The Lord Who Takes

…The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
blessed be the Name of the Lord.

(Job 1:21)

“Many say that the Lord indeed gives; but they say that it is not right to say that the Lord takes away. This is a raging controversy among preachers, who are having trouble just accepting the Word… They say that the Lord does give; but only the Devil takes away. They say (in accordance with the scriptures) that the Devil has come to steal, kill, and destroy; but my bible doesn’t say that he WOULD do it – it says that he CAME to do it – and if you don’t have a Shepherd, then he will indeed do it. But when THE LORD is your Shepherd, then the Devil can come to do whatever he wants, but he’s got to get permission to touch you. He can’t just walk up to me and take my life: my life is not in the hand of Satan – don’t give him that power. If we gave him that power, all of us here would be dead by nightfall. He’s not going to let a host of believers like this live if he has death in his hand. But I read in my scripture that JESUS said ‘I hold the keys of death, Hell, and the grave’!
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away!

“…We get so used to hearing, ‘The Lord gave.’ We get so used to, ‘Morning by morning new mercies we see.’ We get so used to having all that our hearts desire, until all that we can get to is, ‘The Lord gave.’
Maybe there really are those who can say, ‘Everything I’ve asked for, God has given to me’ – and if that’s true in your experience, keep on living; because I am witness that there is some more to this verse. For it says ‘The LORD’ – same God – ‘taketh away’! We get so used to, ‘The Lord gives,’ that we take it for granted; and so when the Lord takes away, we pitch a temper-tantrum. And the sign of Christian maturity is that when the Lord gives, we say, ‘BLESSED! BLESSED! BLESSED!’ But when He takes away, when He breaks your heart, when He doesn’t give you what you asked for, you still say, ‘BLESSED! BLESSED! BLESSED!’

– E.V. Hill, preaching at his wife’s funeral

 

In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
(Job 1:22)

Job was not rebuked for ‘blaming God’ (since that is not what he did by saying this) – but he was rather rebuked for afterward self-righteously defending himself against his foolish friends’ accusations. He started well in blessing the Lord, but slid quickly into pitying himself, to which God essentially replied, “Who do you think you are to complain? Am I not the Almighty?”

When God takes, He IS giving: He is giving us into His own hands to shape us into the image of the Son, who Himself prayed on our behalf, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but YOURS be done.” And let this mind be in you which also was in Christ Jesus! As the scripture says, the desires of our hearts will be granted when we delight in HIM! Do we so delight in HIS will that we count it all JOY when we meet trials? The word of Elijah to king Ahab, “there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word,” came from a man so given over to the will of God that he could confidently speak even from his own heart; for his heart had become the GOD’S very own. We shall not truly appreciate the heights of God’s mountain until we have been tested in the valley. Let us therefore feast at the table which He has laid before us in the presence of our enemy, if that is where it is currently set for us. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and HE will exalt you” (James 4:10)

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
(1 Peter 1:6-9)

Joshua 7: It Repented The Lord

And the sons of Israel committed a sin in the cursed thing. And Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah took the cursed thing. And the anger of Jehovah glowed against the sons of Israel.
(Joshua 7:1)

The Lord does not show partiality in His judgement, as though He would blindly pass over ongoing rebellion among His own people. His wrath is kindled against all the sons of disobedience – especially those who trouble His own house from within. It is always assumed in our midst that God is on our side; and it is seldom questioned as to whether or not we are on HIS side. Such is the mindset that allows a people to begin falling away – if they haven’t already fallen greatly. This is the great blind assumption of all spiritual pride, declaring of its self-supposed heavenly estate, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” Even Joshua himself had begun to assume the welfare of his fellow brothers when He sincerely questioned God as to why they were suffering defeat on the field of battle; but the Lord corrected him:

“Get up! Why do you fall on your face this way? Israel has sinned, and they also have transgressed My covenant which I commanded them, and have also taken of the cursed things, and have also stolen, and also deceived, and also put it among their stuff. And the sons of Israel have not been able to stand before their enemies; they have turned the back before their enemies because they have become cursed. I will not be with you again if you do not destroy the cursed things from among you.”
(Joshua 7:10-12)

