Vision: Prophets in Thailand


Vision: Prophets in Thailand

7th March 2014

I saw a slender built beautiful Chinese lady in Bangkok. She wore a silk white and gold long dress.

I observed her walking around in the vicinity of top hotels like the Dusit Thani, the Bangkok Regency, and the old Oriental Hotel etc. She moved around the busy market and mall areas, Sukhumvit Road, The Pratunam area/ Indra market, Chao Phraya River, etc.

The beautiful Chinese lady was speaking about the Lord to some of the people who professed to be believers, but they were rejecting the message.

When she asked the Lord about it, He Showed her that the people only gave Him lip service, but their hearts were far from Him.

I asked the Lord why this lady was moving around all the well-known social and commercial areas of Bangkok. I was told that these people, who said they knew the Lord, went about social and commercial places making a big show of their faith for selfish motives but had no intention of obeying the Lord.

There were people such as these all over Thailand.

The Chinese lady wondered aloud, “Where then are the true followers of Christ?”

She was shown that the true believers were outcasts amongst such empty professors. Many had been thrown out by the leaders and congregations, whilst others had obeyed the Lord and walked out of those worldly assemblies.

All over Thailand, the worldly ones disdained the ‘outcasts’. I saw a woman buying strawberries, and the moment she saw an ‘outcast’ she crossed the street.

This was happening nation-wide. The true followers were ignored and despised as personae non gratae. The worldly ones never welcomed them, as what these God lovers said about the Lord was beyond their comprehension.

I saw that all over Thailand a number of prophets were learning obedience, through the word of God, and were being made ready to minister to the nation and nations in the coming times.

I noticed that their bibles were opened to the book of Proverbs.

The beautiful lady now moved away from the commercial areas, and was shown these prophets-in-training. “But Lord, these men and women are sleeping all the time,” she protested.

She smiled as she quickly comprehended that these obedient ones loved the Lord and they were not slumbering but in a position of rest and were being specially trained.

“But specially trained for what?” she asked the Lord.

The Chinese lady was made to understand that these prophets in Thailand were being specially trained to understand hard sayings.

Proverbs 15: 23

23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

Proverbs 1: 2-6

2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

1 Kings 17: 2-6

2 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,

3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

5 So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

Isaiah 3:10

10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

John 6:60

Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

Bombay-India

Swarna Jha

 

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18 responses to “Vision: Prophets in Thailand

  1. The Treasury of David
    http://biblehub.com/commentaries/tod/psalms/123.htm

    1 Unto thee will I lift up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

    2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

    3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

    4 Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

    Psalm 123:1

    “Unto thee lift I up mine eyes.” It is good to have some one to look up to. The Psalmist looked so high that he could look no higher. Not to the hills, but to the God of the hills he looked. He believed in a personal God, and knew nothing of that modern pantheism which is nothing more than atheism wearing a figleaf. The uplifted eyes naturally and instinctively represent the state of heart which fixes desire, hope, confidence, and expectation upon the Lord. God is everywhere, and yet it is most natural to think of him as being above us, in that glory-land which lies beyond the skies. “O thou that dwellest in the heavens,” just sets forth the unsophisticated idea of a child of God in distress; God is, God is in heaven, God resides in one place, and God is evermore the same, therefore will I look to him. When we cannot look to any helper on a level with us it is greatly wise to look above us; in fact, if we have a thousand helpers, our eyes should still be toward the Lord. The higher the Lord is the better for our faith, since that height represents power, glory, and excellence, and these will be all engaged on our behalf. We ought to be very thankful for spiritual eyes; the blind men of this world, however much of human learning they may possess, cannot behold our God, for in heavenly matters they are devoid of sight. Yet we must use our eyes with resolution, for they will not go upward to the Lord of themselves, but they incline to look downward, or inward, or anywhere but to the Lord: let it be our firm resolve that the heavenward glance shall not be lacking. If we cannot see God, at least we will look towards him. God is in heaven as a king in his palace; he is there revealed, adored, and glorified: thence he looks down on the world and sends succours to his saints as their needs demand; hence we look up, even when our sorrow is so great that we can do no more. It is a blessed condescension on God’s part that he permits us to lift up our eyes to his glorious high throne; yea, more, that he invites and even commands us so to do. When we are looking to the Lord in hope, it is well to tell him so in prayer: the Psalmist uses his voice as well as his eye. We need not speak in prayer: a glance of the eye will do it all; for –

    “Prayer is the burden of a sigh,

    The falling of a tear,

    The upward glancing of an eye

    When none but God is near.”

    Still, it is helpful to the heart to use the tongue, and we do well to address ourselves in words and sentences to the God who heareth his people. It is no small joy that our God is always at home, he is not on a journey, like Baal, but he dwells in the heavens. Let us think no hour of the day inopportune for waiting upon the Lord; no watch of the night too dark for us to look to him.

