Studies

Amos Part 8 -The Strong Shall Flee Away Naked

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The Strong Shall Flee Away Naked

Key Verses:  Amos 2:11 – 2:16

We pick up from Part 7 where the Lord is, was and will be contending with our rebellious and self-righteous ways. We like ancient Israel have seen so many miraculous works of the Lord in our whole journey (40 years in the wilderness – Amo 2:10) yet we are yet carnal and attributing our survival and victories to ourselves and our righteousness as our own.

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith (trusting not of themselves).

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness

We, are learning the right ways of the Lord by first doing it the wrong way and being corrected in judgment.

Amo 2:11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD.

Amo 2:12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.

Amo 2:13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

Amo 2:14 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:

Amo 2:15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.

Amo 2:16 And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD.

The Lord has no pleasure in the self-righteous. He is looking for the meek and the humble and that is what we are becoming as we abide in the fire. The light that shines on our pride and self-righteousness ways will accomplish what it is set forth to do at the appointed times.  Coming to see our true spiritual nakedness will turn us back to the Lord in search of new clothing and a better set of spiritual eyes.

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.

The Nazarite vow is symbolic of our immature, yet carnal and self-righteous period before we are given the ability to eat the strong meat of the word (Heb 5:13). A Nazarite and the specifics of the vow are detailed in Numbers chapter 6 and were the subject of a powerful two-part series by Mike Vinson three years ago. Mike’s study on the Nazarite Vow can be found here:  Part 1, Part 2

Being a Nazarite is symbolic of our immature and yet carnal ways yet we are zealous for the Lord. A Nazarite is seeking to be seen and have his zeal for God made known to all around them. This is nothing more than the pride manifesting itself in our self-righteous works.

1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

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.

The word Nazarite comes from a root that means to separate and that is what we as Nazarites seek to do in standing out as holy and righteous before the congregation. Here is the gist of the Nazarite vow incorporating Mike’s corrected verse 2 as Part 1 of that study covers in depth.

Num 6:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves [work wondrously] to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:

Num 6:3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.

Num 6:4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.

Num 6:5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.

Num 6:6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.

The Lord raises us up to be prophets and Nazarites as verse 2:11 states. This period in our walk, like all matters of life (Eph 1:11), is the Lord’s work in us. Becoming zealous for the Lord and doing many wonderful works in His name and having an outward appearance of righteousness is not enough to enter the kingdom of God.

Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The righteousness of a Nazarite is self-righteousness and is not enough to enter into the kingdom of God (Mat 5:20). What is needed is the righteousness that only comes by faith with NONE of it being of ourselves.

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

We have to go through our day of the Lord and have our self-righteousness exposed before we will know Him in Spirit and in Truth. That is why we are first caused to err from His ways (Isa 63:17) so we can then be chastened of the Lord (Heb 12:6) and by the process be taught righteousness (Isa 26:9).

Like Samson, one of the few Nazarites mentioned in Scripture (along with Nathan and John the Baptist), we slay many more giants in the land once that Nazarite spirit is dead within us and we have to call upon the Lord for our strength and wisdom.

Jdg 16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. 

Living by every word the Lord spoke (Mat 4:4/Luk 4:4) includes living the experiences spiritually that even the Apostle Paul endured. Even the beloved Apostle, with all his knowledge and many good works had some immaturity the Lord exposed well into his ministry. Paul failed to grasp the significance of his own words that “the just shall live by faith” as his partaking of Nazarite vow purification rituals revealed (Act 21:22-27). This was covered in depth in Part 2 of the Nazarite Vow study.

Giving a Nazarite wine to drink and disobeying the vow is what we do when we put pursuit of knowledge ahead of doing the commandments. It the same old issue of being hearers of the word versus doers of the word. We are transformed from one to the other only through judgment.

Rom 2:13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 

Knowledge puffs us up in our immaturity. It’s why we are given warnings about having too much wine and losing focus on what is truly most important.

1Ti 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Tit 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

Lest we forget here is the most important thing, which is our obedience wherein is found true peace and joy.

1Co 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 

1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

We of course can also give wine to drink outside of ourselves and we are counseled not to grieve others by parading our food and wine around and it is also true that we have to correct false doctrines when needed.

Rom 14:15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.

Rom 14:16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;

Rom 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

This Nazarite spirit will have us shun the voice of the prophets and those that speaks words of fire (Jer 5:14) that judge us in the last days. We all think we have arrived long before we do and of course we never arrive while we are in these clay vessels. In our judgment, we are condemned for giving Nazarites wine to drink and stopping the voice of the prophets.

Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

1Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.

2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

A self-righteous Nazarite is focused on the outside of the cup and on outward appearances, none of which change the heart. Christ says unto the Pharisees “woe unto you” (Mat 23:25), meaning more judgment is coming. When the time for the harvest of the new man draws near; we are loaded up with trials that brings the end of SELF and our outward focus of the Nazarite within us.

Amo 2:13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

A cart [H5699] is the vehicle or vessel that carries the ark or the word of God. A sheaf is a bundle of grain bound up or tied together (H485). When this vessel (that is us) is packed or pressed with sheaves, the time of harvest of the new man has come and judgment is upon the house of God which house we are (1Co 3:16, 1Pe 4:17). This time is the day of the Lord that will occupy the remainder of our lives in clay vessels being pressed from all sides.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

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 measured 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.

The Lord has to break the old man and all of our trust in our strength and initiative.

2Co 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

2Co 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 

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 lose our trust in flesh and our self-righteousness as the Lord raises up evil within our own spiritual houses and does it in the sight of Israel, while we are abiding in the Body of Christ (2Sa 12:11-13). This evil gives the Lord the occasion to bring judgment against us. The sending of the Lord’s army against us to expose our nakedness will quickly destroy our refuge and the false peace (1Th 5:3).

Amo 2:14 Therefore the flight [REFUGE] shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:

Amo 2:15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.

Being swift of foot spiritually in the negative is our refusal to be patient and wait on the Lord. Flesh and the carnal mind always wants to help God out and run ahead of Him and advance ourselves much faster than the Lord has ordained.

Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

And there are lots of seasons in our walk and a time and purpose for all of them in our becoming the mature man in Christ.

Ecc 3:1 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Our own efforts do not strengthen us in Spirit or deliver us to bring salvation. It is the un-swift ones, the ones that wait on the Lord who will not be ashamed (of their nakedness anymore).

Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Psa 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

The bow is the Word of God but even possessing that while still strong in the flesh will not deliver us. The swift, the strong, the mighty, even those that handle the bow cannot save themselves or justify themselves. Salvation is of the Lord.

Isa 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!

By our own strength and deeds no flesh shall be justified. Such vanity will make us ashamed and expose our nakedness. We get our covering in the fire by enduring through judgment (Rev 3:18). Paul spoke some powerful words of losing all things, counting it as dung and coming to a place of faith where he trusted fully in the Lord’s hand. This is where we truly know the Lord and the power of His resurrection.

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

But we don’t get there easily. The carnal mind is horribly impatient and does not trust in the Lord. We want and believe we can deliver ourselves with knowledge and the Lord confounds the wisdom of the wise by making us wait on Him. We learn to be patient by failing at being swift.

Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

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

Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

The flesh has zero desire to go through much tribulation and endure torment. We have a better way than the narrow way the Lord has defined we are thinking. But all such unbelief and rebellion just prolongs our torment in the furnace of affliction. We are and will be judged abiding in the eternal fire of the Word of God that is living within His people, the Body of Christ. There is where we stop being swift and learn patience.

Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Solomon came to see the futility of his carnal reasoning’s and that running this race is not for the swift, it is for those who return to God and rest from their own works.

Ecc 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Isa 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

Knowing the Truth and the Lord’s plans for judgment should give us more hope and allow us to say what Paul said and actually take pleasure in the trials. These trials are destroying the flesh and its stronghold over us and is what is working the righteousness of Christ within us.

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.

Our own sins are used to correct us and humble us. Coming to see our nakedness is needed for us to flee from our old way of life and thinking and go to the mountain to meet the Lord.  Here is the last verse for the study and Chapter 2.

Amo 2:16 And he that is courageous [H533] [H3820] among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD.

The word for courageous is not a good translation. It comes from H533 meaning STRONG and H3820 meaning heart. This verse says what many other witnesses tells us. The strong, the rich, the mighty, the wise in the flesh shall not inherit the kingdom of God within us.

Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

The shame of our nakedness will be exposed to us every time we betray Christ to avoid persecution. Our carnal instincts are to revert to our babe in Christ status and drop our Godly garments. We deny the Lord and flee from His righteousness when we don’t make a stand and in doing so we are spiritually naked again.

Mar 14:51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:

Mar 14:52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

The story of the seven sons of Sceva (you and me) also reveals the immature and yet carnal, not truly knowing the Lord time in our walk. We are easily overcome by lies and false doctrines and the shame of our nakedness is exposed once again.

Act 19:16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

This is all part of the falling down seven times (the perfect number to learn righteousness).

Pro 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

All of this just reinforces our need to be in the safety of a multitude of counselors. The Christ is where we have ministers to hold us up when we are weak and it is by abiding there that we are given the true everlasting garments of salvation. To press onward towards the prize of the higher calling we cannot be disconnected from the Body. We are and will be making ourselves ready by enduring through our judgment and death to the old man now in this age. This is what yields the proper wedding garment which is the righteousness of Christ.

Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The shame of our nakedness is exposed in our immaturity and weakness of faith. This is done not to shame us but to bring us to maturity and increase our faith. This is the process we are reviewing and will continue Lord willing next week as we walk together with the Lord. We do our sins secretly in many cases yet our recompense will be done in the sight of Israel.

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, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

2Sa 12:12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

We will pick up next week with Amos 3 and will cover several well-known and often cited verses.

Amo 3:3 Can two walk together, except they MEET (be agreed)?

Studies

Amos Part 7 – The Beginning of Sorrows

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The Beginning of Sorrows

Key Verses:  Amos 2:4 – 2:10

The first six transgressions we reviewed in Amos were made against the heathen Gentile nations that surround Israel. Our day of the Lord and corresponding redemption is drawing nigh as we mature in understanding by our judgment. The time is at hand when we begin to see these things looking behind ourselves. Amos takes a turn this week when the judgments of the Lord are now spoken against Judah and Israel.

Luk 21:20  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

Luk 21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

We live through a time of spiritual immaturity, hearing but not doing the Word and being full of knowledge yet lacking in good works and the fruit of righteousness (Gal 5:22). The Lord’s people are blessed by being the first to keep the Lord’s judgments and do them because that is what brings salvation by the remaking of the marred vessel of clay (Jer 18:4, Rev 21:5).

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.

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

It is these “judgment” experiences that will increase our faith and teach us righteousness right on the Lord’s schedule (1Co 10:13, Joh 16:12). We move beyond the milk and honey and begin to eat strong meat as we are given to bear the affliction and suffering becoming a living sacrifice.

Amo 2:4 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

Amo 2:5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

Amo 2:6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;

Amo 2:7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:

Amo 2:8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.

Amo 2:9 Yet destroyed I the  Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.

Amo 2:10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.

Amos’s prophecy and all the words of Scripture describe our total (two) witness for Jesus Christ who is both the first man Adam and the Lord from heaven (1Co 15:47).

Amo 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

When Jesus Christ brings the war to our heavens (Rev 12:7) the process and journey towards salvation begins that will occupy the remainder of our life in physical bodies. It is through many tribulations we ARE ENTERING into the kingdom of God (Act 14:22). We must wait for the appearing of the Lord within and without ourselves. Even after abiding through the judgment of the heathen nations within, it is only the beginning of the race for eternal life.

Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

Learning obedience by the things we suffer (Heb 5:8) require us to fall down seven times (Pro 24:16) and bear the scourging and chastening that the true grace of God brings to all men in the appointed times (Heb 12:6). We bring the sins and fornication of the world into the Body of Christ with us and that is why we will spend the rest of our days in these clay vessels being taught and prepared for service in our day of the Lord.

Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

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.

The rest of the Book of Amos will be the judgment of Israel and will reveal some details on what we can expect in running this marathon all the way to the end.

Amo 2:4 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

Amo 2:5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

The old man and carnal mind loves the things of this world and despises the law of the Lord.

Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Pro 13:13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

Living by every word the Lord spoke includes walking first as our spiritual fathers did and what all carnally minded men do. Like our forefathers before us and the parable of the sons reveals (Mat 21:28-30), we say we will obey the Lord and His law but do not do it.

Exo 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

Receiving of the law and the oracles of God is knowledge but until the earthquake comes that brings salvation, this knowledge will puff us up and turn us into self-righteous religious beasts (Rev 13:11). We have yet to see our nakedness and will need to see ourselves as a harlot and publican, the very chief of sinners…. the abomination causing desolation (Mat 24:15) and have this self-righteousness exposed by judgment. It is the one who said he would not go work in His Father’s fields but later repented who enters in first.

