New Foundations Ministries
God's Call To Judgment
By George Kirkpatrick
Click on the arrow to listen to this audio
In studying the Bible have you ever wondered why God always lists the failures of His people? From the beginning, we discover Adam and Eve disobeyed God's Word when they rebelled against His commandment, "Do not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." Because of their failure to heed God's Word, jealousy entered into their son, Cain, who killed his brother, Abel. Cain killed Abel because God accepted Abel's sacrifice, but his was rejected.
By the sixth chapter of Genesis, man had become so vile that they filled the land with violence. God viewed the wickedness of man and that the imaginations of man's heart was continually evil. God's judgment on mankind brought the flood, and only Noah, who had found grace in God's sight, was saved along with his family.
By the nineteenth chapter of Genesis, Sodom and Gomorrah had become so sin-sick with their perverted sex, including homosexuals and lesbians, that God had to rain down fire and brimstone from heaven to wipe out this abomination upon the earth.
Then Jacob's name was changed to Israel, and Israel had twelve sons. God recorded the sins of Jacob's sons. Reuben, Jacob's eldest son, lay with his father's concubines, in an open area, for the entire world to see. Simeon and Levi slew all the sons of Hamor because Shechem had raped Dinah, their sister. They had promised Hamor if all the males of the city would be circumcised they would give Dinah to Shechem, and live peaceably with them. But on the third day, when the men were the sorest, Simeon and Levi slew all the men of the city. Their lies plagued Jacob's soul. The ten sons of Israel also sold Joseph their brother into slavery. Because of the famine in Israel all the sons of Jacob moved into Egypt where they had sold Joseph. All Israel went into bondage in Egypt. God then raised up Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt, but all Israel did was mumble, grumble, and complain against God's leadership for forty years. They were required to wander in the wilderness because they failed to enter in and possess their promised land. All those over twenty years of age, except Joshua and Caleb perished in the wilderness because of their complaining and rebellion.
Then Israel demanded that God give them a king. God informed them what a king would do to them. But Israel insisted, and God gave them kings. God gave them Saul, David, and Solomon who ruled over all Israel. After Solomon's death, Israel was divided, and Jeroboam took the ten northern tribes, and made Samaria his capitol. The southern two tribes became known as Judah. The ten northern tribes, under Jeroboam, retained the name of Israel. The history of the kings of Israel was one failure after another, and the kings of Judah were not much better. In 721 B.C. God scattered Israel over the face of the whole earth. Judah lasted until 586 B.C., when they were carried into Babylonian captivity.
So from the beginning, God has revealed to us how disobedience, rebellion, jealousy, murder, perverted sex, retaliation, murmuring against God's leadership - - - not to mention all the greed, lust, and power of the kings who corrupted God's people, and how their total disregard for God caused their downfall.
So, why did God record all the failures of His people? It was so we could learn from their mistakes, so we do not repeat these same mistakes and have to suffer as the ancients did. Paul gives us insight into God's reasoning in his letter to the Corinthians:
"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." I Corinthians 10:11
God recorded all these failures for our admonition (understanding) upon whom the ends of the world (age) has come. God has a people at the end of the age that He is going to raise up to rule and reign with Him for one thousand years, and then for all eternity.
Israel had many enemies, but the one enemy they had throughout the Old Testament were the Philistines. The Philistines rose up and took Israel captive on more than one occasion. When Israel or the priesthood fell into gross sin, God would raise up an enemy to defeat them. Many times these were the Philistines.
When Samuel was a young lad in training for the priesthood under Eli the priest, God spoke to Samuel that God would bring judgment upon Israel, Eli, and his two sons because they had become vile in the sight of God. It is recorded that Hophni and Phinehas were having sex with the women at the gate of the tabernacle. They also made a three-pronged hook to take more than the priest's share from the offering pot. They also demanded the people give them raw meat meant for the sacrifices, so they could sell it.