    Psalm 123:2

    “Behold” – for it is worthy of regard among men, and O that the Majesty of heaven would also note it, and speedily send the mercy which our waiting spirits seek. See, O Lord, how we look to thee, and in thy mercy look on us. This Behold has, however, a call to us to observe and consider. Whenever saints of God have waited upon the Lord their example has been worthy of earnest consideration. Sanctification is a miracle of grace; therefore let us behold it. For God to have wrought in men the spirit of service is a great marvel, and as such let all men turn aside and see this great sight. “As the eyes of servants (or slaves) look unto the hand of their masters.” They stand at the end of the room with their hands folded watching their lord’s movements. Orientals speak less than we do, and prefer to direct their slaves by movements of their hands; hence, the domestic must fix his eyes on his master, or he might miss a sign, and so fail to obey it, even so, the sanctified man lifts his eyes unto God, and endeavours to learn the divine will from every one of the signs which the Lord is pleased to use. Creation, providence, grace; these are all motions of Jehovah’s hand, and from each of them a portion of our duty is to be learned; therefore should we carefully study them, to discover the divine will. “And as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress;” this second comparison may be used because Eastern women are even more thorough than the men in the training of their servants. It is usually thought that women issue more commands, and are more sensitive of disobedience, than the sterner sex. Among the Roman matrons female slaves had a sorry time of it, and no doubt it was the same among the generality of Eastern ladies. “Even so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God.” Believers desire to be attentive to each and all of the directions of the Lord; even those which concern apparently little things are not little to us, for we know that even for idle words we shall be called to account, and we are anxious to give in that account with joy, and not with grief. True saints, like obedient servants, look to the Lord their God reverentially, they have a holy awe and inward fear of the great and glorious One. They watch, obediently, doing his commandments, guided by his eye. Their constant gaze is fixed attentively on all that comes from the Most High; they give earnest heed, and fear lest they should let anything slip through inadvertence or drowsiness. They look continuously, for there never is a time when they are off duty; at all times they delight to serve in all things. Upon the Lord they fix their eyes expectantly, looking for supply, succour, and safety from his hands, waiting that he may have mercy upon them. To him they look singly, they have no other confidence, and they learn to look submissively, waiting patiently for the Lord, seeking both in activity and suffering to glorify his name. When they are smitten with the rod they turn their eyes imploring to the hand which chastens, hoping that mercy will soon abate the rigour of the affliction. There is much more in the figure than we can display in this brief comment; perhaps it will be most profitable to suggest the questions – are we thus trained to service? Though we are sons, have we learned the full obedience of servants? Have we surrendered self, and bowed our will before the heavenly Majesty? Do we desire in all things to beat the Lord’s disposal? If so, happy are we. Though we are made joint-heirs with Christ, yet for the present we differ little from servants, and may be well content to take them for our model.

    Observe the covenant name, “Jehovah our God”: it is sweet to wait upon a covenant God. Because of that covenant he will show mercy to us; but we may have to wait for it. “Until that he have mercy upon us'” God hath his time and season, and we must wait until it cometh. For the trial of our faith our blessed Lord may for awhile delay, but in the end the vision will be fulfilled. Mercy is that which we need, that which we look for, that which our Lord will manifest to us. Even those who look to the Lord, with that holy look which is here described, still need mercy, and as they cannot claim it by right they wait for it till sovereign grace chooses to vouchsafe it. Blessed are those servants whom their Master shall find so doing. Waiting upon the Lord is a posture suitable both for earth and heaven, it is, indeed, in every place the right and fitting condition for a servant of the Lord. Nor may we leave the posture so long as we are by grace dwellers in the realm of mercy. It is a great mercy to be enabled to wait for mercy.

    continued…

  2. Been thinking about the rejection prophet Jeremiah suffered….if we knew before hand that we would be treated all our lives like Jeremiah was, would we want to be prophets?

  3. Religion Cannot Save Us – By T. Austin Sparks

    To become a Christian is not to become ‘religious’, or to adopt a new ‘religion’.

    Among non-Christian peoples, a turning to Christ is often referred to as ‘accepting Christianity’, and in what are called Christian countries conversion is frequently referred to as ‘becoming religious’. Such expressions, with their associated ideas, are altogether inadequate and indeed fundamentally false. There was no more religious man on the earth, in his time, than Saul of Tarsus. Read what he says of himself in Acts 22 and 26, and Philippians 3. Here was a man who was just aflame with religious zeal and passion. No argument is necessary, with history before us, to prove how wide of the mark religion can be.

    And that is true of ‘Christianity’, when it is merely a matter of religion. To be a true Christian is not to accept a creed or statement of doctrine, to observe certain rites and ordinances, attend certain services and functions, and conform more or less diligently to a prescribed manner of life. All this may be carried very far, with very many good works; but those concerned may still be outside the true New Testament category of ‘Christian’.

    Herein lies the danger of an assumed acceptance with God, which may bring that bitter disillusionment foretold by our Lord Himself in those startling words: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not… by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me” (Matt. 7:23, 24).

    No, religion is not Christianity, either more or less; it may be only a deception. So that when we seek that people should become Christians, we are not asking them to change their religion, nor are we asking them to become religious. Religion, as such, has never made this world happier or better.

