Tag: peace and safety

False prophets with whitewash!

Scripture reading for August 21st: Ezekiel 12-15

Because they have led My people astray, saying “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. . . .I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 13:10-11a, 14.

God hated lies and promised to judge false prophets!  God gave Ezekiel a message for the prophets of Israel who were leading the people astray with the peace, safety, and prosperity lie.  These prophets were telling the people what they wanted to hear.  This allowed the people to go on in idolatry and would surely bring God’s wrath upon the nation.

God likened these lying prophets to painters who whitewashed flimsy walls that were poorly constructed.  The walls looked clean and white, but they were unstable.  God was going to expose the poor foundation by sending a storm upon the nation that would topple the white-washed walls and bring them down on those who painted them.  The crashing walls would destroy those who did such shoddy work or put on a show.

Preachers today can put on a show too.  They ‘whitewash’ people’s walls just to get a crowd.  They tell them that God wants them rich and if they give some money to the preacher and they will get a hundred times more back.  They tell people that God is love and won’t send anyone to hell.  Others whitewash the truth about the need for repentance from sin and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.  They offer alternatives that don’t require faith or talking about the cross and the blood!  They try to make them feel good and get them in and out without any arousal of conviction.   Whitewash is being spread around today on the walls of people who have not repented!  These walls are going to crash down when judgment falls!   The day of Christ’s return will reveal the foundations and strip off the whitewash!

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Any word from the Lord?

Scripture reading for August 14th: Jeremiah 37-39

“Jeremiah was put in a vaulted cell in a dungeon, where he remained for a long time.  Then King Zedekiah sent for him and had him brought to the palace, where he asked him privately, “Is there any word from the Lord?” “Yes,” Jeremiah replied, “you will be handed over to the king of Babylon.”  Jeremiah 37:16-17

None of the last kings of Judah really wanted to hear Jeremiah’s word from the Lord.  He was in prison because of preaching God’s word of coming judgment.  In the coming days, a plot to kill Jeremiah came from some of the king’s officials and King Zedekiah did nothing to stop them.  He really did not want to hear the word of coming judgment.  He was hoping for a new word of peace and safety.

Today, people are running around looking for a “word from the Lord”.  They go to conferences and seek out those with prophetic gifts.  They want to hear the latest prophetic predictions.  They want personal guidance and direction.  But we should ask ourselves if we are obeying what has already been written from the Lord.  If we have been ignoring known truths, how can we be sure we will be given ‘new’ truth?  In the last days there will be a famine, not for bread or water, but for hearing the word of the Lord!  (Amos 8:11-12)

Yes, there is a final word from the Lord for these last days;  Jesus Christ Himself is the last word from God for the world.  He offers grace and forgiveness of sins to all who will repent and believe on Him.  He promises salvation, healing and deliverance through Him alone.  Have you responded to this word?

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.  After He had provided purification of sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Hebrews 1:1-3

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Beware of ‘feel-good’ prophesies!

Scripture reading for August 11th: Jeremiah 26-29

It takes discernment to hear the voice of God.  What sounds good is not always truth and only the truth will make us free!  In Jeremiah 28 we have a story of two prophets speaking to God’s people.  One had a message of victory and hope, and the other a message of judgment and captivity.  One message was true and the other was false.   After the messages were given, the people had to decide which one to believe.

In the fifth month of the fourth year of King Zedekiah, all the people were gathered with the priests in the temple.  Hananiah, a prophet from Gibeon spoke to Jeremiah in front of all the people.   Jeremiah had been wearing a wooden yoke around his neck for a long time telling the people of their coming captivity.   Hananiah spoke that within two  years, God would remove the yoke of the Babylonians and Judah would be free.  To illustrate that message, he took the yoke off Jeremiah and broke it in front of the people.  (Jeremiah 28:1-4,10-11)

Jeremiah responded initially with an ‘amen’ to the message.  But he added some prophetic insight.  Most prophets are sent to warn of coming disaster and turn the people back to God.  This prophecy of peace will only be from the Lord if it actually happens.  (Jeremiah 28:6-9)

Jeremiah went his way and then the Lord spoke to him to go back with a word for Hananiah.  He was to tell Hananiah that he was not sent by the Lord and that his prophecy was not true.  God was going to remove the wooden yoke and place an iron yoke on his rebellious people.  His final word was that Hananiah would die because he preached rebellion against the Lord.

How would you decide which was true?  As we finish reading, the truth becomes apparent.  In the seventh month, three months later, Hananiah died!  God’s word is always validated because it comes to pass!  Please take time today to thank God for His word and the blessing of knowing the truth.  Ask Him for discernment in these last days to keep you from being deceived by messages that simply make you feel good but are not of God!

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Blameless at His Coming!

Scripture reading for October 12th: 1st Thessalonians 5:3-28

A key truth of the Christian faith is the second coming of Christ.  Christ will come in the air to meet believers who are living for him.  They will be preceded by those who have died in faith, being instantly resurrected in a glorified body.  Both groups, the living and those who have died, will be caught up to heaven.  (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18)  No one knows the day or hour this will happen.  This means that Christians should live each day in holy anticipation!

