Keep Your Clothes With You

January 25, 2010

Friends,
We do see in Luke 10:19 that Jesus did give His disciples His authority to “overcome all the power of the enemy.” Yet in the very next verse, He gives a warning along with it: “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.”

This passage alone should impart to us wisdom and discernment when “testing the spirits.” (1 John 4:1) What do we hear out of the mouths of the ministers on the church stage? Is he (or she) rejoicing in God’s goodness in bringing us salvation through Christ’s work on the cross? Is he explaining to others how they can get their names written down in the “Book of Life”? (Rev. 20:12) Is he preaching the way of salvation –that is, repentance, trust, obedience, and holiness? Is his teaching making disciples of Jesus?

Or is this preacher instead trying to make disciples after himself? Is he trying to persuade people to follow him, his program, his agenda, his technique, his church, his ministry, his school…? Does he boast often about “success”? Does he spend an enormous amount of time talking about the glories of meeting with angels, the times he’s cast out demons, and all the healings he’s preformed? Basically, does he exalt experiences?

Or does he exalt Jesus, His name, and His Word?

Friends, the apostasy is here. I don’t believe anyone who is watching closely what is happening to churches and ministry leaders can deny it.

So this is a call for wisdom. For discernment. A call to study Scripture like never before. –And to study it on your own. Too many people think they must study with a group. Why? Group study can be beneficial, but to study by oneself is the best. Is that not what we did in high school… in college…? Yes. True, we sometimes got together with others to study for a test, but was that the main way we studied? No, it certainly wasn’t.

When we study God’s Word on our own, we do not have distractions from others who God may be speaking to about an entirely different subject. Unhurried, quiet meditation in the Bible –just the individual and the Holy Spirit– is sorely needful in order to hear and learn Truth. Because so many are not doing this, we now have much chaos and deception throughout Christianity. People are relying on others to give them Truth, rather than getting it directly from the Holy Spirit. And because so many of the teachers are full of greed, adultery, delusions, and other sins, they feed the flock lies.

Wisdom comes from God. –From having a holy fear of Him. It comes from being in the Word. It comes from a determination to obey that Word.

Having wisdom is going to be absolutely crucial to getting and keeping one’s name in the Book of Life –especially now… with the apostasy looming ever larger. Yes, we can get our names erased from the Book of Life. Do not let anyone tell you differently. As Rev. 3:5 says, “He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never erase his name from the Book of Life, but will acknowledge his name before My Father and His angels.”

Being acknowledged, is to be let in. But many will stand at the door pleading, “Sir! Sir! Open the door for us!” (See Matt. 25:11) But He will deny knowing them. (v. 12) Even though they had been waiting for Him, believing in Him, and expecting His return. (v. 1) Why were they not then let in? It was because they had not kept their supply of oil current. They had not kept their wedding clothes with them. (See Matt. 22:11-14) They had been invited, but only the faithful are chosen to be allowed in. (See Rev. 17:14) They had “soiled their clothes” with sin, dead deeds, and lukewarmness. (See Rev. 3:4,1,2, & 16.) And God, no longer being able to tolerate them, vomited them out of His mouth. (v. 16)

“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief…” (Rev. 3:3) Jesus is speaking here to the church. They had received the Gospel, but they would not strengthen what they had; thus they were about to lose it. (v. 2) Basic theology is not hard to understand. God has made it so that even a child can understand. So why is it hard to grasp the fact that we must feed our relationship with Christ –just as we must feed any relationship –or it will die… and we lose it. Just like a fire… just like a talent… it must be fed, used, practiced, worked on…

Let’s be wise. Let’s not get side-tracked into, or wowed by, what the false teachers are proclaiming and preaching. Let’s keep our oil, our clothes, and our righteousness with us.

And let’s remember these words: “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Rev. 16:15) For those are the words of Jesus, the soon-coming King, who this time, does not come to be killed on a cross, but comes to “judge the living and the dead.” (2 Tim. 4:1)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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