  4. Swarna,

    Thank the Lord and thank you for this ….
    “But Lord, these men and women are sleeping all the time,” she protested.
    I am one of these. I was actually kind of concerned about this and asked the Lord about it. I just thought I slept too much. So far, every time I go before the Lord, so far I have been ending up falling asleep. It reminds me of Daniel when he received one of his visitations. You just gave me the answer.

    • Juanita,
      Yes, praise the Lord that this has ministered to you. I am so encouraged to hear this. This comment of yours is very timely and precious. Thank you. Praise God.

      Swarna

  5. 12 MAR – “Christ In You, The Hope of Glory” – T. Austin Sparks

    There is one indispensable mark and feature of the Christian life to which we will point at this time. It is shown in the words addressed to Paul by one Ananias: “The Lord Jesus… hath sent me that thou mayest… be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17).

    The consummation of this basic work, by which we become Christians in the true sense, is that everything which is true of Christ is made an inward thing with us. Up to this point, although everything has been very real and deep changes have taken place, it has been mainly as in an outward relationship with Christ. But it would have been fatal to have left it there, however great the discovery. We cannot live upon something which happened at a certain time. We cannot meet all the tremendous forces of evil which will oppose us, in the strength of a mere memory, however vivid. We shall never live triumphantly, or serve effectively, or satisfy God truly on any basis of what is merely outward and objective.

    The fact is that only Christ can really satisfy God; only Christ can do God’s will and God’s work. Only Christ can overcome the spiritual forces of evil. Yes, only Christ can really live the Christian life. Hence, the one great inclusive and crowning reality of a Christian is Christ Himself WITHIN! Paul later put this in these words: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

    This becomes true by a definite act when we believe. The Holy Spirit takes possession of us in an inward way. This indwelling of Christ had never been known by any man in history until Christ had died and risen and been glorified. It is therefore the peculiar wonder and glory of the Christian. It is this very thing that explains the New Testament term “born anew”. There was nothing like it before.

  6. Spontaneous Ministry – T. Austin Sparks

    ——————————————————————————–

    You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. (John 5:39 NIV)

    Ministry is the expression of Life, and not the taking on of a uniform and a title. Once I thought that to be in the ministry was to go into a certain kind of work, to come out of business, and, well, be a minister! So one got into the thing. Many, many are laboring and toiling in it, breaking their hearts, afraid to leave that order of things, lest they should be violating what they conceived to be a Divine call. Many others cannot get out of it because it is a means of livelihood, and they too are breaking their hearts. It is all false. Ministry is not a system like that. Ministry is the expression of Life, and that is but saying in other words that it is the outworking of the indwelling of Christ. Disaster lies before the man or woman who ministers on any other ground than that. When the Lord gets a chance in us, and we really will trust Him on that ground and take our position there, He will show us that there is ministry enough for us; we shall not have to go round looking for it. The real labor so often is to get us down to that ground, the delivering of us from this present evil age even in its conception of the ministry, unto the heavenly ministry.

    The Lord Jesus is our pattern. You see the spontaneous ministry, the restful ministry of that Heavenly Man. I covet that! It does not mean that we shall become careless, but it does deliver us from so much unnecessary strain. That is how it should be. May the Lord bring us to it; the heavenly Man with the heavenly Life as the full heavenly Resource.

    By T. Austin-Sparks from: All Things in Christ – Chapter

  7. OTHERS MAY: You CANNOT
    -by G.D. Watson.

    If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other people do things which He will not let you do.

    Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful, may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it, and if you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

    Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

    Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.

    The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious He may let
    others get credit for the work which you have done, and thus make YOUR REWARD TEN TIMES GREATER when JESUS COMES.

    The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your time, which other Christians never feel distressed over. So make up your mind that God is an Infinitely Sovereign Being, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in His dealings with you, but if you absolutely sell yourself to be His love slave, He will wrap you up in Jealous Love, and bestow upon you many blessings which come only to those who are in the inner circle.

    Settle it forever, then that you are to DEAL DIRECTLY WITH the HOLY SPIRIT, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this PECULIAR, PERSONAL, PRIVATE, JEALOUS GUARDIANSHIP and MANAGEMENT OF the HOLY SPIRIT OVER YOUR LIFE, then you will have found the vestibule of Heaven.

    -G.D.Watson (1845-1924).
    SOURCE: Faith, Prayer, & Tract League,
    Tract #76; Grand Rapids, MI 49504.

  8. “The Saint Must Walk Alone”

    By A.W. Tozer

    Most of the World’s GREAT SOULS have been lonely. Loneliness seems to be one price the saint must pay for his saintliness.

    Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Moses all walked a path quite apart from their contemporaries even though many people surrounded them.

    The prophets of pre-Christian times differed widely from each other, but one mark they bore in common was their enforced loneliness.

    Jesus died alone in the darkness hidden from the sight of mortal man and no one saw Him when He arose triumphant and walked out of the tomb, even though many saw Him afterward and bore witness to what they saw.

    The cheerful denial of loneliness proves only that the speaker has never walked with God without the support and encouragement afforded him by society. The sense of companionship that mistakenly attributes to the presence of Christ may and probably does arise from the presence of friendly people. Always remember: you cannot carry a cross in company. Though a vast crowd surrounds a man, his cross is his alone and his carrying of it marks him as a man apart. Society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross. No one is a friend to the man with a cross. ‘They all forsook Him and fled.’

