Friday, March 31, 2017, 8:36 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 54 (Select vv. ESV, in reverse order).
A Massive Departure (vv. 9-11a)
“This is like the days of Noah to me:
as I swore that the waters of Noah
should no more go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,
and will not rebuke you.
For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
“O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted…”
The Lord Jesus is giving me a picture today of “like the days of Noah” in our day and time, and in particular here in America, though throughout the world, as well. What we are presently seeing in the world and in America, and in the church in America, and perhaps in other places in the world, too, is a massive departure (retreat) from what is moral, righteous and just. Christianity is under attack on all fronts, as well as is what is good, wholesome and virtuous. America has become, for all practical purposes, a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. What is evil is being called good, while what is good is being called evil – “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20.
The church, particularly here in America, has gone the way of the world so much that it is barely distinguishable between the world and the church anymore. We, as Christ’s followers, are supposed to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and we are supposed to be proclaiming the excellencies of Jesus Christ who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. Instead, the Light is being discarded and neglected, and the church is inviting the world and worldliness into their gatherings. They are entertaining the world using worldly means and methods in order to gain the world for “the church,” i.e. for businesses of men, i.e. corporations under the federal government of the USA, which is their head. Yet, this action has invited not only the government into the church, but also the beast.
The picture the Lord is giving me here of the modern-day church is that of his people playing games, watching TV, and having a party while ignoring the dangers all around them and the voice of the Lord warning them of those dangers, and calling them to repentance. So many are not paying attention to the Lord and to his messages to the church. They are not listening to him cautioning them against unholy alliances and calling them to come out of “Babylon” so that they do not share in her sins and thus in her punishment. He is asking the church what business the government has in his church, but they are not listening. And, so many are not really paying attention to what our government is doing, not only in our nation, and within the church, but what they are doing inside all the other nations in the world.
Since a large majority of today’s church here in America has gone the way of the world, and thus they have invited the world into the church, though not by way of the cross, they have also diluted the gospel message to make it more acceptable and appealing to the world. Not many anymore talk about sin or judgment, repentance or obedience, or death to sin and living to righteousness. Instead they are teaching a false hope and a false grace. They are telling people that they can just “believe” in Jesus, and have heaven guaranteed them, but that God requires nothing of them at all – no submission, no surrender, no repentance, and no obedience. Yet, they neglect to tell them that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that Jesus died to deliver us out of slavery to sin so that we might become bond-slaves of righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:1-23).
So Much Fakery
We live in a time when lies and deception abound. The “fake news” people have now coined the phrase “fake news” to try to rat out those who are exposing them as false and who are telling people the truth about what is going on in the world and within the church, too. They are trying to convince the people of the world that they are the “real news” by contrasting what they do with those who are showing them for what they truly are. Yet, we cannot believe or trust most of what we see or hear on TV, for anything can be faked, and much of it is. This calls for much godly discernment.
The government of the USA pretends to be by the people and for the people, but that is not true. They answer to a group of elite (a shadow government) who are the ones truly ruling the world, i.e. they bow to (ride) the beast, though this beast is not necessarily in its completed form. Our government, along with their allies, is party to this beast, and is going throughout the world murdering innocents, killing Christians, overtaking governments, confiscating property not their own, and bringing the world underneath a one world order and a one world religion, which unifies all the people of the world regardless of nationality, race, sexual orientation, or religion. They are taking, not only the world by storm, but the USA, too.
So, what is evil has been promoted as what is good so that what is good should be exposed as what is evil, although it is not evil. In other words, those who are party to this rule of the beast and this one-world order, and this one-world religion, have slowly and judiciously, as well as stealthily and calculatingly been plotting, not only the overthrow of sovereign nations, but also the overthrow of Christianity and the gospel of our salvation. So, they have to prove that the gospel, as Jesus and his NT apostles taught it, is archaic and thus needs to be discarded. Not only is it archaic, in their estimation, but they believe it is hateful, bigoted, unsympathetic, intolerant and the like, because it calls sin what it is, and it calls for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as the ONLY way to God and to heaven.
So, they turn the tables on those who are following Jesus Christ by trying to prove that they (Jesus’ followers) are the “bad guys” and that they (those who follow the beast) are the “good guys.” So, in order to do this, they had to elevate evil to the level of “good” so that by contrast what is good can be considered what is evil, so it is all backwards, and that is intentional. Satan is our enemy, and he is out to destroy us, but his doom is sure, for Jesus already won that battle on the cross. Satan and his cohorts have no power over us but what God allows, and he allows for a time, and for his purposes, and but what God will get the glory from it and good will come out of it.
For a Brief Moment (vv. 4-8)
“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord, your Redeemer.
God will allow this beast (New World Order) to rule the world for a short period of time. I am not sure when exactly this rule begins or precisely how long it will last, i.e. if it is a literal 7 or 3.5 years or not. Yet, what I do know is that this beast has been around for some time, though maybe not in its completed form, and I do know that it has been conquering nations and peoples and Christians (and Christianity) for some time now, and I know that the US government has served as its right-hand man in doling out punishment on the non-cooperative, and in the forcing of “unity” with this beast (New World Order) on the nations of the world, and in forcing or in convincing (persuading) the people of this world to unite with a one-world religion under the guise that it represents true love and peace.
Yet, God has not allowed this because he has deserted (abandoned) his people, at least not permanently, nor because he has removed his steadfast love from us, for he has not. In fact, God has allowed this because he loves his people, and on account of the fact that the church has bought into many of Satan’s lies, and how they have lost their way, and so he wants his children to return to him.
The Bible teaches us that God disciplines, scourges and reproves those he loves that we may share in his holiness (Heb. 12:1-11). The Lord is grieved over his wayward people, and so he is disciplining them in order to get them to return to him as their ONLY Lord, and to forsake their idols. His plan is to revive his church, to rebuild her, and to restore her to a right relationship (fellowship) with him. Then, she will forget her wanderings, and she will follow after the Lord, and he will increase the harvest of her righteousness (See: vv. 1-3).
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus / Helen H. Lemmel
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.