Studies

Angels of the Lord Camp Around the Saints

For Our Admonition Part 10

“Angels of the Lord Camp Around the Saints”

Key Verses: 2Ki 6:8-23

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Discussion

Being chosen as the true Israel of God and enduring the circumcision by the hand of God (Rom 2:29) ensures there are plenty of wars when our day of the Lord is at hand.  That is how the heathen nations within us (Luk 17:21) are subdued and brought into subjection to the Lord.  In this war, we lose many battles, especially the ones in the middle of our walk when we don’t remain vigilant to fight the good fight of faith.  The best news is that victory is ensured in Christ.  Whatever the Lord starts in us, He will finish exactly on schedule.

1Jn 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Joh 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Joh 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Our story today has Syria warring against Israel with Elisha, the King of Israel, and Elisha’s servant (presumably the spiritual leper Gehazi) in view.  This story like all the OT stories is written for our spiritual edification and admonition.  Here is the first part.

2Ki 6:8  Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. 

2Ki 6:9  And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. 

2Ki 6:10  And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. 

2Ki 6:11  Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? 

2Ki 6:12  And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. 

2Ki 6:13  And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. 

2Ki 6:14  Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. 

2Ki 6:15  And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 

2Ki 6:16  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 

2Ki 6:17  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 

We all come to faith as spiritual Syrians.  Abraham, the father of faith and his sons were all Syrians (Chaldeans) first, before they were chosen as the Israel of God.

Deu 26:5  And thou (Israel) shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

The king of Syria is a representation of our first born old man who wants to claim the land (dominion) that has been promised to Israel, who are God’s elect.  The battle for dominion in the land is with our own flesh, inside the kingdom of God within us.

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

The physical history of flesh Israel reveals to us the spiritual experience that will follow for spiritual Israel which we are, as the Body of Christ.

The Hebrew word for Syria and Syrians [“aram” H758] comes from a root word “armon” that means to be elevated.  No flesh shall glory in the Lord’s presence which means the Syrians will be put into submission before the new man within us is raised up in glory. This requires us to trust in the Lord and His ways when we see the impossible ahead.

Zec 4:6  Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

So long as we live in clay vessels we need to always be on guard against our flesh and the lusts therein.  They are always seeking to war with Israel to take back the spiritual land that Christ’s elect are being promised as our possession.

2Ki 6:8  Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. 

The King of Syria, a representation of the old man, our man of sin, is warring against the Israel and Christ within us.  This king relies on his servants, the lies and false doctrines of the harlot (Rev 9:16) to guide him in his warring conquests.  Yet Christ in us, the man of God (Elisha), guides the King of Israel (you and me) on the schemes of our fleshly enemies and the wiles of their father, the devil’s, servants. With the warnings and admonitions of truth from Elisha, we, the king, are able to send armies (truth) and save the land and thwart the Syrian advances.  This is spiritual warfare played out daily in our lives illustrated here in a biblical history lesson.

2Ki 6:9  And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. 

2Ki 6:10  And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. 

This engagement and response against the Syrians is an ongoing battle not just once or twice.  We only enter into the Kingdom and eternal life thru many trials of faith and many tribulations (Act 14:22) with our own flesh.  This is how we grow, and our faith is proven.

Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Col 1:29  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Elisha, as type of Christ, and the elder and prophet, was obedient to the commands as a faithful watchman and warns us, the king of Israel, of the Syrian plans.

Eze 33:7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

Our old man is vexed (troubled) by the continued thwarting of his plans as the land remains under the dominion of Israel.

2Ki 6:11  Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? 

2Ki 6:12  And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. 

The Syrian king discovers that Elisha knows all his secrets and what he speaks in his bed chamber.  This reinforces how the Lord exposes our hidden sins and wicked thoughts in our day of the Lord.  To be destroyed all things must be brought to the Light of Christ.

Mar 4:22  NKJV For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.

The fleshly agenda of the Syrian king within us will be uncovered and the king of Israel is able to defend the land.

Luk 12:2  For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.

Luk 12:3  Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.

Yet our old man does not go easily.  This old king hatches a plan with the objective of capturing Elisha.  This is the plan of the Pharisees in all of us who hate Christ and seek to kill Him.

2Ki 6:13  And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. 

2Ki 6:14  Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. 

Secular scholars like to say that Dothan was the home of Elisha.  While we have no way of knowing that for certain we can deduce some spiritual significance from the name Dothan and apply that to our walk and journey onto maturity in Christ.  The only other place Dothan is mentioned in the Scriptures is the story of Joseph (Gen 37) where his ten brothers attempted to slay him and eventually sold him into slavery in Egypt.  Dothan is also the city where this Syrian army encampment takes places and there is an attempt to capture Elisha and put him into bondage.  Most experts claim Dothan means two wells or two cisterns which does fit both stories where the city is mentioned.