The same thing is happening in the church system in our day. Sex has invaded the church scene. Some men have what they call their `soul mate'. These are women they are supposed to have a spiritual connection with, and they can have a marital relationship with these women, even though they are married to another woman. This they believe is God ordained adultery, but which will bring swift judgment. The same is true with the collection plate. Their greed is never satisfied. This is why Peter declared:
"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?" I Peter 4:17
Just as Israel suffered judgment because they did not obey God's Word, so will the church today suffer judgment for the same reason. There came a day when God's hand would deal with Israel, and the sons of Eli.
"Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek. And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men." I Samuel 4:1b & 2
Israel lost about four thousand men that day. They could not understand what had happened. They thought God would bring deliverance, even though they had turned their back on Him. They said in their hearts, "We are God's chosen people, and God will always be there when we need Him." We hear the same thing today. Many say, "America is a Christian nation, and God will never allow anything to happen to us." These seem to forget that God gave us Israel as our example. And since the United States has turned their back on God, they can expect no different treatment than that which Israel suffered.
When Israel went back to camp, they wondered what they could do. Their only answer was to go to Shiloh and bring up the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant always represents God's presence. Surely if Israel had the Ark, God would fight for them, so they brought up the Ark into the camp:
"And when the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again." I Samuel 4:5
The camp went wild when they saw the Ark of God brought into their midst by Hophni and Phinehas. The Philistines heard the shouts, and wondered what the noise was that was coming from the camp of Israel. When they were told the Ark of the Covenant had come into the camp of Israel, the Philistines feared, because they had heard of the great victories God had wrought against the Egyptians to free Israel from their slavery.
Then, the battle was set in array.
"And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the Ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain." I Samuel 4:10-11
Thirty thousand Israelites were slain that day. The Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant, and Eli's two sons were slain. Thus the words God spoke to Samuel were fulfilled.
A Benjamite came out of the army to Shiloh with the news of Israel's defeat, the death of the heirs to the priesthood, and that the Ark of the Covenant had been taken. When the city heard this, they began to lament and lift up their heads, wailing. When Eli heard the noise of their cries, he wondered what had happened. The Bible records that Eli was ninety-eight years old, his eyes were dim so he could not see, and he was very heavy (or he was very fat). What a picture of the modern day church system. They are old, fat, and blind - - - and they have no vision of what God is going to bring upon the earth in the form of judgment because of their lukewarmness. The presence of God has also left the church today. So, now all they can do is go through their ritual of worship, putting on plays, telling stories, and tickling the ears of the people to get them to come back Sunday after Sunday to have their ears tickled again.
"And it came to pass, when he (Eli) made mention of the Ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years." I Samuel 4:18
God brought an end to the old priesthood and his heirs. God was doing a new thing in the earth. He would raise up Samuel to judge Israel. He is doing the same thing today. He is raising up a ministry in the wilderness to replace the church system when God's judgment is complete on those who do not obey the gospel.
We also discover the wife of Phinehas was heavy with child. When she heard the tidings that her husband and father-in-law were dead and that the Ark of God had been taken she went into pre-mature labor, and delivered a man child, calling his name Ichabod which means "the glory has departed."
"And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the Ark of God is taken." I Samuel 4:22
The glory of God has also departed from the church system today. The once dynamic ministry which had power in the community, in the home, and in the children has departed - - - and the church has become a hollow shell of what it once was.
Phinehas's wife died at the birth of Ichabod. In one day, God solved the problem of the priesthood and its heirs. God is going to do the same when His judgments come upon this nation and the church. Jesus revealed this day to John on the Isle of Patmos. Speaking of Mystery Babylon, Jesus revealed:
"Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her." Revelation 18:8
The Philistines had really thought they had conquered the presence of God.
"When the Philistines took the Ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon." I Samuel 5:2
Dagon was said to be the father of Baal, the god of agriculture and plenty. Dagon was the god of increase and was worshiped throughout the ancient world. His teaching has crept into the church system today through the prosperity message. Those who teach the prosperity message do not realize they are worshiping the false god of plenty, Dagon.
When the Philistines took the Ark of God, they thought they were home free. They had taken the presence of God from Israel, and God would truly bless them. It was not long before they found out differently.
"And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the Ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again." I Samuel 5:3
This represents the time when all the worshipers of false gods will bow their knees before Christ, and proclaim Him Lord.
Even with the act of Dagon being removed from his seat, the Philistines were not swayed from their belief that the presence of God in their midst would bring them good.