Mat 21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

The second part of Judah’s transgression is causing others to err from the way. The fire of the Lord is the word that is showing us our hypocrisy and mixing the wine and fornicating with the spiritual harlot and her 200 million lies (Rev 9:16).

Hos 4:11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.

Hos 4:12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

1Jn 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 

We learn just how little a “little leaven” is at the same time we learn just how few the “few chosen” (Mat 22:14) is as we progress.

Amo 2:6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;

Our own righteousness will not save us (Mat 5:20) and is filthy rags to the Lord (Isa 64:6). We stand or fall based on the Lord’s will and learning contentment in our trials and suffering is a long journey of “many tribulations”. Carnal men instinctively want to share in the Lord’s glory.

Eze 28:4 With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures:

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

As spiritual adulterers and adulteresses we are still loving this world despite our knowledge and this makes us enemies of God (Jam 4:4). These idols of our deceitful hearts and merchandising ways will be revealed to us when the fire is poured out in full measure.

Psa 115:4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.

Zep 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath in the land…

Knowledge by itself does not refine us or purify the heavens. It is the trials and the suffering we have been appointed to endure by that knowledge which brings salvation.

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

Selling the poor for a pair of shoes is us seeking to save our old life and the protection and  comfort of holding on to our own righteousness.  To walk with Christ we must first loose our shoes and walk barefoot knowing our nakedness and the sin that lives within us.  Taking off our shoes is a sign of submission and humility of the dominion the Lord has over every aspect of our lives.  It precedes great judgments and deliverances at the hand of the Lord.

Exo 3:5  And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

Jos 5:15  And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

Our flesh would rather forsake Christ and keep our sins and feet covered.  So removing our shoes is needed as the Lord begins to spoil and strip our  old way of life and the carnal reasoning that has us bound.

Isa 20:3  And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

Isa 20:4  So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

When the lost “prodigal” son return to His Father’s house, then the Father’s servants and angels clothe and instruct those released from their Babylonian prisons how to dress themselves in the house of God.

Luk 15:22  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

Act 12:7  And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

Act 12:8  And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

The Greek word for shoes, G5265 – hupodeō comes from root words meaning to BIND and the Hebrew word for shoes H5275na‛al comes from a root that means to LOCK or BOLT. We become bound to Christ by our judgment and as we mature in the faith, we become able to put on the whole armour of God. This includes wearing the “virtual” sandals of Jesus Christ that is the gospel of peace. These shoes is where we find true comfort and get the protection needed to run the race to the finish line.

Rom 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

We will strive with the flesh and fight a great war in our heart and mind. Our old man and deceitful heart will concoct all manner of carnal lies, reasoning’s and deceits disguised as godliness to save his life rather than lay it down and lose it as a living sacrifice.

Amo 2:7  That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:

Panting after the dust of the earth is having strong desire to swallow (take to heart) the things of the carnal mind and the world. The carnal mind is the seed of the serpent who was ordained to eat dust (Gen 3:14). The Lord’s people are to be shaking this dust off our feet (Mat 10:14) and even commanded to diligently scrape it all off the walls of our houses (Lev 14:41).  Seeking after earthly dust, will cause us to pervert or turn away the way of the humble and the poor in spirit (the needy).

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

Exo 23:6 Thou shalt not wrest (turn aside) the judgment of thy poor in his cause.

We have many warnings of the lies and false doctrines that arise within and without that pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ and turn us away from the truth. We first do this as sorcerers as we seek gain for our godliness.

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?

Going into the same maid as our old man is fornicating with the harlot and the treasures of the world. We will all leave our first love and return to the harlot until Christ comes the second time.

Pro 26:11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

We need to be wise and be circumspect and walk not as fools and try the spirits within ourselves as well as those without (1Jo 4:1).

2Pe 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

2Pe 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

Amo 2:8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.

Continuing the theme of merchandising (buying and selling), we clothe ourselves in self-righteousness when we justify ourselves in the house of God. This self-righteousness is being exposed as we are being given the true garments of salvation and suffering the wrath of age enduring fire. We all first attend the wedding feast wearing our own self-made garment.

Mat 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a (proper) wedding garment:

We can’t bypass the Lord’s process. We are not made ready except by living through the complete (all seven) series of seals, trumpets and vials of wrath.

Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 

Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The word for “lay themselves down” [H5186 – nâtâh] is only once in 238 occurrences translated as lay. The word really means to stretch.  Stretching clothes laid to pledge is speaking again of the works of our hands (our silver and dross) in seeking to save ourselves and justify ourselves. Self-righteousness, the old garment, has no place in the Lord’s house and when we try to patch the garments together, the hole from the truth is made worse.

Mat 9:16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

The true raiment of Christ is given to those who are GIVEN to endure through their trials to the very end. We will sow in tears and mourning but reap with joy.

Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Drinking the wine of the condemned in the house of God is us abiding in judgment, taking the punishment for our transgression and harlotry and thereby learning true righteousness in the process of falling and erring from the way (Isa 26:9, Jer 2:19). Anyone (everyone) who worships the beast and receives his mark will drink of the wine of the wrath of God in the house of God.

Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

It is the Body of Christ, the same being the holy angels (messengers) of the Lord who minister the grace of God and pour out the vials of wrath that work the truth within us (Rev 15:6-8).

Judgment is the blessing and it comes only to the Elect who abide together in communion and fellowship.  Working together as one Body, it is the church that collectively makes known the manifold wisdom of God (Eph 3:10). These verses like all verses speak not of someone else, they speak of you and me if we are the Elect of God. We are condemned now for our self-righteousness so we won’t be condemned later with the rest of mankind.

1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

It is our failing to examine and judge ourselves why many are weak, sickly and asleep.

Amo 2:9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.

Amo 2:10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.

We rebel and remain disobedient to the law of Christ even after having witnessed the miraculous signs and wonders and deliverances from many enemies and giants.

Jos 5:6 For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.

Yet being driven by the carnal law (Heb 9:10) a law that is not good (Eze 20:25) made for the unrighteous (1Ti 1:9) will only get us so far. It takes the coming of Christ and the baptism by fire to enable us to cross over, enter in and begin to possess the land. This happens only when we abide with The Christ who is the Lord’s instruments of the greater works.

