Studies

Amos Part 23 – A Famine of Hearing the Words of the Lord

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A Famine of Hearing the Words of the Lord

Key Verses:  Amos 8:8 – 8:12

We are still discussing the vision of the fruit basket that was the focus of last week’s study.

Amo 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them anymore.

After the study, there was a great discussion and email thread that demonstrated the power and wisdom of having a multitude of counselor’s weigh in on a matter (Pro 11:14, 1Th 5:11).  It was confirmed that God’s Elect, being a type of firstfruits are, a second Spring harvest (Pentecost) that follows the Barley harvest earlier in the Spring.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Every man being saved is “yet by fire” (1Co 3:15) and that was the real meaning of summer as the product of our walk is being judged and measured against the Word (plumbline).  Larry said it best: “The concept of “summer” is connected to those (“summer fruit”) in the first resurrection, is a spiritual word for those who go through fiery (summer = heat) judgement first.”  Every nation, tribe and tongue within us that does not believe and trust in the Lord is having the wrath of God abiding on it.  This is the fire we endure now so we will not be condemned with the rest of mankind later in the lake of fire (1Co 11:31-32).

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Attaining the reward of eternal life and being in the first resurrection only comes by bearing the heat of the summer seasons working in the Lord’s vineyard (Mat 20:12).  Our day of the Lord, is our day of judgment and the time is at hand when our works, the fruits of our walk with God are being judged.  Our faith is being tried in this fire (judgment) and whatever is not of faith is being burned up.

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

We continue with our new verses for today and see the result of the Lord forsaking Israel for a season in bringing a famine of hearing the commands of Christ unto the land.

Amo 8:8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. 

Amo 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: 

Amo 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. 

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 

Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. 

Our season of famine is all ordained of the Lord to set us up for Him to come the second time to us without sin.

Joh 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

The “for this” statement in our first verse links all these consequences described in these verses to the prior transgression of buying and selling from last week’s study.

Amo 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

Amo 8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency (arrogance/pride/pomp) of Jacob, surely, I will never forget any of their works.

Our evil works of robbing the poor and shutting up the kingdom of God to the needy are converted into good works by the process of judgment.  The Lord uses evil within us and without us to accomplish good and save every man from his sins.  This is the only way we progress from hearers of the word to doers of the word.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We see in these verses of Amos, that is the Lord’s purpose to turn us over to the enemy and to devour our flesh and destroy all pride and arrogance.

1Co 5:5 To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Our living out these words and events in our appointed times is, was and will be, is not pleasant but we should remember as we are asked to endure this chastening and scourging from our loving Father that is actually the blessing because it is what is brings forth Christ in us.  This is the message of the Good News.

Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

The Lord turns the hearts of His people (brings repentance) by using evil to correct and humble us (Jer 2:19).  It is blasphemy to those in orthodoxy for us to speak truth that the Lord is working all things, even the evil, even our very sins in order (Isa 63:17, Isa 45:7, Joh 15:5) to bring about salvation.  To lose confidence in our flesh and to believe only in the Son and the righteousness that is found in Him [grace through faith Eph 2:8]; we have to learn the futility of saving ourselves and know what we are in the flesh.

Mat 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

To know this in Spirit and in truth, our falling away must come first (2Th 2:3).  This must happen before the great and terrible day of the Lord arrives that is saving us and destroying the man of sin little by little.  As the prodigal and immature son who has left His father’s house, we will be brought back to our first love through enduring a spiritual famine.

Luk 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my fathers have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Luk 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

Our words of Amos focus around this famine in our land.  There is certainly an outward famine coming more and more in this darkening world waxing worse and worse by the day.  Yet these words are first and foremost words that we, God’s Elect, live out now on whom the end of the ages is coming, and they apply inwardly to the kingdom of God (Luk 17:21).  Thus, begins our falling away from our first love as the Lord raises up the river of Egypt to drown us in the lusts of our flesh.

Amo 8:8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. 

The Lord is turning us over to the idols of our heart and manifesting the man of sin within us.  Our taking in marriage with the Philistines (the lusts of the flesh) is what brings the occasion (Jdg 14:14) for the Lord to bring the fire of scourging and chastening grace (Heb 12:6).  The harlot that is riding our beast and leading us into spiritual adultery and fornication with false gods of the world and engaging in trade/merchandising of the Lord’s treasures (gold, silver, precious stones) for gain must be judged.

Rev 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

We come out of Spiritual Babylon as the seven plagues come that bring death, mourning and famine to the land.

Rev 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

We see the phrase “the flood of Egypt” twice in Scripture and both in Amos.   The word translated “flood” is better denoted as a “river” or similar wording.

H2975, ye’ôr   –  Total KJV Occurrences: 65

river, 35

rivers or river’s, 18

flood, 6

brooks, 5

Here is how the ESV as most of the translations show it using the context of a river.

Amo 8:8 ESV Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?”

The rising up of the river of Egypt and being drowned by the waters is an example of the negative use of waters and rivers and pertains to our being overcome by our beast (Ecc 3:18).

Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

A proper foundation is not made for the house of God until the first foundation fails and a new foundation is constructed in the fire of our judgment to withstand the power of the flesh.

Luk 6:49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

It is only by our trials, the testing of our faith in which we fall down seven times (Pro 24:16) that the new foundation of tried stone is laid within us. Christ is being formed!

Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

Gal 4:20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

Our baptism with water is followed by our baptism by fire that is testing all things and burning up the works of the flesh (Mat 3:11).

1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Reaping a just recompense for our deeds is teaching us righteousness and the lessons of reaping what we sow.

Isa 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.

Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

Egypt’s river rising up and covering the earth is the same as the swelling up of our bellies.  We either serve God or not.  We cannot serve two masters; a jealous God will not let us serve Him and the mammon of this world.

Php 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Php 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

The coming of spiritual famine follows this overrunning by the river of Egypt.

Amo 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: 

This verse is similar to the more well-known passages from Joel 2:30-31 that were also referenced in Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost.

Act 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Spiritual nourishment or food is the light that is the Christ, so a famine is the same as a period of darkness where we cannot see the light.  Living by every word requires us to experience this darkening of the land.

Jer 4:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

When the Lord sends strong delusion, and deceives us we do not know we are in this darkened state.  This falling away is not something we are conscious of as we experience it, we only see it looking behind ourselves.

Mat 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 

Only the Lord can turn noon day into midnight.  That is just how strong, our strong delusion is before we learn to obey the truth by going through the fire of judgment.

Without the Light of this world (Jesus Christ and His Christ) to guide us, the hearing of the Word, our deeds quickly turn to darkness and we will be overcome which gives the Lord an occasion to bring an end to our flesh.  The revelation of Jesus Christ comes to us inwardly first and will come outwardly to the world suddenly and in a time of great darkness (midnight).   The first-born man of sin shall not inherit the kingdom and must die for the new man to come forth and increase.

1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Exo 11:4 And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:

Exo 11:5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

It is the children of the kingdom of God who must go into darkness and be judged before we can come to the Light.

Mat 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The “excellency” of Jacob for which the Lord will not forget our works (Amo 8:7) is our arrogance and pride that is being destroyed.

Isa 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Going into spiritual darkness and enduring a famine of the hearing of the words of Christ and His Christ, bring us to our wits end until we cry unto the Lord for deliverance from bondage to the flesh and the Assyrian armies within us that are used as the sword of the Lord (Psa 17:13).

Amo 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. 

The coming of the Lord is likened to the times of Noah and Lot (Mat 24:38, Luk 17:28) that was defined by eating, drinking, buying, selling and giving in marriage.  These speak to spiritual activity and specifically how we conduct ourselves in the house of God having His Truths.   Feasting speaks of eating and drinking and specifically doing it in an unworthy manner.