We ourselves occupy a day in which sin is tolerated in the camp, God is not sought sincerely about it, and the wretched state of His house is excused as being due to uncontrollable and external circumstances. Faithless and perverse generation! How much longer shall the Spirit of Christ bear with us? Those who trust not in His power so as to obey Him and tear down the altars of their every idol cannot expect to be graced with His presence. And today He has already forsaken the gathering place only to be found by those who will dwell in the secret place, which often brings isolation; but the fellowship of God is there. The grievous “church” of man is the outer court of our day, and is now fully ruled and trampled underfoot by the Godless. And regarding such a state of affairs, in which the hope of Eden returning seems all but lost, the scripture says,

And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth,
and it grieved Him at His heart.
(Genesis 6:6 KJV)

This astonishing description of God’s heart can be applied not only to fallen mankind as a whole, but even more potently to a backslidden people who were at one time His very sons and in step with the Spirit. Upon these words hang for all of us the balances of judgement and mercy, of redemption and woe. The holy eyes of the Lord cannot look upon the fruit of man’s corrupting ways without His wrath being kindled and His heart pained with exceeding sorrow.

The love of God is pure, therefore He agonizes over our sins because He cannot abide their stench. It “repented” God that He had made man because He is holy and must take vengeance upon the wicked, for He hates all of their evil deeds; therefore it also “grieved Him at His heart” because He is merciful and takes no delight in the punishment of any. It pleased the Lord to crush the Suffering Servant (Isa 53) because that Servant became sin, in order to put sin itself to death with Himself and rise without it for those who would believe into Him, that they might partake of that same newness of Life. Only the One not accursed could take all of the curse upon Himself for all men; but remedies begotten of the sentiments of human pity are powerless to quench its eternal rot. Only the burning of God’s fire in our hearts will remove the dross to keep the gold pure: and dross can be whole persons or even peoples. For He beholds with holy eyes the horror of it all in great anguish and fervent scorn.

“And it repented the Lord…”

All of heaven itself stands aghast at the spectacle of our spiritual famine; yet men are content to continue praying for earthly good with no recognition of their dire condition in God’s eyes, taking no thought that in doing so they only further provoke His wrath. His Ark awaits to lift them above the flood of His fury, yet nearly all stand in mockery; and though claiming to honor Him, refuse to enter in. Most of those who are said to be born-again bear no fruit in keeping with repentance; and most of those who are supposedly Spirit-lead remain as worldly as they ever were. But those who truly see through the eyes of holiness take no delight in the futile matters of this passing earth, and they despair of hope in all but God Himself. These are the only ones possessing anything of worth, for they realize that the Lord Himself is all they truly have. Those who live from such a place of freedom and peace in the Lord Himself will no longer have need to confess, “I saw, I lusted, and I took…” (v 21) for they have allowed the Lord to take them as HIS own possession.

All of creation groans for the unveiling of God’s mystery in His offspring through Christ in them, and the heavens declare His glory even through the dull and miserable tones of the curse; but the exposing Light of Christ is so repulsive to those who continue engaging in the works of the devil, that to satisfy the insatiable appetite of hell is more desirable for them than to dwell in the piercing presence of the Holy One. It is no wonder that nothing short of the travail of the very soul of the Son of God Himself shall alone bear fruit unto God from among men, those of whom His Spirit declares “No one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does any good, not even one.” The agony of our Lord Jesus just before His crucifixion can never be weighed for the dread of drinking the bottomless cup of the eternal wrath of God, being plunged into the fiery baptism of the furnace of that righteous indignation, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out.” Yet who in our midst is found agonizing in the Spirit with Him, seeing that there remains only a small remnant of the faithful? If we do not allow the fire to purge us today, what assurance do we have that hell will be satisfied with our absence from it on the day of judgement? TODAY is the day of salvation for every man, especially for those of His own house.

