1 Sam. 15:23 For rebellion, the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness, iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you from king.
Jeremiah 1:16-19 I will utter My judgements against them concerning all their wickedness, those who have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods and worshipped the works of their own hands.
Therefore, gird your loins, arise and speak to them everything that I command you and don’t be dismayed at their faces unless I confound you before them.
Behold, this day I have made you a defensed city, an iron pillar and a brass wall against the whole land, the kings of Judah and its princes and against the people of the land.
And they will fight against you but they shall not prevail against you for I am with you, sys the Lord, to deliver you.
God speaks to the prophet He is preparing to send before Israel in both of these passages, but these two passages also apply to today for He is preparing messengers to prepare His church, His body for revival.
Read the entirety of these following two New Testament passages. But for time and space, in each case,I only bring out portions of each:
Matt. 7:13-23 Here, Jesus begins by encouraging us to enter at the straight gate and warns us of false prophets. He tells us that good plants bring forth good fruit and bad plants, bad. People will claim spirituality but Jesus denies their claim. See verse 21 “not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter into the kingdom of God, but only those who do the will of My Father which is in heaven.”
Matt. 25:1-46 I’m not going to write out the whole chapter but here we see the parables of the ten virgins (vs1-13), the good man giving three servants charge over his ‘talents’ (business) (v14-30) and the sheep and the goats (v31-46).
Each of the ten virgins started on the same level, but only five kept their oil (lives-relationship with God) up to ‘snuff’ while the other five got lazy and became lax in their relationship with the Lord and in the end were denied entrance into the groom’s abode the groom (Jesus) didn’t know them (v11-12). Jesus expects us to always be ready for His return (Matt. 24:42 & Luke 12:40).
In the second example, three servants received goods form their master to take care of while he was away. Two invested what they were given so they could gain interest, increasing their master’s goods while the third hid what he was given. Fearing loss, he failed to invest what he had been given. Though he returned his portion to his master, the unprofitable servant was relieved of what he did have and cast out into the outer darkness (v30). God gives us talents and abilities and He expects us to use them for His kingdom, to glorify Him for He is glorified when we bear fruit (John 15:8).
The third parable are the sheep and he goats. When Jesus sits on His throne in glory, all the nations shall be brought before Him. He will separate them into two groups. Notice that he gathered them all together, then He separated them. They all were expecting to head for the same end but what happened? He commended the sheep for demonstrating His love to the world around them, but condemned the goats for NOT doing the same. The sheep were welcomed into everlasting life while goats were cast into everlasting punishment (v46).
Even though it is God’s desire that all be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4), there were those who walked away even from Jesus (John 6:66). Note the chapter and verse here. Six is the number of man and here, man does ‘his own’ thing? Isn’t it interesting how the verse works out for this particular passage? Because of man’s pride, God knows that not everyone will receive His free gift of love.
Jesus came to create His body (1 Corinth. 12:25-27) and today, has and is working through ministers to bring his body back together (the way it should be) (Ezek. 37:13-14).
But before the body can be solidified, unified, it must first be IN the kingdom of God.
The Old Testament gives us the ‘law’ which gives us guidelines on how we should be living.
Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matt. 5:17) and replaced it with stricter standards, other than just doing certain works but rather we live them from our heart. Show me your faith without works and I’ll show you my faith through what I do (James 2:18). We should desire to do God’s will, not ‘perform’ because we are supposed to.
The parables in Matthew chapter 25 show us that not all who think they are headed into heaven will make it.
One cannot start constructing the building until it is first set on a solid foundation and that foundation is a true and real relationship with and through Jesus Christ, the rock.
Our entire life is a growing process as we continually yield parts of our life over to Father through Jesus Christ. We may make leaps and bounds at times, but make no mistake, we will not achieve perfection until we are with Him in eternity. This is why Paul says ‘run the race as if you expect to win the incorruptible crown (1 Corinth. 9:24-27). Whether we cross the finish first, or not, we ALL WIN this race. Abiding with Jesus throughout eternity!
Refusal to believe God brings on denial of Him (Jer. 6:16).
Denial of His existence brings on disobedience to Him and His Word (Isaiah 66:4).
Disobedience (not accepting His reality) brings on rebellion (Proverbs 17:11).
Rebellion (taking a stand against Him) brings on and is witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23).
Witchcraft is ‘hobnobbing with demonic (or at least ‘familiar’) spirits and NOT God, that is allowing them to operate not only in us but through us. And because men no longer seek after God, He turns them over to a reprobate mind doing those things they ought not to do (Romans 1:28).
And when man refuses to retain God in his knowledge, it will ultimately lead to spiritual and eternal death (Proverbs 10:21).
Now, I come back to Ezekiel chapter 37. Read all four verses, but I’m going to paraphrase it and give it a modern twist, applicable for today.
These bones are the whole house of the New Testament church and they cry out ‘ we are dried, our hope is lost and we are torn apart.
And God says: My people, I will open you graves and bring you up out of them and return you to that which you once knew.
And you will know that I am the Lord when I have brought you up out of those graves.
And I will put My Spirit in you and you will live, then you will now that it was I who said it and performed it. Says the Lord
God is (and has been) reviving His church and is breathing His Spirit into our lives, afresh. His people will come to know that He is indeed the Lord and HE IS ALL that He said He is.
Those who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and believed God indeed raised Him from the dead, who have been baptized with water indicating the cleansing of our hearts, know that He IS seated at the right hand of the Father and is waiting to come back for us, of course have salvation. Coming with that salvation comes living a life, holy and sanctified (set apart from the world) as we live for God each passing day, growing in and expressing His love through our lives and lifestyle.
The world knows that we await the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because of our love one for another (John 13:35).
The bible teaches us how to express that love (2 Tim. 2:15).
We communicate with God, always (Colossians 4:2)
And don’t waver in our commitment to God, encouraging others in the same and hang around other Christians as much as possible (Hebrews 10:23-25)
Let us all decide to seek God with all our heart, (Luke 10:26-28)
In Jesus’ name. Amen