Thursday, September 10, 2015, 5:30 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put the song in mind “Myopic.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 17 (selected vv. NASB).
Judgment to Fall (includes summary of vv. 1-6)
God declared judgment against the city of Damascus, which was the capital city of Syria, which was then allied with the northern kingdom of Israel (Ephraim) against the southern kingdom (Judah). At that time Israel was divided into northern and southern kingdoms. Damascus was to be removed from being a city, their sovereignty dissipated. The city was to become a fallen ruin. And, Ephraim, which was allied with Damascus, was also to suffer a similar fate. For both Syria and Israel, their wealth would be removed, and many of their people exiled. Yet, it appears that a remnant of both people and fields would be left in Ephraim, and that not all would be destroyed by the invading army. They would be humbled, but not obliterated.
Many times the Lord Jesus has used this story to speak to me about my country and the church here in the USA. The church in America is largely allied with the US government, by choice, via the 501c3 not-for-profit corporation status, for tax purposes. This union is an unholy union and is against the will of God and the teachings of scripture. We are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Via this union, the US government has supplanted Christ as the true head of his church, though in practice only, for Jesus Christ is completely sovereign and is in absolute control over all powers and authorities. No ruler on this earth has power over God. Any power given to any human authority is only theirs as God permits, and only for a time, and for God’s express purposes. Christ is the head!
Via this union with the government, the government is able to dictate to the church what they can do or not do; say or not say, and thus it limits the church’s ability to hear the voice of the Spirit of God and to walk in obedience and in surrender to the Lord. The church has also invited the world into the church, rather than the church being a place for the body of Christ to be strengthened and encouraged in their faith so that they can go out into the world with the gospel of our salvation. And, thus the church of today in America has largely conformed to the ways of the world in order to attract the world to its meetings, and thus it has also diluted the gospel to make it more attractive and acceptable to the world.
So, in essence, the church, for the most part, here in America, is like Ephraim, which united with Syria against Judah, the southern kingdom. The church, via this union with the US government, is either willfully, or by default, party to opposing Jesus Christ, his gospel and his messengers. One way in which this is taking place is via the church’s promotion of government worship via the pledge of allegiance (faithfulness, loyalty) to the US government, the singing of patriotic songs, and via the lifting up of our soldiers and the honoring of them as heroes, not even knowing what our government and military are really doing in these other nations, and how we are the terrorists, and how we are killing Christians and innocents, and how we are conquering peoples and nations, and how we are the harlot who rides the beast, which is busy deceiving people, even the people of God.
The church largely opposes Jesus Christ, his gospel and his messengers, too, by turning the church into a marketplace, by marketing it like any other human-based business, by following the business plans of human beings and humanistic teaching over and above scripture, and by diluting the gospel and opposing those followers of Christ who are holding to the truths of scripture, who preach the true gospel of salvation, and who are calling the church to repentance. We are the outcasts. We are being kicked to the curb. Yet, God will judge this nation and its government and its adulterous and idolatrous church.
For Our Nation / An Original Work / September 11, 2012
Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.
Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.
The Church Revived (vv. 7-8)
In that day man will have regard for his Maker
And his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel.
He will not have regard for the altars, the work of his hands,
Nor will he look to that which his fingers have made,
Even the Asherim and incense stands.
All throughout Biblical history, God’s main purpose in judging his people has been to get them to return to him as their only God, and for them to forsake their idols. And, I believe that is still his purpose in judging his idolatrous and adulterous church in these last days before Jesus Christ returns. The letters to the seven churches in the beginning of the book of Revelation, before the judgments begin to fall, serve as warnings to the church of today which has forsaken her Lord, forgotten she has been cleansed of sin, and has gone after to follow the idols of humankind, instead. She is being warned about impending judgment, is being confronted with her sins of spiritual adultery, and is being called upon to repent of her sins and to return to following her Lord in faithful obedience, and in surrender to his will.
