The only hope in the world is for the people of God because the Lord God does not give up on His people, He made the covenant and He will not break the covenant. The key here, of course, is that His promises are for His true worshippers. This isn’t meant as a condemnation, it is given in the same spirit as the prophets in Scriptures. Return to the Lord! Repent! Time to do a heart check and see if you are truly in the faith! “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalms 139:23-24) “Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.” (Psalms 26:2) “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5) And what should the outcome be of this testing? “But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:28 emphasis mine) Jesus didn’t redeem us just to give us a safe passage to eternity! He redeemed us to be Lord of our lives! “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” (Romans 14:9) For Him to be Lord of our lives we must eat of the bread and drink of His cup! We must walk according to the plan of God as a testimony to Him while we are on this earth! "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) One must ENTER INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES in order to possess the full anointing of God!
I felt a nudging in my spirit to look up the Amplified Bible rendering of this passage in Isaiah, “Cease to trust in [weak, frail, and dying] man, whose breath is in his nostrils [for so short a time]; in what sense can he be counted as having intrinsic worth?” (Isaiah 2:22) The question really is, what value is there in man that he should be an authority? One person is no more important than another person. But in the world men and women have set themselves above others and have a very inflated opinion of themselves and expect others to highly esteem them as well. Essentially, simply put, they have very high regard for themselves and expect others to do the same. The problem is that when we put ourselves above others we are acting as if we are God, and that is a problem. This is truly no different than when the Israelites made a golden molten calf and presented it to the congregation with these words, “..."This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.’" (Exodus 32:4) These Israelites did not know God! They knew there was a God, they heard Him speak through the thunder, they ate of the manna He supplied, they drank of the water from the rock, but they had no trust, no faith, no relationship with Him! "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) There is no other God besides the One true God, the Creator of the universe, the Creator of man, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! We must return to Him and worship Him in spirit and in truth. "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24)
"'Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,’ says the Lord. ‘AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18 - 2 Corinthians 7:1 emphasis mine) There is a remnant, and there always has been a remnant who trust in the Lord our God and fear Him, but the majority of mankind are enmeshed in the world system. As we read the following Scripture I pray that our hearts will be challenged to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts. “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. ‘They will be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’" (Malachi 3:16-17 emphasis mine)
Many believers have fallen into the trap of political correctness and political alliances and, unfortunately pick and choose Scriptures to back up their opinions, it is time to wake up! Repent! Return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! There will never be a change of lasting worth that glorifies God through the power of man, it MUST be a move of the Holy Spirit through man! "But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.” (Malachi 4:2 emphasis mine) Do you remember what the definition of “fear of the Lord” is? It is loving, revering, obeying, submitting, longing for Him so that we walk in sanctification and holiness. “You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 20:7) Consecrate is to willingly submit your mind, soul, spirit and body to the Lord, to lay yourself upon His altar and to die to self and to live for Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Oh, how glorious! “Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.” (Leviticus 20:26) “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.’" (1 Peter 1:15-16) “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
God has set up an order in which there is right and there is wrong. God’s desire for us is sanctification and holiness which only come through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Through relationship we are able to discern what God is doing in us and in the world. No, we won’t know the timeframe of His plans ahead of time, but we will draw close and be ready for whenever that day might be. My husband asked me a question the other day that really sums up the feelings of a lot of people who are not walking with God. He asked me this question, “What if you are wrong and Jesus isn’t returning soon and there will be great time of prosperity ahead?” My response is simply, “It doesn’t matter if I’m wrong because I am drawing close to the Lord and desire Him to lead my life in all situations.” As much as I long to go home to be with Him for eternity (and I do long to see that day), I rejoice to walk each and every day with Him. I want to be available to Him to witness to others. I desire to be His light in a dark world. A Scripture that comes to mind is one that deserves our attention, "Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect." (Luke 12:35-40 emphasis mine)
John the Apostle was known as the “one Jesus loved”. Why do you think that might be? Was it because John obeyed all the Law? Could it be that John was always faithful to attend the services in the synagogue? Maybe it was because he served in a ministry that fed the homeless? While all of those things are good things, they will not result in salvation. John believed that Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16) Because of his belief, he left his old life behind and became a student, a disciple, of Jesus Christ. His desire to know the truth of what the Lord was teaching drew him close to the heart of Jesus. So close, that he became one of the three that Jesus often singled out to be alone with Him! It was because of this relationship that John was chosen to receive the message for the end times to share. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,” (Revelation 1:1)
Bond servant - “doulos” in Greek. Literally a servant or slave, whether voluntary or involuntary. Spoken of true worshippers and followers, agents sent from God, i.e. Moses. Jesus demonstrated being a bond-servant in Philippians 2:6-7, “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:13-14 emphasis mine) "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10) Abide is a very important word and one which we must understand fully in order to understand what Jesus is saying. The Apostle Paul summed it up perfectly in this sentence, “for in Him we live and move and exist,...” (Acts 17:28) His very life is where we receive everything that we need! We live in Him, just as He lives in us. “and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:6) We move, or in other words, our actions reflect the character of God and we have life (true abundant eternal life) only through the blood of Jesus Christ, all else is vanity and worthless! There is absolutely nothing in this passage that speaks to understanding the times or ways of the Lord according to the world happenings! There is no earthly wisdom! It is total and complete dependence upon the Lord God! Man cannot achieve this level of understanding without the Holy Spirit giving understanding of the Torah and the rest of the Old Covenant writings!
We know that there are many types and shadows in the Old Testament and this principle of being a bond-servant was given to us by the Lord Himself in the Book of Exodus. "If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment.” (Exodus 21:2) "But if the slave plainly says, `I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,' then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.” (Exodus 21:5-6) The piercing of the slaves ear was the sign that he was not a free man but it was his choice to remain in the master’s service.
What is the “sign” of a bond-servant today, or throughout history? Many will quickly say that the Holy Spirit is the sign, others will say that speaking in tongues is a sign, but I do not believe that is the sign of a bond-servant. I believe we see the picture of a bond-servant in the passage in Isaiah that proclaims the coming of Messiah. “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist.” (Isaiah 11:1-5 emphasis mine) Stop here and pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding, this is IMPORTANT! “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7 emphasis mine) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.” (Revelation 2:11 emphasis mine) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17 emphasis mine) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; 3:22) (For a more in depth study please see the devotionals on the seven churches of Revelation.) Wow! Why do you think Jesus repeated this warning to the churches so many times? It was a warning but it was also AN ENCOURAGEMENT! His love was so great that He was having the Apostle John tell us that it was not impossible! Everything around us may be in chaos and everyone we know may have forsaken us but HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US OR FORSAKE US! Do you have ears to hear so that your desire to be obedient to His Word, because of your love for HIM, will be greater than any fear you may have of man?
Abba Father, You are good! Your mercies are new every morning! Great is Your faithfulness! Your words are sweeter than honey to my lips! My cup overflows with Your mercy and grace! Thank You, Father, that there is a right and a wrong way and that You uphold justice and righteousness. Your ways are perfect! I submit myself to You and thank You as You continue to teach me Your ways and guide me through the difficulties of this world that I face daily. Thank You that You have inscribed my name in the palm of Your hand! There is nothing greater in this world than to know that I am Yours and You know my every need, that You think of me more times each day than the number of grains of sand in the universe. How wonderful are Your ways! There is none besides You. I love You with all my heart and thank You as You continue to discipline and teach me Your ways. All this I pray in the blessed name of Your Son Jesus Christ! Amen.