"And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the Ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off from the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him." I Samuel 5:4
Having the presence of God in their midst destroyed their god. They could always make another god, but this was only the beginning of their troubles:
"But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and He destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof." I Samuel 5:6
The Philistines took the Ark to Ashdod. While it was there, the hand of the Lord was heavy upon the people and the land. The people were struck with emerods, not only in the city, but also in the suburbs. What were these emerods? For years, these have been described as tumors or hemorrhoids. But as we study this subject further, we discover that the word translated emerods means "a swelling of the lymph glands in the groin area and in the armpits." Emerods were not the only plague that afflicted the Philistines. The land was overrun with mice. So what were these emerods? Many scholars believe what hit the Philistines was what we now know as the Bubonic Plague, [The TheologicalWord Book of the Old Testament, Volume 1, 803a].
Rodents carry the Bubonic Plague, and the land of the Philistines was overrun with rodents. Rodents carry all kind of diseases and they contaminate the land with their droppings. They also devour large amounts of food, and contaminate the rest of the food they don't eat.
"And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The Ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for His hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god." I Samuel 5:7
So, they called together the lords of the Philistines to inquire what to do with the Ark of God. The decision was made to send the Ark to Gath, another city of the Philistines.
"And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction: and He smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts." I Samuel 5:9
The same thing happened in Gath that had happened in Ashdod. The people were struck with emerods in their secret parts. It becomes plain to see that just as Israel was judged when God allowed the Ark to be taken, so too was the heavy hand of judgment upon the Philistines because they had taken the Ark of God.
Then the Philistines sent the Ark to Ekron, another city of Philistia. Whereupon the Ekronites cried out, "Thy have brought the Ark of the God of Israel to us to slay us."
"So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the Ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to His own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there." I Samuel 5:11
So the plague killed many of the Philistines while the Ark was in their presence. What the heathen failed to recognize was that the presence of God was not a blessing if they failed to repent and turn their hearts to the one true God.
"And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven." I Samuel 5:12
The Ark of God was in the presence of the Philistines seven months, and during that time there was much death and destruction in the land of the Philistines, and even those who did not die suffered the terrible effects of the plague. Because of the death and great devastation in their land, the Philistines cried out to the priests of Dagon and the diviners to show them what should be done with the Ark of God. They eventually decided they must send the Ark back to Israel. They also knew they should send a trespass offering with the Ark if they were to have a chance for God to heal them of the plague.
"Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to Him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords." I Samuel 6:4
So the priests of Dagon and the diviners counseled the lords of the Philistines to make five golden emerods and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines because the plague had hit every city and every family.
"Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure He will lighten His hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land." I Samuel 6:5
It is an amazing thing that the Philistines knew the power of God, yet they could only think of appeasing Him, instead of repenting and wanting to serve Him. The priests and the diviners gave the following counsel to the Philistines:
"Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts: When he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?" I Samuel 6:6
It is always amazing that those who know the power of God, yet refuse to serve Him. Even Jesus remarked about this:
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." John 3:19-20
Those whose deeds are evil do not want the presence of God in their midst. The Philistines faced a dilemma. How were they going to get the Ark back to Israel. First, they had to make golden images of the emerods and the mice. Then they decided:
"Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them:" I Samuel 6:7
They were to take two, untrained milk cows who had not yet been broken to the yoke. Then they were to tie the two cows to a new cart which they made to carry the Ark. Then they were to take the cows' calves away from the mothers, and leave them at home. The natural instinct of the cows would have been to return to their calves. But this was not to be so. Then the Philistines continued with their plans:
". . . take the Ark of the Lord, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return Him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go." I Samuel 6:8
So, after the Ark had been in the presence of the Philistines seven months, they made plans to send the Ark back to Israel. After placing the Ark and the coffer with the golden emerods and golden mice on the new cart, they turned the cows loose to see which way they would go. The Philistines stated among themselves:
"And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then He hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us." I Samuel 6:9
The Philistines knew if the cows returned to their calves, that it was only by chance what happened to them. But if the cows went by the way of the coast to Bethshemesh, then, indeed, God had caused this great evil to come upon them. So the lords of the Philistines took the Ark and the coffer and put them on the cart, and shut up the cows' calves at home.
