Witness Him Now
We are living in different times. We all know it. We feel it. We see it. This is a new season. And even though things look and feel uncertain, for me everything is getting solid. My eyes are on my Father and what He is doing. He is telling us what is going to happen before it happens, and He is warning us. "Who will hear these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you in the future? Who allowed Israel to be robbed and hurt? It was the LORD, against whom we sinned, for the people would not walk in His path, nor would they obey His law. Therefore, He poured out His fury on them and destroyed them in battle. They were enveloped in flames, but they still refused to understand. They were consumed by fire, but they did not learn their lesson." (Isaiah 42:23-25)
So we have to understand that it is God who is doing it all. Everythihg. Good and bad. GOD. But things are not random. God does everything He does for a reason. "Listen, you who are deaf! Look and see, you blind! Who is as blind as My own people, My servant? Who is as deaf as My messenger? Who is as blind as My chosen people, the servant of the LORD? (Isaiah 42:18-19). That's us! Blind and deaf, but why?
"You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but don't really listen." (vs 20). Do we do that? We do! Sweet Jesus, help us all! "Because He is righteous, the LORD has exalted His glorious law. But His own people have been robbed and plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped. They are fair game for anyone and have no one to protect them, no one to take them back home." (vs. 21-22)
Do any of you feel like you have been robbed, plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped? It is because we "see and hear what is right but refuse to act on it." Because we do this, we are fair game for anyone to plunder us. Sweet Jesus! Because of our disobedience, we open the door for the enemy to do whatever he wants to do to kill, steal, and destroy us, and we have no protection. But LISTEN! "Who will hear these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you in the future?" (vs23). We have to stop going our own way and doing our own thing. If we don't, we will be enveloped in flames and consumed by fire as God pours out His fury on us.. (vs 25)
But friends of mine, we are in a new season. "But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the One who formed you says, 'Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.'" (Isaiah 43:1-3a). God doesn't promise that we won't have troubles, but He does promise that He will walk through those troubles with us and we will not be harmed. WOW!
Then He said, "I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to Me. You are honored, and I love you." (vs 3b). Oh my goodness! We are chosen and honored and loved. God gave up other people to ransom us. This is more than I can take in. God loves us! He honored us! We are precious to Him!
Then He said, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west. I will say to the north and south, 'Bring My sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. Bring all who claim Me as their God, for I have made them for My glory. It was I who created them." (vs 5-7). God is gathering us all together now. Everyone who claims Him as God are being drawn to Him at this moment. God created us for His glory, and we will glorify Him. How will we glorify Him?
"Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf." (vs 8). That's us, the ones who "see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it." (Isaiah 42:20). Gather the nations together! Assemble the peoples of the world! Which of their idols has ever foretold such things? Which can predict what will happen tomorrow? Where are the witnesses of such predictions? Who can verify that they spoke the truth?" "But you are My witnesses, O Israel!" says the LORD. "You are My servant. You have been chosen to know Me, believe in Me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God - there never has been, and there never will be." (Isaiah 43:9-10)
WOW! This is so cool. Even though we are blind and deaf, God is gathering us together for this purpose - to be His witnesses! We get to know Him! We get to believe in Him! And we get to understand that He alone is God. Oh my goodness! We will see and hear and understand everything He is doing in this hour because we will know Him. Not everyone will see or hear or understand, but we will. Our eyes will be open, and we will WITNESS the powerful greatness of our God. First, He tells us what He is going to do, and then He does it. We get to witness the whole thing! We get a front row seat to watch prophesy unfold right in front of our eyes.
There is no other God -
there never has been, and there never will be.
I, yes I, am the LORD,
and there is no other Savior.
First, I predicted your rescue,
then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world.
No foreign god has ever done this;.
You are witnesses the I am the only God,"
says the LORD.
"From eternity to eternity I am God.
No one can snatch anyone out of My hand.
No one can undo what I have done." (Isaiah 43:10-13)
Oh my goodness! This is "Good News!" Solid. Immoveable. In these uncertain times, we have a front row seat to watch all that God is doing, and even though times might get tough - and they will, God will be with us when we walk through the fire, and we will not be burned. He will hold us in His righteous right hand and keep us safe. No one will be able to snatch us out of God's hand, and no one will be able to undo what God has done.
Blessings, my friends. May this message hit your heart like it hit mine. There is joy vibrating in every cell in my body.
