Psa 43:1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me!
Psa 43:2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Psa 43:3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Psa 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Psa 43:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (ESV)
Sometimes we have to remind our souls to "hope in God", because in Him there is always hope. That's one thing the world does not have -- hope. They look to the things of this world that they can possibly manipulate to give them a sense of hope, though it is a temporary and false hope. But the Christian has true hope in Christ. Our life is hidden in Christ. He is our life. No one can take that from us. Today's world is full of oppression for the true believer, darkness, uncertainty, insecurity, fear and terror, but we can always say, "Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God." He sends forth His light in the darkest darkness to lead us. He sends forth His grace in the worst of our circumstances. His presence is continually with us to remind us of His love and final victory. He encourages us on. His light and truth daily bring us to His holy hill and to His dwelling! There we are able to dwell with Him as we walk through our lives here below. Never does His hope fade or fail. Even if our hearts fail us for fear, He never fails us. He is the strength of our salvation Himself. He never leaves us or forsakes us.
Many hope in man during an election. They hope to find someone that will straighten everything out and make their lives easy again. Political leaders are not trustworthy. They have their own agenda. Many of them are very anti-God. They would like to cover the truth, and cause people to believe a lie. They promise freedom while taking away your freedom. They promise hope while taking away your hope. But God's purposes are always only flowing out of His perfect righteousness and love. No one could will our higher good than God Himself. Not even our own desires for our lives can surpass His for us. More than ever we need to pray, "Send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling!"
Why are you cast down oh my soul? There are many reasons you say. Yes, the world has many things that overwhelm and cast down. Yet, if we don't tell ourselves to "hope in God", then we forfeit the great blessings He has for us in the midst of it. How He wants to reveal Himself to us! Every time I cast my weakness on Him and my sadness, etc. there is some way my Lord reveals Himself to me through it. One morning this week, I felt the weight of my weakness, sadness, and inability as I stepped into my shower, preparing for another day. But God sent a gentle reminder that He loves me. Just so simple. Not that I didn't know that. But his love flooded my soul and gave me strength in my inner being and lifted me up through a difficult day. My day was no less difficult, but the thought of His love stayed with me. Sometimes life is just hard and we just have to be soldiers of the Lord through it. I think we are wrong to ever think life is meant to always be made easy for us. Yet, we learn to be strong in His strength when we are very weak. We learn to cling to Him and He constantly reminds us of that hope that is in us. How much more wonderful and refreshing it is!! Would we ever realize what a treasure we truly have if not for the adversities that highlight it? He gives us the ability to endure by His own presence in us. He sustains us. We are enabled to “keep the word of His patience” (Rev. 3:10), the Word of life and hope that empowers us to endure and patiently await His return.
One fruit of telling ourselves to hope in God while we are cast down, is a sense of overwhelming thankfulness. We don't really know what we have in Him until we have to really cling to Him and look up to see it. I am so much more thankful for the love of God when I sense my overwhelming need for His love. And He tells us Hope does not disappoint.
Rom 5:2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Rom 5:3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
Rom 5:4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
Rom 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Why are you cast down oh my soul? Are you cast down today? Whatever the reasons, look to the Lord of Hope, and tell yourself, “hope in God! I shall again praise Him!” That hope will not disappoint. If you are not a believer in Jesus you have a false hope. Turn to Him today and find the only real hope there is. The hope in man, or change in this world for the better will certainly disappoint. It is going to all come to a violent end. Look to the One that brings true change today -- the One Savior, Jesus Christ, Who gave up His life for you so you can have true change, and true life, and a hope that is eternal.
This is a time for true Christians in America, more than ever, to "keep the Word of His patience"!! We need to see what is happening from God's perspective in our nation, and in the world. We need to not give in to fear and despair, or take part in the strong delusion that is over our land, but trust in the Lord and draw close to Him when the world rises up against Him and those who love His Word of truth. He said He will "never leave us or forsake us," and He said to "not despise the chastening of the Lord" but to "endure hardship as discipline"... the Lord's training in our lives to teach us to walk in total dependence and trust in Him alone as our all in this world, and not in any man. (Read Heb. 12:1-13; and Heb. 13:5 in Amplified if possible). And remembering the time we are in, and His promise...