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23)

Our trifling day lacks any real sense of the weightiness and urgency of the Lord’s mercy. A true revelation of His longsuffering in light of our stubbornness and rebellion should implant a lasting fear of Him in us which burns out all desire or draw to remain in any measure of idolatry. Those who have not been marked by the near despair of God’s own heart over their rebellious ways have not touched the cross; and those who refuse to continue carrying the burden of the Lord’s heart for today have strayed from it. These are the troublers of the true Israel of God, who grieve and lie to the Holy Spirit as did Ananias and Saphira; and these He will reveal and expel from the true camp of His people as the Day of redemption draws nearer and the faithful remain true to Him.

And Joshua rose early in the morning, and brought Israel near by its tribes. And the tribe of Judah was taken. And he brought the family of Judah near; and he took the family of the Zarhites. And he brought near the family of the Zarhites by men, and Zabdi was taken. And he brought near his household by men, and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.
And Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I beg you, give glory to Jehovah, the God of Israel, and give thanks to Him, and please tell me what you have done. Do not hide it from me.”
And Achan answered Joshua, and said, “Truly I have sinned against Jehovah, the God of Israel, and this I have done: when I saw among the spoil a goodly robe of Shinar, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold, one of fifty shekels in weight, then I lusted after them, and took them. And behold, they are hidden in the earth, in the middle of my tent, and the silver under it.”
(Joshua 7:16-21)

The futility of all things outside of God Himself must be realized should we make an offering of obedience truly pleasing to Him in this dark day, lest we perish by His own hand untimely for failing to redeem what little time is left. Waiting for a future hour of necessity to consecrate ourselves only reveals a failure to recognize that the hour of necessity is already passing. The hand of the Lord which prevents great evil from entering into His fold is quickly lifting because of their hidden idolatry and spiritual pride. Many have fallen away and many more will continue to drift. The wheat and the tares are also becoming manifest. Today, and today only, is the last day for being made ready to be broken and poured out unto death. The Lord will hear the cry of contrite in heart who tremble at His word, for them He is able to answer with mercy.

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven: “We have transgressed and rebelled, and You have not forgiven. You have wrapped Yourself with anger and pursued us, killing without pity; You have wrapped Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through.”
(Lamentations 3:40-44)

May we no longer tolerate in the temple of God that which troubles the holy progress of the body of Christ: may it no longer repent the Lord that we are called His children.

And Joshua said, “How you have troubled us! Jehovah shall trouble you today!”
And all Israel threw stones at him, and they burned them with fire,
and they stoned them with stones.
And they raised over him a great heap of stones to this day.
And Jehovah turned back from the heat of His anger. On this account, the name of that place is The Valley of Grief until this day.
(Joshua 7:25-26)

– Brendan

Grace Calls, Faith Overcomes, God Elects

But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
For many are called, but few are chosen.
(Matthew 22:11-14)

The chosen and elect are those who KEEP their garments: who by His power walk righteously; but the shame of those who defile or lose them is made manifest, and they may be blotted out of the book of life (Rev 3:4-5, 16:15).

Those who suppose that man’s free will infringes upon God’s sovereignty and therefore hardly exists are really saying that God’s sovereignty is too small to handle it. But God Himself calls us to the obedience of faith. It is by such faith on our part that we overcome the world to join Christ in His victory (1 John 5:4); and there are no good promises given to those who don’t overcome. This is why Jesus warned in response to those who did not actually keep their garments of righteousness, but presumed upon His grace, “Many are called, but few are chosen;”  because many begin in earnest and indeed have His seed in them but through the schemes of the Devil, the fear of man, and the cares of this life they quickly become devoured, withered, and choked (Matt 13).

The call of God through Christ Jesus is unto ALL men that they might become His sons from everlasting, even as from before the foundation of the earth; for from thence has He been, and that as a Lamb slain for them all. But His election will be according to the use of the faith which He gave to them. The man who buried his talent was cast out, and his reward given to another. A measure of faith is bestowed upon everyone believing so that they may grow from children into sons by His power working though that currency’s continual use.

