Wisdom & Folly – Spirit & Flesh – Sowing & Reaping

The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction; to discern the words of understanding;
to receive instruction in prudence, justice, and judgement, and uprightness;
to give sense to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young man.
The wise hears and increases learning, and the understanding one gets wise counsel, t
o understand a proverb and an enigma;
the words of the wise, and their acute sayings.

The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

(Proverbs 1:1-7)

The proverbs of scripture are not merely earthly truth which in practice bring man’s approval; rather they are words of the Holy Spirit which in practice lead to greater fruitfulness in God. However, if they are not practiced patiently in the fear of HIM, then their true reward in HIM remains unattainable and they cannot be understood beyond carnal wisdom. For the wisdom of God is justified by her children, not by her mere admirers. Christ Jesus is truly heard, seen, beheld, and touched not by mere argumentation and human reasoning, but rather by His life at work in a man.

The proverbs are not a mixture of heavenly and earthly wisdom as some regard them; but rather in parables they reveal the fruits of the manifold wisdom of God, which now in Christ can be seen in His people: who after Him are called to walk in manner which generates hunger and thirst for righteousness in others. For it is the fruit of His Spirit borne out in those fearing God and walking humbly in submission to Christ, who IS the Wisdom and Power of God, which reveals the table set for those hungry for that heavenly Bread.

Yet in our day we often refuse to so walk by the power of God and would rather seek to honor Him by our own devices and methods – things which are passing away and are not holy before the Lord. For this we have been given over to a season of spiritual famine and an unready harvest – yet still we cling to our own wisdom. We are living in a rocky field of thorns; yet without repenting, we foolishly desire to sow among them in our own barrenness when we ourselves have nothing to sow! We expect God to bless our labors, when in all our doings we still have not worked out our own salvation by the One who would work IN US to the showing forth of HIS wisdom on the earth through HIS church. Little to nothing of value in God’s eyes is able spring up and grow where the earth has not first been tilled. For until we set our hands to our own plow, the ground of our own heart remains a fallow and unbroken land, riddled with the idols of worldly understanding rather than the wisdom of God revealed only by His Spirit. We look across the land, surprised at the hardness of the soil around us, not seeing that the ground of our own hearts is truly the most impenetrable according to what we have been given. Why then should we be astonished that we are judged, and that the Lord of the harvest tarries?

For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed,
and its end is to be burned.

(Hebrews 6:7-8)

“If you return, O Israel,” declares the LORD, “to Me you should return. If you remove your detestable things from My presence, and do not waver, and if you swear, ‘As the Lord lives, in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,’ then nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him shall they glory.”
For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: “Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest My wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.”
(Jeremiah 4:1-4)

It is the blindness of pride and arrogancy which desires or expects those in the world to spiritually comprehend the things of God apart from His new birth. It is also cowardice not to address them as requiring God’s illumination if we already discern that they have none. And if we do not discern (as I fear we largely do not), let us ask of God who would lead us into all truth in all things. Otherwise we are Fighting flesh with flesh and corruption with corruption. Only the new heart created by God Himself is the rightful vessel for HIS word; but the tendency of the old man’s deceitful heart is to sow among thorns in his own understanding, leading to death. And this we are largely guilty of.

When we so readily and proudly cast pearls before swine, we reveal the uncircumcision of our own heart. All argumentation is vanity where no spark of God’s life yet exists; and the subsequent lowering of divine Truth into the realm of earthy wisdom only renders it all the more devoid of power. Truthful things and Truth itself are not the same. The former is humanly understandable knowledge which can be argued for all day by unregenerate flesh; but the latter is spiritually discerned reality, only made manifest by the humble obedience of faith in discretion before God’s eyes. (For true obedience to Him only takes root in the secret place of the Most High – it is the fruits thereof that are seen outside, by which the Son of Man is lifted up upon His cross for all men to see.) The tree of life is planted in heaven – it is the branches thereof which reach down to earth. In all our zeal to philosophically argue spiritual realities to deaf ears and blind eyes, we have tried to re-plant the tree of life on earth, forgetting how to labor in prayer over men’s souls for GOD’s work in them, failing to let HIS light shine forth in us by walking in the labors of the Spirit rather than by our own wisdom. That which is not first from heaven cannot ever enter therein, nor can the unseen be revealed in those who do not walk according the heavenly thing once revealed to them.

Let it no longer be we of whom the scriptures say,
They are of the world; because of this they speak of the world,
and the world hears them.

(1 John 4:5)

 

That receiving birth from the flesh is flesh, and that receiving birth from the Spirit is spirit. Do not wonder because I told you, “You must receive birth from above.”
(John 3:6-7, LITV)

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man may sow, that he also will reap. For the one sowing to his flesh will reap corruption of the flesh. But the one sowing to the Spirit will reap everlasting life from the Spirit.
(Galatians 6:7-8)

For though walking about in flesh, we do not war according to flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God in order to pull down strongholds: pulling down imaginations and every high thing rising up against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ, and having readiness to avenge all disobedience, whenever YOUR obedience is fulfilled.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

Readiness & Fruitfulness

And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf,
He went to see if He could find anything on it.
When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves,
for it was not the season for figs.
And He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”
And his disciples heard it.
…As they passed by in the morning,
they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.
(Mark 11:13-14, 20)

The season of the world does not determine the fruit of the Spirit.
True fruit borne unto God is that which HIS call and HIS Life at work within us produces. The working out of our salvation with fear and trembling is the yielding to HE who works within us to will and to do according to HIS good pleasure. The fruit which God recognizes and is pleased to savor is the fruit of HIS Spirit. It is in view of His abundant mercies that we offer ourselves living sacrifices upon the altar of our death; that HIS Life might be manifested in us, who by faith and patience inherit the promise of the word of Life which renews our mind and restores our soul day by day.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season…
(Psalm 1:1-3)