I know that things have been hard for many people the last week or two. We had the weather on top of everything else that is happening. But can I tell you that there is something new going on? In the middle of all the hardships, God's people are singing a new song. And as our hearts reach out to give God praise - in the middle of hardship, God's hand is released to do for us what He has always wanted to do - crush our enemies. Our enemies are not people. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness in high places. Anxiety. Fear. Depression. Anger. Resentment. Frustration. Abandonment. Rejection. Worthlessness. Failure. Guilt. Shame. Hopelessness. And the list goes on. God wants to crush them all. LISTEN:
Sing a new song to the LORD! Sing His praises from the ends of the earth! Sing, all you who sail the seas, all you who live in distant coastlands. Join in the chorus, you desert towns; let the villages of Kedar rejoice! Let the people of Sela sing for joy; shout praises fro the mountaintops! Let the whole world glorify the LORD; let it sing His praise. The LORD will march forth like a mighty hero; He will come out like a warrior, full of fury. He will shout His battle cry and crush all His enemies. (principalities and powers)
He will say, "I have long been silent; yes, I have restrained Myself. But now, like a woman in labor, I will cry and groan and pant. I will level the mountains and hills and blight all their greenery. I will turn the rivers into dry land and will dry up all the pools. I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. (He is doing that with us now.). I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. yews, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them. But those who trust in idols (anything else), who say, 'You are our gods,' will be turned away in shame. (Isaiah 42:10-17)
We have no idea what happens in the heavenly realms when we CHOOSE to bring a sacrifice of praise in the middle of hardship. Oh my goodness! If we only knew! Friends of mine, praise Him! It is a command. "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Praise and thanksgiving are a part of God's big, good plan for His people. When we are praising our LORD and our God, there is nothing that the enemy can do to harm us. God is on His throne, the throne of our heart. It is from this place that all of the issues of life flow. LIFE!
Blessings, my friends. No matter what happens, fix your eyes on Jesus, guard your heart, and give thanks. God is ALWAYS up to something good.
I am going to write this morning so that I can share my husband's wisdom. Every morning we read one chapter out of the prophets at breakfast time. This has been eye opening for my husband. This morning we read Isaiah 30.
"What sorrow awaits My rebellious children," says the LORD. "You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by My Spirit, thus piling up your sins. For without consulting Me, you have gone down to Egypt for help. You have put your trust in Pharoah's protection. You have tried to hide in His shade." (Isaiah 30:1-2)
Listen to what God is saying. We are making plans that are contrary to God's, and we are going to other places to find protection. This will not end well - read what God says, but this is not what I want to talk about. Starting in verse 18, God switches directions.
So the LORD must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help. O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the LORD gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, He will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left. Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, 'Good riddance!"
Can you see this? God gave us adversity for food and suffering for drink. Say what?!? But He is with us in the middle of the suffering and adversity to teach us. We hear His voice, "Go this way. No. Don't go there!" He does this until all of our idols fall. But then listen to what He does.
Then the LORD will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock. The oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat good grain, its chaff blown away by the wind. In that day, when your enemies are slaughtered (principalities and powers) and the towers fall (pride), there will be streams of water flowing down every mountain and hill. The moon will bet as bright as the sun, and the sun will be given times brighter - like the light of seven days in one! So it will be when the LORD begins to heal His people and cure the wounds HE GAVE THEM.
Can you see it? Ask. The LORD is waiting for us to ask so that He can heal us and bless us. Wonderful harvests become ours. LIGHT. Bright light. Good grain. Rain. Freedom!!!! But then listen to what it says:
"Look! The LORD is coming from far away, burning with anger, surrounded by thick, rising smoke. His lips are filled with fury; His words consume like fire. His hot breath pours out like a flood up to the neck of His enemies. He will sift out the proud nations for destruction. He will bridle them and lead them away to ruin. (Isaiah 30:27-28)
So on the heals of blessings, we see fury. Say what?!? But at the same time this fury is happening - I think it is against the principalities and powers - we see the results.
But the people of God will sing a song of joy, like the songs at the holy festivals. You will be filled with joy, as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims to Jerusalem, the mountain of the LORD - to the rock of Israel. And the LORD will make His majestic voice heard. He will display the strength of His mighty arm. It will descend with devouring flames, with cloudbursts, thunderstorms, and huge hailstones. At the LORD's command, the Assyrians (terror, fear - principalities and powers) will be shattered. He will strike them down with His royal scepter. And as the LORD strikes them with His rod of punishment, His people will celebrate with tambourines and harps. Lifting His mighty arm, He will fight the Assyrians. Topheth - the place of burning - has long been ready for the Assyrian king; the pyre is piled high with wood. The breath of the LORD, like fire from a volcano, will set it ablaze. (Isaiah 30:29-33)
If, in the middle of all of the adversity and suffering we are going through, we ask the LORD to help us, He comes! He comes with power to set us free from our strong enemies. Then the people celebrate! We sing songs of joy while the LORD pours out His fury on our enemies. In that wonderful day when the LORD gives His people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains, you will taunt the king of Babylon (Satan). You will say: "The mighty man has been destroyed. Yes, your insolence is ended. For the LORD has crushed your wicked power and broken your evil rule. You struck the people with endless blows of rage and held the nations in your angry grip with unrelenting tyranny. But finally the earth is at rest (that's us!). Now it can sing again! Even the trees of the forest - the cypress trees and the cedars of Lebanon - sing out this joyous song: 'Since you have been cut down, no one will come now to cut us down.' (Isaiah 14:3-8)
Wow! Hell was a place prepared for the enemies of our God (principalities and powers), not people. The LORD's fury is being poured out on them, not us. We are being caught in the crossfire. If we allow - ASK - God to help us and let Him set us free, He will. Then there will be a joyous celebration. God's enemies have struck the people with endless blows of rage and held us captive in their angry grip with unrelenting tyranny. But finally the earth is at rest. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
So I kind of got off track. What I wanted to say is what my husband said this morning after reading Isaiah 30. He said, "You can see God's hand on the far right and on the far left. He is judge. He is full of fury and rage. BUT He is also love and mercy and redemption." WOW! Who could have ever thought of a plan like this? God is doing it all, and He is letting it all play play out. Will we continue to go to Egypt for help, thus piling up our sins, or will we turn to God so that He can set us free. "Though the LORD gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, He will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, 'This is the way you should go,' whether to the right or to the left. Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, 'Good riddance!'" (Isaiah 3020-22). This will happen if you ASK. "So the LORD must wait for you to come to Him so He can show yo His love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help." (Isaiah 30:18)
This is that wonderful day when the LORD is giving His people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains! My prayer is that you will let Him do this for you, too.