"And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh." I Samuel 6:12
You would have thought that when the Philistines saw the powerful hand of God throughout this situation, they would have repented and turned their hearts to God. We are not informed if the Philistines were healed after they returned the Ark, or if the plague had to run its course.
When the Ark of God came to Bethshemesh, the people were harvesting their wheat. This would have been in the month of May or June.
"And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the Lord." I Samuel 6:14
Israel immediately made a sacrifice before the Lord, and repented of their sin that had caused them to lose the Ark.
"And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day." I Samuel 6:16
The Philistines had learned their lesson. Now they understood the power of God.
"And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the Lord; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;" I Samuel 6:17
This was the reason they made five golden emerods - - - one for each of the five cities of Philistia: Ashdod, Gaza, Askelon, Gath, and Ekron. They also explained the reason for sending the five golden mice:
"And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the Ark of the Lord: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite." I Samuel 6:18
The five golden mice were to represent the five lords of the five cities of the Philistines.
Israel had learned a great lesson about God's judgment upon the evil priesthood during the time of Eli and his sons. The Philistines also learned a great lesson about the presence of God whom they would not serve. These are examples to us, upon whom the end of the age has come.
As we look at the catastrophic events that happened to Israel and the Philistines lives, God has, indeed, given us many warnings to repent and turn back to Him. These judgments should not have been a surprise to either Israel or the Philistines. God had warned Eli what was going to happen through Samuel.
God had appeared to Samuel three times to speak to Eli, and like many in the church today, when God speaks to them, they run back to their pastor to check out what God said. It was the same with Samuel. All three times, Samuel ran back to present himself before Eli. When Eli realized it was the Lord calling Samuel, he told Samuel to say, "Speak, Lord! For thy servant heareth." Samuel did as he was instructed, and the Lord spoke:
"And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a new thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not." I Samuel 3:11-13
What a lesson for Christians today who do not teach their children to fear and serve God. Eli knew all the vile things his sons were doing, but he failed to deal with them, even though God had warned him of the consequences. God had warned Eli that He would judge his house for ever. Eli had forgotten the words of Joshua, when he proclaimed:
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15
Joshua made a decision that all who dwelt with him, and around his house would serve the Lord. He was not only speaking of his wife and his children, but of gardeners, the stablemen, his butlers and maids, even the boy who polished the wheels on his chariot. Many today need to learn what Joshua knew. If there is one in the house who fails to serve the Lord, then that house is divided against itself. Those who do not serve the Lord must be removed, or judgment will follow. We know this by the words of Jesus:
"And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:" Matthew 12:25
A house that is divided will not stand. This is why so many Christian homes fail today. It is because this one rule set down by Jesus is not followed. Just as when Eli would not restrain his son's sins, his house did not stand, so it is with each of our families today. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve! God continued to speak to Samuel:
"And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever." I Samuel 3:14
No matter how many sacrifices Eli and his sons would make, their sin was so vile they would never be forgiven their sin. When Samuel got up in the morning, Eli called Samuel and wanted to know what the Lord had spoken to him. Here, Samuel is a very young man who stood before this old man of ninety-eight years, who had judged Israel for forty years. And Samuel had to tell him what God was going to do to his house. Samuel's hands were probably sweating and his knees knocking together, because he had much respect for Eli. But Eli demanded:
"And he said, What is the thing that the Lord hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide anything from me of all the things that He said unto thee." I Samuel 3:17
So, Samuel proceeded to tell Eli every word God had said, and how He was going to judge Eli's house. Well, God indeed did judge Eli's house in one day when his sons were killed, when the Ark was taken, when Eli died of a broken neck, and when his son's wife died in child birth. But this was not the end of Eli's house. His new born grandson, Ichabod, had an older brother, Ahitub. Of all Eli's house, these two were the only ones still alive. Ahitub would have been in line to inherit the priesthood. But neither Ahitub nor Ichabod would inherit the priesthood. Instead, Ahitub's son, Ahiah became King Saul's personal priest, which also became a mockery to God, I Samuel 14:3.
