Proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel of God's Kingdom
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
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There is an old cliche which says, "A word to the wise is sufficient". By today's standards we can question this cliche on two different levels:
1 There would not seem to be too many wise speaking
2 There are not many wise who are able to hear
God has sent out warning after warning: in His Word, in the weather, in finances, in fires, in earthquakes, and many other ways to wake up His people. But many seem to be willing to make excuses, or to explain all these away by saying, "These are only natural phenomena." In a sense they are right. These are only natural when God is judging a wicked people, a wicked nation, or a wicked world. Jesus spoke of His wise and unwise virgins:
"Then shall the Kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish." Matthew 25:1-2
Our lamps are the light in our lives. All those who have light in their lives went forth to meet the bridegroom, but only one-half of those who went forth were wise. The other half were unwise. What was the difference between these two groups of virgins?
"They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:" Matthew 25:3
The unwise took their lamps (light), but they took no oil with them. Oil represents the Holy Spirit anointing in our lives. Jesus revealed:
"Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps." Matthew 25:7
The word trimmed means they lit their lamps. These unwise virgins had the anointing in their lives, but they took no oil with them.
"But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." Matthew 25:4
The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. These had the extra vessel of preparedness in their lives. They were ready for whatever God would bring upon the earth. But Jesus made one more revelation:
"While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept." Matthew 25:5
Even those who were prepared were asleep. When you are asleep you do not know what time it is. Many today are proclaiming what is coming upon the earth, yet they still live their lives as if nothing was wrong, and judgment was not at the door. They act as if God was asleep, so they continue to do as they please. Paul spoke of these in his letter to the Ephesians:
"Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Ephesians 5:14
Paul warned these to awake from their death-like state. Sleep is a death-like state. But Christ is giving light to those who are waking up to the times in which we live. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of the day in which we live. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet from His mother's womb. Jeremiah spoke God's Word and His direction all his life, and yet not one woke up to hear. There is no record of one person turning to God because of Jeremiah's warnings. Jeremiah is called the Weeping Prophet. Jeremiah wept because the people were going to be judged. Yet they changed not! Jeremiah prophesied concerning the day in which we live. He addressed the conditions the people would be in when God's judgment comes.
"Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of My people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the Lord in Zion? Is not her king in her? Why have they provoked Me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?" Jeremiah 8:19
Jeremiah is writing of the daughters of his people. The daughters in the Old Testament represent the church in the New Testament. The daughters are female. The church is female, or the birthing part of the body of Christ.
Jeremiah is speaking of those who dwell in a far country. Those who are living in a far country are those who are living far away from God's will in their lives. These are those who go their own way, do their own thing, and thumb their nose at God. Knowingly or unknowingly they serve the gods of this world instead of giving their whole heart to the creating God.
Jeremiah asked, "Is not the Lord in Zion?" Zion represents God's people. The word Zion means "sunny heights". His people Zion are those who are seeking the high calling of Christ Jesus in their lives.
Jeremiah also asked, "Is not her King in her?" Every person who is called by the name of Christ must ask, "Who have I made king in my life?" Have I made the King of the whole earth my King? Or, have I made my desires, my job, my family, my savings account, my retirement plan, my house, and my way of life my king? Are the things of this life more important to me then the things of God?
Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Jeremiah asked, "Why have they provoked Me to anger?" Today most churches teach we serve a goody, goody God who never gets angry. Many false prophets, preachers, and teachers teach, "God loves us, and whatever we do He forgives us. After all He knows we are only human." This false teaching has led many astray from the righteous ways of God.
God truly does love us. He loves us so much He is determined we do what is right, just as we do with our children if we are good parents. David the Psalmist writes:
"God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry (with the wicked) every day." Psalm 7:11
The phrase with the wicked is in italics, and was added by the translators. What David wrote was:
"God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry every day."
The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome:
"Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." Romans 11:22
Paul informed the church at Rome of God's goodness, but he also warned them of God's severity. We can only depend on the goodness of God as long as we remain in His goodness. God gave us Israel as an example of His severity when He cut them off. God warns us if we do not continue to be pleasing in His sight we, too, will be cut off. The teachings of "Once Saved, Always Saved" or "Eternal Security" go out the window when we consider this Scripture.
