, as well as hired guns (terrorists for hire), to force or to coerce independent nations, peoples, and people of faith, particularly Christians, to bow to this “beast,” and to unify with this New World Order in giving up sovereignty, human rights, and our faith, so that we can join hands across this globe singing “Kumbaya.” It is not terrorism they want to obliterate, though, since they support it, but all opposing forces to the rule of this “beast.” They want to do away with the gospel of Jesus Christ, too.

They are building a case for the need for “world peace,” but it will come at a price, and that is the cost of sacrificing faith, principle, standards, and doctrine. And, this has been developing within the church, particularly inside the institutional church, for some time now. By turning the church into a business and/or a social or civic organization, and by, thus, targeting the world as their customer base, they have diluted the gospel message to make it more appealing to the world, and to where it will soon fit well within this “tolerance” and “world peace” theme. So many preachers now are preaching a gospel which turns into a broad road that many travel, instead of the narrow road that few find. They preach that all one has to do is to acknowledge Jesus’ existence, and accept his forgiveness of their sins, and they are saved, secured, and bound for heaven when they die.

They put Band-Aids over serious sin issues, and they promise them heaven and eternal life with God. But, they tell them God requires nothing of them – no repentance, no obedience to the Word of God, and no surrender or submission to Christ and his cross. There is no death to sin in this gospel, thus there can be no life in the Spirit, either. It is all human-based faith, which is useless, because it does not slay the sinner (put sin to death), but it entertains him with feel-good messages to tickle itching ears. And, one day the adherents of this false grace gospel will hear, “Depart from me, I never knew you,” rather than “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

The Ancient Paths (vv. 16-17)

Thus says the Lord,
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
“And I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’

So, the good counsel here is to seek after the “ancient paths,” where the “good way” is, and to walk (live, conduct our lives) in it. What this is speaking of is the way of holiness and the path of righteousness and godliness, and obedience to Christ, and surrender to his cross, i.e. to death to sin and to living to righteousness. In other words, we must die with Christ to sin and be resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to BE LIKE HIM in TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS (See: Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6).

Jesus said that if we want to come after him we must deny self and take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them (we die in our sins). But, if we lose our lives for his sake, i.e. if we die with him to sin, we will gain eternal life (Lu. 9:23-25). Paul reiterated this message when he said that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (in lifestyle) not according to our flesh, but according to the Spirit. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity (Ro. 8:1-14). John said that if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (sin), we are liars (1 Jn. 1:6).

If we walk (in lifestyle) in the “ancient paths,” i.e. in the way of holiness, we will find rest for our souls. To be holy means to be set apart (unlike, different) from the world of sin because we are being made into the likeness of Christ. Too many are preaching a false grace gospel which does not lead people to live holy lives, but which coddles them in their sinful lifestyles. And, they will never find rest for their souls, because they are continually wandering off to follow what is unholy, ungodly, unrighteous and immoral. Even though they know the truth (many do), they will not listen to the truth.

Sowing and Reaping (vv. 18-20)

“Therefore hear, O nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them.
“Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people,
The fruit of their plans,
Because they have not listened to My words,
And as for My law, they have rejected it also.
“For what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba
And the sweet cane from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable
And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.”

We read in Galatians 6: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (vv. 7-8).

God is not interested in what we are willing to do for him, of our own choosing. He is not pleased by the self-imposed sacrifices we are willing to make, or by our religious performances. What pleases him is when we honor and respect him as Lord of our lives, and when we humbly submit ourselves to obeying His Word, His Will, and His Ways, and to walk in them every day.

Jesus, I am Resting, Resting
Jean Sophia Pigott

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Belovèd,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.