Jer 2:13  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Like Joseph’s ten brothers and our flesh, the Syrians, we are committing these two evils as a Pharisee seeking to serve two masters and drink out of the wells of the Spirit and the flesh.  We are both the sons hating and the son being hated at our appointed times.

Gen 37:17  And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

Gen 37:18  And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 

As Pharisees we don’t want the land healed, we want to remain in power and control and not submit to the righteousness of Christ.  Hence, we plot like the Syrians to capture Christ.

Mat 12:14  Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

As Jews that believe on Jesus Christ (Joh 8:31), the Syrians within us (old man), seek to kill Christ and silence the truth so they can remain occupiers of the land.

Joh 8:40  But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

The king of Syrian wars against the ways of the Spirit and sends many horses, chariots and a huge host (army) to war against Israel and defeat it.  This is our battle against all that is in the world.  Horses symbolize the strength and power of the world and our flesh which is why Israel was commanded not to ride horses nor engage in any horse trading.

Deu 17:14  When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;

Deu 17:16  But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

Deu 17:17  Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

Of course, with a bunch of heathen kings still living in the land, we are being caused to disobey all these commands first before we are caused to obey the Lord.  The example of Solomon was written for our admonition in taking many horses and many wives.

1Ki 4:26  And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.

1Ki 11:3  And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.

In the negative, chariots are lies and false doctrines that are pulled by the strength (the horses) of our carnal minds.  The two hundred million locusts (Rev 9:16) are described as these chariots which are lies (Isa 9:15) that darken the truth and blot out the Light that are saving us.

Rev 9:7  And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

Rev 9:9  And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

It is through the use of these horses and chariots that our old man, as the King of Syria, wages war against the Israel of God within us and without.  The deceitfulness of sin that lies in all of us creep in unawares in the cover of spiritual darkness.  Before we know it, we are surrounded and we, like this servant, wake up to see our predicament and have no confidence in the Lord to deliver us.  The lesson here is one of faith and how we stand on faith and know that this battle is the Lord’s.

Deu 20:4  For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

We now get to the part of the story that is most instructive to our growing in the faith.

2Ki 6:15  And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 

2Ki 6:16  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 

The Lord is working this waging war within us and only He brings victory.  Learning to trust in the Lord and His sovereignty is how we are given to rise up and overcome our enemies via our faith.

1Jn 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

1Co 2:5  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

We are at war with our own flesh which seem hopeless until our eyes are opened.  Our young faith is being tested often as those trials are what build us up in the Lord and move us onto maturity.  We are learning to trust in the Lord alone and His supernatural power but at first, we cannot see the power that Christ has over all things.

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (mind and our bodies)

As Christ’s chosen disciples, we already have this power (Christ in us) but we don’t believe at first when our city is surrounded by the enemy.

Luk 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

The truth of the Word puts exponentially more enemies to flight when the two converge.  No lies, the enemies of the truth can stand in the presence of truth.  Thus the meanings of these war stories from the OT become clearer to us and the  important of believing.

Lev 26:8  And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

Deu 32:30  How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?

When we are surrounded by our flesh (Syrians within) and it seems hopeless, the stronger are there to help the weaker in the faith.  This care should be cast upon Christ and we should seek help and prayer from the multitude of counselors.  Elisha, the mature man of God, prays to the Lord for the weak servant to see the spiritual truths and to see the true power of the Lord’s army.

2Ki 6:17  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 

The fire that surrounds Elisha and all in the Christ is the Living Word (fire) that lives inside of us and is spoken when we speak truth.  The Lord’s horses and chariots are the truth, the doctrines on which we, the elect of God, ride and in which we stand.

Rev 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Rev 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Collectively this army is also known as the battle axe of the Lord through which all these heathen nations are destroyed.

Jer 51:20  Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

Jer 51:21  And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;

Christ, through His Christ is our protector and our protection.  There is no other place to be saved (Act 4:12)!  Our seeing this truth comes via the process off maturing via the trials the Lord is working in our life with the Syrians and other heathen nations.  The Body are the saviours and deliverers who help one another and protect us from the enemy within and without.

Psa 34:7  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 

Psa 34:8  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Heb 1:7  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

 Pro 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Most translations say this army was more [H7227] than the Syrians yet that being more or greater is only in power and strength not in quantity.  The sum of the Word makes clear that the people of God are a little flock who are few in number (Mat 22:14) but mighty in Spirit (Mat 28:18)

Luk 12:32  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The lesson of Gideon’s army (Jdg 7) is an OT proof also where a thirty-two thousand strong army was winnowed down to just three hundred by the Lord’s design to conquer the much larger Midianites.   The Lord is saving a few now, through whom all men shall be saved.