    The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, and his absorption in his love for Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.

    The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. A certain amount of social fellowship will of course be his as he mingles with religious persons in regular activities of the church, but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find.

    The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but to see his Saviour glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see Jesus promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

    It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else. He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd-that Christ is All in All.

    Two things remain to be said about the man that is in this state of loneliness. First, he is not a haughty man, he is not holier-than-thou, and he is not an austere saint. He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his loneliness. He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his grief to God alone.

    The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. The opposite is true. His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the brokenhearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. Because he is detached from the world he is all the more able to help it.

    The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful ‘adjustment’ to an unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them (modern Christians) and accepts them for what they are. This is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.

    – A.W. Tozer

  9. Hi Swarna,
    Thank you for posting the above articles, God bless you. Your question brings to mind something I read by a prophet, whose grandfather had been a prophet; the grandson had seen all that his grandfather had gone through, and when it came to be his turn, he said, he did not want to be a prophet, but the young man came to understand, he really didn’t have a choice. I’m saying, remember Jonah; the Lord has His way of dealing with those He has called and chosen to be His Prophets. But, in this world, it is hard for anyone who speaks the Truth of God’s Word, whether they be called to be a prophet or just a “regular” God lover. Jesus said all that come after Him and take up their cross to follow Him will have persecution and tribulation, but it all works for our good. Amen.
    God bless you beloved
    sherry

    • Hi Sherry,
      One of my most favorite has to be………G.D. Watson’s Others May: you cannot.

      We fix our eyes on Jesus. The young grandson you mention , UNDERSTOOD WELL!

      Romans 8:28

      28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

      The Joy of the Lord is our strength.

      Thank you so much for your comments and encouragement, Sherry.
      blessings

      swarna


  10. Sermons on National Subjects, 29 – JEREMIAH’S CALLING

    By Charles Kingsley

    Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.–JEREMIAH xxiii. 5.

    At the time when Jeremiah the prophet spoke those words to the Jews, nothing seemed more unlikely than that they would ever come true. The whole Jewish nation was falling to pieces from its own sins. Brutish and filthy idolatry in high and low–oppression, violence, and luxury among the court and the nobility–shame, and poverty, and ignorance among the lower classes–idleness and quackery among the priesthood–and as kings over all, one fool and profligate after another, set on the throne by a foreign conqueror, and pulled down again by him at his pleasure. Ten out of the twelve tribes of Israel had been carried off captive, young and old, into a distant land. The small portion of country which still remained inhabited round Jerusalem, had been overrun again and again by cruel armies of heathens. Without Jerusalem was waste and ruins, bloodshed and wretchedness; within every kind of iniquity and lies, division and confusion.

    If ever there was a miserable and contemptible people upon the face of the earth, it was the Jewish nation in Jeremiah’s time. Jeremiah makes no secret of it. His prophecies are full of it–full of lamentation and shame: “Oh that my head were a fountain of tears, to weep for the sins of my people!” He feels that God has sent him to rebuke those sins, to warn and prophesy to his fellow- countrymen the certain ruin into which they are rushing headlong; and he speaks God’s message boldly. From the poor idol-ridden labourer, offering cakes to the Queen of Heaven to coax her into sending him a good harvest, to the tyrant king who had built his palace of cedar and painted it with vermilion, he had a bitter word for every man. The lying priest tried to silence him; and Jeremiah answered him, that his wife should be a harlot in the city, and his children sold for slaves.

    The king tried to flatter him into being quiet; and he told him in return, that he should be buried with the burial of an ass, dragged out and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem. The luxurious queen, who made her nest in the cedars, would be ashamed and confounded, he said, for her wickedness. The crown prince was a despised broken idol–a vessel in which was no pleasure; he should be cast out, he and his children, into slavery in a land which he knew not. The whole royal family, he said, would perish; none of them should ever again prosper or sit upon the throne of David. This was his message; shame and confusion, woe and ruin, to high and low; every human being he passed in the street was a doomed man. For the day of the Lord was at hand, and who should be able to escape it?

    A sad calling, truly, to have to work at; and all the more sad because Jeremiah had no pride, no steadfast opinion of his own excellence to keep him up. He hates his calling of prophet. At the very moment he is foretelling woe, he prays God that his prophecy may not come true; he tries every method to prevent its coming true, by entreating his countrymen to repent. There runs through all his awful words a vein of tenderness, and pity, and love unspeakable, which to me is the one great mark of a true prophet; a sign that Jeremiah spoke by the Spirit of God; a sign that too many writers nowadays do not speak by the Spirit of God. If they rebuke the rich and powerful, they do it generally in a very different spirit from Jeremiah’s–in a spirit of bitterness and insolence, not very easy to describe, but easy enough to perceive. They seem to rejoice in evil, to delight in finding fault, to be sorry, and not glad, when their prophecies of evil turn out false; to try to set one class against another, one party against another, as if we were not miserably enough split up already by class interests and party spirit. They are glad enough to rebuke the wicked great; but not to their face, not to their own danger and hurt like Jeremiah.