1Co 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

The feasting of our man of sin, who is sitting on God’s throne hearing but not doing the Word is coming to an end in this great and bitter (to the flesh) day of the Lord.  We are being humbled and shown we have no covering (the mind of Christ) and are in fact spiritually bald.

1Co 11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

The Book of Lamentations comes to mind as we look at the Lord destroying our life in the flesh and causing us to lose everything.  Seeing the shame of our nakedness and the wretchedness of our self-righteousness compared to the Words of Christ which are Spirit and Life.

Lam 2:5 The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.

The Lord has caused us to commit all these abominations.  He has caused us to err from His ways (Isa 63:17).  This is the way the Lord has devised to save all mankind (2Sa 14:14).

Lam 2:17  The LORD hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.

The occasion has been set and the Lord is now coming with fire to purify our heavens as we progress.  Still, even knowing these truths, it takes a process for us to really believe that the Lord sent the enemy into the gates of Jerusalem.  But what sayeth the Scriptures?

Lam 4:11 The LORD hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.

Lam 4:12 The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem. 

When we see ourselves as the ones who have pierced and crucified our Lord (Rev 1:7), then we mourn and wail for our sins.  This is very necessary for us to give up the flesh and submit to the way of the Lord.  Coming to see ourselves as the chief of sinners and those who crucified our Lord within and in others.

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 

Jesus Christ, the Word is the Bread of life.  His Bread is actually His Body, which is the meat we must eat to possess age abiding life.  John, chapter 6, has some pivotal verses on the Word being life and the only way to be satisfied.

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

Without hearing His words, we are dead in our trespasses and sins.  But as we have seen, this too is the work of the Lord and part of ALL THINGS being worked for His counsel.  Without the words of life to guide us we are lost.  But fear not, as we have seen it is the Lord’s purpose to turn the hearts of the children back to the Father by going through their Prodigal Son experience.  No sheep elected from the foundation of the world is being lost.

Luk 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Luk 15:5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

Luk 15:6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

All men will be found and brought to repentance for this is the will of God.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

This period of darkness and falling away are being used for good as it will bring us to our wits end.

Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. 

Our deliverance from the world and being separated requires going through hard times.  The times of plenty after we come into the truth and enjoy a season of peace are followed by the seasons of suffering which are the many tribulations we endure to enter into the kingdom of God (Act 14:22).  Those tribulations are living through all seven of the vials of wrath poured out against our old man and our carnal mindsets.

Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

Php 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Unable to hear the words of the Lord and being temporarily forsaken of the Lord to accomplish His purposes; we are being led by our natural carnal mind and fleshly instincts.  We follow the ways of the world within and without, and wander to find the living waters again but will not find them.  Going from sea to sea is going from one fleshly carnal thought to the next.  The world will have us run to the east when judgment breaks forth from the north. But to mature in the Lord in our day of the Lord we are learning to go west instead and follow the Son.

Mat 24:27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

We do not find rest when the Lord has purposed to destroy the old man off the face of our earth.

Psa 107:25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

Psa 107:26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 

Judgment is a winnowing process of division via a sword.  The Lord is causing all of it and working it for good.  It is by our enduring and overcoming these trials that we come to unity and stop running to and fro in the earth being deceived by men the Lord has put out to deceive the entire world.

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Next week Lord willing, we will pick up the final two verses of Chapter 8 before moving on to the fifth vision the Lord gave Amos.  We are nearing the end of the book and the end of the man of sin.

Amo 8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

Amo 8:14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.

Sincere comments and questions are welcome.  You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com

A Servant In Christ,  PETE

Studies

Amos Part 22 – The Vision of a Fruit Basket

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“The Vision of a Fruit Basket”

Key Verses: Amos 8:1 – 8:7

Note:  Some content was added after the audio recording that enhanced the study.

Having to given an account to the Lord for our deeds is how we are learning through chastening grace of the Lord that we do indeed reap what we have sown (Gal 6:7).  This process of learning by chastening judgment is how we are saved (Isa 26:9, Eph 2:8) and afterwards bear the peaceable fruit of righteousness (our obedience).  The Elect are not being redeemed and saved in this age for ourselves but only for the Lord’s purposes.

Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God’s plan in saving us, His people, is to manifest the spiritual fruit that comes forth to His glory.  This is why we have been chosen.  Fruit in Scripture represents our works and it is by these works, what type they are by which we will be known.

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

It takes time to manifest fruit, it’s a process of growing.  As we die daily to our flesh and the man of sin is destroyed, our fruit abounds more and more.  This is the purpose of the Lord in bringing us together in a Body and assembling us in New Jerusalem.  These works are the spiritual nourishment and healing of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (all men).

Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works (fruits) do follow them.

With this reminder on spiritual fruit being our works, here are the key verses for today.

Amo 8:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. 

Amo 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, the end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. 

Amo 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence. 

Amo 8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, 

Amo 8:5 Saying, when will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? 

Amo 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? 

Amo 8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works. 

The Lord’s strange ways has us learning good and evil and being humbled (Ecc 1:13) by causing us to first do the opposite of what is His stated commandments and plan.  We gain our life by losing it, we avoid judgment by going through judgment now and similarly, we produce good works by first producing evil ones.  It is by the death of our rebellious and disobedient man of sin that good fruit comes forth from the fig tree that represents the Israel of God.

 Jer 8:13 I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.

Our flesh and carnal mind is the marred first vessel (Jer 18:4) that was made to be destroyed and is cursed when Christ appears because it is incapable of bringing forth good fruit.

Mat 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

Deu 28:18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

This prophesy is being given to King Jeroboam and Israel through Amos.  But these are prophesies we are living out (Mat 4:4, 1Co 11:11) as judgment is now on the house of God.  The works of a proud, idol worshipping and worldly fornicating King of Israel does not measure up to the plumbline.  The hedged-out life of the old man is coming to an end as it is destruction from the Almighty designed to bring forth fruit for God.

Joe 1:15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Seeing a vision of summer fruit is an indication that the time of judgment is at hand and the angels of the Lord (the reapers, the Elect) are sent to bring about the destruction of the harlot and old man whose sins have reached into the heavens (Rev 18:5, Jon 1:2).

Joe 3:13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

Rev 14:18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

The word translated as “summer fruit” is actually the word for SUMMER as the KJC reflects and represents more broadly the season of harvest of any crop including fruit;

H7019, qayits

Total KJV Occurrences: 20

summer, 20

Gen_8:22, 2Sa_16:1-2 (2), Psa_32:4, Psa_74:17, Pro_6:8, Pro_10:5, Pro_26:1, Pro_30:25, Isa_16:9, Isa_28:4, Jer_8:20, Jer_40:10, Jer_40:12, Jer_48:32, Amo_3:15, Amo_8:1-2 (2), Mic_7:1, Zec_14:8

The warm time of the year beginning in late spring and continuing into the summer is when the leaves of a tree or its fruit become evident for all to see.  The harvest of souls like the harvest of physical crops begins at summer.  Several of the verses that incorporate summer are linked to judgement and the threshing of the wheat from the chaff. Another concept Amos’s words touched upon.

Dan 2:35  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Pro 10:5  He that gathereth in summer isa wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

We are all gathering our meat (enduring trials and afflictions of judgment) in the summer as we partake of the Body of Jesus Christ.

Christ tells us this judgment time is near when we learn the parable of the fig tree and see the coming forth of our service to the Lord (good works, fruit).  When we see this with spiritual eyes then we know the destruction of the old vessel is well underway and we should not be surprised of the fiery trials to come (1Pe 4:13).

Mat 24:32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

Mat 24:33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

“All these things” being seen is the end of the age which has an outward application to come but an inward application that the Elect are living out now in our day of judgment.  We are witnessing these events today in the Body as Christ is appearing and our old way of life is passing away.

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mat 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

We see some hidden manna in this Amos vision by the Hebrew word used for basket.

Amo 8:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket [H3619] of summer fruit. 