2Ki 6:18  And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 

2Ki 6:19  And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria. 

2Ki 6:20  And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 

2Ki 6:21  And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them? 

2Ki 6:22  And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. 

2Ki 6:23  And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel. 

The second part of our story follows and begins with the Lord’s army coming together as one to hold each other up in time of war (Exo 17:12) and great trials.  It is standing together in the Name of the Lord that our enemies are being defeated.

1Th 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

The servant of Elisha (us in our time of unbelief) is strengthened and comforted by the Lord’s small and powerful army that facilitates us winning the battles with our flesh (the Syrians).   The land is subdued and overcome by judgment that brings new light into the picture.  Yet before we can see spiritually we must come to see that we are blind.  The Word that brings judgment at first brings blindness and then only after a while do we realize we were blind as we begin to follow the Lord (Elisha back to Samaria).

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.

Joh 9:40  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

Joh 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

We have an OT witness to the same.  Those gathered against Christ and His Christ (the Syrians within, the Pharisees within) will be blinded and lose all strength and  direction of their old way of life.

Zec 12:3  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Zec 12:4  In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.

The fire of the Word of truth destroy our former mindset and reveal our blindness even as God’s people.  It is humbling to be blind and dependent upon others to lead us safely.  But that is how an elevated prideful Syrian is brought low in the appointed time.

Jas 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Once blinded, the Syrians within us, readily follow Elisha (Mat 9:27, Mar 8:23) where he leads them back to Israel and then reopens their eyes, so they can see.  The last lesson in this story is learning to love our enemies and walking by the  law of faith.  Our enemies are doing exactly what the Lord has made them to do and for that we should be thankful as even they are for our sakes (2Co 4:15).

When our Syrian captives are brought back to the congregation of Israel, our first instinct as the king in training is to smite them or kill them.  This is how the carnal mind works but that is not the Spirit of Christ.

Luk 9:56  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Mat 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Elisha is obedient to the commands of God and teaches the king to be obedient and not do what the whole world does to their enemies.  Loving our enemies, spiritually speaking is for us to feed Christ (the sheep) and give them drink as Elisha persuades the King of Israel to do.  Paul and the Lord tell us to spiritually feed all those He puts in our path.

Rom 12:20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Rom 12:21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Mat 25:37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

We can read on in Kings and see that the peace with the Syrians here was only temporary.  The war with our flesh is a lifelong affair that consume our entire age or aion in these clay bodies.  A different leader, king Benhadad, brings the Syrians right back into Israel after a season of peace and ends up conquering and controlling the land.  Little by little we get the victory, overcome and possess the land in the Kingdom of God within us.  Yet no matter where we are in that process, we are to never stop striving to walk the straight and narrow way.

Luk 13:24  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

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

Sincere questions and comments are always welcome.  You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com and I would be  pleased to respond and help any way I can.

Your brother in Christ,  Pete

Studies

Habakkuk Part 1 – Why Do You Show Me Inequity?

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“Why Do You Show Me Inequity?”

Key Verses Hab 1:1 – 1:11

We begin this short three-chapter prophecy of Habakkuk.  The prophets show us the judgment we must endure through in order to enter into the promised rest that remains for the people of God.  This is a promise for all men ultimately but in this age the Lord is only working righteousness via judgment (Isa 26:9) in His chosen few also known as the Body of Christ, the elect and the House of God among other names and symbols.

Habakkuk asks immature and yet carnal questions that we all ask of the Lord as we suffer many things. This prophecy will reveal to us experiences we live out as we transition from the old man to the new man on our way to being mature in Christ and in need of nothing.  It is only in our patience that we possess our souls in the Lord.  We all have a lot of growing up to do to learn patience.

Jas 1:2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Jas 1:3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Jas 1:4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

The just shall live by faith is the central theme and message of the Book of Habakkuk.  That overarching takeaway is from these words of the Lord spoken in response to Habakkuk’s second complaint.

Hab 2:4  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Paul understood how to apply all these OT ensamples written for the admonition of the elect who would come many years later beginning at Pentecost.

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.

Gal 3:11  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 

Habakkuk is being used to teach us a very important lesson that brings death to self.

Luk 21:19  In your patience possess ye your souls.

Rom 5:3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Habakkuk contends with the Lord and challenges His wisdom.  Why does the Lord do what He does?  Why does He rather simply save us and cut out all the suffering and experience of evil.  Flesh does not want to accept that it is mere clay in the Potter’s hand and can do nothing of ourselves.