Jeremiah reveals God's people have provoked Him to anger with their graven images. Most will say, "I do not worship graven images." Graven images are the works of mens' hands. We need to ask ourselves, "Do we worship what we can accomplish in ourselves?" The apostle John recorded Jesus' words:
"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." John 15:5
Anything accomplished outside the anointing of Christ becomes our work, and our work without Christ will fail. Only what we accomplish by and through the Spirit will have any meaning at all. When we depend on what we have accomplished in ourselves, it has become graven images in our life. This is how we provoke God to anger. This is why David could write, "God judges the righteous, and God is angry every day".
Jeremiah also disclosed we provoke God's anger through our strange vanities. The phrase strange vanities becomes a very damning statement. The word strange means "to disguise, misconstrue, misrepresent one's self in what they are saying or doing". The word vain means "utterly vain in word and deed".
When Jeremiah spoke of our provoking God to anger with our strange vanities, he was saying we have become deceptive in everything we do and say. Our words and actions disguise, misconstrue, and misrepresent what we are thinking about and saying. We have become the lowest form of liars because we are not what we seem to be, or say we are. We have become frauds, putting on a facade to fool man, but it does not fool God. It only provokes His anger. Jeremiah continues his warning to the church of our day:
"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jeremiah 8:20
Summer is the time when the harvest is brought to maturity. It is the time of fruiting in our lives. God is trying to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. This fruit is the fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, lowliness, righteousness, and patience. These fruit are all part of God's salvation process. These become the evidence of the Holy Spirit anointing in our lives. Without these fruit being evident in our lives, we are not truly walking in the Spirit, nor are we living in the Spirit.
Summer is the time of heat. Heat is what brings forth the harvest. God is turning up the heat in our lives, so He can have a harvest of those who have been purified in the fire. The prophet Malachi proclaims:
"And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Malachi 3:3
God is purifying His gold and silver. He is turning up the heat so all the dross comes to the top to be skimmed off. This is so we can offer Him our offerings in righteousness. All the strange vanities and the works of our own hands will have been dealt with. God has His people in their summer season, preparing them for the harvest. In His parable of the sower, Jesus explains the time of harvest:
". . .the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." Matthew 13:39
The harvest is the end of the world. The word world is the Greek word AION and means "age". We are coming to the end of the Age of Grace. The Kingdom Age is about to begin. When the Kingdom Age begins, the time of fruiting or summer will be past. Many will discover Jeremiah's words being fulfilled in their lives, but it will be too late. Summer will be past, and they are not saved.
The word Jeremiah used for saved was the Hebrew word YASHA and means "to be liberated, to be delivered, to be victorious". Alas, summer is past and these were not liberated, delivered, or victorious over the flesh. But God has a remnant, an overcoming people who will be prepared for His Kingdom Age. Jesus revealed the overcomers to John on the Isle of Patmos, making them eight promises:
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Revelation 2:7
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." Revelation 2:11
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." Revelation 2:17
"And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations." Revelation 2:26
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before his angels." Revelation 3:5
"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name." Revelation 3:12
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne." Revelation 3:21
"He that overcomth shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and He shall be My son." Revelation 21:7
Three times Jesus stated, "He that hath an ear". God is speaking to those today who have developed their Spiritual ears. God has promised those who overcome:
1 They will eat of the tree of life
2 They will not be hurt by the second death
3 They will eat of the hidden manna (His Word)
4 They will become rulers over all nations
5 They will become pillars in His temple (His people)
6 They will be clothed in white raiment (the Holy City)
7 They will sit with Him in His throne (rulers & reigners)
8 They will inherit all things, and become His sons
The overcomers will receive all things God has promised His creation from the beginning. We have another promise in Revelation 3:5: "I will not blot His name out of the Book of Life". The indication here is that those who do not overcome will have their names blotted out of the Book of Life.