Amo 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket [H3619] of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, the end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them anymore. 

This is not the common word for basket but instead is a word found only twice in Scripture and here is how H3619 “kelub” is used the only other time with some added context.

Jer 5:27  As a cage [H3619] is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.

Jer 5:28  They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. 

Birds that fly in our heavens (mind) represent lies and false doctrines that keep us in spiritual darkness and in bondage to everything but faith in the Word of God.  A cage full of fruit is speaking of the fruit of self-righteousness we all first produce/endure before the Lord pours out His wrath to reveal our wretched state within (Rom 7:24).  The basket of fruit is in spiritual actuality two baskets as we are the Lord’s two witnesses who live both the good and the evil.

Jer 24:2  One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

Evil figs represent our tainted works of the world that are rejected works fit to be destroyed in our judgment.  First the natural and then the spiritual.  The first fruit (good works) brought forward from our earth is not an acceptable offering to the Lord.  It is the offering of Cain (Gen 4:3-5).  The flesh profits itself nothing and the immature and hasty summer fruit that comes when we are puffed up and drunk with knowledge (wine) will be taken away when we stumble in our judgment.

Isa 28:3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:

Isa 28:4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.

The Israel of God is the fig tree made to cast forth her fruit in an untimely manner and is devoured by the adversary in order to bring us to Christ and lose our old life.

Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Nah 3:12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.

The Body of Christ is the basket in which the fruit of the Lord (the good works) appears after the evil fruit is tossed aside.

Deu 26:2  That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.

The Body is the place where the Lord our God has chosen to place His name.  We are the basket in which are found those summer fruits.

Exo 29:32  And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Abiding in the  Body/Basket is where we eat the flesh of Jesus Christ that is meat indeed for eternal life.  The bread of life is the very same that brings forth death in our old man and that is judgment.  That is what we are fed as we partake of this communion here with the saints of God.

 Eze 34:16  I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

A basket is woven together in the  same way the Body is knitted together in love.

Col 2:2  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Paul is our example of how we too escape the pulls and persecution of the world by being put into this basket (Body) through an opening the Lord provides in the wall that is keeping us in bondage.  The governor of Damascus represents those in this world who would have us hold to their customs and way of life that is contrary to the narrow way.

Act 9:25  Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

2Co 11:32  In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

2Co 11:33  And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

Our flesh always resists the things of the Spirit.  Being saved requires warfare and the false peace in our temple of God (1Co 3:16) will turn into howling as we die daily and the lust of the flesh and pride of life is destroyed within us.

Amo 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence. 

Ravening hungry wolves howl and that is what we do when our sins and rebellions are recompensed in the day of the Lord.

Joe 1:5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.

Isa 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

A good NT witness would be this verse.

Jas 4:9 NKJV Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

This verse seems to be a contradiction (howling to silence) in describing the transformation that occurs during the process of judgment.  We start out howling as we resist giving up our old life and dying to the world and pride of life.  Howling is likened to mourning and is what the flesh does over the loss of life as we are stripped of our self-righteousness and deceived sense of free will.

Jas 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Yet the Lord speaks of things that are not as if they were (Rom 4:17) and so it is with our casting forth dead bodies with silence.  As we mature in the chastening fire of the Lord in our day of the Lord, and as we begin to accept the Lord’s will in our life and the suffering to which all of Israel, the Elect of the Lord have been appointed to endure (Phi 1:29, Act 14;22); we will receive such affliction with joy.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

The old man howls but the new man will cast forth our dead bodies with silence, knowing it is the Lord working righteousness within us.  We will give thanks in all things as we take the true communion in the Body of Christ.

1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1Th 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

We learn to drink the cup of wrath and give thanks to the Lord in all things, knowing it is all for the greater good of our sanctification as Christ is raised from the dead within us.

Zec 2:13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.

We learn righteousness by our judgment (Isa 26:9, Exo 6:6).  Yet to learn we must know the occasion for judgment and what we are doing wrong contrary to the narrow way.  The Lord is faithful to reveal to us those reasons for our judgment and chastening.

Amo 8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, 

Amo 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? 

Amo 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? 

Amo 8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works. 

The excellency of Jacob is referring to our pride and self-righteousness.  These works (bad fruit) not being forgotten is simply another way of saying we are reaping what we have sown.  This is how we learn the fear of the Lord and tremble at every Word.

Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

Rev 22:12  “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

This wickedness for which we are being chastened pertains to our oppressing the new man within and without who is the poor and the needy who needs a Saviour who is also the spiritual physician (Mar 2:17).  The poor man fails and enters not in when the righteous judgment of God is wrested away.  This robs the Lord and thereby robs the poor.

Pro 31:9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Isa 10:2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!

The rich man who needs nothing is not being saved.  It is only the beggar (poor man) the Lazarus of the Luke 16 parable who is saved and even that so as by fire of judgment (1Co 3:15).  The rich man is the deceived old man in all of us who thinks he is something of his own works and stores up the Lord’s treasures (knowledge) in order to further his kingdom (building bigger barns).  The only riches that save us are the ones purchased in the fire of our trials and tribulation, aka our suffering.

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

We do not fool the Lord with our outward displays of righteousness and holiness.  He sees what is in our hearts.  Outward obedience is exemplified by our obeying the Sabbath yet that obedience is not inward as we are yet carnal and conniving to take the things of God and buying and selling (i.e. making merchandise with the kings of the earth –  Rev 18).  Falsifying scales and playing games with the measures (ephah) and the money (shekels) is speaking our judging/walking after the flesh and seeking gain for the man of sin and resisting the Lord’s work in our life.  We are still learning to be content as the heat in the furnace of affliction is turned up (Rom 5:20).

1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

1Ti 6:8 And having (spiritual) food and raiment let us be therewith content.

If we treasure up the things of this world we have our reward now.  If that is our attitude and it’s not changed by grace we have our reward and will not be in the first resurrection which is the prize and the higher calling we are to strive for attainment.

Pro 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Those humbled by the fires of judgment, don’t oppress the poor, they give to the poor who are all of God’s people being stripped of the love of this world.  The one thing we lack in moving on to perfection is being given the faith to obey this commandment in putting God first in all things and giving up our life.

Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

But as our eyes our opened further to the things of the spirit and our faith in God’s plan grows in maturity, we will give it all up.

Mat 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

Mat 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Giving to the poor is giving them godly love (1Jo 5:3) and this applies inwardly as well as outwardly as we are to judge righteous judgment.  The good news is that we will be saved but yet by fire that requires the old man and old way of life to be burned up (1Co 3:15).  Bringing this fire is the greater work of Christ’s Christ (Joh 14:12, Jer 5:14).  We all say we will go work in the Lord’s field before we actually do (Mat 21:29).  Going through judgment is what changes our mind and we go with great zeal to serve the Lord who has and is saving us as we follow in His footsteps and lay down our lives for the brethren.

The Lord hears the cries of the poor and needy in spirit.  Those petitions will bring about deliverance and the Lord will rescue His people from the oppressor within and without ourselves.

Psa 82:2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

Psa 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Psa 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

The oppressor within is our man of sin, our beast who trades in silver in buying and selling righteousness.  But this silver is the silver that is dross (Isa 1:22), that is cankered with SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS as our focus is on the outside outside of the cup while we ignore the inside and the weightier matters of the law of faith.  Such silver merchandising and trading in the refuse of wheat (the chaff, leavened truth) will not save us in the day of wrath.  We are saved from the wrath to come by going through the wrath of the Lord in this age (1Th 5:9).

Isa 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Zep 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

We must be found having none of our own righteousness (Phi 3:9) which is all contrary to the law of faith   The adulterers and adulterers (Jam 4:4) in the Body of Christ, not separated from the world are enemies of the Lord because we oppress the poor and needy by shutting up the kingdom of heaven.  We read a partial extract to remind us of what oppressing our neighbor while looking righteous on the outside looks like. More judgment (woe) is sent in due time to bring correction.

Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Ezekiel 18 contrasts the good works and obedience of two men.  Those who feed the poor and give to the needy shall surely live.  But those that oppress the needy and rob them shall not live and the Lord’s purpose is to destroy that mindset in judgment.

Eze 18:12  If he has oppressed the poor and needy, Robbed by violence, Not restored the pledge, Lifted his eyes to the idols, Or committed abomination;

Eze 18:13  If he has exacted usury Or taken increase—Shall he then live? He shall not live! If he has done any of these abominations, He shall surely die; His blood shall be upon him.

Our calling is considered a HIGH CALLING for good reason.  The Lord will put within us in due time the zeal for His house and that zeal will consume our old way of life.  Thankfully the Lord is patient and longsuffering with us in correcting us.  He is teaching us how to give out mercy and save all mankind by His own acts in saving us now by judgment in this age.

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 

Few of us are rich by the world’s standards of money and physical possessions, yet all of God’s people are rich with the true treasures of eternal life and knowing the Lord and His Christ.  We are charged to not take this for granted but to keep our focus on the Lord’s purposes and produce fruit.  Examining ourselves should include looking at the fruit and our works.

1Ti 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

1Ti 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

In the next study Lord willing, we will complete the scourging process that converts our evil works into good works which brings forth the lasting fruit and proves our hearts and minds are submitted to the Lord.  Our feasting and the time of plenty will be changed to mourning and famine as we are forsaken (separated from the Word) for a “little while” to be returned to the Lord and our hearing in due time.  We will look into this more deeply next week.

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Sincere comments and questions are welcome.  You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com.  Would love to be a helper of your joy.

Pete

Studies

Amos Part 12 – Prepare to Meet Thy God

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“Prepare to Meet Thy God”

Key Verses: Amos 4:5 – 4:13

Before we get into our new verses let’s address the second half of verse 5.

Amo 4:5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings [H5071]: for this liketh [love] you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

We are called into the camp of the saints (Gilgal, Bethel, Hermon etc.) in our filthy garments still in marred vessels of clay. As the chosen few (Mat 22:14), the elect of the Lord are only given an earnest deposit of the spirit of God which is a down payment of the fullness to come (2Co 1:22, Eph 1:14) at the first resurrection. It is here in the Body of Christ that we bring sacrifices to the Lord with leaven (Lev 7:13), initially a virtual sinning machine (Psa 51:5), helpless to do otherwise until the Lord brings the fire of judgment upon us.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Amos 4:5 is one of those verses the carnal Christian world thinks speaks of man having a free will, free from the will of God. The SUM of God’s word is the truth (Psa 119:160 – ASV) and no Scripture is of its own explanation (2Pe 1:20 – CLV).

Man, not having any free will, is a firmly established truth in the true Church which is the Body of Christ (see links at the end for several Free Will’s studies to firmly establish this in your minds if this Truth is not settled in your mind). Man, not having any free will is true despite the KJV translators use of the word nedâbâh, H5071 as “freewill”. Carnal men have taken these Scriptures by themselves (ignoring the SUM) to create and defend the false doctrine of free will.

H5071, nedâbâh

Total KJV Occurrences: 26

freewill, 15

free, 2

freely, 2

voluntary, 2

willing, 2

Without going into details of all these references, let’s just point out some other Scriptures that make it perfectly clear that man has a will but it is by no means free of the Lord’s working all things.

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

In fact, I like to point out the last verse in Amos 4 and get one to think about just how big God is and how active the Lord is in every minute detail of everyone’s life. Not only does the Lord order all our steps (Psa 37:23, Jer 10:23), gives us every word we speak (Pro 16:1. Isa 57:19), but our every thought is given to us by the Lord.

Amo 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.

Our study next week will begin with Amos 4:13 and I will share a dialog Steven Crook and I had about it some time ago. The issue in discussion was on who the “his” was in “his thought” because who is the “his” in “his thought” could be subject to different interpretations. But in the meantime, a God that declares thoughts to His creation is a mighty God indeed!

As carnal men, we have no idea of the Lord’s hand in our life and we only see this as we grow and mature in the truth and look behind us in our day of judgment. We truly are just clay in His hands (Isa 64:8).

Pro 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

We continue on as the Lord who loves us (Heb 12:6) drags us to Himself as we are being prepared to meet our God.

Amo 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Amo 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.

Amo 4:8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Amo 4:9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Amo 4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Amo 4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Amo 4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

We are being prepared to meet our God by being caused to err from His ways and then not responding to the chastening intended to bring us to repentance. The theme of chapter 4 is “you have not returned to the Lord”. It is no coincidence this phrase is found 5 times (grace thru faith) in today’s verses as repentance comes about only by the Lord’s process of pouring out of wrath that works righteousness in us little by little. The repentance, the baptism and the process of salvation is all the same process of judgment the Holy Spirit brings.

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

It is this process of chastening that brings salvation and is teaching us righteousness (Isa 26:9).

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Tit 2:12 Teaching (chastening) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Repentance is the process of learning obedience by the things we are given to suffer. Flesh is stubborn and despite seeing many miraculous works and having much wrath and tribulation already poured out upon our old man, we refuse to turn to the Lord. Each of the seven churches, which represent the complete church, all of which are inside of us, are called to repent. Here are three of the seven “repentance” messages to the seven churches.

Rev 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Rev 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

This is the purpose of judgment, to turn us to repentance yet we are not going there willingly.  We indeed have to be “drug” there (Joh 6:44) our old man kicking and screaming all the way.  Flesh and the carnal mind is extremely stubborn and we see this in the pouring out of wrath in the Book of Revelation as well as throughout all the prophets.

Rev 9:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

Rev 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

Rev 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

Repentance is proven by the fruit our deeds produce (Mat 3:8). Knowledge is not enough.

Amo 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

The elect of God is given the blessing of knowing the mysteries of the kingdom and eating the bread of Life at an altar that no other man can eat at (Heb 13:10, Mat 13:11). Having spiritual ears to hear and eyes to see is what enables us to know the truth and how properly divide the Scriptures. We have to eat the Word (the true bread from heaven) and suffer the loss of the kingdom of the old man to become doers of the Word. We can’t serve two masters. Having true doctrine, drinking the milk does grow us in the faith (1Pe 2:2, Gen 49:11-12) but that is to prepare us for the second coming of Christ that will bring lasting fruit bearing repentance.

Isa 11:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, that shall remain, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

The harlot within us will deceive us into thinking we are doing no wickedness despite our eating and drinking in the Kingdom of God.

Pro 30:20 So is the way of an adulterous woman; She eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

Jer 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Our beastly nature loves feasting on the knowledge of the truth. Like physical riches and possessions, these spiritual blessing also become stumbling blocks. Fighting the good fight of faith requires us to be content on what we have and beware the snare of riches that drown men into destruction and perdition (1T1 6:9).

Amo 4:7 And also, I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.

Amo 4:8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

The Lord is the only physical and spiritual rain maker. Spiritually speaking, rain is the Truth and our understanding of the Word of God and sound doctrine.

Deu 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

Deu 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

Cities represent strongholds within the Kingdom of God within us that need deliverance from our bondage to sin and the carnal enmity with God. The Lord spiritually rain on some cities to bring forth spiritual growth (fruit of righteousness) and in other cities there are a drought and all spiritual things wither. This is all designed to cutoff the pride of man and humble us by showing us the Lord is truly working all things in heaven and earth.

1Pe 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

The rain and blessing of the Lord are withheld when we turn back and remain defiant in our day of the Lord.

Jer 3:2 …and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.

Jer 3:3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD

Joe 1:13 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.