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

The name Habakkuk H2265 is said to mean “one who embraces”.  Many of the “name” websites extend this to say Habakkuk means a “wrestler”.  We all contend with the Lord in our day of judgment, not understanding it nor appreciating it until we learn by the thing we are given to suffer.  Let’s get into the prophecy and see the burden of Habakkuk, which is our burden, in our spiritual immaturity and how the Lord answers our lack of faith.

Hab 1:1  The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. 

Hab 1:2  O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! 

Hab 1:3  Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 

Hab 1:4  Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. 

The burden Habakkuk saw is the burden of being under the influence of spiritual Babylon and the harlot is sitting upon our beast.  Mike’s recent study Isaiah 13 covered this in depth (Click Here To See Study).

Rev 17:3  So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit [as a burden] upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:4  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: [And who is this burden on this scarlet coloured beast?]
Rev 17:5  And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

When judgment first falls on our house (1Pe 4:17), we, like Habakkuk want an instant salvation and deliverance from evil both that within ourselves and in the physical world.  We simply have not learned the lessons of patience and why the Lord saves us little by little and teaches us patience and longsuffering in the process.  Nobody likes enduring wrath and torment but here in lies our endurance which is also the patience by which we are being saved.

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:

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.

The Lord’s ears don’t stop hearing but His purpose is not to save the old man so in our immaturity we will claim He does not hear us.  The Lord is getting our attention by the trials and bringing us back to faith and the hope by which we are being saved (Rom 8:24).

Pro 1:27  When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

Pro 1:28  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

Mic 3:4  Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

It is the prayers made in faith that the Lord hears and answers; everyone in due time.

Joh 14:13  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Joh 14:14  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Mat 21:22  ESV whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

But we all first pray amiss, not understanding the severity of the Lord’s judgment and the total destruction of the first vessel that comes with the remaking of all things (Jer 18:4).

Jas 4:3  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Like, Christ experienced, we too, will feel like we have been forsaken when the going gets tough and we are surrounded by evil and persecution within and without ourselves.  These words of David are the Words of Christ and they are our words as His elect in our day of judgment.  The wicked are used to put to death the first man Adam, in us all.

Psa 22:12  Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

Psa 22:13  They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

Psa 22:14  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

Psa 22:16  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

As we mature, we grow in our understanding of the Lord’s plan and become at peace to the trials and suffering to which we have been appointed (Phi 1:29).  Until we come to understand the Lord’s ways and appreciate (give thanks) the trials for the righteousness they are working within us, we, wrestle with the Lord and falsely accuse Him.  We are learning both patience and obedience by the things we are suffering.

Psa 74:1  O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?

Psa 74:10  O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name forever?

It is when we can look behind ourselves and see the Lord working righteousness in us by these judgments (Isa 26:9) and by these trials that we then see and appreciate the blessings of our tribulations.  This is partaking of the Lord’s supper daily which is our dying daily and being thankful for the process.

Mat 26:27  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

Mat 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Eph 5:20  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

We want peace in our world, yet the Lord brings that peace by first bringing a war and our flesh does not want to endure a war and in our ignorance, will seek to wrest away judgment to keep our false peace and old way of life going.

Hab 1:3  Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 

Hab 1:4  Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. 

Habakkuk, like all of us, struggles with the Lord raising up evil within our house (temple).  But that is the just recompense for the man of sin that we all are until we are being remade by  fire our entire lives in these vessels of clay.

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.

The sword of the Lord brings war in our heavens as flesh and spirit battle for preeminence.

Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Only Christ, through our faith in Christ, bring victory and the Lord is making us wait on Him so we will know it was Him and  none of ourselves when victory comes.

Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Joh 16:33 I have said all these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world, you have trouble: but take heart! I have overcome the world.

Deu 7:22 And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.

Only the mature can eat strong meat (Heb 5:13) which is getting to the place where we truly are content and giving the Lord thanks in all things and no longer despising the chastening that is saving us.

Php 2:14  Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Isa 53:11 He shall see of the travail (grievance) of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Habakkuk and we are being brought to our wits end where we will have exhausted all our own efforts in futility to bring deliverance.  It is only when we see this reality that the Lord steps in to save us.  Like Job, we begin to see and understand as we are being stripped and destroyed of many things.

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

Job 19:11  He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.

Job 19:12  His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.

The Lord answers Habakkuk’s first complaint.

Hab 1:5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. 

Salvation is the Lord’s work (Jon 2:4) and that comes about by what Isaiah calls a “strange” process.  This disannulling of our covenant with death (to be carnally minded) requires a complete (seven) series of trials and afflictions.

Isa 28:21  For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.