The Philistines knew the power of God because they were aware what God had done for Israel in forcing Pharaoh to let God's people go. Even with this knowledge, the Philistines did not believe in His power. They thought that if they captured the presence of God, Israel would be defeated, and that God would be on their side. But when God came into their midst, He exposed their darkened souls, and they could not wait to get God's presence back to Israel. The Lord spoke through the prophet Amos:
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7
God has used much of His Word to foretell and describe His coming judgment upon a wicked, sinful, and degenerate generation. The same is true of the church system. This is why Peter declared:
"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?" I Peter 4:17
God's judgment truly has begun on His house. How far behind will His judgment be on those who do not obey the gospel? In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul declared what the Philistines discovered, when they, too, experienced the presence of God in their camp:
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:31
Ancient Israel witnessed this many times when they turned their backs on God. God raised up many enemies against them. Will God do any differently in our day?
Jesus shared many things with His disciples. Matthew recorded:
"But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming; and shall begin to smite His fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 24:48-51
We hear many today who proclaim that God's wrath is not for our day. It will be sometime afar off. These live their lives like they are promised many tomorrows. They eat, drink, and defraud as they have done in the past - - - but God's judgment is sure. These will have their portion with the hypocrites. Who are the hypocrites? They are the play actors who sit in the church system with their fancy clothes, pretending to be what God said they should be, but are only acting out a part on Sunday morning. Come Monday morning they display what they really are with their every day, work-a-day dealings with others. When God's judgment comes, these will weep and wail and gnash their teeth. But it will make no difference. Like Eli, all their sacrificial repenting will be to no avail. Jesus showed John where these will stand with Him:
"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Revelation 22:11
Yes, there is a day coming, and perhaps it is already here, when their lives have sealed their fate. If man has lived an unjust, filthy life, then the fruit of his life will judge him. Paul described these in his letter to the Romans:
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbites, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Romans 1:28-32
Who was Paul speaking of here?
"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Romans 1:26-27
This nation has a `do not ask, and do not tell' and a `we do not have to ask and we do not have to tell' attitude. But their judgment before God is sure. They have lobbied until they have a government who are just as guilty as they are before God. They got laws passed for same sex marriage between sodomites. They march in our streets, stand in the pulpits, hold public office, sit as judges, teach in our schools, serve in our military, and yes, even sit in the highest court of the land. They believe they have come to the forefront in society. But these, too, will discover what Paul wrote in his letters to the Romans and the Philippians. To the Romans, Paul wrote:
"For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God." Romans 14:11
Every knee will bow before God and confession will be made, but no matter how much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, it will make no difference. To the Philippines, Paul declared:
"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:10-11
But as Jesus related to John, "Let the unjust remain unjust, and the filthy be filthy still." They may confess that Jesus is Lord, but it will not change their situation, because there has been no change of heart. These are like the Philistines who, though they witnessed the power of God, still hold on to their worldly idols, and will receive the consequences of their actions. The apostle Jude makes it very clear about the unjust and the filthy:
"To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit." Jude 1:15-19
In his letter to the church at Rome, Paul explains those who do not have the Spirit:
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Romans 8:9
Even though men may bow their knees before God and confess that He is Lord, if they continue to do their ungodly deeds, murmur, complain, walk after their own lusts, speak great, swelling words with their mouths, and honor men of low degree when it gives them advantage over another person - - - then these are mockers of God's Word and His way of life. The church system is full of these kinds of people. God's judgment hand is upon all those who mock, scoff, murmur, and complain.
But God has given us a short time to repent and turn back to Him with our whole heart. Israel is our example, as are the Philistines. Both knew the presence of God. If we continue the path of Eli and his house, then God's judgment hand is sure. We may offer sacrifices of gold and make images of the plagues God sends into our lives, but it will not heal the effects of the hand of God, or His presence and power.
God has given us these examples of all the failures of His people in the Old and New Testaments, so we can learn from them. If we do not learn, then we will suffer the same fate as our examples. But if we learn from our examples, then we can stand before God, unashamed on the day of His great judgment, with our heads held high as God's victorious flock. Praise the Lord!
Vital Words to the Body of
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give