"Tell the whole world, and keep nothing back. Raise a signal flag to tell everyone that Babylon (America) will fall! Her images and idols will be shattered. Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced. For a nation will attack her from the north and bring such destruction that no one will lie there again. Everything will be gone; both people and animals will flee." (Jeremiah 50:1-3)
Can I tell you that I do not want to say what I am about to say. No one wants to hear it. No one wants to hear that this country that we love, is about to fall. No one wants to hear that we are about to be attacked. "For I am raising up an army of great nations from the north. They will join forces to attack Babylon (America), and she will be captured. The enemies' arrows will go straight to the mark; they will not miss! Babylonia (America) will be looted until the attackers are glutted with loot. I, the LORD, have spoken!" (Jeremiah 50:9-10)
Who are these armies? China? Russia? I don't know. North. Over and over again God says the attack will come from the north. I don't know who, but I know why. "Listen, Babyon, for I have set a trap for you. You are caught, for you have fought against the LORD. The LORD has opened His armory and brought out weapons to vent His fury. The terror that falls upon the Babylonians (Americans) will be the work of the
Sovereign LORD of Heaven's Armies. Yes, come against her from distant lands. Break open her granaries. Crush her walls and houses into heaps of rubble. Destroy her completely, and leave nothing! Destroy even her young bulls - it will be terrible for them, too! Slaughter them all! For Babylon's (America's) day of reckoning has come." (Jeremiah 50:24-27)
This country has fought against the LORD. We have thumbed our noses at God again and again, and we said, "We won't, and You can't make me." So the LORD of Heaven's Armies says, "See, I am your enemy, you arrogant people." "Your day of reckoning has arrived - the day when I will punish you. O land of arrogance, you will stumble and fall, and no one will raise you up. For I will light a fire in the cities of Babylon that will burn up everything around them." (Jeremiah 50:31-32)
All of this is already happening. Chicago has become a war zone. Seattle. Portland. Cities on fire. Terror is also already here. This terror that has fallen on us is the work of the Sovereign LORD of Heaven's Armies - it is written. The sword has already struck our land. "The sword of destruction will strike the Babylonians," says the LORD. "It will strike the people of Babylon (America) - her officials and wise men, too. The sword will strike her wise counselors, and they will become fools. The sword will strike her mightiest warriors, and panic will seize them. The sword will strike her horses and chariots and her allies from other lands, and they will all become like women. The sword will strike her treasures, and they all will be plundered. A drought will strike her water supply, causing it to dry up. And why? Because the whole land is filled with idols, and the people are madly in love with them." (Jeremiah 50:35-38)
Our land is filled with idols, and the people are madly in love with them. Truth. Wise counselors have become fools; treasures are plundered, all because we are madly in love with idols. So the LORD says, "I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan, leaping on the sheep in the pasture. I will chase Babylon from its land and I will appoint the leader of My choice. For who is like Me, and who can challenge Me? What ruler can oppose My will? (Jeremiah 50:44-45)
Who is like God? Who can challenge Him? What ruler can oppose His will? And yet we thumb our noses at Him. We mock Him. We turn our back on Him for years without end, and we chase after our beloved idols - panting after them. And I am talking to the church. Do we think He doesn't notice? Do we think He doesn't care?