His works in us are all things and that includes the many tribulations by which we must enter the kingdom of God (Act 14:22).  These trials are the same as living through the seven vials of wrath by which no man can enter into the temple of the Lord (Rev 15:8).  All men, beginning with the house of God, must drink of this cup and endure what Psalm 107 calls “the wonderful works of the Lord to the children of men”.

Psa 107:39  Again, they are minished (humbled) and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.

Psa 107:40  He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.

Psa 107:41  Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.

Psa 107:42  The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.

Ecc 1:13 CLV I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

The answer from the Lord is not being understood when it is declared unto us.  It takes time and much tribulation to come to know the Lord.  It is the trials and the suffering which write the law of faith onto our hearts (Jer 31:33, Heb 10:16).  Our understanding matures and is sharpened as we endure more and more in the furnace of affliction (Isa 48:10) as our earth is purified seven times (Psa 12:6).  Yet carnal disciples were not ready to eat meat yet and did not understand the cost of our discipleship at first.  This is our experience also (Mat 4:4).

Mar 9:31  For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

Mar 9:32  But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

But as Christ is glorified within us (Joh 12:16), then we remember and begin to appreciate all the suffering and tribulations we have been given to bear.  Paul had learned the “hard” way and spoke the truth in his evangelizing at Antioch.  Being saved and being made into kings and priests is not for the faint hearted.

Act 13:39  And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Act 13:40  Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;

Act 13:41  Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

The things spoken of in the prophets time after time, is the judgment in our day of the Lord and specifically how the Lord raises up and sends evil nations and spirits, within and without to do His bidding.  This is what is necessary to bring the occasion the Lord is seeking to end all flesh within us and grow the mind of Christ.  The man of sin is being revealed and destroyed, little by little in the consuming fire of the Word of God.  There are many examples and I list just a few for reference.

Isa 5:26 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:

Jer 1:15  For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.

Joe 2:4  The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.

Joe 2:11  And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

In Habakkuk’s answer the Lord specifically calls out the Chaldeans as the occupiers occupy Israel.

Hab 1:6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs. 

Hab 1:7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. 

Hab 1:8 Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. 

Habakkuk in us learns that the Lord raises up opposition to our faith to try and to test us.  It is our failing and the resulting chastening that brings the learning and over time salvation.  This is the true grace of God in action (Heb 12:6, Tit 2:11).

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

The Lord is sending these wicked nations to destroy Babylon in our day of judgment.  We will be rescued from the harlot as our own wickedness is made manifest and destroyed by the coming of the Lord.  The Lord’s sword as we have often showed is the wicked (Psa 17:13) and these wicked nations that are used for His purpose and then destroyed themselves in the process.

Isa 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
Isa 10:6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

Jer 27:6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.

I loved the way Larry said it in the Genesis 74 studyThe spiritual Chaldeans or Babylonians, like the spiritual Assyrians are all used by God to fulfil His judgement in order to reveal where the worst evil was being committed, and the biggest criminal is hiding.

Habakkuk is being told that the Lord is raising up evil against His own house.  Dwelling places is the same word as tabernacle which reminds us that the day of the Lord will not come until the temple is overrun by the man of sin (2Th 2:3-12) and we see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (Mat 24:15).

Rom 3:11  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

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

Horses symbolize power and specifically our trust in the world’s wisdom and the works of the flesh (Exo 14:9, Deu 17:16, Isa 31:1).  We are being taught to not trust in Egypt and the ways of the world but to walk by faith in the Word.

1Co 4:6  And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

We come to know the Lord only through our judgment and being shown our wickedness.  The Lord works evil for good in converting us over time (Jer 2:19).  The Lord knows how to reveal our wretched and miserable state (Rom 7:24) using these flesh nations as well as sending the tempter (the devil) and evil spirits to us for this purpose.

Psa 78:49  He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.

Their dignity and judgment coming forth means the manifestation of sin and wickedness will be the fruit of their doings.  The word for dignity, H7613 in Strong’s or “seeth” is the word more often used as “rise or rising” as used in Leviticus speaking of the rising scab of leprosy.  This leprosy (elevated flesh) requires inspection by the priest of God and specific commandments to purge it out being so diligent as to even scrape the walls of the house.

Lev 13:2  When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising [H7613] a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests:

When the Lord sends His army to turn us back to Him by first utterly destroying our old man and confidence in our flesh, there will be no stone left standing.  None of our high places and hidden areas of darkness will be left hidden.  All shall be taken and torn down (Mat 24:2).

Hab 1:9 They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. 

Hab 1:10 And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it. 

Hab 1:11 Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god. 