The Living God is not interested in what human metrics or men’s traditions regard as fruitful or useful; but rather the hidden man of the heart, which bursts forth in springs of Living Water from beyond what the vessel itself could ever provide. Our ability to bear fruit depends not upon busying ourselves with what men commonly perceive as “spiritual activities;” but depends rather upon the readiness of a heart that is single towards God and His manifold purposes.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
preach the word; be READY in season and out of season…
(2 Timothy 4:1-2)

The fig tree which Jesus cursed was required by Him to be ready even out of season in order for it to bear fruit in HIS season. The seasons of the Lord’s trees are determined by the calling of the Lord Himself. They do not conform to the patterns of this world’s seasons; for they wait upon the Shepherds voice alone, being driven by the wind of His Spirit, which “blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Jn 3:8) Trees that only bear fruit in accordance to the wisdom of this age are not bearing God’s fruit. True Life begins in and is sustained by the Word of Life. True fruit is borne only by the means of the Fruit Bearer Himself, whose kingdom is not of this world, but is rather found within whomever His Spirit finds a conduit to flow.

As men go to and fro throughout the earth, looking to bolster “my ministry,” “my calling,” “my inheritance;” the eyes of the LORD meanwhile go to and fro throughout the whole earth looking to strengthen the heart that is pure before HIM, so that HE might minister through those to whom He has first ministered.

“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him, the eyes of your mind having been enlightened, for you to know what is the hope of HIS calling, and what the riches of the glory of HIS inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of HIS power toward us, the ones believing according to the working of HIS mighty strength…”
(Ephesians 1:17-19)

The key to fruitfulness in His season is readiness both “in and out of season” – and what we are ready for is determined by what our hearts are set to meditate upon. “Readiness” is the descriptor of the gospel of peace being manifest in our footsteps (Eph 6:15) – therefore our peace with God in His gospel must be our innermost meditation should our steps become truly stable and ready to bear His fruit in His season. We wait upon the Lord with all diligence, even as one waits upon the command of a king eho loves them. We as a royal priesthood minister unto Him as He ministers unto us; for a sweet savor before His throne is the object of true ministry. To wait upon the Lord is most simply to be in constant communion with Him – this is why those who wait upon the Lord are renewed in strength. It is by abiding faith in His power that we as the branches of His vine bear fruit.

– Brendan

A Short Word on Idols

Little children, guard yourselves from idols. Amen.
(1 John 5:21)

An idol is not always the object of your veneration; it is also the object of all your blame for whatever evil is well within your reach and your authority in Christ to address. Your idol can be that which you lay all responsibility at the feet of in order to excuse yourself of your specific responsibility in what God has revealed to you.

Those whom God’s true call passes by in such complacency are forsaking His flock as members of the One True Shepherd; and after their idolatrous and insolent hearts, there are always raised up for them worthless and self-serving IDOL shepherds, which lead them further astray as a judgement; whose arms work corruption, being blind to the Father’s will.

For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
(Zechariah 11:17, KJV)

God’s Law – Part 4: The Law of Love

I run in the path of Your commandments, for You have set my heart free.
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes. I will keep them to the end.
(Psalm 119:32-33)

…now the end of the commandment is love
out of a pure heart and a good conscience,
and faith not pretended…
(1 Timothy 1:5)

Love (agape – the highest form of love, unique to God) is the true expression of God’s Law being fulfilled in us by the Spirit; because that love is the very substance of the whole of His character and nature.

God IS light, God IS love – both are equally true. A concept of truth with no expression of love is devoid of God’s Life and is therefore untrue. A form of love with no bearing in truth is devoid of God’s Light and is therefore unloving. For the light of God defines His love, and His love defines His light. Grace and Truth are so married in Christ Jesus, love and light are so married in God, that the apostle John could write unequivocally…

And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commands. The one saying, “I have known Him,” and not keeping His commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that one. But whoever keeps His word, truly in this one the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him. The one claiming to rest in Him ought himself to walk as that One walked.

Brothers, I do not write a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again I write a new commandment to you which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light already shines.

The one claiming to be in the Light, and hating his brother, is in the darkness until now. The one loving his brother rests in the Light, and no offense is in him. But the one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
(1 John 2:3-11)

The whole of God’s Eternal Law is summed up as the Royal Law of His Love (James 2). And that same Law is called both “new” and “old” here by John because it is the very same Word which was from the beginning, only in differing revelations at different times. The revelation of God’s Law, the very Word of Christ, was through Moses as a schoolmaster bringing those who could see to the end of the flesh, in the hope of a coming Redeemer who would dwell within them to fulfill it; Who, having at last been revealed to His saints, and now being revealed in them, causes them to become the very righteousness of God in Him! For “God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, has at the end of these days spoken to us by His Son…” (Heb 1:1-2)

And by that Son, He spoke saying,
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
(John 13:34-35)

It is one thing to love our neighbor as ourselves, it is another to love even as Christ loved us; “who did not sin, nor was guile found in His mouth; who, having been reviled, did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten, but gave Himself over to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore in His body our sins onto the tree; that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; of whom, by His wound, you were healed.” (1Peter 2:22-23) – And this command is specifically given to be carried out among the brethren first. The pattern of order is, “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and (then) to the uttermost parts of the earth.” For if we do not love our brother whom we see, how is it possibly true that we love God whom we do not see? Those living in the darkness of this world do not truly come to the Light by seeing the hypocrisy of His people, but rather by beholding HIM as He is through His people. Our calling as His own is to be filled with all His fullness, so that even as He is, so also are we in this world. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God.” (Rom 8:19For in the liberty of the Spirit, we may surrender to the obedience of the very faith of Christ Jesus Himself, so that the will of the Father might be fulfilled in us also.