We need to ask ourselves, "How important is it for us to overcome?" Those who overcome will inherit all things. How much inheritance will those receive who do not overcome? The answer should be obvious, "Nothing!" Only the overcomers, the victorious ones are going to inherit. How many sons will God have? Only those who overcome.
We can truly feel the heart of God crying out to His people as we continue to read Jeremiah:
"For the hurt of the daughter of My people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on Me." Jeremiah 8:21
The Lord was lamenting through the pen of Jeremiah concerning the condition of His church. The word hurt means "to be shattered, crushed, or broken". Many times we think God has no feeling, and when we do things against His Word, it makes no difference to Him. We act as if He shrugs it off as just being part of our human nature. Jeremiah writes, "I am black". The word black means "to mourn". When our God witnesses us doing things the heathens do He mourns. When we no longer seem to care if we are pleasing in His sight, He mourns. When we get tired of praying and reading His Word, He mourns.
God had Jeremiah record, "Astonishment hath taken hold on Me". The word astonishment means "to be appalled". When God sees us making a mockery out of our calling in Him, He is appalled and saddened. He mourns for those who are putting their eternity in jeopardy for the pleasures of this life.
God is saddened by the fact He can see no return on the investment He has made in each of our lives. He is saddened when He looks upon the church which has become a dressup, social club that does not exercise the power of the Holy Spirit anointing in their lives. He is saddened when His plan of salvation is taken for granted as something deserved, instead of it being a free gift. God's heart is broken when He witnesses His people being the sow that returns to her wallow, and the dog who returns to its vomit. Jeremiah cries out:
"Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of My people recovered?" Jeremiah 8:22
There must be a healing balm in Gilead. The word Gilead means "heap of witness". There has been a heap of witnesses against the church. These are those who have been wounded by religious doctrine, petty differences, and foolish jealousies. Many have been wounded by being rejected for what they wear, how they cut or do not cut their hair, the color of their skin, or what part of town they come from.
Denominations have separated, divided, and polarized the body of Christ. God would have His body healed. In what areas does His body need healing? The wounded soul needs to be healed. This is sometimes called a broken heart. A broken heart occurs when someone in utter despair gives up trying because of all the hurt in their life. The Spirit of man needs to be healed. This can only happen when man is willing to yield to the Spiritual presence in his or her life.
Relationships need to be healed. These are relationships in the body of Christ. The body is wounded because relations between its members are strained. We cannot accept one another because of doctrinal differences and religious prejudices. These must be healed if the body of Christ is to be healed.
Another big area to be healed in the body of Christ is in finances. Equality must come in finances. The church at Corinth was one of the most worldly churches Paul ministered to. Paul witnessed the inequality in their finances. Paul was speaking to the Corinthians about sharing what God had given them.
"For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:" II Corinthians 8:12-14
Equality in finances is not once mentioned in the modern church for fear they would lose their support. Today equality cannot be taught in most churches because inequality begins at the ministry level. Many pastors act as if being called of God means they are given opportunity and the right to fleece the flock. They believe they have a right to live on the hills or behind locked, guarded gates while the flock labor to keep them living in the lap of luxury, well-fed, and cared for. Jesus stated:
"But He that is greatest among you shall be your servant." Matthew 23:11
We need to consider this. If the people have become servants to the minister, then by Jesus' words the people, not the ministers, are the greatest in the Kingdom. When speaking to His disciples, Jesus related:
"And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:27-28
The word minister is the Greek word DIAKONEA. It is the same word translated deacon, and means "a servant or attendant, a domestic who waits upon tables, one who supplies the necessities of life". Jesus was to be the example to the pastors and ministers. Those who God has called to stand in the pulpits are to give their lives to their calling. They are to be an example to the flock of servitude, not to live as kings and be cared for. They are to care for the flock God has given them.
The apostle Peter, who was given the keys to the Kingdom, proclaims the message to today's church leadership:
"The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." I Peter 5:1-3
This was written to God's called leadership. Many who stand in the pulpits are not called of God. To them, it is just a job. There is no calling, no anointing in their lives, and because of this the people suffer.
