Studies

Amos Part 13 – Seek the Lord and Live

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“Seek the Lord and Live”

Key Verses:  Amos 4:13 – Amos 5:6

Before we move on to chapter 5, we will look again at the last verse of chapter 4 which is a testimony of just how mighty the Lord is.

Amo 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought [H7808], that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.

The “all things” the Lord is working includes the outward physical and the inward spiritual. His Words are all Spirit (Joh 6:63) and signify things in the Spirit and not of the letter. He creates the pride and idols of our heart (mountains) and sends the wind (spirits, the beliefs we follow) and by declaring unto us our very thoughts; the Lord can turn the heart of any man and any king whatsoever way He desires.

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.

The carnal mind wonders about how the Lord can do certain things about such as bringing about the end and ruling the world within the few chosen. The power in His hand is beyond the comprehension of our carnal mind. Those being justified learn to walk and faith and believe the Scriptures that reveal the Lord’s hand in ALL THINGS we do.

Pro 20:24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

The Lord making the new dawn, darkness, is all part of His process to tread down the high places in our earth and bring down the pride of the beast and remaking a new earth and a new heaven wherein righteousness dwells.

Act 7:49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

The words “is his thought” H7808 is only found one place in all Scripture here in Amos 4:13.

H7808, śêach

From H7879; communion, that is, (reflexively) meditation: – thought.

Total KJV Occurrences: 1

thought, 1  —  Amo_4:13

H7879, śı̂yach, see’-akh

From H7878; a contemplation; by implication an utterance: – babbling, communication, complaint, meditation, prayer, talk.

Total KJV occurrences: 14

All of these 14 references of the root word for thought speak of some other entity than the Lord meditating, praying or speaking a complaint. So it is these mental contemplations, our every thought given to us by the Lord who is working all things. We think first and then we do. Such is how the Lord is directing our every step and giving us every word we speak.

Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

The Lord, was and will be pouring out His Spirit on our flesh in our appointed days. Let’s move on with our new verses as we are meeting our God in the whirlwind of judgment.

Amo 5:1 Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel. 

Amo 5:2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up. 

Amo 5:3 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel. 

Amo 5:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: 

Amo 5:5 But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought. 

Amo 5:6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel. 

There is a time and season for every purpose under heaven (Ecc 3:1) and that includes us being forsaken of the Lord, seeking and not finding Him. As our Lord is so are we His people (Joh 20:21), applies to us feeling forsaken when we are caused to carry our cross and die with Him.

Isa 54:7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

Isa 54:8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

Mar 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Verse 1 speaks of a lamentation. This is the weeping and mourning we are enduring in being caused to give up our old life and carry our cross in following Jesus Christ.

Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Hearing and obeying the Word is a cross we carry. The Lord shall and is judging His people (Heb 10:30) and these words working righteousness within us are a lamentation to the old man. Our beast, being ridden by the spiritual harlot, (Rev 17:3) laments her destruction.

Rev 18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

Joh 16:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

It is the elect of God who are the chaste virgins (2Co 11:2) that are being saved by judgment. It is the elect of God, living by every word of God, who have fallen away and need to be turned back to the Lord. The day of the Lord is a time of much trouble all of which the Lord is causing (Eph 2:11) and working for the greater good of saving all mankind within and without in due time (Rom 8:28).

Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

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;

It seems a contradiction to the carnal mind to think how one can be a chaste virgin and at the same time be a harlot. Yet it’s no contradiction at all when we understand the principles of the Word of God including these two:

Rom 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

As the elect, we are promised the Lord will not forsake us or ever leave us (Heb 13:5). Yet we feel that way when we are being taught the Lord’s ways.

1Ch 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.

Jdg 10:13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.

Amo 5:3 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel. 

Verse 3 speaks to the consumption and destruction of our flesh (Israel) and the resulting salvation of the remnant within, that is Christ in us being resurrected. Only the remainder, the residue of the Lord’s people, are being brought through the fires of judgment. The treasure in our earthen vessels is what is increasing and being saved while the flesh is being destroyed.

2Co 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

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

2Co 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

Jer 30:11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

We do not humble ourselves, it is the hand of God working in us that humbles us (Jam 4:9, Mat 23:12). This is why the Lord seeks occasion to bring His chastening. We go out by the thousand or a hundred and return only a tenth of that.

Deu 28:62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.

Only the remnant is being saved and this applies inwardly as well as outwardly.