For, brothers, you were called to freedom. Only do not use the freedom for an opening to the flesh. But through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, be careful that you are not consumed by one another.
But I say, Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another; lest whatever you may will, these things you do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law
(that is, to fulfill it by the flesh).
(Galatians 5:13-18)

The true love of God is the pure expression of His Light and Life through those who have died to the flesh and live in the resurrection life of the Spirit. The flesh desires to have its own way, the flesh desires to have the last say; the flesh hungers for gossip and seeks to slander whatever opposes its own agendas. The reason that love is patient, kind, and not envious; the reason that love is neither vain, nor proud, nor indecently behaved; the reason that love does not pursue its own things, is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil of another, is because the one who truly loves in this way has died and is living free from his own selfish ambition or the agendas of man. He does not try to outwardly display these qualities to give credence to something or to grow what he perceives to be a “movement;” but rather he is inwardly being transformed as an individual by these qualities of Christ through the Spirit, becoming a man free from the will and decree of anyone but the Father.

For the love of God is holy, and holiness is perfected in the fear of God; but the fear of man lays a snare. “The secret (the disclosure, the intimate friendship) of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” (Ps 25:14) God indeed so loved the world that He sent His Son for them all; but those who believe step into the covenant of His love, which man can still break. A man can talk about the love of God all day long; but he will only truly experience and operate in its true substance to the degree that he fears the Lord. For just as the perfect love of God casts out earthly fear, so also the perfect fear of the Lord purges out earthly love, making way for that which is truly of God. And the man who presently walks in the purity of the holy love of God discerns clearly between the ministrations of flesh and the ministrations of the Spirit; between the mind of the Devil and the mind of Christ. But those who break covenant to walk after the flesh again are warned…

Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Galatians 5:19-21)

The more “subtle” and internal works of the flesh are in God’s eyes equally as destructive as the more “obvious” ones; for they are all the bad fruit of HIM not being the only ruler in His temple. To walk in any form of darkness is to neglect and damage our brethren in ways that we and they may not even percieve, since we all are members one of another. The supply of the Life of the Head is transferred through the joints of the body; which means that the measure to which I may walk in darkness and corruption is the measure to which I withhold the greater expression of Christ’s light and life being released in His body.

Rivalries, divisions, envies and the like have no more place in the body than sexual immorality. “The one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness…” For lawlessness is to not fulfill the Law, which is God’s Love; and every form of sin violates that Law because it damages or hinders the body of Christ being built up. Therefore anything contrary to the body being built up in love is lawlessness. “Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” But the humility of true faith working through love leaves no room for spiritual pride, and it is the healing balm of a body cut in pieces through lawlessness. Faith working through love fulfills the Law, just as Moses offered to be blotted out from the book of life rather than to see God destroy His rebellious people and start over again through Moses. In this, the royal Law of love was being fulfilled in Moses’ heart, and God heeded his petition; and Moses was spoken of as God’s friend.

Greater love than this has no one,
that anyone should lay down his soul for his friends.
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
I no longer call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his lord does.
But I called you friends, because all things
which I heard from My Father I made known to you.
(John 15:13-15)

Those of whom Jesus says, “I never knew you” are the same whom He calls “lawless.”
Therefore it is when we walk in the Light that we have true fellowship with Him, and with one another; for only there do we also remain under the fresh flow of the blood of Christ (1Jn 1:7), by whose stripes we are all healed. It was for not discerning themselves and thereby partaking of the fellowship of the body of Christ in an unworthy manner that Paul said to the divided church in Corinth, “For this reason many among you are weak and feeble, and many sleep. For if we discerned ourselves, we would not be judged.” (1Cor 11:30-31) The healthier HIS body, the less symptoms of its sickness need be present in our own. Corinth was a local body which had become factious through the idolizing of men as shepherds and the quarreling over of mere teachings at the expense of knowing Christ Jesus in His humiliation, in whose heart and mind we are meant relate to one another (Php 2).  And by our knowing of Him in keeping His Word, He also knows us. Love is called by the apostle Paul the “greatest” among faith, hope, and love; because such love is the very outworking of true faith and hope!

In love we endure many roadblocks, letdowns, and uncertainties on our path, seeking to live honorably, uprightly and pleasing to God in a perverse age; not being overcome by disappointment, for our consolation and our certainty is in God. Though reviled, those who are being perfected in love do not revile back; since they are not self-serving at heart, but truly desire what is spiritually best for those around them. In love we come to realize our own responsibility for the state of our brother in Christ and seek his edification. In love we discern the true need of the hour, becoming a vessel of God’s intercession, by whose power we see through the eyes of Jesus, know the will of the Father and “feel” with His heart . In love we lay our lives out on the line for the sake of the brethren, forgetting what lies behind. In love we rejoice to take upon ourselves the measure of the sufferings of Christ that are lacking in His body. By walking in this love we walk in the light as He is in the light, where true fellowship occurs and the blood of Jesus flows freely for the cleansing of His bride.