All things which abide in Him are ever sustained and have ever been sustained by the working of His power; and these are vessels of mercy for His glory. But those which do not abide in Him, nor remain in Him (having once been there), become as though they had never been written in the book (blotted out); and these are among the vessels of wrath for His glory. All things in time are indeed seen from eternity, yet He who is eternal still longs for all things in time to be joined to His everlasting bliss, and so He has made a way for all. Therefore He can and will judge every man according to their deeds, because “everything that is not of faith is sin.” (Rom 14:23)

One might say that the path of the Good Shepherd is called “The Way: Election,” and its faithful travelers, those heeding the call, “The Chosen.”

For our salvation is yet to be fully revealed, and our adoption to sonship yet to be made fully manifest.
God places our full and ultimate adoption as His sons at the time of the redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:16-23).
Until then, we are still becoming the sons of God (John 1:12).
Until then, we are still becoming the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor 5:21).
And this is not by beholding ourselves, but by beholding HE who dwells in us; because the seeing of Him and the entering of His kingdom comes by the work of the Holy Spirit (John 3). For in knowing the truth we are made free, because that Spirit IS the truth, who also bears witness that we are God’s children (1 John 5:6, Romans 8:16).

And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord in a mirror, are being changed into that same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
(1 John 2:24)

Therefore, let us ever be found as vessels of mercy through obedient faith, having great hope in that which we do not yet fully see, yet also having our eyes opened to Him; keeping ourselves in the purifying love of God, in whose piercing Light we must walk (for we know that in Him is no darkness).
Let us, as it is written, work out our salvation with fear and trembling, allowing for the inner working of the Spirit of God, that we might will and do according to His good pleasure.

Let us walk from faith to faith, through which is known His grace upon grace! For there is no good promise made to those not overcoming the world, and there is no overcoming the world in He who already overcame it without the living exercise of faith by the quickening of the same Spirit who brought us forth, through which faith (and that abiding) our destiny is married to Christ’s victory.

For everything having been generated of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory overcoming the world: OUR faith.
(1 John 5:4)

Grace calls, faith overcomes, God elects.
Jesus makes possible, the Spirit gives power, for the Father has ordained it.
The way ordained is opened up before us – let us enter and abide therein.

– Brendan

A Cry in the Night

O Lord, is Your jealously not yet enough provoked, is Your wrath not yet sufficiently kindled? Haven’t Your eyes beheld enough idolatry, and Your ears had their fill of the tidings of evil? Has the stench of the deeds of this great whore not yet reached to the heights of heaven? Or has she not yet had her fill of the delusion which You bring upon her children?

Surely You are He who cannot abide iniquity! Surely righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne! Surely Your patience waits for those who fear You, and the edge of Your sword for those who do not turn from their own ways!

For the land is full of harlotry, and the people bear Your Holy Name in vain.
Their hearts are filled with adultery and fornication, their souls with bitterness against Your goodness, their mouths with cursing against that which is holy. They gather to worship that which their own hands have made, to ascribe greatness to their own name. They fly as a banner the claim of righteousness; but by the fruit of their deeds display the boasting of wickedness. As it was spoken of old, they assemble together to declare, “We are delivered!” – only to continue in their abominations!

Will You tolerate any more this blaspheming of Your Holy Name? Will the congregation of the wicked remain at ease while the remnant of the faithful has no justice even in the sight of the righteous? Will You not lift the skirts of the filthy and expose the darkness of her ways as you have done in times past?

O Lord, if but one would be caused to truly fear You, it would be mercy!
Save Your people! Open our eyes! Sanctify our ears! Rebuke, chasten, purge, deliver!
Cry aloud, spare us no excuse, show to Your people their transgressions, and to those of Your house their sins; that they may be blessed and not accursed, and Your Name not be blasphemed among the heathen for the cause of hypocrisy!

The Promise of Holy Travail

“To all there is an appointed time,
even a time for every purpose under the heavens…”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Just as there are seasons and appointed times for all things under heaven, so also in the body of Christ on earth there must be times and seasons. Some are the consequences of sin and the chastisement for idolatry, which we bring upon ourselves; others are the fiery trials of the world, through which we must pass from faith to faith. For the belligerent, there is the prolonged wilderness of unbelief from which only the children escape; for the faithful, there is the valley of the shadow of death, with the promised land awaiting those who pass through it by obeying the Lord their Shepherd.