I know that some of you are trembling right now. I know I am. You know what I am writing is the truth. But for you who are trembling, I have another message. "In those coming days," says the LORD, "the people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah. They will come weeping and seeking the LORD their God. They will ask the way to Jerusalem and will start back home again. They will bind themselves to the LORD with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten. My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can't remember how to get back to the sheepfold. All who found them devoured them. Their enemies said, 'We did nothing wrong in attacking them, for they sinned against the LORD, their true place of rest, and the hope of their ancestors." (Jeremiah 50:4-7)
I know that we have not done things right. I know that we have at times lost our way, and we have paid the consequences, but God is on our side. This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: "The people of Israel and Judah have been wronged. Their captors (principalities and powers) hold them and refuse to let them go. But the One who redeems them is strong. His name is the LORD of Heaven's Armies. He will defend them and give them rest again in Israel. But for the people of Babylon there will be no rest!" (Jeremiah 50:33-34). "In those days," says the LORD, "no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah, for I will forgive the remnant I preserve." (Jeremiah 50:20)
So what do we do? This coming destruction is upon us. No one is going to change God's plan. It is here, but I say, "Come home. Return to the lover of your soul. Find refuge in His strong arms. Let Him forgive you. Let Him hide you. Let Him defend you. Let Him protect you." There is a place of rest and safety that was prepared for us before the foundation of the world, and the LORD wants to take us there. Let Him. But we also have to do one more thing.
The LORD says, "Flee from Babylon! Save yourselves! Don't get trapped in her punishment! It is the LORD's time for vengeance; He will repay her in full. Babylon (America) has been a gold cup in the LORD's hands, a cup that made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank Babylon's wine, and it drove them all mad. But suddenly Babylon, too, has fallen. Weep for her. Give her medicine. Perhaps she can yet be healed. We would have helped her if we could, but nothing can save her now. LET HER GO; ABANDON HER. Return now to your own land. For her punishment reaches to the heavens; it is so great it cannot be measured." (Jeremiah 51:6-9)
If we continue to fight for our country, we will get trapped in her punishment. Strong is the One who judges her. Let it play out. "In those coming days," says the LORD, "the people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah. They will come weeping and seeking the LORD their God. They will ask the way to Jerusalem and will start back home again. They will bind themselves to the LORD with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten." (Jeremiah 50:4-5)
Can you see the migration? From one kingdom to another. We leave this world and all it has to offer, and we journey home. The LORD goes before us to prepare the way, and He is our rear guard. He is a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide us and to keep us safe on this pilgram's journey. We just follow Him, and under His wings, we find refuge.
"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished."
"If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The LORD says, "I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and gibe them My salvation." (Psalm 91)
This is good news! In the middle of the storm, He is our place of safety. Run and hide.
My heart is racing at what I hear this morning. The intensity of the moment is twisting my heart. Last week I grieved because what I heard sounded like a final altar call. In fact, it felt like it was already too late for some people. This week I hear an urgent message, and my limbs are trembling. My heart is beating fast. I want you to hear what the LORD is saying right now. NOW!
"O My people, listen to the words of the LORD! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do My people say, 'At last we are free from God! We don't need Him anymore!' Does a young woman forget her jewelry, or a bride her wedding dress? Yet for years on end My people have forgotten Me."
How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you! Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor, though you didn't catch them breaking into your houses! And yet you say, 'I have done nothing wrong. Surely God isn't angry with Me!' But now I will punish you severely because you claim you have not sinned. First here, then there - you flit from one ally to another asking for help. But your new friends in Egypt will let you down, just as Assyria did before. In despair, you will be led into exile with your hands on your heads, for the LORD has rejected the nations you trust. They will not help you at all. (Jeremiah 2:31-37)
"O Israel, My faithless people, come home to Me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. Only ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR GUILT. ADMIT that you rebelled against the LORD your God and committed adultery against Him by worshiping idols under every green tree. CONFESS that you refused to listen to My voice. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
"Return home, you wayward children," says the LORD, "for I am your Master. I will bring you back to the land of Israel - one from this town and two from that family - from wherever you are scattered. And I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding." (Jeremiah 3:12-15)
"My wayward children," says the LORD, come back to Me, and I will heal your wayward hearts."
"Yes, we're coming," the people reply, "for You are the LORD our God. Our worship of idols on the hills and our religious orgies on the mountains are a delusion. Only in the LORD our God will Israel ever find salvation. From childhood we have watched as everything our ancestors worked for - their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters - was squandered on a delusion. Let us now lie down in shame and cover ourselves with dishonor, for we and our ancestors have sinned against the LORD our God. From our childhood to this day we have never obeyed Him." (Jeremiah 3:22-25)
"O Israel," says the LORD, "if you wanted to return to Me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more. Then when you swear by My name, saying, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' you could do so with truth, justice, and righteousness. Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people would come and praise My name."
This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: "Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns (the world), O people of Judah and Jerusalem, surrender your pride and your power. Change your hearts before the LORD, or My anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins." (Jeremiah 4:1-5)
Can you hear the Father calling your name, pleading with you to come back! Can you hear His heart? Can you hear His voice? Can you hear the warning? "If you don't come back now, My anger will burn like an unquenchable fire". I can hear it, too. But what comes next shook me to my bones because I can see this happening right at this moment in the natural as well as the spiritual. This is an URGENT WARNING!