    Their plan is to accuse the rich to the poor, on their own platform, or in their own newspaper, where they are safe; and, moreover, to make a very fair profit thereby; to say behind the back of authorities that which they dare not say to their face, and which they soon give up saying when they have worked their own way into office; and meanwhile take mighty credit to themselves for seeing that there is wrong and misery in the world; as if the spirits in hell should fancy themselves righteous, because they hated the devil! No, my friends, Jeremiah was of a very different spirit from that. If he ever was tempted to it when he was young, and began to fancy himself a very grand person, who had a right to look down on his neighbours, because God had called him and set him apart to be a prophet from his mother’s womb, and revealed to him the doom of nations, and the secrets of His providence–if he ever fancied that in his heart, God led him through such an education as took all the pride out of him, sternly and bitterly enough. He was commissioned to go and speak terrible words, to curse kings and nobles in the name of the Lord: but he was taught, too, that it was not a pleasant calling, or one which was likely to pay him in this life.

    His fellow-villagers plotted against his life. His wife deserted him. The nobles threw him into a dungeon, into a well full of mire, whence he had to be drawn up again with ropes to save his life. He was beaten, all but starved, kept for years in prison. He had neither child nor friend. He had his share of all the miseries of the siege of Jerusalem, and all the horrors of its storm; and when he was set free by Nebuchadnezzar, and clung to his ruined home, to see if any good could still be done to the remnant of his countrymen, he was violently carried off into a heathen land, and at last stoned to death, by those very countrymen of his whom he had been trying for years to save. In everything, and by everything, he was taught that he was still a Jew, a brother to his sinful brothers; that their sorrows were his sorrows, their shame his shame, their ruin his ruin. In all their afflictions he was afflicted, even as his Lord was after him.

    He struggled, we find, again and again against this strange and sad calling of a prophet. He cried out in bitter agony that God had deceived him; had induced him to become a prophet, and then repaid him for speaking God’s message with nothing but disappointment and misery. And yet he felt he must speak; God, he said, was stronger than he was, and forced him to it. He said: “I will speak no more words in His name; but the Word of the Lord was as fire within his bones, and would not let him rest;” and so, in spite of himself, he told the truth, and suffered for it; and hated to have to tell it, and pitied and loved the very country which he rebuked till he cursed “the day in which he saw the light, and the hour in which it was said to his father, there is a man-child born.” You who fancy that it is a fine thing, and a paying profession, to be a preacher of righteousness and a rebuker of sin, look at Jeremiah, and judge! For as surely as you or any other man is sent by God to do Jeremiah’s work, so surely he must expect Jeremiah’s wages.

    Do you think, then, that Jeremiah was a man only to be pitied? Pitiable he was indeed, and sad. There was One hung on a cross eighteen hundred years ago, more pitiable still: and yet He is the Lord of heaven and earth. Yes; Jeremiah had a sad life to live, and a sad task to work out; and yet, my friends, was not that a cheap price to pay for the honour and glory of being taught by God’s Spirit, and of speaking God’s words? I do not mean the mere honour of having his fame and name spread over all Christ’s kingdom; the honour of having his writings read and respected by the wisest and the holiest to the end of time; that mere earthly fame is but a slight matter. I mean the real honour, the real glory, of knowing what was utterly right and true, and therefore of knowing Him who is utterly right and true; of knowing God; of knowing what God’s character is: that he is a living God, and not a dead one; a God who is near and not absent at all, loving and merciful, just and righteous, strong and mighty to save.

    Ay, my friends, this is the lesson which God taught Jeremiah; to know the Lord of heaven and earth, and to see His hand, His rule, in all that was happening to his fellow-countrymen, and himself; to know that from the beginning the Lord, the Saviour-God, Jehovah, the messenger of the covenant, He who brought up the Jews out of Egypt, was the wise and just and loving King of the Jews, and of all the nations upon earth; and that some day or other He must and would conquer all the sinfulness, and misery, and tyranny, and idolatry in the world, and show Himself openly to men, and fulfil all the piteous longings after a just and good king which poor wretches had ever felt, and all the glorious promises of a just and good king which God had made to the wise men of old time; and, therefore, in the midst of shame and persecution, despair and ruin, Jeremiah could rejoice. Jehoiakim, the wicked king, and all his royal house, might be driven out into slavery; Jerusalem might become a heap of ruins and corpses; the fair land of Judaea, and the village where he was bred, might become thorns, and thistles, and heaps of stones; the vineyard which he loved, the little estate at Anathoth which had belonged to him, might be trodden down by the stranger, and he himself die in a foreign land; around him might be nothing but sin and decay, before him nothing but despair and ruin: yet still there was hope, joy, everlasting certainty for that poor, childless, captive old man; for he had found out that the Lord still lived, the Lord still reigned. He could not lie; he could not forget his people. Could a mother forget her sucking child? No. When the Jews turned to Him, He would still have mercy. His punishment of them was a sign that he still cared for them. If He had forgotten them, He would have let them go on triumphant in their iniquity.