“But you, bothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.  You are all sons of the light and sons of the day.  We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.  So then, let us not be like the others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.” (1st Thessalonians 5:4-6)  People of the night are usually asleep and not alert to Christ’s coming.  People of the night are often doing deeds of darkness, such as getting drunk and carousing.  Christians belong to the day and are people of light.  They understand the times and the urgency to live self-controlled and moral lives.  Through faith in Christ, they are obedient to God’s word and ready for Christ’s coming.

“Be joyful always; pray without ceasing; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  Do not put out the Spirit’s fire, do not treat prophesies with contempt.  Test everything.  Hold on to the good.  Avoid all kind of evil.” (1st Thessalonians 5:16-22)  Paul’s short summary of how to live pleasing God and ready would be good for all to memorize.  Our attitude of joy and thanksgiving in continuous prayer kindles the Spirit’s fire to obey God.  We are open to God’s leading, but test all things and avoid all evil.

“May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” God was at work in the Thessalonians and is working in us today.  He has called us to be holy and given us the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is coming for His spotless Bride!  Lord help me to be blameless!

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Sunday Rest and Reflection:True Prophets!

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ!  Jesus Christ is the Truth and the last Word from God!  Jesus is a prophet as well as a priest and our King!  He is worthy of all worship and praise and worthy to be listened to because He is a true prophet–He has spoken the eternal word of God and is that Word made flesh!  (John 1:14)  We come together each week to honor Jesus Christ and listen to His word speak into our lives.  Listen to Him and be saved and encouraged today!

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:1-3a)

God has placed various gifts in the body of Christ and gives manifestations of the Spirit to different members of the church.  He does this as He wills for the common good of His church.  (1st Corinthians 12:1-7)  We don’t choose to use these manifestations or make them happen.  We can only cooperate with His Spirit and speak at His direction the words He gives us.  Some have a stronger manifestation of this gift and are appointed as “prophets”.

Prophets are gift people to the body to help prepare them for the works of service that God has for each person.  They work with pastors, teacher, apostles and evangelists to bring unity and maturity in the body of Christ.  (Ephesians 4:7-13)  The prophets’ messages must be tested by those who hear and they are to speak only two or three at a time.  God is a God of order and peace.   (1st Corinthians 14:29-33) Their messages must line up with God’s word and agree with the Spirit of God in those who hear.

False prophets will mark the last days!  (Matthew 24:24)  They will seek to deceive the very elect of God with counterfeit signs and miracles.  Jesus warns us to listen closely and use discernment.  Ask the Lord for a manifestation of His Spirit to help you when needed: discerning of spirits!  (1st Corinthians 12:10)

May the Lord bless and keep you by the Spirit of Truth!

In His Love, Pastor John

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Truth? Or consequences?

Scripture reading for August 11th: Jeremiah 26-29

It takes discernment to hear the voice of God.  What sounds good is not always truth and only the truth will make us free!  In Jeremiah 28 we have a story that always makes me stop and consider what I might have done as I listened to these two prophets debate one another.  One had a message of victory and hope, and the other a message of judgment and captivity.  One message was true and the other was false.  God allowed the contest to take place in the temple of the Lord in front of the priests and all the people.  After the messages were given, the people had to decide which one to believe.  Were they to prepare for captivity or deliverance?  Was the message of peace and restoration truth or was the message of judgment and a yoke true?  I know which I would have wanted to believe!

In the fifth month of the fourth year of King Zedekiah, all the people were gathered with the priests in the temple.  Hananiah, a prophet from Gibeon spoke to Jeremiah in front of all the people. Jeremiah had been wearing a wooden yoke around his neck for a long time telling the people of their coming captivity.   Hananiah spoke that within two  years, God would remove the yoke of the Babylonians and Judah would be free.  To illustrate that message, he took the yoke off Jeremiah and broke it in front of the people.  (Jeremiah 28:1-4,10-11)

Jeremiah responded initially with an ‘amen’ to the message.  But he added some prophetic insight.  Most prophets are sent to warn of coming disaster and turn the people back to God.  This prophecy of peace will only be from the Lord if it actually happens.  (Jeremiah 28:6-9)

Jeremiah went his way and then the Lord spoke to him to go back with a word for Hananiah.  He was to tell Hananiah that he was not sent by the Lord and that his prophecy was not true.  God was going to remove the wooden yoke and place an iron yoke on his rebellious people.  His final word was that Hananiah would die because he preached rebellion against the Lord.

Wow, what would you have done?  Who would you want to believe?  Wouldn’t it have been tempting to hate Jeremiah and his message?  How would you decide which was true?  As we finish reading, the truth becomes apparent.  In the seventh month, three months later, Hananiah died!  God’s word is always validated because it comes to pass!  It took three months of waiting to know, but the truth became evident!  Please take time today to thank God for His word and the blessing of knowing the truth.  Ask Him for  discernment in these last days that you will not be deceived by messages that simply make you feel good but are not of God!

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