Peter stated, "The elders which are among you are to feed the flock of God, taking the oversight". The word oversight means "to make sure the needs of the flock are met Spiritually and physically". The elders are to oversee the flock, not by constant (force). They are not to do this for filthy lucre. The phrase filthy lucre means "eager for worldly gain". Instead God's leaders are to have a willing mind to serve God's people. They are not to exercise dominion over the flock, but be an example to them.
The pastors or ministers are to be examples to the flock of God in every area of their lives. And it must begin in finances. If the pastor is living like a king, while the people suffer, then how can he teach equality in finances? Instead his teachings are limited to his needs, and the needs of the physical buildings he has charge over.
Today many lament because they do not have the power, nor the glory of the early church. We need to ask why? It all began in the Upper Room.
"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren." Acts 1:14
These came together in one accord, and they continued in one accord; praying and in supplication before the Lord. The word supplication means "seeking, asking, entreating diligently" for their desires before God. We all know by God's Word that the Holy Spirit came and sat upon each of them. This was the beginning of the church.
Those who were in the Upper Room were of the Jewish religion. When they came to Christ, they were ostracized by their families, their employers, and their employees. These new believers lost everything including their homes, but still they continued in one accord, meeting in houses, still praying and taking their needs before their God. We are taught a lesson by these early believers:
"And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." Acts 2:43-45
Those who continued in one accord witnessed signs and wonders the apostles performed through the Holy Spirit. They stood in awe and wonderment of what God was doing in His body. Those who believed were together. Not only did they live together, they were together in what they believed. They were witnesses of God's power being released when His people are in one accord.
Today the body is fragmented. God's people belong to this group or that denomination, and all have the attitude each of us is right, and all others are wrong. If the truth were known, none of these groups are living by God's Word. They are flawed in their thinking, they are flawed in their praise, and they are flawed in their worship. Yet they will defend what they are doing and what they believe. These are hard pressed to prove what they do and believe by God's Word. They only know what they have been told is right by their particular group or denomination.
The early church had all things in common. They considered nothing they had as being their own. When a need arose, those who had possessions and goods sold them to meet the needs of the body. They not only sold their belongings, they sold their property, estates, and inheritances. They held nothing sacred except their relationship with God and their brothers and sisters in the Lord. This was not a one time event. This practice continued. Luke recorded:
"And the multitude of them that believed were of one accord and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation, A Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet." Acts 4:32-37
This was not something that was mandated for them to do. When the power of the Holy Spirit was upon them, they knew this was the right thing to do. This released God's power to work in their midst.
The apostles were able to witness the great power of the resurrection. They were not witnessing the great power of His resurrection with their mouths, they were witnessing this great power of His resurrection in their lives. Paul understood this power which resided in the early apostles. This is the power Paul desired in His life, and cried out:
"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." Philippians 3:10
Paul not only desired to know the risen, glorified Christ which he had met on the road to Damascus. He wanted the power of His resurrection in his life. Paul wrote to the church at Rome concerning this power:
"But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." Romans 8:11
Paul knew there was a greater power to be released on God's body than that which came on the Day of Pentecost. This power would be released when the body came together in one accord and had all things common. When their prayers were with one voice, and their lives totally yielded to each other God's power was released.
When the body of Christ comes into this place, then the change Paul spoke of in I Corinthians 15 will take place in God's body. We will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. This mortal will put on immortality, and this corruptible will put on incorruption, and we will be changed, I Corinthians 15:52-53. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul explained the death and hope of the resurrection of Jesus in our lives
"For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you." II Corinthians 13:4
We, too, can witness God's resurrection power in our lives. This can only come when our lives line up with the Word of God.
Luke records great grace was upon all those who had all things common. God's lovingkindness showed in everything they said and did. This was a time when God's grace, His love, and His power flowed through His people. Why? Because their thoughts were not on their pocket books, their check books, or the things they possessed. Their thoughts were on the needs of others, and God released His power to overcome all the adversity they would suffer.