    No. All these afflictions were meant to chasten them, teach them, bring them back to Him. It would be good for them, an actual blessing to them, to be taken away into captivity in Babylon. It might be hard to believe, but it must be true. The Lord of Israel, the Saviour-God, who had been caring for them so long, rising up early and sending His prophets to them, pleading with them as a father with his child, He would have mercy; He would teach them, in sorrow and slavery, the lesson they were too rebellious and hard-hearted to learn in prosperity and freedom: that the Lord was their righteousness, and that there was no other name under heaven which could save them from the plague, and from the famine, from the swords of the Chaldeans, or from the division, and oppression, and brutishness, and manifold wickedness, which was their ruin. And then Jeremiah saw and felt–how we cannot tell–but there his words, the words of this text, stand to this day, to show that he did see and feel it, that some day or other, in God’s good time, the Jews would have a true King–a very different king from Jehoiakim the tyrant–a son of David in a very different sense from what Jehoiakim was; that He would come, and must come, sooner or later, The unseen King, who had all along been governing Jews and heathens, and telling his prophets that Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus, the Chaldee and the Persian, were his servants as well as they, and that all the nations of the earth could do but what he chose.

    “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute justice and judgment on the earth.”

    This was the blessed knowledge which God gave Jeremiah in return for all the misery he had to endure in warning his countrymen of their sins. And this same blessed knowledge, the knowledge that the earth is the Lord’s, that to Jesus Christ is given, as He said Himself, all power in heaven and earth, and that He is reigning, and must reign, and conquer, and triumph till He has put all His enemies under His feet, God will surely give to everyone, high or low, who follows Jeremiah’s example, who boldly and faithfully warns the sinner of his way, who rebukes the wickedness which he sees around him: only he must do it in the spirit of Jeremiah.

    He must not be insolent to the insolent, or proud to the proud. He must not be puffed up, and fancy that because he sees the evil of sin, and the certain ruin which is the fruit of it, that he is therefore to keep apart from his fellow- countrymen, and despise them in Pharisaic pride. No. The truly Christian man, the man who, like Jeremiah, has the Spirit of God in him, will feel the most intense pity and tenderness of sinners. He will not only rebuke the sins of his people, but mourn for them; he will be afflicted in all their affliction. However harshly he may have to speak, he will never forget that they are his countrymen, his brothers, children of the same Father, to be judged by the same Lord. He will feel with shame and fear that he has in himself the root of the very same sins which he sees working death around him–that if others are covetous, he might be so too–if they be profligate, and deceitful, and hypocritical, without God in the world, he might be so too. And he must feel not only that he might be as bad as his neighbours, but that he actually would be, if God withdrew His Spirit from him for a moment, and allowed him to forget the only faith which saves him from sin, loyalty to his unseen Saviour, the righteous King of kings.

    Therefore he will not only rebuke his sinful neighbours; but he will tell them, as Jeremiah told his countrymen, that all their sin and misery proceed from this one thing, that they have forgotten that the Lord is their King. He will pray daily for them, that the Lord their King may show Himself to their hearts and thoughts, and teach them all that He has done for them, and is doing for them; and may convert them to Himself that they may be truly His people, and His way may be known upon earth, His saving health among all nations.

     


  11. George H. Morrison – Devotional Sermons

     

    Founded on Rock
          
    Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church–Mat 16:18

    Christ Wanted to Be Understood
          
    To understand these words aright we must endeavour to recapture the right atmosphere. The words were spoken under intense excitement. The hour had come when our Lord felt it necessary to tell the disciples plainly of His death. So He had led them to the rocky solitudes which lie about the sources of the Jordan. And first, lest the shock should overwhelm them, He set Himself quietly to discover if they had solved the secret of His being. No one will ever triumph in the Cross who has wrong views of the Person of our Lord. In His own beautiful way He did not begin with that. He began by asking what other people thought. Then, having elicited an answer, He said, “But whom say ye that I am?” And immediately, with glorious insight, in a light that broke on him from heaven, Peter cried, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” To be understood is always sweet, especially after long misapprehension. It is a thrilling hour when one is understood. And so perfectly human was our Lord, that the cry of Peter moved Him to His depths, and stirred Him with profound emotion. The words of Jesus are not a cold pronouncement. They are a glowing and impassioned utterance. They are not a statement of theology; they are the glad cry of a heart. He could face the cross and all its desolation, and be tranquil in His darkest hour, in the assurance that He was understood.

     Did Christ Point to Himself When He Said, “Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church”?
         
    There are two interpretations of these words which I mention only to discard. The first is, that when He said “On this rock,” He pointed with a gesture to Himself. My learned namesake, Dr. Morison, in his quite invaluable Commentaries, is the best-known upholder of this view. But surely it is not like our Lord to convey truth by an unrecorded gesture. When the moving of His hands is eloquent, the Gospel is always careful to portray it. And our Lord was so watchful of His little words that it is incredible He should have said and, when the contrast of the gesture called for but. It is the most profound of truths that the Church is founded upon Christ. It is founded on Him who loved us and who died for us, and who rose again on the third day. But here, in this moment of emotion, our Lord was not thinking of Himself; He was thinking of those who recognise His mystery.