Supping as the east wind, is turning back to the way we as God’s people came from.  We return to our vomit and our carnal way of thinking instead of walking in faith and heading west following the Sun of righteousness.  These verses came up in Amos when we discussed spiritual direction but they apply here as these nations represent our carnal thoughts and way of life.

Eze 8:16  And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. 

Eze 8:17  Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.

The word translated mind here in Hab 1:11 is RUACH H7307 which is actually the word for SPIRIT and WIND.   What the Lord is telling Habakkuk is that He is going to change a man’s spirit by these carnal nations He sends to destroy Babylon within us.

We can say salvation is of the Lord all day long.  But until we live through these prophecies we  still trust in ourselves and our own righteousness and the horses of Egypt.  The Lord is causing the sanctuary to be overrun by evil and then He brings vengeance for His Temple.

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

Isa 63:18  The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.

Eze 39:23  The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword.

This answer did not fully satisfy Habakkuk nor will it satisfy us.  There is a second complaint that will be next week’s focus Lord willing.  We have more to contend with the Lord about as we need to learn the purposes of evil and why we must learn it before we will come to know and understand the Lord.  We learn this in the Lord’s whirlwind which is our day of judgment.

 Rom 3:21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

 

 

Doctrine, faith

The Two Covenants – Part 2

The Two Covenants Part 2

(Compiled from studies and posts by the elders)

We have looked at the law of the letter and the Law of the Spirit in Part 1. Today, we look a little more at the perfect Law of Liberty, the Renewed Covenant that is in Christ’s blood.

Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Perfect Love

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

What is this perfect love? This word “perfect” is being used in the context of matured love, a complete love and a love that is full of age Greek 5048 (from 5046 & 5056), as opposed to an immature childish love. Perfect love is the opposite of the love that focuses on all things aside from the true Christ, the love of the world and all things in it.

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Perfection in the Spirit, is when maturity and or completeness is the end goal, that we be thoroughly furnished unto all good works, that is, to be as our Father, which is in heaven IS perfect (Mat 5:48, 2Co 13:9, 2Ti 3:16-17). We, however, receive the fullness of the Spirit only when we are physically resurrected with Christ Lord willing.

“Perfect love” is keeping Christ’s Word, the means unto that Perfection.

Psa 119:96 I have seen an end of all perfection: [but] thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Php 3:12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: [of perfection] but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before (ASV).

 Perfect love of God is perfect hatred to all that oppose Christ and are contrary to the ways of God, the Father, His Son and His Christ.

Psa 139:21 Do not I hate them, O Jehovah, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

Psa 139:22 I hate them with perfect hatred: They are become mine enemies. (ASV)

Obedience to the doctrine of Christ is how this love is being perfected, and we are to press on towards it. As our obedience is fulfilled, this love grows in us as we abide in the doctrine of Christ. It is love that grows and is abounding into perfection.

2Co 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

 This perfect love “casts out fear”, and fear is contrasted with boldness. John is inspired to emphasize the end goal:

Joh 4:42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

 Fear of whom should we be concerned with to be casting out of our heavens and earth?

Mar 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

1Jn 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

False prophets and antichrists prophesy (1Co 14:3) falsely to deceive us within and without who do not confess the true Name of Christ.

1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

1Jn 4:5 They are of the world: therefore, speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

Fear of them that seduce you, fear of the antichrists, fear of they of the world, which is all briefly comprehended in saying, the fear of men.

Pro 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

The spirit of antichrist that is bringing great fear to us, requires vigilance to cast out. This is the Pharisee within and without, always accusing us. Paul, was exceedingly mad against the Living Church at first. The carnal mind wants to rule and have preeminence.

Act 26:10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.

Act 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.

3Jn 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

 3Jn 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

He that fears is not being made perfect in love. What type of fear did John witness in the days of his flesh? John saw there was fear of the Jews. We do not want to die daily.

Joh 7:12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.

Joh 7:13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

 John saw a disciple of Jesus in fear of the Jews as he himself also was and the rest:

Joh 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

Joh 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Three times we read John write for fear of the Jews. John knew what fear of men really entails; how it manifests, and how that fear is a snare holding many in bondage to be slaves of unrighteousness and slaves of lies.

Isa 57:11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not?

And it is continuing to be fulfilled in every generation, as it was in the days of John when he saw the cause of the fear that was in men causing the denying of Christ and His Christ within and without.

Joh 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

Joh 12:43 For they loved the praise [fear] of men more than the praise [fear] of God.

The praise of men is linked to the fear of men. The praise of God is linked to the fear of God. No man can serve both. One has to be cast out (Mat 6:24). Fear, is, was and will be cast out when our obedience is being fulfilled, day by day for the rest of our lives in earthen clay vessels Lord willing. Fear of men, that is contrary to the fear of God, inhibits us from obedience to God.