“Love always trusts” – and it especially trusts that GOD can work all things to the good of those who love Him as we submit joyfully to He who works to accomplish all that He intends for His faithful. The love of God which bears, believes hopes, endures, and rejoices in the truth is that by which God’s house is able to maintain true unity and peace, each member being reconciled to one another as this love covers a multitude of sinsFor the actions of love are the impartation of the blood of Jesus among the brethren; as His blood speaks of peace with God and reconciliation, not as the blood of Abel which cried out from the ground for vengeance. For by walking in this love, we walk in the light, where “we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of His Son Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.”

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.
And everyone who loves Him who begets also loves the one who is begotten of Him.
By this we know that we love the children of God:
when we love God and keep His commandments.
For this IS the love of God, that we keep His commandments;
and His commandments are not heavy.
(1 John 5:1-3)

The love of God IS to keep His commandments, and this is not heavy because the command is one of promise: that for this impossible thing to be seen in the earth, we have been given all that is required by the Holy Spirit to walk in this divine nature, if only we will obey in faith, which is where His power is discovered. Those who so keep themselves in the love of God (Jude 1:21) will not grow cold or weary in doing good even when iniquity abounds; when all around there is betrayal, offence, animosity, and all kinds of spiritual falsehood leading many astray. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against a spiritual enemy which rules over them in this world; and by faith working through love, we have hope in this warfare, because everything having been born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory overcoming the world: our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

God reveals to us the impossibility of the hour in order to show us what is possible by faith, and that faith working through love. Let us therefore step obediently with boldness and humility into this realm of God’s Life where only HIS mighty hand can bring forth that which He has required. For it is all of the grace of the Spirit of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Against such things there is not a law.
But the ones belonging to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Let us not become glory seeking ones, provoking one another, envying one another
(Galatians 5:22-26)

Those who bind themselves and their expression of His Life to an organization or limit it under the authority of any “shepherd” below Christ have bound themselves to a ministration of man and flesh, even to the curse of the law of the old letter once again; and therefore cannot move in the true substance of God’s love by the Spirit. So the witness of the Spirit departs and the lampstand is removed from a city, for the Lord is provoked to righteous jealously by the unrighteous jealousy of men and their agendas. The “first love” from which the church of Ephesus departed was Christ Himself, whom they had come to know only in an empty religious form rather than in the very substance of His person present within and among them; thus making Him no longer the one Lord over all and in all and through all. Provocations and envies abound in such environments by nature; and amidst the scuffle for the top of the ladder, the truth itself is lost and God’s love becomes adulterated and conflated with carnal human sentiments. Where men are gloried in, the love of God cannot operate to any effect which takes glory away from them. Therefore Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day,  “I do not receive glory from men; but I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves.” (John 5:41-42)

This is why today, a man in bondage to darkness who seeks the Lord for deliverance is not confronted with the need for repentance to break the place of its grip; but rather is convinced that all is well and he need not concern himself much with submitting to God because he is ultimately “under grace”: and this is done all in the name of “love” – but such is not the love or grace of Christ, it is a damning lie! “For the saving grace of God has appeared to all men, instructing us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly and righteously and godly in the present age…” (Titus 2:11-12) The grace which is in Christ Jesus is that which strengthens us to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. Jesus cast out demons in perfect love, He zealously drove out the world’s commerce from God’s temple in perfect love, and He rebuked the religious hirelings of His day in perfect love; for He loved not in pretense for selfish gain, but in the sincerity of all truth, as He is the Truth.

…Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
but rejoices in the truth.
(1 Corinthians 13:6)

The reason that love quietly covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things, is not because it is blind; but because it is free to walk in the exposure of God’s light unashamed and unaffected by other men’s deeds of darkness! The man who loves even as Christ loved him not only knows that vengeance is the Lord’s; but even knows that through walking in the meekness of love, he in fact intercedes on behalf of those currently opposing him. For in love we were predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son; so that by walking in that same love, we also may bear on our own bodies the marks of Christ.

The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but be gentle towards all, able to teach, patient, in gentleness correcting those who oppose him: perhaps God may give them repentance leading to a full knowledge of the truth, and they may recover themselves out of the devil’s snare, having been taken captive by him to his will.
(2 Timothy 2:24-26)

This is the walk of the mature man, the one growing into all the fullness of God who is love. For having been loved by God, and thereby now loving his brethren through God; he discovers that he is truly enveloped not merely in a love for God, but rather in the love OF God. For that love is IN Christ Jesus, in Whom we must remain abiding by the rule of His Spirit, that He also may remain abiding in us.

“If you keep My commandments you will continue in My love, as I have kept My Father’s commandments and continue in His love.”
(John 15:10)

And of abiding in this place it says,
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  Even as it has been written,
“For Your sake we are killed all the day;
we are counted as sheep of slaughter.”
But in all these things we more than conquer through Him loving us.
For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers,
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God IN Christ Jesus, our Lord.

(Romans 8:35-39)

“These days, shallow and feeble resolve abound;
and true devotion, and passion and fervor are seldom found.
But there are those who often feel they’re all alone,
those whose identities are known
By the marks of the crucified Son…

Praying, caring, loving, sharing
– these are the marks of the cross.
Giving, bearing, feeling, daring
To lay down your life on the line,
Forgetting what you leave behind;
And willing to suffer the loss
Of the marks of the cross.

These days, the search for detachment and solitude
leads to retreating to fortresses no one would dare intrude.
Then there are those whose restless burdens start to show,
those who unmistakably must know
There’s no crown ’til we suffer the cross…

Praying, caring, loving, sharing
– these are the marks of the cross.
Giving, bearing, feeling, daring
To lay down your life on the line,
Forgetting what you leave behind;
And willing to suffer the loss
Of the marks of the cross.