     Did He Mean Peter?
         
    With equal conviction do I discard the view that our Lord meant Peter as an individual. With that mystic gaze of His, Peter was the type and representative of multitudes. There are hints in the story (as is so often true) that Peter spoke in the name of the disciples. There flashed into words on his eager lips, the truth that was inarticulate in them. And if there was a gesture of our blessed Lord, was it not rather a waving of His hand over the company gathered at His feet? To them, just as truly as to Peter, Christ was not Jeremiah or Elias. For them He stood in solitary grandeur, different from and greater than the prophets. And what they all felt in their inmost core, though they could not command speech to utter it, broke into utterance on Peter’s lips. It is incredible that in such high emotion our Lord’s vision should have stopped at Peter. Moved to His very depths He saw in Peter the guarantee and the foretaste of His triumph. He heard in Peter’s cry the voice of millions, echoing through every country of the world, confessing Him and adoring Him as Lord.

     “The Rock” Is the Confession of All Who Acknowledge Christ as Lord
         
    So do I hold with a very strong conviction that such was the meaning of our Lord. Peter was the forerunner of confessing and adoring souls. The Church is not founded on an individual, and that individual soon to be called Satan (Mat 16:23). It is not founded on any form of words, for rock in Scripture is never used of words. The Church is founded on confessing lives, on all those who acknowledge Christ as Lord, and of these Peter is the forerunner. Empires are founded upon force; kingdoms upon mercenary armies. Institutions are founded upon money; secret societies on catchwords. But the Church is founded on living men and women, confessing in gratitude and wonder “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In the deepest of all senses the Church is founded upon Christ. But let those who confess His name never forget that it is also founded upon them. Let them see to it that it is not founded upon sand, blown about by every desert wind. Let them see to it that it is founded upon rock.

     

  12. Spiritual Increase is Related to the Throne – T. Austin Sparks

    Firstly, it does mean that the deepening of spiritual life, as it is called, or any other terms used for the same thing, is not a matter which is just to issue in our fuller blessing. So often people will bring it right down there to that level of fuller blessing, and we are very often tempted even there, in the time of fire and adversity, to react to this whole thing by saying, Well, if I have heaven, why need I trouble about all this, and why should I go through all this? Here are plenty of people just very happy and contented, they are saved and they know they are saved, and here am I who have sought to go on with God, and I am having the most awful time.

    It seems to me that I have got the worst of the bargain, by wanting to go right on with God! If we look at it like that, purely from the personal point of view of blessing, we have missed our way, and we shall get into difficulties; because, as we have always sought to point out, when you come out of this spiritual infancy into the School of sonship, you graduate from what is personal as to your own interest and blessing into what is for the Lord and not for you. From that time forward the whole motive is, not what I am going to get, but what God is going to get. That is Ephesians. “That ye may know what is… the riches of the glory of HIS inheritance in the saints.” Not what I am going to get now: that will follow, that will be all right, the Lord will be faithful, but it is something else. We have come into the school on the basis of God’s eternal purpose, and God’s eternal purpose does not begin and end when He has got us born again. God’s eternal purpose is only reached when He has got us in the throne. Thus it is the Lord, for the Lord, and what the Lord is after that is the one consideration. It will be glory for me, but that is not the motive of it now. It is this great purpose with which we are called: that is what is governing everything, and it is in the terms of the throne.

    So the transition from infancy to the School of sonship, being a very painful thing, and fraught with all sorts of difficulties, brings us nevertheless into relation with that which has been in God’s mind from before the world was where we are concerned. … chosen in Christ Jesus “that we should be to the praise of HIS glory.” All the dealings of the Lord with us in this school have that throne in view.

  13. Pride and Shame or Humility and Wisdom
    By Bob Hoekstra

    When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom . . . The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the legacy of fools. (Proverbs 11:2 and 3:35)
    In order to live by the grace of God, we must be willing to walk in humility, instead of in pride. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). We must be willing to acknowledge our daily, desperate need for God. Any other approach to life is based upon pride (which is a foolish, inaccurate assumption that we are adequate to produce a life on our own). Those who walk in pride end up with shame. Those who walk in humility end up with wisdom.

    The scriptures describe those who foolishly walk in pride, as well as declaring the shame that they experience. “When pride comes, then comes shame . . . shame shall be the legacy of fools.” One example would be the wicked way that many privileged and powerful persecute the downtrodden and the vulnerable. They are demonstrating their pride. “The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised” (Psalm 10:2). Their shame is that they can become entangled in the very schemes that they have contrived. Another example is those who arrogantly oppose the people of God. “This they shall have for their pride, because they have reproached and made arrogant threats against the people of the LORD of hosts” (Zephaniah 2:10). Their shame was announced as a barrenness so severe as to be likened unto the end of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    ” ‘Therefore, as I live,’ says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Surely Moab shall be like Sodom, and the people of Ammon like Gomorrah – overrun with weeds and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation’ ” (Zephaniah 2:9).