“Who is this that comes up from the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved?
I awakened you under the apple tree; there your mother travailed with you;
there she travailed; she bore you.”
(Song of Solomon 8:4)

The delight and joy of new life is born through travail; the knowing of God is the reward of surrender; His wisdom is obtained in admitting to know nothing; the comfort of the Lord is the discovery of the contrite; the friendship of the Lord is the secret of the obedient; the road to pure fellowship is paved with rejection; the love of the Father is found in the hatred of the self-life; and liberty is the victory of His lowliest servants.

These are the marks of the friends of Jesus; those who humble themselves in the fear of the Lord unto the working of His mighty hand, which lifts them up to dwell in the wonder of His glory, “to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.” (Ps 27:4-5)
The wicked for whom there is no peace are those which fall short of such a walk and set their course for the winds of earthly fortune and ease.

For the froward is an abomination to the Lord,
but His secret is with the righteous.
(Proverbs 3:32)

In this day, when that which claims to be of God is clearly profane in the sight of the righteous, and that which is holy and without mixture is scarcely to be found; there still can be no manifestation of the manifold wisdom of God through His body unless all the members of His schismed assembly will accept the healing He offers them – along with its cost to their own carnal desires and agendas.
This is not a day to expect that any of us will partake a functioning body without great repentance and travail on our own part; humility, meekness, surrender to God’s will, and an allowance for the shining of His Light to expose every wicked and unclean thing within ourselves. The old must pass away, the new must be allowed to break forth.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
(John 12:24-26)

It is time for the household of the Lord to come before the Lord in HIS house; it is time for the double-minded to forsake what lays behind them, hoping towards the promised glory, as they by God’s power walk from faith to faith ever more abounding. The body is the expression of Christ Jesus through its members; therefore the state of each of its members affects the whole body, knowingly or unknowingly. The longing for a “glory” which we ourselves can comprehend must be cast out, and it must be replaced with the jealous longing of God Himself in our hearts for that which only HE can comprehend; which He reveals by the Spirit in His word – the piercing, consuming sword of the Spirit of His mouth.

That which has passed through water and overflows up unto Life everlasting must also become a source for rivers of Living Water, flowing outward to testify of that Life. O, for a holy fire to fall, for a purge of the stubble to come quickly! But who will seek every good gift which the Spirit of Life has in store for the equipping of the saints? Who will settle for nothing less than to know the Lord as He desires to be made known? And who now knows the peace which comes from walking humbly in the fear of the Lord?

Let all seek the Lord while He may be found! For He who suffered at our hands to redeem us SHALL see the fruit of the travail of His soul, and He SHALL be fully satisfied (Isa 53:11). So let us make sure that we do not fall short of being found as those fruits of His travail; His Spirit groaning within us also, that the manifold wisdom of God may be revealed through His people.

– Brendan

Mercy Even In This Hour

Who will cry for the mercy of the Most High, and to whom will He send His servants? For those who are satisfied with dung have no desire for what is wholesome; they have hardened their faces against the Lord’s Anointed, even against He who desires to heal their festering wound.

Is there even one named among the people who walks uprightly? Is there even one found in the public square who has not sought Godliness as a means of ungodly gain? But they all have turned aside their ears to those who publish their own heart’s desire, to those who prophesy falsely of a peace which they shall not possess in their iniquity. Their eyes are lustful to behold the vanity of idols who give them blasphemous visions. The Lord would indeed give a living word to the one hearing, and He would indeed give a vision of His glory to the one seeing; if only they would follow the voice of the Faithful and True Shepherd, and desire to behold the glory of HIS form. But the people have sworn by shepherds of their own making, by the names of men in whom is reserved no power to deliver their souls from evil.

They ask, “How have we so sworn by them?”