All our identity rests in the knowledge of who we’re created to be.
We are His workmanship, made in His image for all of creation to see
The marks of His pain and His glory…
– “Marks of the Cross,” written by Bob Hartman & Ronald C Cates

– Brendan

Saul & David: Form vs Substance

Both Saul and David were chosen by God, anointed as king by Samuel. Both prophesied, both sinned, and both confessed their sins; but David was accepted by God, and Saul was rejected.

Saul lived to serve men and feared the people; but David lived to serve God and feared the Lord.
Saul was prepared to make certain sacrifices for God, so long as they suited his supposed reputation; but David was willing to obey God even if it exposed all of his heart.
Saul’s ‘repentance’ covered his guilt in his own eyes; but David’s repentance restored his soul in God’s eyes.

Saul was God’s judgement upon His stubborn people, and he ruled from the palace of their approval; but David was God’s mercy, and he ruled from the hidden cave of true justice.*

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My Father in Heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power?”
And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, those working lawlessness!”

(Matthew 7:21-23)

The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable (Rom 11:29); but a true relationship must be maintained with He who examines the heart. It is one thing to have just enough of an outward appearance so that the Lord can use you among those who are ignorant of Him; but it is another thing to walk even AS Jesus walked. He always did what He saw the Father doing. But truly doing the will of the Father requires having the very heart of the Father in the doing. And truly having the heart of the Father requires a purging of your own.

It is good to desire that the Lord might use you for His glory; but He would prefer for your own sake to always KNOW who He’s working through.
The fear of man or the fear of the Lord makes all the difference between a wolf and a sheep. Stop wavering between two opinions and choose this day whom you will serve.

“The fear of man layeth a snare…” (Prov 29:25)

Saul was satisfied to have a heart after man; but David was a man after God’s heart.
Therefore Saul had power; but David had authority.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
(Galatians 1:10)

– Brendan

*   “While David was on the run from king Saul, he hid in the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1), where he amassed quite a following… (2 Samuel 23:13-17). The prophet Micah mentions that the glory of Israel will enter Adullam… (Micah 1:15).”
“…for a meaning of the name Adullam, Alfred Jones reads The Justice Of The People. BDB Theological Dictionary, on the other hand, believes that Adullam came from עדל II and explains that this verb means to turn aside in the sense of to hide or seek refuge. Hence BDB translates the name Adullam with Retreat, Refuge. NOBSE Study Bible Name List appears to agree with BDB and reads a similar Refuge.”
– Taken from Abarim Publications,
http://www.abarim-publications.com/index.html

Not Of This World

“We know that we are of God,
and that the 
whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”
(1 John 5:19)

“No one serving as a soldier entangles himself with the affairs of this life,
so that he might please the one having enlisted him.”
(2 Timothy 2:4)

“No one is able to serve two lords; for either he will hate the one, and he will love the other; or he will cleave to the one, and he will despise the other.
You are not able to serve God and wealth.”
(Matthew 6:26)

It has been said by man that we should not be too heavenly minded lest we become no earthly good. How very typical of Satan! For he knows very well that if we were even half as heavenly-minded as we ought to be, he would have a great deal more trouble from our resisting of his works. Of course he would have us to be so earthly-minded that we are no heavenly good! Jesus has commanded us in ways beyond number not to be earthly minded in the least; but even to be “perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
In fact, God’s children, if they will be taught by God Himself and lead of His Spirit, will not represent themselves collectively as a player in the world marketplace; but will rather be those who live a life called outside of the camp, suffering the reproach of Christ.

For He said:
“My kingdom is NOT of this world.”

And He meant exactly what He said. But now, most of what is called “christianity” in our day has rendered unto God that which is Caesar’s and unto Caesar that which is God’s – and this all in the name of “cultural relevance.” Such are the delusional cries of the defeated and impotent earthly-minded entity once known as “Christendom,” still striking deals with the Devil even to its last dying breath, seeking that it should gain the whole world in exchange for every lost soul whom it entangles, an empty corpse ripe for animation by the spirit of antichrist. Buying into this spirit and appealing to the things promoted by world in order to be “relevant” is at best to condone the lie of the world’s self-supposed virtue; while truly there is nothing more relevant to this despicable human condition of proud sin and rebellion than the blood of Jesus Christ and the true spiritual life from the Father which He gives to those who follow Him.

Clamouring and striving for cultural acceptance and recognition before men is unbecoming of anyone who will remain a faithful servant of Christ, running utterly contrary to the commands and promises of Jesus for those who would follow Him:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men. For they will betray you to sanhedrins, and they will flog you in their synagogues. And also you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them and to the nations…”
“…But brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child. And children will rise up against parents and will put them to death. And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but the one enduring to the end shall be kept safe. But when they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For truly I say to you, In no way will you have finished the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.
A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above his lord. It is enough for the disciple to become as his teacher, and the slave as his lord. If they called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more those of His household? Therefore, you should not fear them, for nothing is covered which will not be uncovered; and hidden, which will not be made known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light. And what you hear in the ear, proclaim on the housetops. And you should not fear the ones killing the body, but not being able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him being able to destroy both soul and body in Hell…”
“…Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I came to divide a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a bride against her mother-in-law. “Ones hostile to the man shall be those of his own house.” The one loving father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one loving son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. The one finding his life shall lose it. And the one losing his life on account of Me shall find it.”
(Matthew 10:16-18, 21-28, 34-39)