    In contrast to the shame that comes to the prideful, is the wisdom (and resulting glory, or honor) that comes to the humble. “With the humble is wisdom . . . The wise shall inherit glory.” Those who walk humbly before the Lord find the godly wisdom that is available in the Lord’s infallible word. “The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7). This wisdom from God brings honor to the humble ones who live by it. “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor” (Proverbs 29:23). Again, this honor for the humble is in striking contrast to the wretched and ignoble ends that pride engenders.

    Dear Lord of glory, how fitting that those who pridefully oppose You will be brought low and will end up in shame. I do not want to be numbered among them. I want to walk in humility. I want to eagerly acknowledge my desperate need for You every day in every way. I want to be compassionate toward the needy. I want to bless Your people. I want to humbly seek the wisdom of Your word. I want to be a vessel of honor unto You, through Christ Jesus, my Lord, Amen.


  14. J. C. Philpot – Daily Portions

    Today’s Devotional

     

    “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10

    According to God’s own testimony, it is “through much tribulation” that we are to enter into the kingdom; and therefore there is no entering into the kingdom of grace here or the kingdom of glory hereafter without it. But let this be ever borne in mind, that whatever affliction befall the saints, it is laid upon them by the hand of God, and that for the express purpose of putting them into a situation and of making them capable of receiving those comforts which God only can bestow. None but Jesus himself and the Father can comfort a truly afflicted heart. And he can and does from time to time comfort his dear people by a sense of his presence; by a word of power from his gracious lips; by the light of his countenance; by the balm of his atoning blood and dying love; and by the work and witness of the Spirit within. And as they receive this consolation from the mouth of God, their hearts are comforted. How good the Lord is of his own free grace to bestow such blessings upon his redeemed family! May he give us much of them! And may he wherever he has bestowed upon any of us everlasting consolation, or even a good hope through grace, comfort our hearts as we journey through this vale of tears, and may our consolations be neither few nor small.

     

  15. DELIVERED THROUGH THE PRAYERS OF “HELPERS” by David Wilkerson
    “We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). The Greek word for pressed in this passage means “heavily burdened, grievously crushed.” Paul was telling these saints, “Our crisis was so serious that it almost crushed me. I thought it was the end for me.”

    When Paul says he was so burdened down that he despaired of life, we can know he truly was at rock bottom. In other passages, he downplays his sufferings. You may recall how he simply shook off a poisonous snake that had attached itself to his hand. He was shipwrecked three times yet he mentions this fact only in passing, to make a point. Paul was beaten, robbed, stoned, jailed—yet through it all he never complained.

    In this passage, however, the apostle was at a point of total exhaustion. I believe this “trouble” he endured was mental anguish. We cannot know exactly what Paul’s trouble was but 2 Corinthians 7:5 gives us a hint: “When we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.”

    I believe Paul was referring to pain caused by the sheep he ministered to. False teachers had risen up in Corinth and had tried to turn the people against him. Now Paul feared his flock would reject his message and follow men who did not have their interest at heart.

    He was consoled when Titus arrived, bringing him good news about his “beloved children” in Corinth. Paul writes, “Nevertheless God . . . comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more” (verses 6-7).

    I have felt this kind of anguish in my life. At times, the words of people I have loved and helped have felt like knives in my back. I can say with David, “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords” (Psalm 55:21). In such troubled times, I have most needed “helping prayers.”

    _________
    http://www.sermonindex.net

  16. IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLES, PAUL LEARNED GREAT LESSONS by David Wilkerson

    The most significant lesson Paul learned in his anguish was that he had to turn to the Lord and His covenant promises. He knew he could no longer trust in his own flesh, abilities or willpower. He writes, “We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).

    Paul’s trial had brought him to the end of his endurance. He knew he did not have any strength left to fight the powers of darkness so he sentenced his own flesh to death. And God marvelously delivered him: “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (verse 10).

    How was Paul delivered? Several things were involved: First, he was a mighty man of prayer and second, he had great confidence in the Lord. Paul knew God would uphold His covenant promises. He could say, “Just as the Lord has delivered me in the past, He is at work delivering me from this present trial. From now until the day I die, I’ll be living under His delivering power.”

    Like Paul, we also are allowed to endure troubled times, so that we will die to our reliance on human ability. The Lord permits us to be crushed, made helpless and weak, in an effort to convince us we cannot defeat the enemy by any fleshly efforts.

    As we compare our lives to Paul’s, we may be tempted to think, “I’ll never experience the kind of deliverance this man enjoyed. He was well-educated in the Scriptures and he received great revelations from the Lord about Jesus, the gospel, the New Covenant.

    “And Paul ministered in the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost. He single-handedly shook cities and nations. He couldn’t be killed by the devil, even after stonings, mob attacks, three shipwrecks. God even used him to raise the dead. This man was one of God’s most anointed servants in all of history. He had it together spiritually.”

    Not so, according to Paul. The apostle makes it clear that there was one other important factor in his deliverance: the powerful intercession of praying helpers. “Ye also helping together by prayer for us” (verse 11). Paul was saying, “I’m confident God will deliver me. And you’re helping that come to pass by praying.”

    http://www.sermonindex.net

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