The Lord has given us the two or three witnesses to establish every matter of truth (Deu 19:15); yet even after seeing multiple witnesses to the Words of Christ, stubborn flesh do not turn back to the Lord. The living waters are bitter to our bellies (Exo 15:23, Rev 10:10) and we would rather have the old drink rather than the new (Luk 5:39). So we wander seeking relief from our trials and reproach, drunk on knowledge but finding no peace. Every learning but never able to come to knowledge of the truth, we are brought to our wits ends.

Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger [H5128] like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.

The word for wandering is the same word the Psalmist used for stagger. It is only those brought to this place of crying out in meekness that are then able to eat and drink and be satisfied (Psa 22:26, Mat 5:3-6). Thankfully salvation is the Lord’s work in us and He is bringing it to pass through the means He has devised exactly on schedule. A loving Father scourges every son He receives (Heb 12:6).

Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

We will look behind ourselves to see the blessing and the miracle of righteousness the Lord has worked and is working in us as we continue running the race for the prize.

Amo 4:9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Blasting and mildew are part of the long list of curses of the Lord for disobedience.

Deu 28:22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

Growing into maturity is hard because flesh keeps on wanting to take credit for what the Lord is doing. Even when the spiritual growth (the crops, the vineyard, trees etc.) increases, the Lord sends His army to devour that crop because we have not returned to Him. A jealous God is not going to allow His wife to continue to commit fornication and adultery.

Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

Salvation is only of the Lord and there is NO, I, me or my in any of it. We all like Job, will come to see ourselves as very righteous and godly (Job 29) long before we ever are and BEFORE we are given to meet the Lord in the whirlwind of judgment. The fruit of self-righteousness will not remain (Joh 15:16), it will be burned up and spoiled by the plagues the Lord sends.

Joe 1:11 Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.

The plagues come to reveal the hidden thing of darkness that need purging. The subsequent chastening of the Lord is what teaches us the right way and brings about the fruits worthy of repentance. Before we learn to overcome, we will be overcome by the beast (Rev 13:7). Only later in the process (in the end) do we overcome is, was and will be IF we are called, chosen and faithful (Rev 17:14).

Drunk on knowledge and thinking we have arrived, far from the end, the Lord brings out the worms of our self-righteousness to show us our need for repentance.

Joe 1:4 That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.

Joe 1:5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.

Mold is mildew which is likened to a plague similar to leprosy which we know is our sinfulness.  The root word for mildew [H3418] comes from a word translated as green and described as yellowish green or sickly vegetation per Strong’s. Green and yellow represents a mixed mind of flesh and spirit and is a very immature mindset that we need to come out of.

H3418, yereq, yeh’-rek

From H3417 (in the sense of vacuity of color); properly pallor, that is, hence the yellowish green of young and sickly vegetation; concretely verdure, that is, grass or vegetation: – grass, green (thing).

The Lord’s purpose in these plagues is our salvation and shining light on what needs repentance. The prayer of dedication to the Solomon’s Temple shows us the Lord’s purposes in bringing the plagues upon us which is to move us on to maturity and overcoming, being doers!

1Ki 8:37 NKJV “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is;

1Ki 8:38 whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple:

1Ki 8:39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act,and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men),

1Ki 8:40 that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.

1Ki 8:48 And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name:

Amo 4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

The Lord sends pestilence upon Egypt (the world) and the man of sin/beast initially ruling the land (Pharaoh). He does the same again (is, was and will be) against the religious beast we have become (Rev 13:11) with the knowledge of Truth but not yet being able to perform the Word.  Seeking occasion for judgment (Jdg 14:4), our stubbornness in refusing to repent is used of the Lord to further bring judgment and to multiply the signs and wonders in our heavens and earth.

Exo 11:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.

As we strife with the best flesh can offer we are overcome and powerless (no horses) to being snared in besetting sins. We begin to see our spiritual stink but are helpless as we are being brought low by design. These plagues are the hand of God humbling us.

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Living by every word includes us having a Sodom and Gomorrah experience as the Lord delivers His people in the fire of His judgment.

Amo 4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Only those chosen to overcome in this age will overcome and are overcoming. These Scriptures are not here to warn us of eternal hellfire but tell those that hear that salvation is all His Work.  It is only the exaltation of Jesus Christ within our hearts and minds, via the process of judgment; by which repentance is granted to Israel (the elect of God).

Act 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Salvation comes little by little, city by city, as the prophets of the Lord are sent to preach the gospel to the heathen within ourselves. All the cities within are given over to fornication and worship of strange gods and require the suffering of AGE ABIDING (not eternal) fire to be turned back to the Lord.

Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

A firebrand [H181] plucked from the burning is a POKER delivered from fire. A fire poker is an instrument used to turn embers and hot coals in a physical fire. And this is exactly what the elect, who are being judged first are being prepared to be. We are the spiritual fire pokers for the Lord that are the instruments of judgment.

Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

The house of God is the Body of Christ, and we are the instruments of judgment that speak the Words of fire. We are a fire poker because we will be the ones tending the fire in the lake of fire (Isa 33:14-15, Rev 20:5). That is why we are being judged now to be prepared to be the fire and the fire managers at the Great White Throne Judgement. We are the Lord’s witnesses who will bring salvation to all the Gentile nations within and without ourselves in the times appointed.

Mic 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

As we saw a few studies back (Amos Part 9), we are not able to walk with the Lord unless we meet with Him. That is how we come into agreement and have the same mind via the process.

Amo 4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

So this is the reason the Lord pours out chastening grace (five times) and that is to turn us back to Him and grant repentance to the Israel of God. Finding repentance and coming to know Jesus Christ only happens in Zion which is in The Christ.

Isa 59:20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn (repent) from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

The Lord is working all things for His Will and that includes our every step, thought and deed; even our very sins (Isa 63:17, Amo 3:5). All the signs and wonders, the plagues, the scouring are “the miracles” working righteousness in us. In the heat of our plagues, we don’t see it that way but looking behind us, we rejoice being set free.

Psa 107:30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

Psa 107:31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

We know from the sum of the Word that we meet and get to know the Lord in the whirlwind, in the fire of judgment. That is what abiding in AIONIOUS (eternal) life requires. Like Job, we meet the Lord in the whirlwind (Job 38:1, 40:6). It is there that He is speaking with us and teaching us righteousness. These judgments are teaching us the Lord’s ways and expanding our understanding of what being “Lord in heaven and earth” truly means.

Deu 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

Exo 7:5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. 

Next week Lord willing, we will start with the last verse of Chapter 4 which is an amazing verse and then move forward in meeting the Lord in the whirlwind of our judgment in our day of the Lord.

Amo 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.

Sincere comments or question are very welcome.  You may  also email me privately at peterjwilson56@gmail.com.

Your Brother in Christ, PETE

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Studies

Micah Part 20 – I Will Look Upon the Lord

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“I Will Look Unto The Lord”

Key Verses:  Micah 7:1 – 7:8

Our Day of the Lord (“that day”) does not come initially upon our hearing and understanding the Truth.  Coming to see the Lord and His Christ we are then given a brief time of silence to consolidate our understanding and prepare for the war (judgments) that are being waged.

Rev 8:1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour…

Rev 8:5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.

Christ is revealed in us little by little and therefore the church of God is admonished to wait on the coming and revealing of the Lord both within us and without.  In both cases patience and endurance is needed. We wait on Him to perform His work and thru all this our faith is tested, refined and grown if we have been ordained to be faithful and move on to maturity.

Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The waiting is our enduring through our judgments and having the old man decreased and the new man, Jesus Christ, within us increased.  We will see this in Micah’s prophecy as those reading, hearing and keeping the things written herein (Rev 1:3) come to see their wretched state and then with this experience begin to rest IN FAITH (not works) and wait for the Lord to deliver us.  Here are the 8 verses for today’s study.

Mic 7:1 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.

Mic 7:2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

Mic 7:3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.

Mic 7:4 The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.

Mic 7:5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

Mic 7:6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.