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it has hated you. IF YOU WERE OF THE WORLD, THE WORLD WOULD LOVE YOU AS ITS OWN. But because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world: because of this the world hates you.
Remember the Word which I said to you, A slave is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted Me, they also will persecute you. If they kept My Word, they also will keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know the One who sent Me.
If I had not come and had not spoken to them, they had no sin. But now they do not have excuse as to their sin. The one hating Me also hates My Father. If I did not do the works among them which no other did, they had no sin. But now they both have seen and also have hated Me and My Father. But that may be fulfilled the Word that has been written in their Law, “They hated Me undeservedly.”
And when the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, that One will witness concerning Me. And you also witness, because from the beginning you are with Me.
I have spoken these things to you so that you may not be offended. They will put you out of the synagogue, but an hour is coming that everyone killing you will think they bear a service before God. And they will do these things to you because they do not know the Father nor Me.”
(John 15:18-16:3)

To hellfire with all striving, petitioning, clamouring and all gathering before kings and princes and all men to get them on our side! Such is begotten of the flesh and cannot please God: He will not bring spiritual increase to it – though he may allow it worldly success as a judgement of strong delusion upon those who constantly insist upon engaging in such idolatry. If your prayer is that men might be saved, that is very well; but from what and to what do you desire them to be saved? God is not interested in the movements which your own mind has conceived, neither is He pleased with the ambitions of your own carnal heart; and He is filled with great jealousy against those who would call themselves by His Holy Name and then seek to utilize the same means that this world utilizes for the proselytizing of other men into following them and making them their spiritual head rather than Christ alone.

“But do not be called Rabbi, for One is your Leader, the Christ, and you are all brothers. And call no one your father on earth, for One is your Father, the One in Heaven.”
(Matthew 23:8-9)

“I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from Him (Holy Spirit) abides in you, and you have no need that any man should teach you. But as His anointing teaches you all things, and is true, and is no lie – so as it has taught you, abide in HIM.”
(1 John 2:26-27)

The Spirit of God is severely grieved that our minds should be so worldly and filled with the seemingly virtuous narratives of vain men which lead our hearts to wander far and wide on an imaginary venture to “change the world” according to their own visions- while truly we are forsaking that which God has called us to and placed right before us every day. Merely changing the world around us for our comfort in it is just another earthly pursuit, making those who chase such a goal all the more worldly. The early church being described BY MEN as “turning the world upside down” was not the result of an agenda of cultural change: but rather a cultural change which happened simply as a by-product of the spiritual transformation of individuals – and it was certainly not viewed as positive by those around them.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
(Ephesians 6:12)

Souls can be won: the zeitgeist cannot, for it is antichrist; and the enemy ever seeks to draw us into such carnal battles. If we fight for a cause which has not been ordained by God, then we have already lost the greater warfare: we have loved the world more than we have loved the Father – and this at the expense of those whom Jesus came to seek and to save OUT OF IT! Those who seek to establish through their own hands a likeness of their own vision of the kingdom of God on earth will be counted among the faithless when Jesus returns to establish HIS kingdom; no matter how much they lay claim to His Name, which they have truly taken upon themselves in vain. Such men are those who “are of the world; and because of this they speak of the world, and the world hears them.” For it is none other than the spirit of antichrist which searches far and wide for his double-minded and unstable prey, flattering them with delusions of grandeur as they seek to fulfill such worldly agendas, “being blown and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the sleight of men, in craftiness to the deceit of error…”

Jesus prayed for His disciples:
“As You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world, and I sanctify Myself for them, that they also may be sanctified in Truth.”
(John 17:18)

“AS You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world…”
– Jesus sends us “AS,” the Father sent Him: meaning that His sending of us is not merely copying the Father’s action of “sending;” but rather even doing so in like manner and under the same conditions as the Father sent Him.
And He Himself said of those conditions, “I came not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” So His first and primary order of ministry was toward the Father, in loving the Father. For He that loves not the Father does not truly do the Father’s will. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” (Jn 5:3) Without Jesus ministering the first fruits of His love unto the Father, there could be no true rendering of the Father’s love through Him back unto us. So it must also be for us as the sons of God in how we relate to God and to men. There could be no “for God so loved the world” if there wasn’t first a, “He cannot deny Himself;” for His sacrifice on the cross was as much or more unto the Father as it was for men, since God’s infinite wrath for our sin had to be satisfactorily poured out upon the perfect everlasting Lamb if anything be redeemed, “making God both just AND the justifier…” (Rom 3:26). God would be wholly unjust simply to forgive with no such recompense, and so “the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all,” even being “pleased to crush Him” (Isa 53). And this work unto God, being the pinnacle and summation of His earthly ministry, was ultimately one of intercession, which essentially means to stand in the gap.

Now Isaiah the prophet spoke regarding His intercession:
“And Jehovah saw; and it was evil in His eyes, that there was no justice. And He saw that there was no man, and He was astonished that there was no intercessor. And His own arm saved for Him; and His righteousness sustained Him. For He put on righteousness like armour, and a helmet of salvation on His head. And He put on robes of vengeance as clothing; and He put on zeal like a mantle. According to works, so He will repay; fury to His foes; recompense to His foes; He will repay recompense to the coasts.
So they shall fear Jehovah’s name from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the foe comes like a flood, the Spirit of Jehovah shall cause him to flee. And the Redeemer comes to Zion, and to those in Jacob who turn back from their rebellion, declares Jehovah.
(Isaiah 59:5-21)

Jesus interceded on behalf of those who would believe on Him; and He intercedes now on behalf of those who abide in Him, whom He desires to become honourable vessels of HIS intercession in this world unto the glory of the Father. For it is only by first being ministers UNTO the Lord that we are made into the true ministers OF the Lord. Like a priest, an intercessor, though he operates within and among the common people; his operating derives no suggestion or power pertaining to its functionality from anyone but God. The intercessor is FROM ABOVE, just as those born of water and the Spirit are “born from above.” And only these ones have an audience with the Father in heaven, for “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” And haven’t those who are fellow heirs with Him also proceeded from the Father in heaven? For they are made a kingdom of priests unto HIM.