Isa 8:12 Say ye not, A conspiracy, concerning all whereof this people shall say, A conspiracy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be in dread thereof.

Isa 8:13 Jehovah of hosts, him shall ye sanctify; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

We are given an example of one apostle serving the Lord with boldness, with a more matured love having cast out the fear of men (one and the same as the fear of the Jews, of the circumcision) and another with less matured love fearing men and treasuring up torments for himself. This is us in the day of judgement which is now upon us.

Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, [boldness in the day of Judgment] because he was to be blamed.

Gal 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 

Gal 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, [devoid of perfect love, obedience to the gospel], I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Peter was in such dread of the circumcision (Pharisees), that he played the hypocrite. Fear caused him to live a lie for a moment and not fear God. Fear cause a lot of torments trapping people in unrighteousness, lies, hatred and it takes time to overcome as the natural instinct is to prefer the old wine from the changes of the new.

Luk 5:39 And no man having drunk old wine desireth new; for he saith, The old is good. (ASV)

Perfect love is a growing event, little by little, day unto day as fear of men decreases, is cast out of our hearts and minds, and our obedience in the fear of the Lord increases. Do not fear and dread this spirit, and this takes Christ in us (Act 9:26, Act 26:10-11). In the day of judgment when antichrist spirit, like Saul, from Tarsus, is persecuting us to strange cities and putting some to death, this is taking great boldness through the power of God in us, Christ, to “not be afraid”, a supernatural event simply because the fear of death is very natural and very real. Not being naturally afraid of the spirit of antichrist is one and the same thing as not being afraid or fearful of death. As John wrote many times, only “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27) is greater than any antichrist, seducers, deceivers and false prophets that is in the world. We overcome that fear of men or death in us by keeping His commandments.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, [thus the fear of death] that is, the devil;

Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

The power and fear of death that the children of the devil are temporarily given has no hold on Christ.

Joh 19:10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? [you do not fear me??!] knowest thou not that I have power [of death] to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?

Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power [of death and fear] at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore, he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Christ with boldness, told John and the other disciples earlier:

Joh 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

The fear of men binds and delivers us into many prisons of the world’s system within and without. The torment and stripes the fear of men produces includes the bondage to the carnal mind (bondage to death – Rom 7:23-24, Rom 8:2) that the Lord is freeing us from in the day of our judgment. Christ is the mediator to bring us from the fear and power of death to the fear and power of God under the NT.

Luk 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, [of the fear of men] being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, [and all its power and fears] they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

That boldness Christ displayed in the face of death is what Paul refers to as a good confession, and we are striving for this every day and that is to fear Christ only.

1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

By having boldness in the day of judgment as a soldier of Christ, through perfect love.

1Ti 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

1Ti 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

What is boldness in the Day of Judgment? Boldness for what?

In our day of judgement, the fear of men begins to be fading away because the riches of Christ are being esteemed far higher than the fear of men. Look at the example of Peter and John in the book of Acts.

Act 4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
Act 4:6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem …

Act 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus …

Act 4:17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.

Act 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them,

Here’s a demonstration of boldness in the day of judgement, and carnal fears, fear of men, spirits of many antichrists are being cast out.

Act 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

Act 4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

It takes great boldness to tell the Jews, then and now, and their carnal supporters, that God is making of twain one new man (Eph 2:14-16, Rom 2:28). Speaking the Word in boldness in the midst of religious antichrists is to speak without fear of men. Great boldness is needed because it is inevitable that there will be contentions, even at times, persecution unto death. Think within first.

1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

To be in the faith of God’s elect, boldness is a requisite to enter into the faith, walk in the faith, live and die by the faith of Christ.

Heb 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest [the pure faith of God’s elect] by the blood of Jesus,

Php 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

It takes the boldness of Christ in us to overcome the fear of men and confess a good witness, to speak the Truth as we ought to.

Php 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

1Th 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

Boldness is needed. Why? Because we do not know what tomorrow brings, we testify to the Gospel of grace.

Act 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, [Paul showing us an example of great boldness] not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Act 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Eph 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Fear has torment. What is torment? Who fears?

The torment from the fear of false prophets, is only the one side of torment. Torment and pain is also coming from living under falsehood when we know the Truth. Knowing to do good, and doing it not for fear, is reserving one’s own punishment. There are consequences of disobedience to God’s Word that the natural man treasures up to himself wrath against the day of wrath unto the that Day (Rom 2:5-6).

Deu 28:58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that [Perfect love] thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God;

Deu 28:59 Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

Deu 28:60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, [deliver you unto Satan] which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.