Yet, so much of the church here in America is not listening to these warnings or these calls to repentance. They are convinced that nothing bad is going to happen to them, and that they will be raptured before things get really bad. They are also being told that God is pleased with them no matter what they do, and that he even smiles upon them and is delighted in them when they are steeped in sinful acts. They are being lied to and told that God does not require of them that they turn from their sins or that they follow him in obedience. They also are being told they can sin as much as they want and still have their ticket into heaven. All these lies make a mockery of what Jesus Christ went through in dying on the cross so we could die with him to sin and be raised with him to live to righteousness.
Yet, I believe God intends to revive his church through judgment, and that he plans to renew and to restore at least a remnant of his people in these last days, and that through the revived church the gospel will go forth to the ends of the earth and that many will come to faith in Jesus Christ before our Lord returns and takes us to be with him forever. Then the true church, the saints of God, will honor God as their only Lord, and they will forsake their idols, which will have brought them to ruin and disaster, for they will be of no use to them. They will have now come to their senses and will realize the error of their ways, and their desire will now be for the Lord, to please him in all that they do, are and say. The bride will have made herself ready to meet her husband, Jesus Christ, when he returns.
Yet, For Now (vv. 9-11)
In that day their strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest,
Or like branches which they abandoned before the sons of Israel;
And the land will be a desolation.
For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
And have not remembered the rock of your refuge.
Therefore you plant delightful plants
And set them with vine slips of a strange god.
In the day that you plant it you carefully fence it in,
And in the morning you bring your seed to blossom;
But the harvest will be a heap
In a day of sickliness and incurable pain.
The reason this judgment will come is multi-faceted, yet the bottom line is that God’s people, the church, have largely forgotten their God. It isn’t that they have forgotten him altogether, but that they are largely ignoring him, not listening to his counsel, are forsaking his precepts, and have forgotten that being cleansed of sin is so that we might walk in his righteousness, and no longer in the flesh. They have listened to lies. Many are following the path of least resistance, i.e. what is most comfortable. For the most part, they are not testing what they hear and see in prayer, and in seeking God’s face, and against the Word of God to see if it is true, so many are deceived and are being led astray. They have become prey to the enemy of their souls, and are thus headed to disaster and ruin.
Because so many within the church here in America have been led astray, and have abandoned their Lord by following after the ways of humans instead of following God’s ways, that has paved the way for even more deception. And, the deceiver is hard at work in trying to convince the people of God to compromise even more with the world, and to abandon the strongholds (foundations) of the Christian faith in order to embrace an all-inclusive gospel message that makes everyone on an equal plane, with no one getting in anyone else’s face and telling them that to be saved, and to have eternal life with God, we must believe in Jesus Christ as Savior of our lives, we must submit to his Lordship, we must be crucified with him in death to sin, and we must be resurrected (reborn) with him to new life in Christ, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24).
So, God is calling out to his church today and he is confronting them with their sins of idolatry and spiritual adultery, he is warning of impending judgment, and he is calling them to forsake their idols and to return to their Lord, and to make him truly Lord of their lives.
Myopic / An Original Work / August 19, 2013
Based off 2 Peter 1:3-11
Jesus has given ev’rything
Needed for life and godliness.
His great and precious promises
Free us from our sin and distress.
Add to your faith His goodness;
Knowledge; patience; godliness;
Brotherly love and mutu’l affection;
Kindness and unselfishness.
If you possess these qualities,
Growing in your maturity,
They will keep you from vanity.
You will bear fruit effectually.
Nonetheless, if you lack them;
Forget you’ve been cleansed from sin,
Nearsighted are you; you can’t see Jesus.
You have closed your heart to Him.
Therefore, beloved, confirm, then,
Your calling and your election.
Do this by showing diligence:
Obey your Lord; be repentant.
Practice all these qualities
God provided on a tree.
He died for our sins so we’d be given
Life with Him eternally.