Rom 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

Isa 10:22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

Isa 10:23 For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land. (the kingdom within Luk 17:21)

The concept of tithing, much abused and lied about in orthodox Christianity was always about giving the increase of the land or the herd to the Lord (Lev 27:30-32, Deut 14:22-23). Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God and is being destroyed in our day of judgment so only the true tithe, the increase, Christ in us, is given to the Lord

The Lord in the OT type and shadow is only saving the the tithe (the 10%), that represents giving the Lord all of our increase in the New Testament in the covenant of faith.

Rev 11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven

It is to the House of Israel, the Christ of Christ, that the remainder is left. Nothing the Lord is doing is for ourselves, it is all Christ centric. It is the tithe of tithes, giving our life for our brethren that is left in our day of the Lord. This is living a sacrificed life, giving it all to Jesus Christ which is our reasonable service.

Neh 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

The harvest is brought into the Lord’s storehouse which is “The Christ” (Mat 13:30, Mal 3:10).  The threshing of wheat BY JUDGMENT is done in and by the Body who are the winnowing fork that separates the chaff and brings the harvest in for the Lord (Mat 3:11-12).

Rev 14:19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

It is abiding in this torment for the old man, in the presence of the holy angels of God, that the old man dies and we find eternal life (Rev 14:10).

Amo 5:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:

Living for the Lord is dying to self and our carnal and sinful way of life. We live for Christ being dead to our self when seek the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul. If we do not seek the Lord we remain dead in our  sins and trespasses abiding in death.

Mar 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Mar 8:35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

2Ch 15:12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;

2Ch 15:13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

Eternal life only comes through death (Joh 12:24, Gal 2:20). Yet flesh does not want to die and will seek anything but its own death. We cannot find death to our flesh and carnal mind on our own, only the Lord can lead us there AFTER we are truly being converted, a process.

Rev 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

We won’t be able to find death separated from Christ. It is the only place we come to know Him and abide in eternal life.

Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

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

It is only by carrying our cross and dying with the Lord daily that we find peace with God and the enmity in our flesh (Gen 3:15, Eph 2:15-16) is abolished as the old man is slain. As powerful and wonderful as the Scriptures are and the knowledge they contain to those given to understand, the seeking of those riches for vainglory is not seeking the Lord.

Joh 5:39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

Joh 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

This was the first of two times the Lord tells us to seek Him in this chapter. Two being the number for our witness, we now come to a verse that supports the truth that the day of the Lord will not come until we first fall away. We suffer the reproach of Jesus Christ outside the camp of the saints for our unrighteousness first, before we do righteousness.

Amo 5:5 But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought [H205].

Bethel means House of God.  The Elect of God are collectively this House and this house is also within us and it is the  Lord who is the Master Builder (1Pe 2:5, 1Co 3:16).

2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Bethel coming to nought is not a great translation. That word Aven H205 is only used once translated as “nought” and as the KJC shows the word really means inequity or wickedness.

H205, ‘âven

Total KJV Occurrences: 79

iniquity, 47

vanity, 6

wicked, 6

mischief, 4

affliction, 3

unrighteous, 2

wickedness, 2

nought, 1  Amo 5:5

The word Beersheba comes from H7650 and H785 and means “well of seven” or “seven wells”.  Beersheba is where Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech and sojourned many days at peace with the Philistines (Gen 21:31-34). That is a shadow of the peace of Christ we find in the Body of Christ (The Israel of God) while we live out our lives in clay vessels. Yet there will be no peace, we won’t be near Beersheba when our day of the Lord is at hand. Beersheba is often used with Dan to define the boundaries of Israel “from Dan to Beersheba” with Beersheba being the southern end of the kingdom. As such Beersheba signifies another name for the Body of Christ much like Gilgal, Bethel and Mt. Zion.

Why are we told to seek the Lord but not seek Bethel nor go into Gilgal or pass by Beersheba? It was these very places the Lord called us to come earlier in Amos. As the elect of God, we are appointed to suffer and follow the Lord who suffered without the gate, outside the camp of Israel.

Heb 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

The first half of our testimony as God’s witnesses is done in the great city of spiritual Jerusalem, the one below (in the earth) not the one seated in heaven. Here we are being overcome and taken captive by our sins and the beast within us.

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.

We must be overcome before the Lord comes the second time without sin, to save us by seating us in the heavens.

