Newsletter #378 - April 2010 - By Shepherds Chapel -

Let's talk about friends in this lesson. We are always suppose to spiritually discern who we should fellowship with, but never judge others. In other words, you can discern a friend, but don't judge a friend. Your friends should love to follow the Lord. A religious person can intuitively discern those who love the Lord, and those who don't love the Lord. Job gives us a good example on how not to pick your friends. Job was a righteous man, and God was blessing him. Satan told God that if Lord would take His wall of protection around Job that he would have Job cursing the Lord. Satan got his wish took everything Job had away from him. Job never gave up. But we are going to analyze how Job's friends reacted. Open your Bible to Job Chapter 4.

Job 4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, 2 "If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?

Eliphaz is saying, "Job the truth is going to hurt, but we are going to say it anyhow". The problem is Eliphaz and the others don't know the truth.

Job 4:3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. 4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.

The righteous man Job, had done much to help others find the Lord.

Job 4:5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

They thought hard time had now fallen on Job, and Job had folded. The problem is Job hadn't folded. Job always trusted God. He never turned His back on God.

Job 4:6 Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? 7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?

Eliphaz is saying, "What have you done wrong Job? We know you had to have done something wrong for God to be punishing you this way". Job was innocent. His friend was making accusations. That isn't much of a friend.

Job 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. 9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of His nostrils are they consumed.

In the eyes of Eliphaz, Job is guilty and worthy of conviction. Job hadn't done anything. God was very proud of Job at this time. Job hadn't folded. The advise from Job's friends continues for 38 Chapters. Let's pick it up at Job Chapter 42. In Job Chapter 38 God is asking Job why is he looking to his friends for counsel rather than turning to God. Job repented.

Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 2 "I know that Thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from Thee.

God knows your mind. You can't hide your thoughts from God.

Job 42:3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

Satan and Job's friends were raking him over the coals. But Job never lost faith that God would treat him fairly. Don't you ever let Satan or anybody else place the thought in your mind that God isn't fair. Father is righteous.

Job 42:4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of Thee, and declare Thou unto me. 5 I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. 6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

The only thing Job need to repent of was listening to his friends rather than God. Listen carefully.

Job 42:7 And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as My servant Job hath.

Beware of "ratchet jaws". Beware of friends that falsely accuse you. Beware of friends that teach something other than God's Word. They will lead you astray from God. Let's continue our study in the book of Isaiah. The Scripture we will be covering is prophecy of the Assyrian which is a type for antichrist. The antichrist will take many into the captivity of deception.Know who your friends are, when this comes to pass. Many will be deceived.

Isaiah 8:8 And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.

Immanuel is Jesus Christ. The name means "God with us". If you have God with you during the time of deception, you have nothing to fear.

Isaiah 8:9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.

In other words it's going to happen. One worldism is going to become a reality.

Isaiah 8:10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us."

What does Immanuel mean? The name means "God with us". Is his wall of protection around you? Of course it is, and you are sticking to the Word of God. You aren't going to believe the word of a friend over the Word of God.

Isaiah 8:11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 "Say ye not, 'A confederacy,' to all them to whom this people shall say, 'A confederacy;' neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

Don't walk in the way of the people who will worship antichrist. There is no reason for you to be afraid. God is with us. He is not with them. They should be afraid.

Isaiah 8:13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.

We should dread and fear what would happen if God wasn't with us. That would be something to fear alright.

Isaiah 8:14 And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone. He will be a stone of stumbling to those don't know the antichrist comes first. Don't be deceived. Be careful of who you call friend.

Isaiah 8:15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. 16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples."

If you have the Word of God sealed in your mind, you won't stumble. You won't be deceived by antichrist.

Isaiah 8:17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, Which dwelleth in mount Zion.

It is going to pass, beloved. Stay true to God.

Isaiah 8:19 "And when they shall say unto you, 'Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter:' should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?

Seek council from the living God. You will be a lot more successful than someone who seeks counsel from an evil spirit, and that is to say someone spiritually dead.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Stick to His Word. Those who listen to the words of men can be had. They can be deceived. Let's continue our study in the Book of Zechariah.

Zechariah 8:1 Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 2 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; 'I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.'

Zion is God's favorite place in the universe. His eternal kingdom will be established there. God becomes jealous, when His child go whoring under a false God.

Zechariah 8:3 Thus saith the LORD; 'I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.

This too will come to pass, beloved, when Father establishes His eternal throne in Jerusalem.

Zechariah 8:4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; 'There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. 5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.'

This is a Hebraism, or a figure of speech, meaning it will be peaceful. Everyone will be safe on the streets.

Zechariah 8:6 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; 'If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in Mine eyes?' saith the LORD of hosts.

If it pleases His elect, it pleases Him. That is sure good to know, friends.

Zechariah 8:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; 'Behold, I will save My people from the east country, and from the west country; 8 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.

Some think this prophecy has come to pass. If you are one of them, you need to wake up. There is an awful lot of war going on there.

Zechariah 8:9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; 'Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built.

The many membered body of Christ continues to be built unto this day. It isn't a temple made of stone. It is a people that God can trust to accomplish His will.

Zechariah 8:10 For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbour.

They say, "Peace, peace, peace", but there is no peace, only war. Why? Because God is in control, and He said so. Skip with me to verse 15, and listen carefully.

Zechariah 8:15 So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not. 16 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:

This is the way we should be before friends.

Zechariah 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD."

Your Father hates those who imagine evil in their hearts, or minds. He doesn't approve of those who make false oaths. That isn't how friends deal with each other. Always remember, true friends speak truth. Truth always aligns with God.s Word.

In His service,
Arnold Murray