Rev 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

Rev 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

The Lord gives us the seasons of relative quiet and peace so we may grow as a babe and feed on the butter/milk  and honey spiritually speaking. Yet to complete His good work in us, the flesh and our sinful way of life, represented here by the Amorites will manifest themselves again and again as our teaching and learning does not end. This is the occasion the Lord is, was and will be seeking to destroy all of our flesh and ultimately the flesh of all men.

Gen 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. 

Our carnal minded father the devil (Joh 8:44) is the father of all lies and is the father of the Amorites.

Eze 16:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.

This spirit of Satan is given power of death (Heb 2:14) and only Jesus Christ the creator and father of all spirits; can destroy the Amorite spirit which is deeply ingrained in all flesh.  The causing us to err from His ways (Isa 63:17, Jud 14:4) is the Lord causing evil in the cities within us to give occasion to bring about the destruction of our flesh. It will not be until the fourth generation or the whole of our judgment that the sins of the heathen Amorite nations will be fulfilled. We must learn patience and to wait on the coming of Christ and His performing His Word in us.

Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Jer 1:12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it. 

Being saved is a lifelong process that we must endure to the end. It is not enough to start the race, it must be finished to win the prize (1Co 9:24, 2Ti 4:7) and be in the Holy and blessed first resurrection. The Lord is faithful to move us towards the earthquake that brings salvation little by little only as we can bear it. The Lord will not pass by Israel again once He puts the plumbline of righteousness (The Word) in His people.

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:

The words of Christ won’t return void. They will accomplish all the Lord sends them forth to do in the exact day and time ordained (Isa 55:11, Psa 139:16, Isa 46:10) before the world was formed. Next week we will continue with the transgressions of Israel as the rest of the Book is about the enduring judgment of the people of God.

We will begin with the topic of the Nazarites that will carry forward the snare of self-righteousness and us not submitting to the righteousness of Christ that is only by faith. Our zeal of God must be in spirit and in truth.

Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousnessto everyone that believeth. 

Sincere questions and comments welcome.  You can always contact me at peterjwilson56@gmail.com

Your Brother 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

Biblical Truth, Studies

Micah Part 10 – Sheep Led to the Slaughter

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Micah Part 10 – Sheep Led to the Slaughter

Key Verses: Micah 2:7 – 2:13

by Pete Wilson

Flesh and blood cannot and was never intended to inherit the kingdom of God.  The first born of God’s witnesses, our life walking after the flesh must be sacrificed to the Lord for the new man, the second witness to be resurrected with Christ (Rev 11:12).  The Elect are the first to endure this process (1 Pe 4:17) so they in turn can become the instruments by which all men will be judged and brought to eternal life (Rev 20:4).  To gain our life we must lose it now and that is likened to us going to a daily slaughter.

Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Judgment is the primary message of all the prophets.  It is both a wonderful and fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  It depends on which side of the two-edged sword we are talking about.

Psa 139:12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

The Lord works all things for the greater good of those who love (obey) Him.  This includes putting us into darkness, making us blind, so He can then bring us to the light.

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.

Mat 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

1Pe 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

It is truly a blessing to be judged now in this age.  It comes to precious few who are able to read, hear and to keep (i.e. live out) the words and judgments spoken about in the Scriptures.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Here are the verses for Part 10 of the study of the Book of Micah.

Mic 2:7 O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?

Mic 2:8 Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.

Mic 2:9 The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory forever.

Mic 2:10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.

Mic 2:11 If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

Mic 2:12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.

Mic 2:13 The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.

Let’s look at these verses in more detail and link them to the sum of God’s word and the gospel message of salvation.

Mic 2:7 O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened [H7114]? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?

The word straitened [H7114] is only used as “straitened” one time of its 48 occurrences.  This is a poor translation and it would be better translated as “shortened” or “reaped” implying the Lord’s will is cut off or denied when we manifest sin and rebellion in our walk.  The paradox of Scriptures is that the Lord works all things in the life of His clay vessels.  His hand is not too short to save yet our inequities the Lord Himself is causing that separates us from the Lord is not a contradiction.

Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened [H7114], that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

The Lord forsaking us for a “little while” (Isa 54:7) is needed to humble us and bring judgment upon our sinful ways and carnal lusts.  This verse in Micah is a rhetorical question that reminds us that our falling into sin and rebellion is 100% the Lord’s doing.  He is working all things for the counsel of His will. Even our very sins are in the box of all things.

Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

2Ch 20:6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

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.

Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

The words of the Lord do good for the new man because over time this grace causes us to walk uprightly.  Isaiah answers the question of who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire and who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings (Isa 33:14).  It’s not people going to a place called eternal hell, it is those who are learning through scourging grace to gain dominion over sin.

Isa 33:15  He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

The Lording causes us to err from His ways only so He can turn us back to Him and by that process teach us true righteousness.

Psa 90:3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

 

Mic 2:8  NKJV Lately My people have risen up as an enemy— You pull off the robe with the garment From those who trust you, as they pass by, Like men returned from war.

Mic 2:9  The women of My people you cast out From their pleasant houses; From their children You have taken away My glory forever.

Oppressing our neighbor, doing violence by perverting God’s ways and truths with our worldliness (harlotry) makes us enemies of God (Jam 4:4) and targets for His wrath.  The churches of men, built on the lies of the great harlot, that are also within us are the women who spoil or strip off all of our Godly raiment, both the outer robe and the under garments of Christ’s righteousness.  Trusting in our own strength and our own righteousness, which are filthy rags (Isa 64:6) spoils the pure things of God.

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

In the time of our becoming a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1) our loving Father will scourge us with grace (Heb 12:6) and bring us back to Him.

Zep 1:8  And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.

Engaged in full time warfare (Eph 6:12) we become averse to the ongoing struggles and do not always remain vigilant in the good fight of faith.  Leaven can creep in unawares (Jud 1:4) and our deceitful hearts lead us astray (Jer 17:9, Pro 4:23) when we let our guard down.  We need to be constantly reminded of our ongoing warring against the flesh and never grow weary.

1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Casting out our woman from their pleasant houses and taking away God’s glory from our children (maturing mindsets) is what disobedience brings about on our road to maturity.  “Pleasant houses” here in Micah refers to delicate houses and its root word H6026 (Anag) which links delicate houses with pliable or soft houses.  Our falling down and being judged bring this softness about.

Psa 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me

Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Sin hardens our heart and makes us less pliable in the Potter’s hands.  We are warned to take heed and learn the lessons given to us by the Scriptures (1 Cor 10:11).

Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Heb 3:15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

Sin shall no longer be ruling in our mortal fleshly bodies.  Last week we saw that adding to our knowledge is a necessary ingredient to move on to maturity and bear the fruit of brotherly love which starts and ends with obedience (1 Jo 5:3).  This is a serious calling that requires diligent ongoing effort and endurance that only the Lord can and will give us in order to grow.

Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

The word translated “forever” in Micah 2:9 is the Hebrew word olam H5769 and does not mean forever in the same way AION or AIONIOUS is mistranslated in the Greek New Testament.  Our period of judgment is not forever but is an age abiding period of time which the Lord uses to teach us the error of our sinful ways and is the very means of our salvation.  Thankfully, the Lord dies for us when we are yet still the chief of sinners and reconciles us through the death of that first (old) fleshly man Adam.

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

We are saved from wrath by living through the wrath against our sins and lustful ways now in this age.

Mic 2:10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction [H2556].

The Lord will not let us enter into rest while sin is still ruling in our hearts.  The Lord must mix in faith, the ability to believe His word, for us to overcome and learn through our judgments.  We are increasingly given the ability to get up from our falling down and that is how we gain dominion, cease from our own works and find the rest that remains for the people of God.  Yet we need not be lax, slothful or at ease on the journey. Instead we must strive, labour, be diligent and work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

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.

We looked at this word translated as “destruction”, H2556 “chebel” in Part 9.  It is only translated destruction one time in the 62 occurrences and as we saw it actually means cords or sorrows most of the time.  Either way, this destruction is speaking of the bondage (cords) to sin and the sorrows and pangs we deal with (because of that sin) in giving birth to the new man.  This is how the old man is destroyed and the beast put under subjection to the Christ in us.

Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

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

Until we learn to arise and move on, we remain to relearn the lessons with more grace poured out upon our sins (Rom 5:20).  Being forgiven and given the healing to pick up our mat and walk comes with an admonition to continue to do well.

Joh 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Our suffering and the judgments of the Lord by the Word (Joh 12:48) in the last days will not return void.  That Word will accomplish all the Lord’s purposes right on time.  We are saved from His wrath by the Lord remaking the marred (destroyed) vessel of clay.

Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred (destroyed) in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

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:

 

Mic 2:11  If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

 Our carnal rebellious flesh loves to justify itself and rationalize its continued disobedience, turning grace into lasciviousness.  In the last days, we will at first heap upon ourselves teachers and false prophets that will tell us what our flesh loves to hear (2 Tim 4:3).

Jer 5:31 NKJV The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?

This not someone else, it is you and me as the false prophet and the deceiver.  Living by every word includes all these words.

Job 12:16 With Him are strength and prudence. The deceived and the deceiver are His.

Eze 14:4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

It needs be that we get drunk with wine and strong drink as that is key to learning good and evil and coming to know He truly is the Lord.  This is the falling away that must be.

 Deu 29:6 You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or similar drink, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.

As God’s kings and priests, we must first err and mishandle the things of God and stumble in our day of judgment.

Isa 28:7  But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

This erring from His ways is every bit part of the life of Jesus Christ, who is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.  We must first bear the earthy image then the heavenly one (1 Co 15:49).

Eze 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

The Lord is not doing this as some monster, He is doing it as a loving Father to teach us the right ways of life and to make us into His people.

Eze 14:11  That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.

It is our abiding in the fire of the Word, our lake of fire NOW by which our beast and false prophet days are burned up and we are given new garments of salvation (Rev 19:20).

Mic 2:12  I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah [H1223], as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.

The same Lord that scatters His people and purposefully deceives them, gathers them back into the little flock that is the Body of Christ (Luk 12:32, Eze 34:12).  There His chosen sheep are fed spiritually and that includes being fed judgment.

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.

Jer 23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

A New Testament witness to this prophecy would be this.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

1Pe 5:2 Feed (rule) the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

It is these words of fire (Jer 5:14) that brings judgment and perfects us.  This is how over time we are edified and come to unity, the perfect man unto the fullness of Christ.  The Lord’s people make lots of noise in the day of salvation and abiding in judgment by fire of the Word.

1Sa 4:5 And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.

Psa 95:1  O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Jos 6:20  So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

This noise we make is linked to the sounds of the trumpets which represent the judgments of God that saves us from our sins!  The Word works in us via judgment.  This is how we enter into and possess the land for Christ receiving our salvation from sin.

Now let’s look at the word Bozrah and what it represents and that is the context from which the title “The Sheep Led to the Slaughter” was chosen.  E-Sword shows the Micah 2:12 word “Bozrah” as H1223 that is the same as H1224 in the Strong’s Dictionary as all other references to Bozrah are labelled.

H1224, botsrâh, bots-raw’

The same as H1223; Botsrah, a place in Edom: – Bozrah.

Total KJV Occurrences: 9

bozrah, 9

Gen_36:33, 1Ch_1:44, Isa_34:6, Isa_63:1, Jer_48:24, Jer_49:13, Jer_49:22, Mic_2:12 (2)

We will look at a few of these references but first note that Bozrah is part of the land of Moab (Jer 48:24).  Moab was an incestuous son of Lot whose name stands for the fleshly veil that keeps us separated from the Lord.  That veil of flesh must be removed for us to take heed the commandments of the Lord and walk as sons of the light.

Secondly note that Bozrah was also the capital city of Edom (Isa 34:6).  If we remind ourselves of what Esau and Edom symbolize we will be able to see this story applying to our personal day of the Lord more clearly.

H123, ‘ĕdôm,  ed-ome’

From H122; red (see Gen_25:25); Edom, the elder twin-brother of Jacob; hence the region (Idumaea) occupied by him: – Edom, Edomites, Idumea.

Gen 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.

Esau and Edom represent the first man Adam (red) which cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50) and must bow down and serve the younger new man within all of us (Gen 25:23).

The flesh must be done away with and this is done by gather of the sheep and bringing them together for judgment.  This takes place spiritually outside the camp in Bozrah, in the capital of our fleshly kingdoms.  The sword of the Lord brings the slaughter of our old ways (cutting off) as we abide in our judgment now in this age.

Also remember the meaning of a Morasthite from Part 1 was to be a possessor of a winepress.  Our suffering and dying daily with Christ in the day of our judgment (now) is how we are rightly called Morasthite’ s and obtain our garments of salvation.

Isa 63:1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.

Isa 63:2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?

Isa 63:3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.

The great tribulation that we must live through (not be raptured away) is how our clothes, our covering for sins is washed clean and made pure.

Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

One of God’s messengers (Philip, Pete, You….), members of the Body will be sent to show understanding to spiritual Eunuch’s of this great mystery and the Lord’s strange work.

Act 8:32  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

Act 8:33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

The reign of the beast and the life we know in the flesh must be lost in order for us to gain life eternal now in down payment form.  This is the only way we come to know the Lord in truth and in Spirit.  The princes and rulers of the carnal mind, the 200 Million lies of Babylon (Rev (9:16) will be slaughtered in the “harvest” of Bozrah.

Isa 34:5 For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea [EDOM] and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.

Isa 34:6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea [EDOM].

As the angels of God, His messengers and the means by which He does the greater works, we by speaking the word and watching over the flock operate the winepress and feed the people with judgment.

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.

Rev 14:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Mic 2:13 NKJV The one who breaks open will come up before them; They will break out, Pass through the gate, And go out by it; Their king will pass before them, With the LORD at their head.

The destruction of the flesh and our way of life in the world is, was and will be occurring as we endure in these marred vessels.  But the purpose of our judgment is to bring us into unity of the faith and mature us into holy men of the Lord.  The Elect are the Body of Christ which is also the bride that is to be without spot (Eph 5:27).  Our wedding garments come with a very high price and only through much tribulation.  The Lord’s arm is not too short to save.  He will save us and it is by this process of judgment.  This is how we break out of our old ways.

Mat 21:44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

Neh 1:3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

There is a time and season for everything and breaking us down and destroying our carnal strongholds (Dukes of Edom) is a very necessary season of maturing.  Following the Spirit we will walk the straight and narrow way and exit the wide gate.  Entry into the Temple, which Temple God’s Elect are (1 Cor 3:16) is done by living out those vials of wrath (Rev 15:8, Rev 1:3) and being ministered to by fellow overcomers and messengers of the Lord.

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

It is those who have the true Jesus Christ as their Head abiding in the Body subject to its governance and the multitude of counselors that are the true sons of God.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

It is only those given the mind of Christ that are ONE with the Body and the Father.

Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

We will see more detail of our period of being forsaken for a “little while” in next week’s study as we begin Chapter 3.

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

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Nahum Part 10 – The Great Grasshoppers

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Nahum Part 10 – The Great Grasshopper

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by Pete Wilson

Last week we reviewed the spiritual significance of cankerworms and their eventual transformation into moths. After the study there was great input in the discussion to follow that led me to retrace some steps and cover some additional points and have that in the study record for the benefit of all who may be led to read. Romans 1:20 and the truth of how the physical manifestation speaks to the spiritual reality is absolutely true and is utterly amazing when one begins to drill into specifics. So we are going to regroup around these two verses that reference cankerworms and moths before we move on.

Nah 3:15 There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.

Nah 3:16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away.

The Lord of course is working all things and causes these cankerworms to manifest and multiply within us which represent our works of the flesh and our fornication with this world. We saw in an earlier study the word WORMS [H8438 “tola”] is the same word translated as “scarlet and crimson” and represents the mixture of red (old man Adam) and blue (new man Christ). Similar to the discussion thread on the email list regarding Jonah and the gourd; the Lord works this evil for our good and the end result will be the exposing of our self-exalted state so the Lord can burn it out of us.

Here is a synopsis of the “fall season cankerworm” (there is also a spring season) that reminds us what cankerworms do and their various stages of metamorphosis. Remember we are the trees of the field that bring forth vegetation for the Lord.

The fall cankerworm has four life stages, egg, caterpillar, pupa, moth (adult). The adult male is a small brown moth and the adult female grey, with reduced wings, and unable to fly…… Fall cankerworm tiny caterpillars emerge in the early spring when leaves just begin to open (around late February) and feed immediately. As a tree’s young leaves and buds are destroyed, plants may respond with new buds and leaves. Cankerworms generally don’t kill trees, but this defoliation can drain a tree of some of its energy and may make it weaker.

This is exactly what spiritual cankerworms do to the trees of the field. They eat our vegetation and weaken us and make us weary. This is the burden of Nineveh, the very title of this prophecy.  This is the heavy burden and oppressive yoke we bear until our baptism is complete and we enter into the true rest that remains for the people of God “is was and will be” every day of our lives.

The final stage of a cankerworm is a moth that flies away and that is exactly what Nahum prophesies regarding these cankerworms in our heavens in our day of the Lord. They spoil our vegetation we bring forth for the Lord, then fly away and still defile our heavens as we progress through our baptism. These spiritual moths while flying in our heavens do what moths do which is to eat and make holes in our spiritual clothing. This exposes our nakedness, the very purpose the Lord causing us to err from His ways and the moths defiling our garments. The saints of God will not be wearing defiled holey garments; they will be wearing the fine linen given them by enduring through this baptism. As Christ tells us, moths bring corruption versus the purity and cleanliness required by God. When we seek riches, which means knowledge that feeds the pride of our flesh, then those riches will corrupt and bring out the moths.  The moths will corrupt and spoil our wedding garments. The moths defile the treasures we lay up upon our earth.  Yet  we are told to lay up riches IN HEAVEN where the moth’s cannot corrupt them.

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Iron is associated with the works of the flesh and our carnal state of mind. It is not usable in the service of God.   When combined with water (the Word) iron will rust and corrode much like the moths do to clothing. We are told these things to impart spiritual understanding.  The Word of God is pure and undefiled. When we are yet carnal, we will mix deep seated beliefs and thoughts that have the appearance of wisdom yet they exalt themselves against the Word. This makes us the adulterers that James says we are while already in the Body of Christ (Jam 4:4). The Lord uses the moths to expose us and eat up our garments of self-righteousness (Isa 64:6) and show us the vanity of using our supposedly godliness for gain.

Psa 39:11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.

Moths are similar to the locusts which are false doctrines and lies that blot out the Truth but they do not swarm and are found in far fewer numbers. But as we have been discussing the moths represent a latter point in our maturity in the Lord and manifest when Christ brings the fire needed to make us into doers of the Word after having come into knowledge of the Truth.  Moths are the mixing of Truth with our carnal reasoning and this too must be purged via the progressive judgments of the Lord.

The dream is truly one. Moths and worms are all part of the same process of transformation.  This is our personal metamorphosis from a carnal sinful man to a spirit led man of Christ bearing fruit and maintaining good works.

Isa 51:7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.

Isa 51:8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to generation.