Mic 7:7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

Mic 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

As we begin this chapter, “Woe is me” as the end of the old man is in sight.  We live these words out as we come to see that we and all men are the “abomination of desolation” sitting in the Temple of God (Mat 24:15).  The lawless one, the man of sin, we are, is revealed to us.  Paul tells the church to wait and to remember that day will not come until we see this with clarity.

2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Judgment is the Lord’s vehicle to show us where we stand with the Lord and exposes our sins and false doctrines.  Bringing us to see the folly and vanity of the fruits of our own labors is an integral part of the Lord’s methods.  In the Day of the Lord for all men, what I call the grace meter (Rom 5:20) is always turned up in concert with our sin.  The resulting heat creates the furnace of affliction (Isa 48:10) and will not fail to turn us back to Him in due time.

Mic 7:1 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the first ripe fruit.

Modern day gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system and this principle are express commandments in the Law of Moses.

Lev 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.

God’s elect are the first to be harvested (judged) and are likened to the first fruits of the Lord (Jam 1:18).  The summer harvest is the first fruits (elect) with the main harvest (salvation of all) coming in the fall season.  As God’s elect and the first to follow our Lord as a kind of first fruit, we are given an insatiable spiritual appetite but that desire is not met at first.  A vineyard that has been gleaned is a field without fruit.

Mic 6:15 You shall sow, but not reap; You shall tread the olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; And make sweet wine, but not drink wine.

Having a zeal for the Lord’s House but without knowledge (Rom 10:2) we sow but do not reap and remain in search of the peace and the rest promised in Christ.  While we are told to seek and we shall find, there is also season where we wander seeking truth (food) but do not find it.

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

This is our state of ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2Ti 3:7).  Our immaturity is quickly exposed in the days of our judgment.  When the Lord manifests evil within our own house, our immature fruit is easily shaken off the tree when judgment comes.

Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Nah 3:12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.

Immature faith when tested will fail.  It is only through experience of good and evil that we come to a mature man and learn to build properly on the Rock.  It will take us a perfect and complete (seven times) number of failures and getting back up to prove worthy to the Lord’s Name.  Through the ongoing chastening we learn as we, the righteous men of God, get back up seven times (Pro 24:16).  Bringing us to our wits ends requires the land to be made desolate and for there to be found no fruit.  The fruit we eat spiritually that grows and matures us comes only after we have endured (Heb 12:11).

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Mic 7:2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

All men will live these words. All flesh will die and then be judged.  Only the chosen few are given to experience this now.  We see the depravity of all flesh and as the Lord can now say:

Mar 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Ecc 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

All men of the flesh are spiritually speaking natural born hunters who hunt in the world.

Gen 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

Flesh will automatically go to the world (the field) for their meat and not to the Lord and His Christ.  Even after having been given all the gifts and knowledge we still merchandise, play the harlot and seek to kill Christ within us and without.

Nah 3:1 Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not

Isa 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

The greater damnation (Mat 23:14) is the greater judgment (more stripes) that will come upon you and me, who know what to do and do not do it.  So, it will be with all men in due time.

Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

All men succumb to the 200 million lies of the harlot.  Those lies become the nets by which all men are caught and become the false gods and works of our hands that we worship before the coming of Christ.

 Hab 1:15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore, they rejoice and are glad.

Hab 1:16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.

When Christ calls we are told to drop those nets and follow Him.

Mic 7:3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up [H5686]

Mic 7:4 The best of them is as a brier [H2312]: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.

The prince and the judge are both us in this apostate stage.  Seeking reward, we pick and choose, add and subtract from the Word; thinking way above what is written “we wrap it up”.  The KJV translation of wrap it up is a long way of saying we pervert the Word of the Lord.

 H5686, ‛âbath, aw-bath’

A primitive root; to interlace, that is, (figuratively) to pervert: – wrap up.

Total KJV occurrences: 1

It is our seeking reward as Micah says that is the root of this perversion.  The reward seeking beast who thinks of his self-righteousness as righteousness will have that righteousness removed.  The same Woe in Micah are the woes Mike is covering in Isaiah chapter 5.

Isa 5:20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isa 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

Briars and thorns spiritually represent lies and false doctrines which pervert the Word and those lies sting us spiritually in due time.

 H2312, chêdeq, khay’-dek

From an unused root meaning to sting; a prickly plant: – brier, thorn

Briars do the same thing the locust do, they sting us.

Rev 9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Isa 9:15 The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

There is no lie in the Truth and best and most right sounding is still a lie. When the Lord brings judgment that opens our eyes, we go through a period of great perplexity as our light is all turned into darkness by the coming of the Truth in our heavens.

Luk 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Luk 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

Luk 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

This hedge built upon lies and false doctrines keeps us in a false peace and security thinking we have already arrived (and not fearing the Lord) is shattered in the day of our visitation (1Th 5:3).  Our looking to the Lord, the coming of the watchmen and our day of visitation are all one and the same thing.  The Lord works through and lives in His people.  It is His Body that speaks the Words that bring judgment to those prepared to hear it. Faith cometh by hearing and that via Words spoken by Christ.  An ambassador is sent among the heathen.

Psa 10:17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

Mat 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mat 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The Lord creates both the deceived and those doing the deceiving (Job 12:16).  The hedge is also put there by the Lord and only the Lord takes it away in due time (Job 1:10-12).  The Lord is in the business of separating a people unto Himself (Deu 7:6, 2Co 6:17).  The next few verses speak to that separating process and our maturing into the narrow way.

Mic 7:5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

Come out of her my people (Rev 18:4) is a cry only spiritual ears are hearing.  We hear this frequently on the way to maturity as we have to be taught to build only on the Rock and judge only based on that same Word.  That is what possessing true scales and weights refers to as we looked at in Part 19.  Verse 5 is telling us to put no confidence in the flesh, yours, mine or anyone’s.  Doing s0, makes us an evil worker and it is committing spiritual adultery with the harlot.

Php 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

We have to guard the doors and gateways into our hearts to ensure that what we put in them is not defiled.  A little leaven makes the spiritual food poison so we have to inspect, and examine what we eat and how we are judging.  We only have one way to do that and that is the plumb line, the Word of God.

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets (and their lies) are gone out into the world.

Amo 7:8 And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:

We must remember how few is the “few chosen” that make of God’s elect.  Not many people, in fact extremely few, a minutia of a minutia have the Truth and speak it.  Many deceivers have gone into the world and the Lord is going to try our faith and test us to see if we will be faithful to the end.  We learn to judge all things on the spiritual scale of the Scriptures.  We must beware the leaven of the Pharisees within and without us.

Pro 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Our family in Christ are the true friends, the precious few, who are of like mind and strive to obey ALL the Lord’s Words.  These are the disciples indeed wherein is found safety in a multitude of counselors.  Christ shows us who our family is, it is the Body of Christ.

Mat 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

Mat 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

The next verse is the basis for some well-known Scriptures and Words of our Lord.

Mic 7:6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.

Christ tells His disciples what His coming to them will bring about.

Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Mat 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Mat 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

I added in verse 34 of Matthew to make the point that this intra-family battle is the result of the sword that is now abiding on the house of God (1Co 3:16).  War in heaven is taking place.  Judgment is on the House of God and there is a battle for the heart and mind of the new man.

2Sa 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

We, being an unfaithful harlot, have had many husbands before we meet the real Christ at the well of living water and begin to drink thereof of our judgment (John 4:18).  We all have committed spiritual adultery and taking another man’s wife like King David did with Uriah.  Reaping what we sow, the Lord pronounces judgment upon us in our day.

2Sa 12:11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour,

Our former friends and members of our carnally minded households have now become enemies of the cross and by extension our enemy who persecute us and seek to kill Christ.

2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Salvation requires man to endure great suffering and persecution and that is especially painful when it is from our own families. Many come into this fellowship and walk in the truth but are not given to endure to the end and they fall away because of the persecution that arises typically from their physical families.

