THE LIFE OF THE RIGHTEOUS IN THE VERY LAST DAYS

Are You Prepared?

January 11, 2020

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Preliminary Remarks:

Purpose:  To equip the Righteous to walk with, and abide in Jesus Christ in order to stand and not perish in the very last days.

Today, the Lord says (is saying);

Unless you listen to My voice, you will fall and perish in the coming tribulation.

This message contradicts and corrects the error in the apostate institutional church that has caused Jesus Christ to depart and stand outside, knocking at the door (Rev. 3:20).  Hopefully, you’ll hear Him and open that door.

This is not a new teaching.  Hebrews 11:4 demonstrates that this principle has been in operation since Abel and Cain; and in the 7th century B.C. Habakkuk prophesied that this message would be for the distant future – for the end.

Key verses:

Habakkuk 2:2–4 (NASB95)
2Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. 
3“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.
4“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.
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Romans 1:16–17 (NASB95)
16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
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Galatians 3:11 (NASB95)
11Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.
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Hebrews 10:37–38 (NASB95)
37For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
38But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.

These four passages state and restate that faith is the way of life of the Righteous.
Supported by:

Hebrews 11:6 (NASB95)
6And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
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Hebrews 10:38 (NASB95)
38But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
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Romans 14:23 (NASB95)
23  . . . . and whatever is not from faith is sin.

Two questions to address:

1.  Who are the Righteous?
2.  What is Faith?

1.    2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us about the Righteous:

21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NASB95)

Paul writes to the Church (called out ones) that we are made righteous through the work of sinless Jesus Christ when He bore our sin and paid the penalty for it on the cross.
As we are born again by God’s grace through faith in Jesus our Savior, we are new creations in Christ Jesus, and God imputes His righteousness to us.
So we, born again believers in Jesus Christ, through faith, are the righteous.

2.       What Is Faith And Where Does It Come From?

Hebrews 11:1 (NASB95)
1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

And in the NIV

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV84)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

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Where Does Faith Come From? 

How is it possible that we can be truly assured, convicted, and certain of things that we cannot see in the natural?  We can’t just fabricate it out of our own will.  We can wish for something with our whole being, and it has no effect.  We, being the created, don’t have control over or foresight about unseen things.

Paul not only quotes Habakkuk’s prophecy three times, but he also teaches us where our faith comes from.

Romans 10:14–17 (NASB95)
14How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
15How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
16However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”
17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Paul teaches that faith comes by hearing Christ.  When we hear the word spoken by the Son Of God, Christ Jesus; that is the basis for our faith.  Only then can we be assured, convinced and certain of that unseen thing.  Only that which God speaks is certain and, though unseen by us, is absolutely true.  Anything else is wishful thinking, presumption, of our own fabrication, or deception.  It does not produce Biblical faith, and Paul teaches that it is sin.
When Paul refers in verse 15 of Romans 10 to the “beautiful feet bringing good news”, he quotes from Isaiah 52:7 and gives us additional context for this Romans passage.  In the Isaiah passage, we get additional contextual understanding by reading the preceding verse as Jesus says:

Isaiah 52:6–7 (NASB95)
6Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’ ”
7How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news,

Through Isaiah, Christ states that He is the preacher of the “Good News”.

That clarifies a very important point – faith comes by hearing Christ’s word — not the word about Christ, nor the word concerning Christ.  That phrase “by the word of Christ” in vs. 17 is in the genitive case, which makes it possessive or attributive.  Consequently, the verse teaches that faith comes from hearing Christ’s word.

Paul constructs this statement in vs. 17 in a way that emphasizes hearing.  He doesn’t just say that faith comes by hearing Christ; but rather faith comes specifically by means of hearing, and then specifically hearing the word of Christ.
(More on this below at section entitled, “Romans Chapter 10 is key to understand and demonstrate what is happening today.”)

Jesus Christ challenges us and exhorts us fourteen times in the New Testament for those that have ears to hear, let them hear.  We are to hear His voice.

Likewise, in Hebrews chapters 3 & 4, in teaching about belief & faith, Paul (assuming his authorship) draws from both Deut. 1 and Psalm 95 as he writes three times,

Hebrews 3:7–8 (NASB95)
7Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice,
8Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness,

Hebrews 3:14–15 (NASB95)
14For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,
15while it is said, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”

Hebrews 4:7 (NASB95)
7He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.

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Each and every day as we live it is “Today”; and He does speak to us.
This is how we are to be living – all day every day.  And Jesus is emphatic about it for our survival as we approach the Tribulation.
This is not just for a special class of Believers.  If we are born again, Righteous, this is how we live and survive, our lifestyle.

John 10:26–28 (NASB95)
26“But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

John 16:13 (NASB95)
13“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

John 1:1 (NASB95)
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jesus is the “Word” (John 1:1).  Communication/speaking is central to His nature.  He says His sheep hear His voice.  He says that the Holy Spirit hears Him (Christ), and He (the Holy Spirit) will speak and guide us into all the truth and will disclose to us what is to come.  Jesus says, “Today if you hear My voice”. 