Moths easily creep in and defile our garments when we do not keep watch. Those in the Body with pure doctrines must be vigilant to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling and be like Paul and examine ourselves lest we be found a castaway. Only those with undefiled will walk in white wearing the white raiment of Christ. We must not forget how we have gotten to this point; we must hold fast our confession and DO THE WORD.

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Rev 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

 The beast is still sitting on our throne when these moths are defiling and eating our garments.

The man that shows up at this feast not wearing the proper wedding garment (Mat 22:12) is not permitted to stay eating at the Lord’s Table. We must endure to the end and if we are not given to endure our circumcision (in earnest deposit), we will be made uncircumcision. Having been given such great knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God, it is easy for us to not be aware of the worms and moths that can grow unheeded in our heavens and spoil our fruit for God. We best take heed not only to our doctrine but examine our walk often.

2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

The Lord uses the worms to expose our sinfulness and to humble us via judgment. We are covered with worms, they are our spiritual garments when we are puffed up in our hearts and self-exalted in the congregation of the saints.

 Isa 14:11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.

Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

Bringing us to our wits end is the work of the worms in their various forms (Job 7:3-5). The cankerworm and the grasshoppers represent the later stages of our judgment necessary to complete the work of the Lord and mature us. When we come to see our inability to be holy and righteous on our own, then and only then does the Lord steps in to save us.

Isa 41:14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Isa 41:15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.

The work of these spiritual bugs is to impede our walk and expose our nakedness which will be used of the Lord to humble us at the appointed times. We have to see that we truly are an “abomination of desolation” defiling the temple of God when we in our self-righteousness are sitting on the throne of our hearts. The Lord hardens our hearts through them to bring the trials of our faith and to teach us patience and usher in our own transformation or transfiguration.

2 Corinthians 3:18: But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.

With a more complete view of the cankerworm life cycle and spiritual purpose, let’s pick back up with Nahum 3:17 to complete today’s study.

Nah 3:17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.

Interesting that again, this word for crowned is only found in Scripture this one time.

H4502, minnezâr, min-ez-awr’

From H5144; a prince: – crowned.

Total KJV occurrences: 1

The two horned religious beast of Revelation 13:11 that looks like a “lamb yet speaks like a dragon” is God’s Elect when we are crowned with our deep seated carnal beliefs and ways. The Lord uses all of this to cause us to separate ourselves from Him and to set up idols in our own heart that are then used to deceive us and hold us in bonds awaiting our day of the Lord (Eze 14:7-9). These idols are the captains or the thoughts that rule and reign over us until the fire comes to purge the heavens within.

Locusts in high numbers (swarms) blot out the Truth and keep us from seeing or understanding the Scriptures. In our days in the apostate churches that represent orthodoxy, the locusts are very many (Rev 9:16) and totally blot out the Truth and eat up any vegetation that may grow.

Exo 10:4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:
Exo 10:5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:

So as adulterers and adulteresses (Jam 4:4) in the Body of Christ, we have made our princes that govern in our mind in this self-righteous state as the locusts. It is the same event just at a later time with differing details. Standing in true doctrine, we still mix truth with lies, allowing a little leaven to leaven the whole lump. We have not guarded or kept the gateways into our mind pure and undefiled. We ARE NOT KEEPING WATCH.

Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life

Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

The carnal mind left to its innate natural devices will readily depart from following the Lord.  The carnal mind will quickly appoint that beast as the captain (the chief grasshopper) and we will unwittingly be led back into the ways of the world and not obey the command to be separated FROM this world within and without. Inwardly this is our tiring of the trials and tribulation of walking a narrow road. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak yet we must endure to yield the fruit unto salvation.

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Our old man aka carnal mind, will seek to hide from this blistering sun and get away from the heat, it is a natural carnal reaction of ALL FLESH. So it is within us even as we move on to maturity.

Num 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!

Num 14:3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?

Num 14:4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.

 This is how we can easily turn grace into lasciviousness even after knowing true doctrine and tasting of the heavenly gifts. The deceitfulness of our sin knows no bounds. We are given many examples of Israel falling down and being destroyed for our admonition today so we will learn this admonishment well. We must take heed and beware we do not depart from the living God. That is why we have a BODY and have this frequent fellowship because we must exhort one another daily and we are told why.

Heb 3:10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

Heb 3:11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

And if there is one takeaway I want all of us to get from the Nahum study it is this: We must endure; we must strive to the very end. Nobody has arrived.

Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;

The Lord often repeats His Words to us to get our attention and ensure we know the importance of His commandments. Here in Nahum 3:17 we get a double back to back repeated use of the Hebrew word “gob” that is translated as grasshopper.

Nah 3:17  Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great H1462 grasshoppers H1462, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.

The grasshoppers are of great significance and we best take heed and be watchmen on the wall examining ourselves for anything that operates in the kingdom of God within us that is contrary to sound doctrine or the Lord’s commands. Grasshoppers and locusts are nearly identical in the physical but there are some distinct differences.

The main difference is locusts swarm in huge numbers whereas grasshoppers are independent and loners. Locust also has the ability to cover much greater territory where grasshoppers are more localized. This fits well with the progression of our judgment. We have millions of locusts that swarm and block out the sun (Truth) when we are in Babylon and spending time under the influences of the world and its ways. But as we enter the Body, come into sound doctrine, the swarms are gone, we have Truth but we are yet carnal and immature and the Lord still has some things to deal with us and expose deep seated lies and carnal mindedness within us.

Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Let’s recall the origins and use of this word for grasshopper. The word translated as grasshopper in Nahum is H1462 or “gob”. It is only found three times in Scripture twice in Nahum 3:17 and also in Amos 7:1

Total KJV Occurrences: 3

grasshoppers, 2

Amo_7:1, Nah_3:17

great, 1

Nah_3:17 (2)

Here is how H1462 is used in context in Amos 7:1.

Amo 7:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings.

So again we see the grasshoppers on the scene later in the maturation process than the locusts. This is something we live out while in the Body of Christ. So we see the grasshoppers within eating the green grass and consuming the immature crop of the land within us.

Amo 7:2  And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.

Amos discusses with the Lord how Jacob (you and me) shall be saved and given to prosper. Then the Lord reveals the method and shows Amos the plumb line.  The Law of Christ is the measuring stick and holding us to that measure via judgment is how Jacob will be prospered and these high places we are making in our heavens with these grasshoppers will be made desolate.

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:

Amo 7:9  And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

 Amos 7:1 is merely a continuation of Amos 6 and we see the Lord declaring judgment on those that are in Zion but are at ease. We know Zion represents the Body of Christ and we can see it is those yet carnal that trust in the mountain of the flesh (Samaria) to whom this judgment is declared.