"Shout to Judah, and broadcast to Jerusalem! Tell them to sound the alarm throughout the land: 'Run for your lives! Flee to the fortified cities!' Raise a signal flag as a warning for Jerusalem: 'Flee now! Do not delay! For I am bringing terrible destruction upon you from the north."
A lion stalks from its den,
a destroyer of nations.
It has left its lair and is headed your way.
It's going to devastate your land!
Your towns will lie in ruins,
with no one living in them anymore.
So put on clothes of mourning
and weep with broken hearts,
for the fierce anger of the LORD
is still upon us.
"In that day," says the LORD,
"the king and the officials will tremble in fear.
The priests will be struck with horror,
and the prophets will be appalled."
Then I said, "O Sovereign LORD,
the people have been deceived by what You said,
for you promised peace for Jerusalem.
But the sword is held at their throats!"
The time is coming when the LORD will say
to the people of Jerusalem,
"My dear people, a burning wind is blowing in from the desert,
and it's not a gentle breeze useful for winnowing grain.
It is a roaring blast sent by Me!
Now I will pronounce your destruction!"
Our enemy rushes down on us like storm clouds!
His chariots are like whirlwinds.
His horses are swifter than eagles,
How terrible it will be, for we are doomed!
O Jerusalem, CLEANSE YOUR HEART
THAT YOU MAY BE SAVED.
How long will you harbor
your evil thoughts?
Your destruction has been announced
from Dan and the hill country of Ephraim...
Your own actions have brought this upon you.
This punishment is bitter, piercing you to the heart!
These are not my words, these are God's words. WORDS OF WARNING. Words that plead with you to return to the LORD who is mighty to save. God is about to unleash His fierce anger upon the whole world. This is His time of judgment. God is going to judge His people first, and then He will judge the whole world. We, His people, have been so unfaithful. We have played the harlot under every green tree in every field and every high hill in every place we have ever been. We have wanted other things far more than we wanted God. We have worshiped other things far more than we have ever worshiped God. Now God is saying, "O Israel, My faithless people, come home to Me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR GUILT! ADMIT that you rebelled against the LORD your God and committed adultery against Him by worshiping idols under every green tree. CONFESS that you refused to listen to My voice!"
All of this has to come out of your mouth. Face Jesus and open your heart wide. Tell Him you are guilty and you are sorry. Let a godly sorrow enter your heart, a sorrow that leads you to repentance. Let Him hold you. Let Him tell you how much He loves you. Let Him heal you of your unfaithfulness. Let Him set you free. Hide in His unfailing love for you. He will keep you safe in the coming days as the fire of His fierce anger blazes across this land.
In Jesus' name. Let grace and peace fall upon us all.
TODAY when you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled and tested Me in the wilderness. (Hebrew 3:7-9) This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "Only in returning to Me and RESTING in Me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it. (Isaiah 30:15)
Today when I read the Bible, I was reading in Jeremiah 17 starting in verse 19. It talked about observing the Sabbath, God's holy day. This is what the LORD says: "Listen to My warning! Stop carrying on your trade at Jerusalem's gates on the Sabbath day. Do not do your work on the Sabbath, but make it a holy day...If you obey Me, says the LORD, and if you keep it holy, then kings and their officials will go in and out of these gates forever. There will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. Kings and their officials will go in and out of these gates forever. There will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem....But if you do not listen to Me and refuse to keep the Sabbath holy, and if on the Sabbath day you bring loads of merchandise through the gates of Jerusalem just as on other days, then I will set fire to these gates. The fire will spread to the palaces, and no one will be able to put out the roaring flames." (Jeremiah 17:19-27)
There are severe consequences for keeping the Sabbath and for not keeping the Sabbath, so I started thinking about the Sabbath. Is it Saturday? Is it Sunday? Does it matter? Can we just choose a day and rest? How do we do it? What does this mean? I think it is more than just in the natural. I think that what the LORD is talking about here is spiritual.
First of all, I have to say that just keeping the law will not get us to heaven. It is not possible. Only Jesus will get us to heaven. So to think "Thou shalt not!" does not do the trick. Then Jesus said that man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for man. God knows that man needs to rest, so He commanded us to rest one day a week. For some of us, that feels impossible. But if we will let God work this work in us, it is amazing. Many, many years ago, I made a choice not to do anything on Sunday. (I know that is not the Sabbath, but it worked for me.) I rest. Sleep. Spend time with family. Relax. It has saved us because we work hard. Whew!