If therefore we will live devoted firstly to God, He then will be able to bring us into His very near presence and more quickly shape us into honourable vessels of righteousness, from which may increasingly flow HIS true works unto men. It is only to the extent that we have thereby seen Jesus and been with Jesus that we will continually be empowered by His Spirit for truly and rightly dispensing the knowing of HIM, as “living epistles known and read by all men” – and how much shall we also be known, read, and feared by all the powers of darkness which ever hurl the fiery darts of the adversary’s accusations night and day!

God’s children have been called out of the world and all of its ways so that they might first and foremost minister unto the Lord: this is our high calling as priests unto Him (Rev 1:6, 1Pet 2:5, 9), placed under Christ the great High Priest Himself who is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” – the one preceding the order of Levi, who only mediated that schoolmaster and earthly pattern of things to come (which was the Law). “And indeed, the many are now become priests…” In short, it is through the operation of this priesthood of the new covenant, which remains unbroken “unto the age,” so that “He is able to save to the end completely the ones coming near to God through Him who is always living to intercede on their behalf” (Heb 7). And neither shall we ever be useful priestly vessels of God’s intercession if our ministering is not first unto HIM as living sacrifices, having died to the world and the world to us.

“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld, and what our hands touched, as regards the Word of Life. And the Life was revealed, and we have seen, and we bear witness, and we announce to you the everlasting Life which was with the Father, and was revealed to us.”
(1 John 1:1-2)

“…the Life was revealed…” – and what have men seen in us which they cannot deny apart from searing their own conscience? “People do not gather grapes from thistles, nor figs from thorn bushes, do they?” Likewise, in the lives of those who call themselves by the Name of Jesus, what by men is being heard, seen, beheld, and touched? It is only natural, considering that the apostle John goes on to speak with great clarity and power to the true spiritual state of the believer, that in God’s wisdom he should open his first epistle by reminding us of how the Life which “God hath… within Himself…” “…was revealed”. For this Life which God has within Himself is that very Life which is meant to be manifested in those who have been given “the power to become the sons of God, to them believing on His Name” (Jn 1:12).

Many today speak of serving people – and indeed, acting upon compassion for others should be a fruit we bear if we love God – but few have grown beyond a limited and carnal expression of ministry which exclusively expresses an earthly, at many times self-aggrandizing human compassion, and trades the fear of God for the fear of man! Such is to love the world and the things in it for the satisfaction of our own soul, even if it be called “ministry”. But If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is NOT in him.” It is HE to whom our first love must be; it is unto HIM that we are firstly required to minister, He from Whom all that is true and pure flows! The “first love” lost by the church at Ephesus was that of the Father, not men: and that is why they no longer did the first works! It is those who will obey the call of being priests unto God through whom the very Life of the Father is able to be clearly revealed. O, that His Life might be so magnified in the redeemed, that JESUS be ever more clearly seen in them – a revelation for which even all of creation is said to eagerly await in earnest expectation, groaning and travailing amidst its subjection to vanity!

There is no anointing of God upon our going “unto the uttermost parts of the earth” if we have not first tarried in Jerusalem according to His command. All of our waiting upon men will be to little spiritual good if we do not first wait upon God for His true anointing. No ambassador truly receives his unique commission unless he has waited in the presence of his king for both the orders and the blessing. It is true that the church at large has already been given her orders by Jesus; but the movements of the body shall never represent the true expression of the will of its rightful Head unless each individual part is consecrated to HIM, waiting upon HIS command and blessing for HIS work.

God once called Elijah to “go hide thyself” for three solitary years before he was commanded to engage in what most men would consider his most “useful” ministry. It is such obedience to the callings of God – to the point of death both to self and even to all men – that is rewarded with an ever closer walk with the Lord. And how often those of such a caliber of ministry unto God are so untimely taken away before the evil that comes upon those who would not receive the word of righteousness (Isa 57:1-2, Gen 5:23-24)! So let us not be found lacking in any obedience before the Lord amid such signs! How utterly lost among us is that blessed cry of the righteous, “though none go with me, still I will follow”!

If men who are blind (and they indeed all are except God open their eyes), if they shall be saved, then they must first SEE GOD and thereby see the great and terrible darkness of all other things in light of HIM. Only in HIS Light shall they truly see light. And if any of us would be a conduit of the light of the grace and truth of Jesus Christ, then our eye must be SINGLE towards God, that through us men may behold HIS glory: “glory as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and of truth”; but “if the light in you is darkness, then how great is that darkness!” So even though we be seated in heavenly places, let us take upon ourselves the attitude of Christ as becoming the lowest servant (Phi 2:5-11), desiring the love of the Father in the heart of Jesus before the cross, which Paul deeply echoed: For I could wish that myself were accursed… for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” (Rom 9:3)

“But the priests… who kept the charge of MY sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to Me to minister unto ME, and they shall stand before Me to offer unto Me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God: They shall enter into My sanctuary, and they shall come near to MY table, to minister unto ME, and they shall keep MY charge.
…And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.”
(Ezekiel 44:15-16, 23)

If we will not first yield ourselves fully to the Lord for righteousness, then we will not become rightly prepared and purged vessels of HIS ministration toward men. For if we are commanded to “Rejoice with rejoicing ones, and weep with weeping ones”– and that in a manner pleasing to God who searches the thoughts and intentions of the heart – then we must have in us the very heart of the One who intercedes by which to do so in the sincerity of all Truth!
And who has been given the very heart of God, except he who denies his own self and gives himself to share in both the burdens and the joys of the Lord? The one who desires to keep the mind of Christ and the heart of God will make himself available to weep with God for that which grieves Him, even as much as to rejoice with Him over that which brings Him pleasure. There must be a willingness to see all things as they truly are in HIS eyes, no matter the cost of the discipline of the Lord to get us there. The burdens of the Lord are heavy upon the flesh; but if we shall carry them, He will always give us the abundance of HIS strength to do so, for by this His burdens are light, for we have been crucified with Christ: it is no longer we who live, but Christ in us!