The modern church has forgotten why God gives us the ability to get wealth. Moses explained this to the children of Israel in the wilderness. Moses spoke:
"But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day." Deuteronomy 8:18
God gave us power to get wealth so we could establish His covenant. His covenant is His law. This is the law He has put in our hearts to live by. His law is His Word, and when His Word is the guide and direction for our life, then His covenant is established in our earth and God is glorified.
When we use His wealth for any other purpose than to establish His covenant in our life and the lives of others, then God will remove His power to get wealth. The apostle James explains why God's people suffer need:
"Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." James 4:2-3
James lists all the things people are willing to do to get what they desire. Then he says, "You simply do not have your desires and wants, because you ask not." Then he relates those who do ask, do not receive their wants and desires because they are not asking to establish God's covenant in their lives. They only ask to satisfy their own lusts.
As Timothy stated, "It is the love of money that is the root of all evil, I Timothy 6:10. Yet with the opulence displayed by God's people, it is hard to distinguish if they belong to God or to the world.
Many teach prosperity will draw the world to God. When, in reality, prosperity draws that which is God's back to the world. All agree we are living at the end of the age, yet they fail to heed God's warning to those who desire to accumulate wealth. The apostle James warns:
"Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days." James 5:3
The Bible tells us if we heap treasures together for the last days it will eat our flesh as if it were fire. Yet books are written on how to prosper during the wrath of God. How foolish man has become in His thinking. The ancient prophets spoke of those who would have heaped treasures together for the last days. The prophet Ezekiel writes:
"They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity." Ezekiel 7:19
We live in the day when man will do anything to get wealth. They will lie, cheat, steal, and yes even kill to get that which they will throw in the streets as worthless. As Ezekiel proclaims, "Their wealth will not deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath". Instead it has become a stumblingblock of iniquity. It certainly does not satisfy their souls.
No one ever has enough, No matter how much they have they desire more. Only God's wealth can satisfy. His wealth is the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, etc. The prophet Zephaniah also foretold the day of the Lord's wrath:
"Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land." Zephaniah 1:18
Wealth is not the protector we need in the day of the Lord's wrath. Money will not only be worthless, it will be obsolete. In order to buy, sell, or trade anything it will be necessary to use the mark of the beast. Those who do not overcome the mark they already have, will be trapped. They, like the rich young ruler, will not give up everything to follow Jesus. These will be the ones who will realize too late that the summer is past and they have not overcome.
But God has promised a day of reckoning, a day when equality will again reign in the body of Christ. Again we look at the words of Paul to the Corinthians:
"But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and He that had gathered little had no lack." II Corinthians 8:14-15
Those who have gathered much will have nothing left over, and those who have gathered little will have no lack. God will be the equalizer in His body. There are those in the body who want to live like kings, and are willing to witness others suffer need. God will not allow this to continue. His day of reckoning is at hand.
Jeremiah continues his revelation about the daughters of God's people (His church):
"Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" Jeremiah 9:1
God is grieved because of the judgment He must bring upon those who will not heed His many warnings. He speaks of the slain of the daughters of His people. The word slain means "fatally wounded". Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos the judgment on those who do not produce fruit fit for the Master's table:
"And the angel thrust in His sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs." Revelation 14:19-20
The vine is God's people whose lives have been fruitless. The fruit of the Spirit is not evident in their lives. These will go through the wrath of God. Their blood will run to the horses' bridles. These are the daughters Jeremiah spoke of, which God weeps for. These are those who believe their hope is in heaven, or that once they are saved they are always saved. Paul explained our only hope in God:
"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:" Colossians 1:27
Christ in us is our only hope of glory. Until we allow the risen, glorified Christ to have pre-eminence in our lives we have no hope of God's eternal glory. All the money in the world cannot buy this glory. It can only be obtained through a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Jeremiah continues to proclaim the condition of the daughter of His people (the church).
"Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave My people, and go for them! For they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men." Jeremiah 9:2
Our Father is lamenting the condition of His people. He proclaims they are all adulterers. This does not necessarily mean all were having an adulterous relationship with someone's wife. The Psalmist Asaph declared:
"For, lo, they that are far from Thee shall perish: Thou that destroyed all them that go a whoring from Thee." Psalm 73:27
Those who go a whoring from God are the adulterers spoken of by Jeremiah. The prophet Ezekiel spoke of these same adulterers:
"And they that escape of you shall remember Me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from Me, with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations." Ezekiel 6:9
Those who go a whoring after their idols are an abomination unto their God. God is broken hearted by their whorish hearts, and He has promised they will be carried away captive. The apostle James declared:
"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." James 1:14
When we are drawn away after our own lusts we are enticed. The word enticed means "to catch by bait". When we are drawn away by our own lusts, we are taken and held captive by them. Today the modern church is quick to blame satan or the devil for being trapped and held captive by their own lusts. James continues his revelation as to who the adulterers are:
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:4
This is not written to those who remain in the world. This is written to those who fill the church pews and are still friends of the world. As James declares, "Those who are friends of the world are enemies of God." These are considered adulterers and adulteresses by God. As Jeremiah declares these break the heart of God.
Jeremiah calls the church an assembly of treacherous men. The word treacherous means "to be faithless and deceitful". These are those who Jeremiah spoke of when, by the anointing, he stated the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jesus spoke of this same time when He was explaining the end of the age to His disciples:
"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." Luke 21:26
Today mens' hearts are failing them for fear as they witness everything God is bringing upon the earth. Even the powers of the Spiritual realm are being shaken. Those who claim to be Spiritual are being shaken to the core of their beliefs. What they have held on to as truth for years is being shaken as the Spirit is revealing new truths in God's Word. Their hearts (minds) are failing them for fear because they have missed God. They have believed the teachings of their denominational systems. These teachings fail when the Holy Spirit reveals His truth. In speaking to the body of Christ, Paul revealed those who have trusted in their man-inspired teachings:
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." Ephesians 4:17-18
Today most of those who are called by the name of Christ are still walking in the vanity of their own minds (that which is devoid of truth). These have their understanding darkened and are alienated from the life of God. When Paul revealed their understanding was darkened, it means the Spirit of the living God had not shed His glorious light on what they read in His Word. So today, many read God's Word, but only have a carnal understanding of God's Spiritual Word. Because of this they are ignorant of God's Word, and are alienated from the life of God because of the blindness of their hearts (minds).
"Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." Ephesians 4:19
Paul revealed these have given themselves over to lasciviousness, which means "unbridled lust". This is so evident in the church today. Those who say they follow God cannot get enough of what the world has to offer. The prosperity message is rampant in the church. The "Name It and Claim It" message has taught God's people to have unbridled lust. This has led to uncleanness and greediness in the body of Christ. But God has those who have dealt with all the desires of the flesh. To these Paul writes:
"But ye have not so learned Christ;" Ephesians 4:20
Paul is speaking of those who are only interested in prospering as their souls prosper, III John verse:2. The All-wise Solomon wrote:
"He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live." Proverbs 15:27
Today the divorce rate is the same in the church as it is in the world. Why? Because lust, greed, and wantonness are rampant in the church. Christian children are going by the way of the world because their parents are too busy obtaining the things of this life, and the marriage suffers, the children suffer, and their relationship with their God suffers.
Many of today's Christian parents are so busy getting what their hearts desire, they have no time to spend with their God to find out what He desires. The whole Word of God declares the day in which we live. We are living in the time of the harvest, the end of the age. Those who desire the things of this world will be among those who are weeping and wailing in the wrath of God. When God desired to change them, they were too busy, or just didn't care enough to find out what God wanted for their lives.
We can never be victorious in our walk until we take time with God. Money, success, and recognition do not impress our God. What then does impress Him? The answer is simple, a broken and contrite heart; a heart open to the desire and will of God. Let us not be the one's Jeremiah spoke of when he declared:
"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jeremiah 8:20
God has His overcomers. You, too, are called to be one of them. Begin today to allow God's Spiritual Word to change you to become part of His glorious body who press toward the mark of the high calling Christ Jesus our Lord.
Related Books by George Kirkpatrick:
The Day of Preparation