Mat 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Becoming the Lord’s kings and priests, and the instruments by which He will save all mankind is indeed a high calling.  Yet that high calling comes with equally high costs that none of us are willing to pay without Christ dragging us there. It might just cost us everything and we need to be willing to pay it.

Luk 18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.

Luk 18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,

Luk 18:30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

But knowing the truths we have learned in our judgment process and understanding the plan of God for salvation for His sons first and then ultimately all men, we begin to count tribulation and persecution as a blessing.

1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Jam 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jam 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jam 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Here are the final two verses for our study.

Mic 7:7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

Mic 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

Having learned righteousness (Truth) by our judgment, we can now look to the Lord. We have seen ourselves as the harlot and the abomination causing desolation defiling His Temple. Seeing ourselves as the chief of sinners (1Ti 1:15), we are being brought to repentance (Rom 2:4, Psa 90:3). Henceforth we will look to the Lord and to His Christ for wisdom and counsel.

We have been taught to judge righteously and we know that of ourselves we can do no good thing.  We have and are continuing to be taught patience and know we must wait on the Lord to perform His work in us all the while we strive and labor in faith.

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We have and continue to learn (maturing in truth) via the ongoing war with our flesh (Gal 5:17).  Knowing of this struggle and that we are not in it alone, we have a Body to cast our cares upon gives us hope for what we cannot yet see.

Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

As mature men of God, we know the ups and downs will come in our walk.  When we fall we will arise quickly (Pro 24:16).  When we find ourselves in darkness, we know where to find Christ, who is the light of this world and the lamp to our walk of faith (Psa 119:105).

Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

The Spirit of God is with us and there is no escape.  Through thick and thin, the periods of light or darkness, the Lord is with us.

Psa 139:7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

Next week Lord willing, we will see the Lord moving through the nations and pardoning the inequity of His people and performing the Word He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Sincere questions and comments welcome.  You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com.  A servant in Christ,  Pete

Studies

Micah Part 12 – Cast Out into Outer Darkness

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Cast Out Into Outer Darkness

Key Verses: Micah 3:6 – 3:12

In our last study of Micah, we saw a continuation of our rebellion to the narrow way of the Lord.  This was manifest in our partaking at His feast in an unworthy manner.  We need to learn how to feast in the kingdom of God the proper narrow way and get beyond our lusting after gain.  Arriving in the Truth begins the process and it never ends and we need to be watchful that we not begin biting and devouring our brothers seeking gain (usury) and preeminence.  This is not what the law of Faith commands.

Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Gal 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

Eating unworthily brings the vengeance of the Lord in its appointed time to teach us the right way.  He is burning disobedience out of us by the fire of His judgment that is revealing the glory of the Lord (Jesus Christ/the Word) working within us.

1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Let’s move on and see the Lord’s purpose in forsaking His people for a little while by turning our light into darkness.  Here are the verses for today that will complete Chapter 3.

Mic 3:6 Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.

Mic 3:7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.

Mic 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.

Mic 3:9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity.

Mic 3:10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.

Mic 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

Mic 3:12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.

When we come to the wedding feast, ill prepared with undisciplined eating habits and not properly dressed we are cast out into outer darkness (Mat 22:14).  This is a time of separation from the Lord because of our sins.  Part of learning requires us to fall away into destruction and then be turned back by the hand of the Lord (Psa 90:3).  Our day of the Lord and the completion of our baptism by fire will not come until we first fall away and judgment is later brought to the Gentile nations within us.  We try to serve two masters before we are taught we can only serve one.  A double minded man and spiritual harlot can expect to receive nothing from the Lord but more judgment.

Jos 24:20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

This falling away (forsaking the Lord) precedes the Lord and His glory being revealed.  The Lord most assuredly is faithful to the new man who shall bear His image and glory.  Yet the Lord will forsake us for a little while to teach us obedience through suffering (Heb 5:8).  If we seek Him with all our hearts, we are finding Him (Jer 29:13), but if we forsake Him, He is forsaking us.

2Ch 15:2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you

The Lord sends His plagues including fire and brimstone on the land within for judgment.  This is promised when we have forsaken the Lord even after seeing many miracles and having been given many great deliverances in being dragged out of the world (Egypt).

Deu 29:25 Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:

Deu 29:26 For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:

The righteous man, Jesus Christ, within us will never be forsaken even though it will feel like it as we endure our suffering and trials in the flesh.

Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

2Co 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Isa 62:12 And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.

Working righteousness in us by judgment requires the forsaking of the old man who must die for the new man to come forth.  Let’s look further at the specific verses.

Mic 3:6 Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.

Mic 3:7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.

It His Elect, the very children of the Kingdom, who are the first to be cast into outer darkness.  Here there is weeping and gnashing of teeth as we cry out to save the flesh and endure judgments against our carnal way of life.  Being bound hand and foot we remain slaves to sin until the Lord comes the second time for salvation.  It is the chosen few who are first to show up to the feast without a proper garment.  “We are that man” as we eat and drink and feast in the kingdom of God yet unworthily.  As the first to be judged, whose lake of fire is now, we are bearing many stripes for having been given so much of God’s treasures.  We are seeing the shame of our nakedness and having our carnal wisdom confounded.

Mat 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Psa 70:2 Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.

It is the Lord’s will to sanctify us and destroy that marred vessel of clay.  Being cast out into outer darkness with no vision, in strong delusion, serves to bring about the end of the old way of life “is, was and will be”.

Lam 2:8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together.

Lam 2:9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.

The way we are brought into a Covenant with the Lord is by living through these seasons in our life.  It is necessary to humble us and make us pliable to be reshaped from our hardened condition of our sinful hearts.  A “deep sleep” symbolizing “death” fell upon Adam (Gen 2:21)  and Abraham (Gen 15:12) being a shadow of our process of spiritual completion.

We are the children of the kingdom who are doing this wickedness after having the Truth.  It is the elect who are these blind servants that will bear the shame our wickedness.

Isa 42:17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.

Isa 42:18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.

Isa 42:19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD’S servant?

The repeating theme of judgment, the ongoing winnowing, cutting off and bringing the third part through the fire, “is, was and will be” occurring in our lives so long as we are in clay vessels.  Living by every word includes being a false prophet like Bar Jesus who uses the wiles of our carnal father the devil to pervert the straight and narrow ways of the Lord.  This is what we do when we reason with the wisdom of the world and the carnal mind.

Act 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

When the Lord puts His hands on us through the spoken Word we are being blind for a time and that is to judge and humble us.

Act 13:11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

The Bar [H1247] in Bar Jesus (Act 13:6) links back to Chaldea which is the land of the carnal mind, the land of UR from whence Abraham was told to depart.  Like Paul, all of the Lord’s true disciples are commissioned for the same reason which is to open the eyes of the blind that they may receive the gift of God.  We first are blind and given to not eat or drink anything for “three days” before we are given to see.  This signifying how we are continually brought to spiritual completion (the meaning of the number three) via progressive judgments.

Act 9:9 And he (Saul) was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

Jesus Christ has come into the world to bring judgment by the Word that “The Christ” speaks to those prepared to hear it.

Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

Famine of the Word is also a type of darkness.  Our time of confusion, being confounded and ashamed is all the Lord’s work and the trial of our faith is how we are clothed in true righteousness.

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

It pleases the Father to bruise us, His sons, for a time and seasons.  This affliction from the rod is how we learn righteousness in the same way a child is disciplined.

Lam 3:1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.

Lam 3:2 He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.

Here is an OT witness to Hebrews 12:6 and the scourging grace of a loving Father,

Pro 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

The wisdom of the wise in the flesh, is continually being confounded (1 Co 1:27).  Abiding in outer darkness is how the flesh is brought to its wits end.  Where there is light there is still hope but we have to lose all hope and confidence in the flesh (Phi 3:3) to stand firmly in faith.  Hence the purpose for the season of darkness to tear down those fleshly strongholds.  When the going gets tough and we pray amiss to keep the flesh alive, the Lord will not hear us and this works righteousness in us as foolish as that sound to the natural man.