But what I just said is still in the natural, and even though I think this is so important, I do not believe that this is the most important. Hebrews also talks about this Sabbath rest "Today when you hear His voice, don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled , when they tested Me in the wilderness. There your ancestors tested and tried My patience, even though they saw My miracles for forty years. So I was angry with them, and I said, 'Their hearts always turn away from Me. They refuse to do what I tell then.' So in My anger I took an oath: 'They will never enter My place of rest.'" (Hebrews 3:7-8). Can you hear His voice? Is He speaking to you? Can you hear what He is saying? He is speaking LOUDLY to me. So I have a choice when I hear His voice. I can either harden my heart, or I can obey what He says. There is severe consequences to not listening to what He is saying.
"Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. YOU MUST WARN EACH OTHER EVERY DAY, while it is still "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. " (Hebrews 3:12-14)
Can you see how careful we have to be in our walk with Jesus? It is so easy for our hearts to become hard - evil and unbelieving, turning away from God. We have to stay firm until the end. And when we are believing, trusting, and obeying God, our souls find rest. For some of us, there is no rest. We have been going the wrong way. Our heart is hard. But I have good news!
"God's promise of entering His rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. (Are you trembling? I am!) For this good news - that God has prepared this rest - has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn't share the faith of those who LISTENED TO GOD. For only we who believe can enter His rest. As for the others, God said, "In My anger I took an oath: 'They will never enter My place of rest,' even though this rest has been ready since he made the world. We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day: "On the seventh day God rested from all His work." (Hebrews 4:1-4)
So guys, this is the Sabbath God is talking about. It is a place of rest. We cease from our own labors, and we enter into His rest. We believe what He says and trust Him. We do what He says for us to do and our souls find rest. This "place" has been ready for us since the foundation of the world. It is only when we believe Him and obey Him that we can enter into this glorious place that was prepared for us from the beginning of all time. So I want to ask you a question. Is your soul at rest and peace? If it is not, there is "good news."
So God's rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering His rest, and that time is TODAY. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: "Today when you hear His voice, don't harden your hearts." ...So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God's rest have rested fro their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. BUT IF WE DISOBEY GOD, as the people of Israel did, we will fall." (Hebrews 4:8-11)
So guys, today! Today is the day. Do not harden your hearts, or the LORD will set fire to your gates, and the fire will spread to the palaces, and no one will be able to put out the roaring flames. (Jeremiah 17:27). God is not playing! Rejoice that He is giving you another chance. Another day! Another day to find rest in Him. TODAY! If you hear His voice do not harden your hearts! I am asking this in Jesus' name. AMEN
I need to talk. Frankly, the Word that the LORD spoke yesterday morning moved me. I want to weep. It feels like the time for some people to come to the LORD may be over - "Those people who say they are mine. They honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. And their worship of Me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote." (Isaiah 29:13-14) The door may have closed, and my heart is heavy. But for those who genuinely seek the LORD, those who want to bring honor to His Holy Name, those who want to be a reflection of God's glory on this earth, there is another message. I think this message is for you. You would not be reading my posts or listening to my videos if the Spirit were not calling your name. So I want to speak to you.
"Soon - and it will not be very long - the forests of Lebanon will become a fertile field, and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops. In that day the deaf will hear words read from a book, and the blind will see through the gloom and darkness. The humble will be filled with fresh joy fro the LORD. The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. The scoffer will be gone, the arrogant will disappear, and those who plot evil will be killed. Those who convict the innocent by their false testimony will disappear. A similar fate awaits those who use trickery to pervert justice and who tell lies to destroy the innocent." (Isaiah 29:17-21)
All of this will happen inside of us. Those of us who are deaf will hear, those who are blind will see, we will no longer scoff or be proud or plot evil. We will no longer pervert justice or tell lies. "My people will no longer be ashamed or turn pale with fear. For when they see their many children and all the blessings I have given them, they will recognize the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob. They will stand in awe of the God of Israel. Then the wayward will gain understanding, and the complainers will accept instruction." (Isaiah 29:22-24)
Even though we are not where we want to be right now, the LORD is about to do something amazing. We just have to let Him. We have to quit resisting Him. And once He is through doing His work in us, "The glory of Lebanon will by yours - the forests of cypress, fir, and pine - to beautify My sanctuary. My Temple (that's us) will be glorious! The descendants of your tormentors will come and bow before you. Those who despise you will kiss your feet. They will call you the City of the LORD, and Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Though you were once despised and hated, with no one traveling through you, I will make you beautiful forever, a joy to all generations. Powerful kings and mighty nations will satisfy your every need, as though you were a child nursing at the breast of a queen. You will know at last that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel. I will exchange your bronze for gold, your iron for silver, your wood for bronze, and your stones for iron. I WILL MAKE PEACE YOUR LEADER AND RIGHTEOUSNESS YOUR RULER. Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter here." (Isaiah 60:13-18)
All the turmoil that is going on inside of us will be gone. Violence will disappear from our land. Never again will we be against each other. Righteousness and peace will guide us and rule us. "No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the LORD your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the LORD will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever. For I will plant them there with My own hands in order to bring Myself glory. The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen." (Isaiah 60:19-22)
I think that somehow or another we always thought that this would happen when we get to heaven, but that is not so. God is doing this in His people while we are on earth. This is part of His big, good plan, a plan to prosper and not to harm, a plan to give us hope and a future. God is coming to set us free and heal our hearts. He is coming to do in us what we cannot do for ourselves. We are HIS workmanship. He is planting us with His own hands in order to bring Himself glory. When our God does all of the good things He plans to do for His people, the whole world will know it. We will be glorious and beautiful forever.