God's word to the church of Philadelphia:
Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
They "kept" or held fast to the word of Christ's patient endurance. His Word is our patient endurance. To hold fast to His Word is to be able to endure. The Word "word" is logos... the same word used in John 1:1 of Christ Himself. He is the Word, and the Word is Him. Holding fast to Him in faith enables us to endure. Many have a different word that is not His Word. Those who are faithful to His Word and patiently endure, keeping it through opposition are His true church. Read also, 1 John 2:16-29. We live in a day when people hate truth, refuse to acknowledge truth, and hate those who proclaim it. Jesus alone is the truth, the life, and the way. Those who love Him will hold fast to His truth. There is already a great delusion on those who have rejected truth, and the Bible tells us of an even greater one soon to come…
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
(emphasis added by me)—Darby’s synopsis:
The assembly of Philadelphia has a peculiarly interesting character. Nothing is said of its works, but that Christ knows them. But what is interesting in it is that it is peculiarly associated with Christ Himself. Christ, as in all these last assemblies, is not seen in the characters in which He walked in the midst of the assemblies, but in such as faith peculiarly recognises when ecclesiastical organization has become the hot-bed of corruption. Here it is His personal character, what He is intrinsically, holy and true, what the word displays and requires, and what the word of God is in itself-moral character and faithfulness. Indeed this last word includes all: faithfulness to God within and without, according to what is revealed, and faithful to make good all He has declared.
Christ is known as the Holy One. Then outward ecclesiastical associations or pretensions will not do. There must be what suits His nature, and faithful consistency with that word which He will certainly make good. With this He has the administration; and opens and no man shuts, and shuts and no man opens. See what His path was on earth: only then graciously dependent, as we are. He was holy and true, to man's view had a little strength, kept the word lived by every word that proceeded out of God's lips waited patiently for the Lord, and to Him the porter opened. He lived in the last days of a dispensation, the holy and true One, rejected, and, to human eye, failing in success with those who said they were Jews, but were the synagogue of Satan. So the saints here: they walk in a place like His; they keep His word, have a little strength, are not marked by a Pauline energy of the Spirit, but do not deny His name. This is the character and motive of all their conduct. It is openly confessed, the word kept, the Name not denied. It seems little; but in universal decline, much pretension and ecclesiastical claim, and many falling away to man's reasonings, keeping the word of Him that is holy and true, and not denying His name is everything.
And this element is noticed. Christ, the holy and true One, is waiting. Here on earth He waited patiently for Jehovah. It is the character of perfect faith. Faith has a double character — energy which overcomes, and patience which waits for God and trusts Him. (See the first in Heb_11:23-34; the latter in Rev_3:8-22.) It is the latter which is found here; the word of patience kept.
But as regards the former substantive qualities, keeping the word and not denying Christ's name (though with a little strength) in presence of ecclesiastical pretension to a successional God-established religion, promises were given. Christ would force these pretentious claimants to divine succession to come and own that He had loved those who kept His word. An open door was given at present, and no man could shut it; just as the porter had opened to Him, so that scribes and Pharisees and priests could not hinder it. In the future they would have to own themselves humbled, and that those who followed the word of the holy and true One were those He had loved. Meanwhile His approbation was sufficient. This was the test of faith — to be satisfied with His approbation, content with the authority of His word.
But there was a promise also as to the Lord's judgments in the earth. Christ is waiting till His enemies be made His footstool. We must wait for it to see the world set right. We have to go on where the god of this world has his way, though under divine limitation. The thought that good is to have its rights in this world is to forget the cross and Christ. We cannot have our rights till He has, for we have none but His. Judgment (since Pilate had it, and Christ was the righteous One before him) has not yet returned to righteousness. Till then Christ waits, though at the right hand of God; and we wait. It is not persecution and martyrdom, as in Smyrna. It is as hard a task perhaps, or, at any rate, our task now — patience and contentedness with Christ's approbation, keeping His word, not denying His name.
But then there were other and blessed encouragements. There was an hour of temptation coming upon all the world to try those who belonged to earth, who dwelt there as belonging to it. Some might be spared, victorious in the trial; but those who kept the word of Christ's patience would be kept from it. On the whole world it would come; and where were they? — Out of the world. They had not belonged to it when in it. They had been waiting for Christ to take His power — waiting His time to have the world. They belonged to heaven, to Him who was there; and they would be taken to be with Him when the world was to be in the time of terrible trial. There was a special time before He took His power; and not only would they reign with Him in result, but they would be kept from that hour, and had the assurance of it in the time of their trial. And hence the Lord points them to His coming as their hope; not as warning that the unrepentant would be treated as the world when He appeared. He came quickly, and they were to look for the crown then, holding fast what they had, feeble but spiritually associated with Him as they were, lest any should take it.