O, people full of idolatry! You have sworn by them with your every deed! Your feet have followed their every step, your hands have reproduced their every work, and your mouth has echoed their every word which was laden with hypocrisy. Has not your heart gone after them, even as a bride who disgraces her own body with another lover? The promise of this world is perishing; yet you are trading your reward for the kisses of Delilah, even forsaking the everlasting covenant for an earthly kingdom which shall be swallowed up by the kingdom of the Lord of Hosts. The pillars of the temple of her gods will surely fall; but before the end, will you become the Lord’s vessel for an honorable use, or remain in disgrace for dishonor? For His kingdom is as a great stone which will cover all the earth; “And whoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but upon whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
The broken will inherit the kingdom, but the insolent will be cut off.

As for you, you who have in vain called yourselves by the Name of the Lord; whose desired pearl is this present world and all the things therein: you have truly set your hope upon the shifting sands of the serpent’s lair. You have rendered unto Caesar that which is God’s, and unto God that which is Caesar’s. The tares have been sown, yet none take it to heart. The wicked dwell among the righteous, yet hardly one seeks true wisdom. For who can discern the matter except one who walks by the Spirit? But mere men have become your guides, and you have not discerned the bitter fruit of their ways which followed after them, denying that the Lord should even cleanse His own house! Therefore He pours out abominable filth upon you, having become seared in conscience beyond the measure of other men. And while you are not found blushing for all of your whoredoms, now those whom you call sinners – whom your own abominations have justified – these ones marvel at your desolate soul. Yet for every warning of the righteous, and for every light that has been shone in your midst, still you would not turn back to walk humbly in righteousness and seek justice for the oppressed within your own reach; for there is no fear of God before your eyes.

Do you rail against the sinner on the highway, or accuse the one under bondage in the byway? Yet your own hands have worked this far greater evil, causing you to suffer an even greater bondage since you have despised those who go about in your very midst groaning for mercy without words. It is enough that the reprobate despises the Lord for the holiness of His presence; but now the Lord hides Himself when you gather, and the name of Christ is mocked because of your bankrupt spirit. For what few works you have offered are not from the loving obedience of faith in a pure conscience before God; but rather from the fearing of man. And yet you still proclaim that your soul prospers and magnifies the Lord? This comes not from above; but from below. For the proud and the self-exalting will be brought low, but those who humble themselves with He who emptied Himself will be lifted up in Him.

Therefore let the one holding on to this present world weep and howl for the hardships coming quickly upon them! For there is a day appointed to test every man’s work; and shall any fruit of your bloody hands be proven through fire on the Day of the Lord? Your once-thirsty souls have gladly settled for the draw of broken cisterns, and your belly is bewitched with the flow of poisoned wells! Your proud willingness to drink from such fountains leaves you with nothing but woes upon woes from the council of heaven!

The hearing ear heeds the cry of the watchmen, and the seeing eye lays every matter to heart; but the mirth of the deaf and the blindness of the deceived makes them stumble arrogantly even in the noonday of the word of the Lord. The one will glory at His coming; but the other will be consumed in wrath.

“Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against HIM.”

With the anguish of the days of Noah and the jealous fury of the coming judgement, the Almighty God says of the stubborn, “They have become altogether unprofitable.”
And though He has declared this word with the weeping of Gethsemane and in the suffering of Christ Jesus at our own bloody hands; yet who will turn and repent? Who has accepted the verdict for their ungodliness from the Judge of all the earth, that He might have compassion for the contrite in spirit, and mercy upon the humbled soul? For the He has laid upon Jesus the iniquity of us all; but whoever does not believe in Him is condemned already. For who truly believes in Him, except the one who abides? And who abides in Him, except those bearing their own cross, having been regenerated by the Spirit of holiness which works in them to will and to do according to His good pleasure?

O, that the ear of the Lord would be inclined to the sweet sound of repentance! O, that the proud would find weariness and heed the call of His Rest! For there is mercy even in this late hour! Truly He will heal the deaf and restore sight to the blind, if only they desire to hear and see HIM! So let the one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness draw near; for a feast of His life is set before all who would partake of it! His compassions are new every morning, and His faithfulness is very great; so let every man test and examine his ways, and let each return to the Lord.