So friends of mine, look up! Your Redemption is drawing near. "Go out through the gates! Prepare the highway for My people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see. The LORD has sent this message to every land: "Tell the people of Israel, 'Look, your Savior is coming. See, He brings His reward with Him as He comes..'" They will be called "The Holy People" and "The People redeemed by the LORD." And Jerusalem will be known as "The Desirable Place" and "The City No Longer Forsaken." (Isaiah 62:10-12)
Blessings to you. May you, too, see the LORD high and lifted up, and may His trane fill your Temple.
Another hard word for God's people. I want to ask you this question. Do you know the God we serve? He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
This is what the LORD says to His people: "You love to wander far from Me and do not restrain yourselves. Therefore, I will no longer accept you as My people, Now I will remember all your wickedness and will punish you for your sins."
Then the LORD said to me, "Do not pray for these people anymore. When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to Me, I will not accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease."
Then I said, "O Sovereign LORD, their prophets are telling them, 'All is well - no war or famine will come. The LORD will surely send you peace.'" Then the LORD said, "These prophets are telling lies in My name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts." (Jeremiah 14:10-16)
"Who will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem? Who will weep for you? Who will even bother to ask how you are? You have abandoned Me and turned your back on Me," says the LORD. "Therefore, I will raise My fist to destroy you. I am tired of always giving you another chance. I will winnow you like grain at the gates of your cities and take away the children you hold dear. I will destroy My own people, because they refuse to change their evil ways. There will be more widows than the grains of sand on the seashore. At noontime I will bring a destroyer against the mothers of young men. I will cause anguish and terror to come upon them suddenly. The mother of seven grows faint and gasps for breath; her sun has gone down while it is still day. She sits childless now, disgraced and humiliated. And I will hand over those who are left to be killed by the enemy. I, the LORD, have spoken!" (Jeremiah 15:5-9)
This is what the LORD says: "Do not go to funerals to mourn and show sympathy for these people, for I have removed My protection and peace from them. I have taken away My unfailing love and My mercy. Both the great and the lowly will die in this land." (Jeremiah 16:5-6)
"When you tell the people all these things, they will ask, 'Why has the LORD decreed such terrible things against us? What have we done to deserve such treatment? What is our sin against the LORD our God?'
"Then you will give them the LORD's reply: 'It is because your ancestors were unfaithful to Me. They worshiped other gods and served them. They abandoned Me and did not obey My Word. And you are even worse than your ancestors! You stubbornly follow your own evil desires and refuse to listen to Me. So I will throw you out of this land and send you into a foreign land where you and your ancestors have never been. There you can worship idols day and night - and I will grant you no favors!" (Jeremiah 16:10-13)
"I will upset the careful plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will allow the people to be slaughtered by invading armies, and I will leave their dead bodies as food for the vultures and wild animals. I will reduce Jerusalem to ruins, making it a monument to their stupidity. All who pass by will be astonished and will gasp at the destruction they see there. I will see to it that your enemies lay siege to the city until all the food is gone. Then those trapped inside will eat their own sons and daughters and friends. They will be driven to utter despair." (Jeremiah 19:7-9)
"Again and again the LORD has sent you His servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention. Each time the message was this: 'Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the LORD gave to you and your ancestors forever. Do not provoke My anger by worshiping idols you made with your own hands. Then I will not harm you." "But you would not listen to Me," says the LORD. "You made Me furious by worshiping idols you made with your own hands, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer." (Jeremiah 25:4-7)
This message makes me so sad. To think that the LORD would say, "Do not pray for them anymore. I have taken away My unfailing love and mercy, and now they are going to die," causes my heart to weep. With everything I write, I share what the LORD is saying, but I always give a way of escape - turn in your heart and live. But today the LORD will not allow me to say that. I think everyone has already made his choice. If you heart is seeking God, it will continue to seek God until you enter the land He has promised. Our faithful God will see that this happens. He will see you safely home if you continue to cling to Him tightly. But for the rest of you who have refused to listen to God have instead chosen to go your own stubborn way, it may be too late. I hate to say that, but this is what I am seeing and hearing. If when you read this post, your heart is still crying out, "No! Don't let it be too late," then it is not too late. Seek God and find Him. Cry out to Him. Weep. Mourn. Rend your heart. Do this while there is still time. God is giving you one more chance.
