Newsletter #222 - April 1997 - by Shepherds Chapel
How many of you have become dismayed, when you watch the evening news? We live in a nation where the majority of the people simply don't care about anything. The lack of morals in our society becomes more and more evident. Let's turn to God's Word to learn how we may stabilize ourselves in these times. First, we are going to look at the Father's prophecy on how far this generation would separate themselves from Him.
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
No mater how bad things become in this generation, God is still there for those that love and serve Him. On the other hand, He will turn a deaf ear to those that don't.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
Even churches that teach the traditions of men, rather than the Word of God, are perverse in His eyes.
Isaiah 59:4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
God has a plan. He expects thos that love Him to study that plan, whereby they may be of service to Father to accomplish that plan. Others are playing church.
Isaiah 59:5 They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
Cockattice' eggs are viper' or snake eggs. The spider web is a web of lies and deception created by false teachers. What is false teaching? If it is contrary to God's Word, it is false teaching.
Isaiah 59:6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
The web of deceit will not be suitable to serve as the gospel armor (Ephesians 6).
Isaiah 59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
False teachers leave a trail of confusion in their paths. If you think I am exaggerating, consider that many churches have allowed pagan rituals and fertility rights to become a part of what should be their highest day of Christian celebration, Passover.
Isaiah 59:8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. 9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
Righteouness is far from us and difficult to find in this generation. Watch the evening news.
Isaiah 59:10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.
God's prophecy is accurate. There is no need to grope for truth. The truth is right here in the Bible.
Isaiah 59:11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. 12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;
As a nation, we have children killing children in gang related violence. Our government sponsers a welfare system that supports children being born outside the family. That is not God's way.
Isaiah 59:13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. 14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
The word judgment means verdict.
Isaiah 59:15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. 16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
The salvation He brought forth was Jesus Christ. The word sustained is from the Hebrew "comak" (saw-mak'). It means to lean upon. What did He lean upon? His righteousness. Your righteousness stabilizes you, as well. When you make an effort to understand God's Word and to follow His instructions, you become stabilized.
Isaiah 59:17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. 18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.
Vengeance belongs to our Father.
Isaiah 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.
God will lift up some of His servants to stand against Satan and Satan's flood of lies with truth. Those servants must be stabilized in the Word to be of any use to God. Let's turn to the New Testament. We will find the Greek word from which "stablished" is translated is even stronger than the Hebrew.
2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The divine nature is the Holy Spirit. Are you a partaker? How do you escape the corruption you witness on the evening news? You escape by stablishing yourself in God's Word and doing the best you are able to live His way.
2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
Diligence means you care. Virtue is resolve. Temperance means self-control. Patience is steadfastness. Godlyness is the divine nature you possess, if you do these things.
2 Peter 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Barren may be translated "idle".
2 Peter 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
You will have bad days. You will be persecuted by some' however, you will never fail.
2 Peter 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
This is your ticket, friend. I hope you have one.
2 Peter 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
The word established is from the Greek word "sterizo" (stay-did-zo). Sterizo" means to set fast. Are you solid in the truth? Are you immovable from the truth?
2 Peter 1:13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
Peter is referring to the conversation Christ had with him in John 21 concerning Peter's death.
2 Peter 1:15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
This is the key. If you keep the truth "always in remembrance", you will be able to stand against the enemies of God steadfastly. He will give you power over your enemies. In Chapter 3 of 2 Peter, we find one of the most in-depth teachings. Peter tells of the 3 world ages. Let's pick it up in verse 8.
2 Peter 3:8 But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Millennium is the Lord's day.
2 Peter 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. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
The elements, or rudiments, which are evil will be destroyed in the lake of fire at the end of the Millennium. In closing, let's go to verse 15.
2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
We also should be patient. It is not God's will that any should perish.
2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Those that are not stablished in the Word wrestle to understand the Bible. Now, listen up. Peter gives a warning to those that understand the 3 world ages and the nephilim he spoke of in Chapter 2.
2 Peter 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
Peter is speaking to those that know the truth. The warning is that they be not deceived. The end result being the unforgivable sin of denying the Holy Spirit and worshiping antichrist. Heed Peter's warning. Stablish yourself in the Word. God will stabilize those that do.
In His Service,