“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so, AMEN.”

A Lamentation In Hope

February 10, 2015

The Lord utters His voice before His army, for His camp is exceedingly great; He who executes His word is powerful. For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome: who can endure it?
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents over disaster.
Who knows whether He will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?
Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, WEEP and say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?'”
THEN the Lord became jealous for His land and had pity on His people.

(Joel 2:11-18)

Where are your people, O Lord?
Where is the sound of their weeping vanished to?
Who shall minister unto the Lord; who shall enter the holy place?
The proud have received their reward; but the glory of God is revealed in the humble: the light of His good countenance is seen upon those that still fear Him.

“Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
(James 4:5-10)

Unto what end does this people puff themselves up by the fruitless works of man, forsaking faithfulness to God?
How long will they walk in the path of their own counsel, which only hastens its travelers to be destroyed with the wicked?
Will this people not be turned back to the paths of righteousness?

Their reckoning has not tarried, it is even upon them, yet they do not take notice, no, they cannot see what the Lord is working in their very midst. For those who refuse to hear the voice of the Lord will not forsake their stubbornness: they deceive themselves, insisting that they have not fallen away.

The severity of His warning is denied among this people; they trample upon His messengers.
But a remnant of the faithful still remains, and the Lord will sustain His obedient ones in the midst of adversity.

How can any man truly obey the Most High if he neither discerns His Word nor hears His voice? The working of His Spirit has been overruled by the deeds of the backslidden: they are proud to quench Him, supposing that they have attained greater knowledge than He who created all things.
They say among themselves, “Surely His council is clouded, and He is now obliged to bless our own paths.”

Unto such men the Spirit of Life is a stench; and now provoked, He removes all former wisdom from their midst, that they may sleep soundly in the accursed bed which they have made for themselves.
The chambers of their minds echo with vain plots of selfish ambition, and the word of the Lord finds no entrance into their souls. His Spirit is as the searching dove which finds no solid ground upon which to set foot.

Therefore another spirit gives them unction, and they speak forth boastful things from the mouth of the adversary, still presuming themselves to serve the Most High.

And they do not repent of their wickedness, for they do not fear Him; His ways have become foolishness to them.
The thief came to steal the word from their hearts; and now he has obtained the service of their ignorance and evil deeds, so that their children also are left in the wake of their desolation, ready to be swallowed up by the widening mouth of hell.
See how they waned and became utterly dry, as the river bed without a flowing spring! For the water of life found no course through them on account of the heaping up of their iniquities. When when the Lord called them to be seperated unto Him, their slumber only deepened.

Their mouths pour forth the bitterness of their souls, they esteem only themselves and mock the judgements of God.

The stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord…
“…Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among those that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down,” says the Lord.
(Jeremiah 8:7, 12)

They declare themselves to be held in the Lord’s highest favor; but truly they are accursed, not knowing that their eyes have been darkened and their ears stopped from receiving the truth.

They will see Abel’s offering being accepted by God and their own rejected, yet deny that it is God who so judges them; and so they will seek to destroy the righteous, even in the name of the Righteous One.
They will make the drunkenness of the great whore their own drunkenness, and her sorcery and her fornication their delight. Into her madness they will descend, and by her madness they will kill the righteous.

But the blood of the saints, who by the precious blood of Christ and the Spirit of adoption were made one with Him, will be spilled unto their own sanctification in Him; and the wrath of the jealousy of the Lord will overtake those who slaughter His people, upon whose heads is truly their own blood condemning them.

Let not the faithful be taken in fear or astonishment, for these things must come to pass just as He has told us.

“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
(Daniel 12:10)

You, O Lord, are merciful and have taught your remnant to stand upon the Rock, that they be not shaken. Deliver your children from the hand of the adversary!
May there be risen up a worthy host, clothed in the garments of righteousness.

Through the refining fires of tribulation we shall obtain victory eternal in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give to him a white stone, with a new name written on it which no one knows except the one who receives it.”
(Revelation 2:17)