Amo 6:1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

We also saw in Part 9 that the root word for H1462 links the grasshoppers to the word husbandmen.

H1461, gûb, goob

A primitive root; to dig: – husbandman.

Total KJV occurrences: 1

This root is only used this once place in 2 King 25:12 and is translated as husbandman

2Ki 25:12 But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen [H1461].

 A husbandman is simply an old name for one whose business is to cultivate the ground.  Husbandmen dig in the ground and the earth to tend fields and bring forth crops. The word “husbandmen” like all words of Scripture can either be positive or negative. God’s Elect are the Lord’s husbandmen, we are being given the keys to the kingdom of God and are given to tend the fields and bring in the harvest and to drink of the wine and eat of the grapes.

The story of Uzziah, a king of Israel, is a story of us who also are given a love for husbandry.

2Ch 26:9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.

2Ch 26:10 Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.

But we get drunk with the vine of the vineyard. We wax fat of the cattle, the dream is one. We get puffed up initially in our work and we use our godliness for gain.

2Ch 26:15 And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.

When we are weak, only then are we strong (2 Cor 12:10). But knowledge puffs up and the moths do indeed come and corrupt those riches.

2Ch 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

This first rejected anointed king within us will be completely cut off in the day of the Nahum prophesy and we will see the end of the matter next week in our last verse Lord willing.

It is in these later stages of maturity, where we are walking with sound doctrine in the Body, when the baptism of fire comes to us as Nahum describes. It is here that we have the law of Christ written on our hearts. That comes living through and enduring these fiery trials and having the new man come forth from the death and destruction of our carnal mind.

Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Grasshoppers represent the idols of our hearts, the deep seated beliefs that are not many yet are giants of our carnality and false doctrines that need to be purged. They hide out in hedges and keep out of the sun because the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2) would quickly expose them.  When the Sun rises within us, when Christ is resurrected with power, then the grasshoppers flee away and are no longer seen.

Having come through the flood already, we must still come through the fire. It will be like both the days of Noah (water) and the days of LOT (the fire). We are Noah and we too will begin to be “a husbandmen” and plant a vineyard as we wait further instruction and fiery judgment from the Lord as our grasshoppers and our inward nakedness is exposed by the fiery light of the Word.

Gen 9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

Gen 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

The crowned locusts are also the crown of pride that is worn by us, the drunkards of Ephraim, as our outward beauty fades away as these moths, worms and grasshoppers expose our sin and self-righteousness and eat up our clothing and devour the crop.

Isa 28:1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

God’s Elect are these shameful husbandmen who have wasted the fields and allowed these grasshoppers to invade the land and spoil. God’s Elect do this when we seek after our own gain and not that of our brothers and sisters.

Joe 1:10 The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.

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.

Jesus Christ gave us some parables that speak of this same process likened to a husbandman tending to a vineyard of His Master. We will review the Luke version for brevity sake.

Luk 20:9 Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.

Our earth is the vineyard and we as a babe in Christ are the husbandmen tasked with tending to the Lord’s crop.

Luk 20:10 And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.

In due season, i.e. harvest time, the Lord sends His servants to us asking for the fruit but we do violence to the Word and send the servant away empty as we ourselves have been emptied by these insects and have no lasting fruit to give. The process repeats itself three times with the same result, no fruit and our mistreating His servants (not obeying God 1 Joh 5:3).

Luk 20:11 And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.

Luk 20:12 And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.

Finally the Lord sends Christ and His Army that brings the baptism of fire. Certainly we will fear Him when we see Him?

Luk 20:13 Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.

But no, we will go beyond what is written and reason in our heavens that we can keep the old man alive and still honor God and reap the inheritance. We can cloth ourselves, call ourselves by His Name and we get to eat at His altar we will reason.

Luk 20:14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.

So we kill Christ within us and cast lots for His clothing through the lies and vanity of being carnally minded.

Luk 20:15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?

But thankfully, the Lord Himself comes with flaming vengeance to render recompense and take back His temple and His vineyard. The first husbandman is destroyed as are the grasshoppers in the Lord’s fury for His Temple.

Luk 20:16 He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

Spiritual grasshoppers hide from the bright sun and hide out in the hedges, the cold places on the mountain. This is where we drift in the Body, we don’t maintain fervent fellowship and we just want to warm ourselves by the fire that is “Christ”. When these great grasshoppers are manifesting in our walk we will seek to separate from the Body because we cannot stand the heat. The spoken Word of Truth is uncomfortable when we harbor ungodly thoughts and actions. Our natural reaction is to begin to separate because “the heat of the sun is uncomfortable”. When the heat of the Word rises up, we as carnal men flee away from that heat.

Isa 33:3 At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.

Isa 33:4 And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpiller: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them.

It is what the carnal man/mind does when the Sun is shining the heat of “that day” upon us.  As the tables are turned, these devourers are devoured, the spoilers are spoiled. In the same way the locusts and caterpillars gathered unto us, we shall be gathered back.

Conclusion

It takes a repeated process of falling down and being scourged by the Lord’s grace to purify our heavens. The king of the bottomless pit and his sibling is our beast and neither easily departs and this is all by design of our Maker. When salvation has come to the house of the Lord, there will be no doubt who has done this marvelous thing. Like Jonah we learn this the hard way and are brought to our wits end in the belly of the beast.

Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

Jon 2:10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

And like Jonah who was sent to prophesy to Nineveh as was Nahum, we too will be dealt with for our self-righteousness. The Lord will use worms, moths, caterpillars, locusts and grasshoppers in their varied metamorphosis states to accomplish His fury within us and usher in our salvation. This process is, was and will be until the third day and we are in resurrected bodies.

I hope you have been edified and coming to see the Lord’s continued work in us via judgment well after we have come to the knowledge of Truth. The fact is our being dragged to Christ is only the beginning of our day of the Lord not the end. That process of cutting off the old and purifying the heavens and the earth continues to the last day we shed these clay vessels.  Paul’s Words have taken on greater significance to me as we abide in the fire that is Christ the Word.

2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

And Paul goes on to tell us that not many have remained faithful, even Demas and Titus had forsaken the Body and only Luke is still with him in the one mind of Christ. All this bad stuff we have been studying must be endured. We must keep the faith all the way to the end.

Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Next week the Book will be complete as we cover the final two verses.

Nah 3:18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.
Nah 3:19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?

Comments and sincere questions are welcome.  You can also email me at peterjwilson56@gmail.com