The Psalmist said:
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
(Psalm 37:4)

How shall the Lord be pleased to give us the desires of our heart if they do not come from HIS heart? If any man, whose first love and delight is not in the Lord Jesus, is still being granted all the desires of his own heart, then he has received his earthly reward; and how hard it will be for him to enter the kingdom of heaven! Such a man has insisted by his works that his own desires supersede those of God, and the system of this world has given him the temporal spoils of self-delusion. May he be granted the grace to repent! For the Lord is full of mercy and is longsuffering toward the stubborn; but He is jealous and will not leave the guilty unpunished for their continued pride. The enduring, fruitful faith and the interceding heart which God desires to work in His people in this hour is far too easily quenched by the love of this life.

It was said by the prophet Malachi regarding the former priesthood of Levi that when the Lord will come into His temple,” nothing of the world or flesh would be able to stand before Him; for He is like a refiner’s fire… and He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer UNTO THE LORD an offering in RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Mal 3:1-4) – How much more then regarding ourselves! For we are HIS temple, being the very sanctuary of the Holy Ghost. So let us take care lest His temple is being filled with the commerce of this world or overtaken by its cares; and let us not be as that earthly temple of earthly Jerusalem – which city spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” (Rev 11:8) – not as that earthly temple which was destroyed along with the wicked city, the temple of former things which no man shall with God’s blessing ever raise up again (except perhaps as one being accursed). For “you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God,” (Col 3:3) and “except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Ps 127:1).
“But you have come to Mount Zion (rather than Sinai which speaks of the earthly) and to the city of the living God, the HEAVENLY Jerusalem…” (Heb 12:22) The former things must pass away, and remain so. “He that sets his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of heaven.” All that our own minds have conceived and our own hands built must be counted as loss, our lofty hearts humbled, and our bodies yielded a living sacrifice fully unto God under the rule of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man may sow, that he also will reap. For the one sowing to his flesh will reap corruption of the flesh. But the one sowing to the Spirit will reap everlasting life from the Spirit.”
(Galatians 6:7-8)

All our cunning and planning and moving in the flesh can only turn those who choose to be influenced by us into twofold the sons of hell as ourselves – which we shall indeed be if we rely upon our own devices or upon man’s ways through religious institutions and political systems for the dispensing of God’s work in the hearts and minds of men. Has not God appointed that those who are born from above should be born “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but… of God? For the Spirit of God has not anointed these things, and neither shall we remain anointed on account of our trust in them. We will in fact partake in the downfall of every accursed thing with which we make fellowship and in which we place our trust. As we live in the world, the clarity of the Father’s Life being revealed in the midst of it depends greatly upon our abandon to Him alone.
Godless despair will be the reward of those who hoped in the world and sought to gain their life; but Godward hope will be fulfilled in those who despaired of the world and lost their life unto God.

“We announce to you what we have seen, and what we have heard, that you also may have fellowship with us. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.”
(1 John 1:3-4)

Many will proudly confess the names of men and their own “ministries”; since the spiritual rulers of this world have deemed it allowable because it ultimately serves their purpose, and God has ordained that the the tares may grow up amidst the wheat for the trying of the genuineness of the faith of the saints: but when the facade wears thin and more blatant persecution comes against those who are truly faithful and obedient to God’s word, then men reveal the true allegiances of their idolatrous hearts.

“Then everyone who shall confess ME before men, I will also confess him before My Father in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny him before My Father in Heaven.”
(Matthew 10:32-33)

“…For we (each) shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ…”
Unless we can individually administer a sweet-smelling and pleasing incense of obedience before the Lord in secret, then all of our outward gestures and our gatherings with one another shall amount to nothing better than a repulsive stench rising before His nostrils. That which chooses the compromise of earthly unity at the expense of walking in harmony according to the Truth of God, not remaining unstained by the world, is practicing spiritual whoredom. The Spirit of the Lord is grieved and His heart is jealous; for those who indulge the arm of the flesh to fuel the social movements and cults of personality which are falsely called “ministries” and “churches” are the tools of Jezebel for seducing His people into committing adultery with Babylon and all of her harlot daughters, causing “these little ones believing in Me to offend” – and “woe to that man through whom the offence comes!”

But our Lord Jesus has prayed for the sanctification and endurance of His faithful and obedient remnant, that she will be His pure and spotless bride called out from this present evil world.

“And I heard another voice out of Heaven saying, My people, come out of her, that you may not share in her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues; because her sins joined together, even up to Heaven, and God remembered her unjust deeds.”
(Revelation 18:4-5)

There are willows in the desert and well-fed sheep scattered throughout the far wilderness – who would happily be brought into one place but for the feigned love professed by those who by clinging to idolatry forced them into exile. Yet as they fasted from the foods of man, they found the pastures of heaven and the rest of God! Run away from the city of man into that exile of patient endurance, that you no longer need drink of their poison; but rather drink deep the of the living water which flows through the city on a hill whose builder and maker is God.

– Brendan