Rev 11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

Rev 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

An OT witness of this was seen in Mike’s Isaiah study. At the start of the prophecy the Lord is  speaking to Judah and Jerusalem. Yet we see a few verses later who we really are before the fires of salvation come.

Isa 1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

All things are ours (1Co 3:21) and we are being separated from the world and our physical families. As our beast is being made manifest, the world reproaches us and mock us that we cannot save ourselves of our sins yet we claim to the sons of God.

Psa 69:8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.

Psa 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. 

Psa 22:6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. 

Psa 22:7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

Psa 22:8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

It is only through the faith OF Christ (Gal 2:20) that we can do what our Lord did and die for Him and not care for the reproaches of mankind.

Luk 23:37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.

Luk 23:38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Luk 23:39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

Before we can seek the Lord and find Him with our whole heart, we go into spiritual Babylon. It is there and only after our symbolic 70 years is over that the Lord returns and causes us to return to His House.

Jer 29:10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (salvation).

Jer 29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 

Jer 29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

It is important to distinguish the reproaches we suffer. We still suffer reproaches once returned to the Lord’s House, yet our suffering should be for doing righteousness rather than for doing unrighteousness.

1Pe 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Bethel (the House of God within us) is coming to nought, it will be in bondage to inequity before the Lord restores Israel. This is speaking of our falling away first and leaving our first love which is Christ. We are the prodigal son who must fall away and leave our first love before we can be brought back by judgment.

Luk 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

Luk 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

A time of famine ensues and we come to our wits ends (Luk 15:14) and acknowledge our sin and repent. We return to our Father in Heaven and His Household.

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,

This falling away as a prodigal son precedes the day of the Lord (2The 2:3, Rev 14:8) but it serves us well by humbling us by exposing our decrepit condition. While Bethel and Gilgal represent the House of God and Camp of the Saints, they are an immature version of what we and the Body become as we mature in our day of judgment.  It is the few chosen and the even fewer that are being found faithful (Rev 17:14) that are the true Body and “His Christ”. For example, it is in Bethel (in the general kingdom of Samaria) where we (Jeroboam #1 King of Israel) set up false gods and idols of the heart and worship while claiming the righteousness of the Lord.

1Ki 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

1Ki 12:29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.

We are being delivered of our vainglory (Phi 2:3-4) by leaving our first love and falling into inequity. This is serving a great purpose to give the Lord the occasion to come the second time to teach us humility and the fear of the Lord as the old man is being consumed and burned up.

Amo 5:6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out [H7643] like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel. 

It is the second half of our witness when we are caused to seek the Lord when the fire comes.  We naturally choose death and remain in a yet carnal, unbelieving “dead” spiritual state until the Lord comes the second time and drags us into His fire (Joh 6:44).

Isa 65:1 I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.

These words are also “is, was and will be” as Christ in us are going through the baptism of fire.

Luk 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

Luk 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

The name of Joseph is a type for the House of God and means Increaser. It is the breaking out of fire within the house of Joseph that will increase Christ and decrease the flesh (Joh 3:30).  The word for break out [H6743] is actually the Hebrew word for prosper which helps us understand the Lord is saving us when we meet Him in judgment. Here is how the CLV puts it.

Amo 5:6 CLV Inquire of Yahweh and live, lest He should prosper as fire in the house of Joseph, and it devours, and no one is quenching it for the house of Israel.”

The prospering of the Lord in our spiritual house (the Temple of God) is a very good thing, it is salvation in progress. Fire is what saves us and destroys the old man so the new man, Christ in us, is revealed in our day of the Lord. The increaser is also the decreaser. 

Heb 12:29 for also our God is a consuming fire.

Isa 1:28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.

Seeking the Lord “to live” is actually seeking to die to the old and to live for Christ. It is a conundrum to the carnally minded yet a great spiritual truth to those few given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Life comes only through death.

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

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Ecc 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

As we grow in the faith, our ability to endure the suffering increases. But getting there is hard and we will first turn the increasing judgment and costs we are being required to pay into wormwood. We will learn to not be bitter over what the Lord is doing by first being bitter. We will start Lord willing, in verse 5:7 next week where we will see a second witness to what the book of Job tells us in our seeking to justify ourselves and disannul the righteous judgments of Christ. Until we mature beyond lamenting our losses, we are still turning judgment into wormwood.

Amo 5:7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,

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

Your fellow servant in Jesus 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.

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