Even the stork that flies across the sky knows the time of her migration, as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane. They all return at the proper time each year. But not My people! THEY DO NOT KNOW THE LORD'S LAWS. How can yo say, "We are wise because we have the Word of the LORD," when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies? These wise teachers will fall into the trap of their own foolishness, for they have rejected the Word of the LORD. Are they so wise after all? I will give their wives to others and their farms to strangers. From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. Yes even My prophets and priests are like that. They are all frauds. THEY OFFER SUPERFICIAL TREATMENTS FOR MY PEOPLE'S MORTAL WOUND. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions? Not at all - they don't even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them, says the LORD. I will surely consume them. There will be no more harvests of figs and grapes. Their fruit trees will all die. Whatever I gave them will soon be gone. I, the LORD, have spoken! (Jeremiah 8:7-13)
Friends of mine, we have to search our hearts here. Are we offering superficial treatments for the mortal wounds of God's people? Are we giving assurances of peace when there is no peace? And we fill no shame when we do this. Sweet Jesus! It's like everything is permissible right now, and we just say, "It's OK. God will forgive you." LORD help us all. According to this scripture, if we continue to do this, all of our fruit trees are going to die, and God will punish us and cause us to lie among the slaughtered. Oh my goodness. What have we done? What are we doing? LORD, forgive us!
"The snorting of the enemies' warhorses can be heard all the way from the land of Dan in the north! The neighing of their stallions makes the whole land tremble. They are coming to devour the land and everything in it - cities and people alike. I will send these enemy troops among you like poisonous snakes you cannot charm. They will bite you, and you will die. I, the LORD, have spoken!" (Jeremiah 8:16-17)
If you listen carefully, you can hear this sound. The enemy is approaching. He is coming to devour the land and everything in it - cities and people alike. We think it is the deep state or some dark force beyond our control, but it is not. It is God. He is sending His armies to devour the land because our sin is so great.
"My people bend their tongues like bows to shoot out lies. They refuse to stand up for the truth. They only go from bad to worse. THEY DO NOT KNOW ME, " says the LORD. "They pile lie upon lie and utterly refuse to acknowledge Me," says the LORD. Who is wise enough to understand all this? Who has been instructed by the LORD and can explain it to others? Why has the land been so ruined that no one dares to travel through it?
The LORD replies, "This has happened because My people have abandoned My instructions; they have refuse to obey what I said. Instead, they have stubbornly followed their own desires and worshiped the images of Baal, as their ancestors taught them. So now, this is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, says: Look! I will feed them with bitterness and give them poison to drink. I will scatter them around the world, in places they and their ancestors never heard of, and even there I will chase them with the sword until I have destroyed them completely."
This is want the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: "CONSIDER ALL THIS, and call for the mourners. Send for the women who mourn at funerals." This is what the LORD says: "Bodies will be scattered across the fields like clumps of manure, like bundles of grain after the harvest. No one will be left to bury them." (Jeremiah 9:3,6,12-18,22)
CONSIDER ALL OF THIS! Please! Consider all of this! All that is about to happen is because we have abandoned God's instructions, and we have refused to obey what He said. We do not know Him. Sweet Jesus! Help us! Send a godly sorrow upon us that will lead us to repentance. We are so guilty. I am so sorry. We have offered superficial treatments for mortal wounds. Oh my goodness! Forgive us! We have promised peace when there is none. We have stubbornly followed our own desires and worshiped the image of Baal as our ancestors taught us. We thought that we were wise. We were not.
This is what the LORD says: "Don't let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly KNOW ME and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
"A time is coming," says the LORD, "when I will punish all those who are circumcised in body but not in spirit - the Egyptians, Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, the people who live in the desert in remote places, and yes, even the people of Judah (that's us). And like all these pagan nations, the people of Israel also have uncircumcised hearts." (Jeremiah 9:23-26)
It is our heart that God is after. If we are withholding our heart, judgment is at our doorstep. But if you will consider your ways, God says in Deuteronomy 30: "In the future, when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations to which the LORD your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions. If at that time you and your children return to the LORD your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where He has scattered you. Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the LORD your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The LORD your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then He will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors! The LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of all your descendants so that you will love Him with all your heart and soul and so you may live!"
This is "Good News!" In the middle of all that God is about to do, there is good news. Our God demonstrates His unfailing love to us by bringing justice and righteousness to the earth. He delights in this. He is bringing justice and righteousness into the hearts of His people. We will live under a government that is just and fair. We will be a bride without spot and wrinkle. He does this when we allow Him to circumcise our hearts. He cuts away injustice and unrighteousness until our hearts are only filled with His unfailing love and glory. Our God reigns. In the coming days, the whole world will know it.
Blessings, my friends. May you, too, see what I am writing as "Good News."
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."