We have now the general promise in heavenly places marked by special association with Christ; and they are publicly owned in that in which they seemed on earth to have nothing. Others had the pretension to be the people of God, the city of God — to have divine religious title; these were only consistent with His word, and they waited for Christ. Now, when Christ takes His power, when things are real, according to Him in power, they have this place according to God. It was the cross and contempt below; it is the display of God's name and heavenly city above.
What do we need to do as the church of Christ in America today as we see the progress of darkness overtake our land?
2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
2Th 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil.
2Th 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
2Th 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
2Th 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
1Ti 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
1Ti 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
We must understand that God places men in authority for His purpose, whether they know it or not, whether they are good or evil…
(17) This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
Jesus Christ is Prince (Rules) over the Kings (Presidents) of the Earth…
(5) And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
This is the attitude of the unbelieving world right now as they come against Christ and His people...
Psa 10:2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
Psa 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
Psa 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. Psa 10:5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
Psa 10:6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.
Psa 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
Psa 10:8 He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
Psa 10:9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
Psa 10:10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
Psa 10:11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
Psa 10:12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.
Psa 10:13 Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.
Psa 10:14 Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
Psa 10:15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.
Psa 10:16 The LORD is King forever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.
Psa 10:17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
Psa 10:18 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.
Psa 92:5 O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.
Psa 92:6 A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.
Psa 92:7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed forever:
Psa 92:8 But thou, LORD, art most high forevermore.
Psa 92:9 For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
And we are to comfort one another this way:
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
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.
1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
1Th 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
More verses of encouragement for believers under wicked rulers
Psa 11:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?
Psa 11:2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.
Psa 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Psa 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
Psa 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
Psa 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
Psa 11:7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
(Remember the Lord is our Rock, our Fortress, our Strong Tower and cling to Him)
Lam 3:20 My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
Lam 3:21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
Lam 3:22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
Lam 3:23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lam 3:24 "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
Lam 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
Lam 3:26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
We need to remember continually His steadfast love for us, His mercies that He has shown us and will continue to. He has not forsaken His people. His mercies continue to be "new every morning" and great is His faithfulness." We need to draw close to Him and remember He is our portion.
1) portion, share, part, territory
1a) portion, share
1b) portion, tract, parcel (of land)
1c) one’s portion, one’s possession
1d) (chosen) portion
1e) portion, award (from God)
We are not "alloted" this earth, but Christ Himself. He's our inheritance, our portion, our possession and we His. That will become more evident to us and more precious to us now in a time where the whole world rejects Him and us. It will cause us to realize what a great thing we have in Him!! It will bring a greater joy in Him and separate us from this world. It will give us a joy unspeakable and full of glory in His salvation, and a greater love for one another in His body.
He is "good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him." The world is only being prepared for their judgment though they don't know it. But we are being prepared for His glory! If we suffer with Him we will also reign with Him! And what is our suffering compared to that!! We have His goodness with us always...
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Faith in our good Shepherd will show Him to be a faithful Shepherd to prepare a table before us in the very presence of our enemies. May the Lord bring His encouraging Word continually to our hearts. We need to go to His promises for Him to sustain us in this hour. That is "His Word of Patience". We need to know His Word and trust in it and cling to it. The just shall live by faith in the Son of God.
I have been so blessed lately as I study the letters to the churches, particularly the one that I feel is the Lord's special message for His latter day church that has kept His Word and walked by faith entering His opened door. I am sharing my gleanings here from that study, which may be controversial, but I encourage you to study the Word, and let the Lord speak to your heart, and see what He speaks to you through His Word... He is the holy and the true, and He alone has a door to heaven that no man can open or shut. I hope these gleanings will minister blessing to the hearts of those who long for His coming, and conviction to the hearts of the worldly minded, and warning to those who have listened to the wrong voice of another jesus that is not the One Who is of His Word. Listen to the Words of He Who is holy and true, not the creation of humanistic minds.
Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and none shall shut, and that shutteth and none openeth:
Rev 3:8 I know thy works (behold, I have set before thee a door opened, which none can shut), that thou hast a little power, and didst keep my word, and didst not deny my name.
Jesus Himself is the only opened door, and the church of Philadelphia has kept His Word and not listened to the word of another...
Joh 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Joh 10:4 When he hath put forth all his own, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Joh 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Joh 10:7 Jesus therefore said unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
Joh 10:8 All that came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
Joh 10:9 I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and shall find pasture.
Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
Jesus is "holy and true"... the world in the last days rejects truth and holiness. They created a false jesus... who is not Jesus, holy and true. The professing church in the last days—the apostate church—rejects truth, and the holiness of Jesus, throwing out the authority of the Bible, even changing the Bible creating their own version, (ex., the Message) to say what they want it to, according to their humanistic reasonings, and claim there are many ways to heaven, accepting ecumenicalism and joining with other roads to heaven. They make their own "truth" which is a lie. They receive the word of another, and not His Word. But the church of Philadelphia keeps or "guards" the Word of Jesus. They do not let anyone take it from them, or convince them of another. The apostate church has tried to have many “open doors” to those who are a part of it, but Jesus is still the true door, and only door opened to those Who keep His Word of truth. Jesus alone has the keys to the Kingdom. The apostate church claims there are many ways to enter. But only Jesus has the key.
Rev 3:8 I know thy works (behold, I have set before thee a door opened, which none can shut), that thou hast a little power, and didst keep my word, and didst not deny my name. (ASV)
He has set before them the door opened... He Himself! His Gospel! That door was opened when Jesus died on the cross for our sin and rose again. It is a resurrection door. It is the door to His kingdom only entered by faith in His finished work. No one can shut that door because Jesus Himself holds it open to anyone coming to Him. Only He can shut it. The door to Heaven is not open to someone who tries to come another way. This church has little power in this world, as the world is against God and them, and they are few, (interesting to compare with Luke 18:8 – I say unto you, that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?); but they have kept, or guarded His Word... walked through that true opened door, that true Word, that truth of Jesus and His endurance and all He did for us, and did not deny His true name in the face of apostasy; whereas those who call themselves something, who were nothing before Him, denied His true Word. They went through another door, which does not lead to the kingdom at all, but robs people of eternal life. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. That door Jesus holds before them is the door to Heaven opened to all who hear His voice and put their faith in Him.
Rev 3:9 Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Those who claim to know Him, who in that day said they were Jews, but were not spiritual Jews, or true Jews, (Rom. 2:28-29), (and I believe also today, those who claim to be of Him... profess Christianity who are not true Christians inwardly, by the putting off of the flesh and putting on of Christ, the spiritual act of circumcision mentioned in Col. 2:11-13), will He bring to acknowledge before the true church of the last days, that they are His true church, those who truly love Him—the holy and true One, and the ones He truly loves and acknowledges as His own. They are rejected by the world and the apostate church of the last days, but Jesus is revealing Himself to them as just what they have held onto... the holy and true One Whose Word they have guarded and kept and lived by as their life. They have not denied it, though the world and professing church has. Interesting that the following letter is to the church that claims to know Him but does not have His true righteousness or true riches, and leave Him standing outside the door. They have actually shut the door to Jesus! Though they claim His name. Yet He is outside the Laodecean church. The Bible tells us in the last days there will be a great falling away, (2 Thess. 2:3, 2 Tim. 4:3-4, 1 Tim. 4:1-3). They will still profess Christianity, but they will have a form of godliness without the power of it in their lives. That only is available to those who see the opened door that Jesus Himself has set before them, and walk through that door by faith in His true Word. Anyone who enters any other way is not of He that is holy and true. In our day, many claim we need to be "tolerant" of every other way, but that which is the true opened door. That way they want to shut because in their minds it is "intolerant". It exposes their many doors and their worldly ways of thinking and desires and holds them responsible to Him that is holy and true.
We can then go on to Rev. 4:1 and see again that door opened in Heaven, and a voice saying "come up here"... symbolic language of the rapture of the church. This last days faithful church are they which will enter through that open door being spared out of the tribulation that is to come upon all "earth dwellers", those that are "of the earth". His church is not of the earth but we are citizens of Heaven to where we will be taken when that special hour of trial, the tribulation period, comes to them that dwell on the earth. Those who entered His kingdom by faith in His work on the cross and His resurrection will also now experience the final power of that resurrection, bringing them into Heaven through that opened door. Earth dwellers can shut many doors to His church here on earth, so it seems, but they can never shut the door Jesus has opened regardless of the persecution that they bring against His church, regardless of laws passed, or limitations, or anything else their imaginations plot to bring against God's church.