Deu 28:61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.

These torments are stored up until the time the Lord delivers us through the destruction of the flesh. Just as we are being delivered from death through death, (Joh 12:24, Col 1:22, Heb 2:14) likewise, we, are and will be delivered, from ungodliness through the torment and pain of the destruction of the flesh, that is, the death of the cross. At the appointed time, the Lord teaches us His fear and dread by His Spirit.

Isa 28:14 Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

Isa 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell [Gk: Sheol, the abode of death – the carnal mind] are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Many scorners and rulers of men within and without say in our hearts when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, …. when judgment day comes, it shall not come unto us, that is, we will not go through the heart-cleansing process of the wrath of God. This covenant with death, the fear of death, and all that it entails, are being destroyed today, if we are His.

Isa 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

Isa 28:18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulledand your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

It is all a demonstration of His Almighty power and age-lasting glory.

Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, [His fear] endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Psa 90:11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

It is all a process unto salvation within and without.

1Jn 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

That is how we are and always will be being saved through His consuming fire, so that the fear of the Lord becomes our fear, no more fear of men and or fear of death.

Isa 8:11 The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,

Isa 8:12 “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.

Isa 8:13 Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life (New Living Translation).

How does obedience (perfect love) relate to suffering and boldness?

There is and was suffering for the disciples then and now in perfect love of the brethren. Suffering is a central part of obedience in that the flesh is being denied and dying daily. We have been told numerous times:

1Th 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

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

The transformative process is pain and sorrow, but results in a peace and love that surpasses all understanding, producing wisdom that is not of this world. The difference now is that suffering that comes (because of not being afraid/fearful of the men of this world, overcoming the flesh and confessing the Name of Christ) is now for righteousness’s sake, and not suffering for doing evil.

Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

1Pe 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

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

We are no longer fearful and afraid of the terrors of men because the suffering is not worthy to be compared to the glory that lies ahead and already is.

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, [in the Fear of God] than for evil doing [In the fear of men and love of this world].

That is how we become unafraid in heart and suffer for well doing.

Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Perfect love cast out all kinds of fear

The love of Christ works by fearing Him, by obedience to His commandments. Christ does not deny Himself. His fire to be feared remains from the beginning until the end, even as His love.

2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

In Him are all the characteristics of love, fear, righteousness, wisdom, knowledge, judgments and all spiritual attributes in one. What can separate us from the throne of God, as we have seen so far, is the fear of men, the Jews, fear of them that kill the body, fear of the enemy all summarized as fear of death.

Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world [whom we fear with the power of death] be cast out.

As Christ increases and we decrease we have no more fear of death. Boldness is coming as Paul, Peter and others displayed in the Acts of the disciples.

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren [whom we used to fear in times past] is cast downwhich accused them before our God day and night.

Carnal fear causes many to turn aside from the righteousness of God and being leavened.

Deu 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

Our witness of Christ in this evil world, as evil men wax worse and worse, makes for spiritual blessings, contentions and warfare with persecutions, needing great boldness.

Mar 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,

Mar 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

We are being persecuted even to “strange cities”.

Act 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,

Act 5:28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.

Act 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Perfect love is casting out the fearful, afraid and timid spirits (men) in our hearts.

Eze 2:6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

It is by the fear of God we do service to the Lord himself out of the heart.

Col 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 

Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

The Spirit of God through Christ deliver us and teach us His fear.

Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death [the fear of man] were all their lifetime subject to bondage [A snare].

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.

Then boldness and blessings replace the fear of man:

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear [of man, of death] but of power, and of [perfect] love, and of a sound mind.

Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly sayThe Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Isa 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Isa 11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

It is the Elect of God who have been set from the bondage to the first covenant and the delusion of thinking we are responsible for our own salvation.  Salvation like all things, is the Lord’s work in His people who are mere clay in His hands (Isa 64:8, Phil 2:13).  The freedom we have in Christ, is not freedom to sin but it is freedom to cease from our own works and wait on the Lord to deliver on His precious promises.  It is in this patience of enduring torment in  our flesh that we possess our souls (Luk 21:19).  In this we should rejoice daily no matter where may find ourselves on the way to maturity.

Gal 4:22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

Gal 4:23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

Gal 4:24  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Gal 4:25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

Gal 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Gal 4:27  For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

Click Here for Part 1 of this mini study

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

 

Studies

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

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A Famine of Hearing the Words of the Lord

Key Verses:  Amos 8:8 – 8:12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

H2975, ye’ôr   –  Total KJV Occurrences: 65

river, 35

rivers or river’s, 18

flood, 6

brooks, 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Servant In Christ,  PETE