Lam 3:7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.

Lam 3:8 Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.

The only way to have our shame covered once we are shown it, is to “buy gold tried in the fire” from the Master Refiner as we see in many Scriptures (Isa 48:10, Mal 3:3, and Rev 3:18).

Mic 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.

Mic 3:9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity

This is the second time in Chapter 3 (Mic 3:1) that Micah prays for the House of Jacob and its princes that naturally abhor judgment and pervert the right (equity) ways of the Lord.  The prayers of a righteous man are Words of fire and they will avail themselves much and that means they will bring judgment to what must be judged (Jer 5:14, Jam 5:16).  The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray for the coming of righteousness in our walks which is the actual doing of the Word versus just hearing it in our mind (heaven).  This is bringing about the will of God which is our sanctification.

Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

As judges in training, like Micah and the Lord’s prophets, we sit in down payment form on the throne of Israel judging the people (Mat 19:28) through Words of fire that consume all of God’s enemies in due time.  Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh, in the flesh of His people (Eph 5:30).  This coming the second time for salvation apart from sin, is to bring judgment and reprove our sin which yields righteousness.

1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God

Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

This occurs as often as we are coming and reasoning together and having our old man reproved and judged.  This is something we should hasten to do as we grow in the faith.

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together (Reprove, Rebuke), saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Our flesh naturally despises judgment and therefore we must take heed to not forsake the assembling together of the saints.  The next verses in Hebrews tells us why.  Far better to learn the lessons sooner than later because where sin abounds, grace abounds even more (Rom 5:20).

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries

It is continuing in Him, Christ the ‘Living Word and “The Christ” (in whom the Word dwells) that we become disciples indeed (Joh 8:31).  It is in assembly of the saints by which we are being made perfect.

Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect

The word for “equity” is actually the word for right or uprightness.  Our carnal minds are always perverting and twisting the right ways of the Lord.  Only the Lord makes crooked things straight and makes the straight things crooked.  This straightening is what judgment does.

Isa 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

Judgment is what heal us of our spiritual infirmities and free us from the bondage of Satan.

Luk 13:13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

Luk 3:5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

Our next two verses we will look at together.

Mic 3:10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.

Mic 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

Flesh naturally seeks its own gain.  But we know the way of the Lord is for life to come through death. That is the true gain and the one we seek earnestly.  To reap eternal life, we are losing our life which means the old way of life and the old man must die.

Php 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Yet flesh wrests away judgment and seeks its own gain instead.  Our seeking to get rich, meaning knowledge, attention, esteem, reputation, possessions and yes even money is a snare and a trap that will keep us from moving on to maturity (1 Tim 6:10).  Paul tells us to flee from such a thought life. Mind the inside of the cup first and put our thoughts on heavenly things!

1Ti 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

In our prideful and still merchandising (buying and selling) state of mind we again see just how pervasive those “Jebusite spirits” are that have our natural brute beast seeking gain and reward.  This period of apostasy, darkness, leaving our first love who is the light of life, is being used to bring recompense in due time.  Yet we don’t know it and think we shall not see the Lord’s wrath.

Jer 5:12 They have belied (Denied) the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:

Jer 5:13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.

Our giving to the Lord and “His Christ” cannot be for seeking riches or any kind of gain.  We are learning to be content with our wages and what we have been given.  Our giving should not be to get back.

Luk 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

Mat 6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

As workers in the vineyard of the Lord’s, we are being paid a wage the Lord establishes and as slaves to righteousness, we have no room for any disputing (Mat 20:1-16).  The Lord has planned every detail of our life, what to give, how we give and what will be our reward for our labors.

1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

The sin of the pride, covetousness, and the flesh all manifest in similar ways.  The very things recent studies have been exposing lie in the hearts of all flesh and are being rooted out in our day of judgment.  The Lord uses the occasion to bring His wrath for these sins His own people commit.  We spoke about usury and interest in the post study discussion last week.

Eze 22:12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.

Eze 22:13 Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.

It all belongs to the Lord and we are not to lend and expect to make a profit as “freely we receive and freely we give to our brethren.

Mat 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

Simon, the Sorcerer, is a story that applies to us on our road to maturity.

Act 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Act 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Act 8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

We are given sheep to feed and men to lay hands on, only as the Lord brings them to us with a heart being prepared by Him and ears to hear (Psa 10:17, Joh 21:15).  Here is our last verse.

Mic 3:12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.

The words “for your sake” brings to mind a pivotal Scripture we come to affirm on our journey of being taught righteousness by judgment.

2Co 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant (scourging) grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God

The plowing of our earth is necessary to prepare the soil for the planting of the seed of Christ that is yielding a bountiful harvest in the appointed times.  Trials and tribulations are necessary to break up the hardened places in our hearts and destroy our love for this world as the parable of the Sower show us (Mat 13:20-22).  Until that happens the good seed does not take firm root and yield its bountiful harvest of multifold increases to the Lord.  These stony places and thorns must be cleared off the land.  This is done by the hands of Jesus Christ ploughing the land of Zion within us.  This is also the fire that curses and burns up all the briars and thorns (Heb 6:8) which are the false doctrines and 200 million carnal lies of Rev 9:16.

Heb 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Micah 3:12 is a verse quoted here by Jeremiah and there is a lesson to be learned in this.

Jer 26:17 Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying,

Jer 26:18 Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.

Micah like Jeremiah, are prophets speaking to rebellious kings that are also maturing men in Christ.  This is King Hezekiah in Micah, King Jehoiakim in Jeremiah and all the Body of Christ in due time.  They wanted to kill Jeremiah who shined the light on their wicked ways and called them to repent of their evil and obey the Lord (Jer 26:13).  In Micah’s case, Hezekiah listened to the rebuke and the Lord repents of His evil and does not destroy them.

Jer 26:19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.

And the lessons learned from Micah’s dealings with Hezekiah served the people to have faith and to stand up to judge one another (reason together) and teach the people of God the fear of the Lord and of His righteous judgments.  So it is to this day.  If we do not repent, grace and judgment just gets worse until we will learn by this destructive process.  In Jeremiah’s case, the king did not take heed the words of the elders who spoke to the assembly and the nation of Israel was soon taken captive to Babylon to live out 70 years of captivity.

The Lord lets the wheat and the tares grow up together until the harvest.  Men are both beasts and trees and that are caused to grow very tall and become very prideful leading up to our day of the Lord when we are being brought low again.  King Nebuchadnezzar, a servant of the Lord, had a vision that Daniel interpreted.   The interpretation gives us the understanding that we are that tall strong tree that is a sight unto to all the earth.

Dan 4:20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;

But that tree is hewn down when the Lord sends the angels of the Lord to bring in the harvest.  The fact the roots are left in the earth shows us the “is, was and will be” aspect of our judgment and spiritual completion as these words never pass away.

Dan 4:23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

Here is a New Testament version of the watchers of the Lord bringing judgment that is the time of harvest.

Rev 14:18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

Next week Lord willing, we begin Chapter 4 and will review the verses that are nearly identical to Isaiah Chapter 2 that Mike already reviewed last month in the Isaiah study.  A pivot has been made here in Micah 3 and we begin to see the more positive side of judgment emerge in Micah 4.  Next week we begin to see the Lord regathering us back to Himself and preparing us for the painful process of childbirth and bringing forth the new man.

Mic 4:8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.

As we mature, inwardly we produce new children, which are the mindsets the Lord is then working on in this ongoing is, was and will be process of judgment.  Old things are passing away and everything is being made new.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Related Articles:

Isaiah 2:1-5 – The Mountains of the Lord’s House

The Glory of God

Three – Number of Spiritual Completion