We are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. (Rom. 8:18-39). Let us not fear the evil that seems to be flooding this land and this world, and that it seems that all doors are closing to His children now by laws they will pass specifically aimed against God’s people to have freedom to speak His Word. Let us not fear the air of hostility against His church, those that truly love Him and His Word. Nothing can defeat His church or destroy us, or separate us from His love. Let us continue to hold onto, trust in, keep and guard His Word of life, patiently waiting the fulfillment of His promise. He has set before us an opened door. Let us set our eyes on things above, and not things of the earth. Some think the job of the Christian is to conquer the earth for Him and to set up a kingdom for Him here. That was not His commission. His commission is to spread His Word of life, and make disciples. The earth for the time being belongs to the "earth dwellers", who feverishly work to building their own kingdom here, disregarding His, but their hour of trial is soon to come, and we must pray that as many of them as possible will be enabled by His grace and mercy to escape through that opened door also. I believe the time is short. Blessed are those who are watching and waiting!! Blessed are those who guard His Word!!! Blessed are those who keep His patience!!! Jesus Himself is the Amen—the truth! Come Lord Jesus!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
37 years ago I wrote the date of December 12, 1971 in my Bible next to that verse. Yesterday was my spiritual birthday. December 12, 1971, I was born of the Spirit of God, as I came by faith to Him believing Him to be my Savior and come into my heart, and take over my life. What a joy it was for me to discover that He would forgive my sins and take me as His child and actually come and indwell me! An awful lot has happened since that day. Looking back on all God has done in my life, my failures vs. His faithfulness, my weakness vs. His strength, my lack of understanding and His patient longsuffering with me and how gently and patiently He has taught me and never ever left me or let go of me. There were times I thought I had lost Him. There were times I thought I had sinned too much and He would never forgive me. There were times the enemy came in like a flood to try to snatch me out of His hands. There were times I just didn’t think I could ever live this Christian life. There were hard places to go through, valleys, mountains, impossibilities, sickness, opposition, disillusionment, doubts, and fears, but through all of it, my Lord has been strong and faithful and loving. His hope has never failed. His love has held me up and has always borne with me. There were times I know I grieved His heart terribly—my Savior Who poured Himself out for me and shed His own blood for me. Yet He bore with me faithfully, and gently led me and taught me.
Little by little my Lord has shown me His heart, His character, His attributes, and more and more continues to show me the depth of His grace and His love. He brought me from the depths of despair where I cried out, “Oh God, I don’t think I can believe in You anymore!” to the place of, “Oh God, I can never doubt Your love for me again!” 37 years of the Lord walking with me has been the greatest 37 years of my life. I was going to say 37 years of my walking with the Lord, but much of it I was not walking in step, exactly, with Him, but He was always walking with me, patiently bringing me in step with Him. I can’t say all those 37 years were the happiest years of my life. In fact I suffered depression, oppression, and many attacks from the enemy during those years, but they brought me to the deepest contentment, peace, and joy that I ever thought possible on this earth. That decision I made 37 years ago was the best one I ever made, and one I know I will never regret! It was the Lord Who sought me out and drew me to Himself, when I didn’t think there was such a thing as knowing God. I hungered for Him, but had no idea that He would actually live in my heart and reveal His love to me personally!! Why does anyone turn such a thing away??? Why would they cling to their own useless independence and misery and turn down and even hate such an incredible God Who is only love perfected and wants to be that to them? That is a mystery I will never understand! Yet every day people choose evil and turn away everything good. Why wouldn’t anyone want to know their God? Why would anyone not want to seek Him out and find out the truth? Why would anyone play with their eternal destiny and risk throwing it all away?
To see the depths of our depravity and deceptive nature gives me chills! And then to think of the depth of His love and mercy leaves me in utter awe! It’s like an ongoing treasure hunt to learn new things continually about Him. There is never an end to discovering more of this amazing, wonderful, incredible God. And each time I learn from Him and He is revealing Himself to me in another way, it makes me forget myself a little more and find myself more full of Him and His life becoming more a part of my own. In a couple weeks we’ll be celebrating the birthday of Jesus, coming to this earth, God coming to us as a man. So much more than thinking on a baby in a manger and exchanging presents and eating lots of goodies! This life that came to us was a promise to all mankind that was literally fulfilled just as He said it would be. God became man, and took upon Himself the weakness of sinful flesh. He took on our suffering in the flesh, and took upon Himself our sin, evil, and corruption. He rose again, and went to Heaven where He continually intercedes for us, leaving here His Spirit to indwell us forever, so that we can be born anew, and raise us up also to newness of life, and one day dwell with Him forever. I heard of a bumper sticker the other day that read, “being born once was sufficient”. Unless one becomes aware of that need to be “born twice” they will never know that true life. How sad to settle for being born once in this corruptible body of sin, and never find the life that sets us free from it, and most of all, never being born into God’s family so that we can know Him and His love and be with Him forever! I hope this Christmas when you are thinking of His first coming, that it makes your heart rejoice in that just as surely as He came once, He is coming again!! Just as literally as He fulfilled that first coming, will He fulfill the second. I believe the signs of our times tell us it could be very soon. May our hearts rejoice in that blessed hope!
LIVING SCRIPTURES DEVOTIONAL