Again, He says:

Isaiah 52:6 (NASB95)
6“Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’ ”

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In Hebrews 11, God lists several of the Righteous who lived by Faith.  Every one of those Believers lived by a now all but extinct understanding of living by Faith – hearing Christ.  Examining some examples, we read:

First there is Abel who by Faith offered a better sacrifice.  Did you ever wonder how Abel knew what an acceptable sacrifice was?  There are several teachings which are based on conjecture, but only Romans 10:17 tells us definitively how he knew.  He knew by Faith; by hearing the word of Christ Who instructed him in the way of righteousness.  Abel, the son of Adam and Eve, had no Bible to look it up in.  Christ spoke to him.

Hebrews 11:4 (NASB95)
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.

Further, you read about Noah who by Faith built the Ark and thus saved his family (and all of humanity) and all the living creatures from “things not yet seen” (see Heb. 11:1 again). 

Hebrews 11:7 (NASB95)
7By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Read Genesis 6 to appreciate the extensive and detailed instruction Jesus gave Noah.

Then you read about Abraham who by Faith heard and believed God and became the Father of Faith (Romans 4).

Hebrews 11:8–10 (NASB95)
8By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;
10for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Hebrews 11:17–19 (NASB95)
17By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
18it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.”
19He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.

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In each instance where these verses say Abraham did something “by Faith”, Genesis 12 tells us he heard God specifically instructing him.  Faith comes by hearing.And by Faith, Moses . . .

Hebrews 11:24–29 (NASB95)
24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
25choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
26considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
27By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.

28By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.
29By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.

Leonard Ravenhill taught about this passage, and posed the question, “who told Moses about Christ” (vs.26)?  How did Moses know about Christ? 

Again, like all the rest in this chapter, Moses had no Bible.  His Faith came by HEARING Christ according to Romans 10:17.

And the detailed list of Old Testament Believers continues.  These saints are there for our instruction.  We, the Righteous, are called to live by this very same Faith.

Then, noting that there are no separating chapters or verses in the original Scripture, we read closely following in Chapter 12:2 —

Hebrews 12:2 (NASB95)
2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus is the author of our faith.  Our faith comes (is initiated/birthed) by hearing Him.  It is He Who births that unseen thing in us by speaking it to us.  Not only that, He is the perfecter of our faith.  He brings that unseen thing to its completion.

Philippians 2:13 (NASB95)
13for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

He causes us to know what His good pleasure is – it comes when we hear His Word, and He gives us grace to accomplish His good pleasure.  As James teaches us, “Faith without works is dead.”  Without obedience to the instruction of Jesus, there is no Faith.

Likewise, “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 

Genesis 22:1–18 (NASB95)
1Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
2He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”
3So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
4On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.
5Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.”
6Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.
7Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.
9Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
10Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
12He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.
14Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.”
15Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
16and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.
18“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

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Abraham truly believed God. In obedience to Christ’s instruction, He went up the mountain with no sacrifice other than his son of promise, Isaac.  He had no escape plan or Plan B.  He set about to slay his son on the altar in obedience, not knowing how it was possible for God to fulfill His promise to make Abraham the father of many nations through Isaac, but he determined to execute God’s Word in obedience, regardless.  (see James 2:21-24)
He is our faith-example.

Romans 4:16 (NASB95)
16For this reason it (Righteousness)is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

The Seal Of Righteousness

Romans 4:11–13 (NASB95)
11and he (Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
12and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
13For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Paul teaches in Romans 4:11-13 that God, having deemed Abraham righteous by his faith, then gave him circumcision as a sign and a seal of his righteousness.

But the blood-descendants of the circumcision of Abraham came to believe in a righteousness not by faith, but a righteousness by means of the sign, i.e. circumcision; and by their Abrahamic blood-lineage.  Over the centuries God called them to repent and to circumcise their hearts.

Leviticus 26:40–42 (NASB95)
40‘If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me—
41I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies—or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity,
42then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land.

Deuteronomy 10:16 (NASB95)
16“So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.

Jeremiah 4:4 (NASB95)
4“Circumcise yourselves to the Lord And remove the foreskins of your heart, Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Or else My wrath will go forth like fire And burn with none to quench it, Because of the evil of your deeds.”

And for today —

Romans 2:28–29 (NASB95)
28For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
29But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Colossians 2:6–12 (NASB95)
6Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
7having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
9For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
10and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
11and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
12having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

God has circumcised the hearts of us who have been made righteous by faith.  He has cut us free from living by the ways of the flesh and enabled us now to walk in His Spirit.  He has consecrated us to Himself, out of the World, as He birthed us anew in the Spirit.  We need to grasp that and live it.  That is our sign and seal of His redemptive work in us.  As we continue to abide in Him, we remain in His seal which is our protection in the end times.

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What About “Sola Scriptura”?

Sola Scriptura is a doctrine that came out of the Reformation and has been adopted in principle today across Protestantism.  It is also largely responsible for the apostasy throughout the church today.  If you’re not sure what this doctrine states, CRI gives a good explanation here:

https://www.equip.org/article/what-is-sola-scriptura/

There’s no question as to the authority of Scripture as it testifies about itself that it is God-breathed.  The error in the Sola Scriptura doctrine is the claim that:

Scripture alone is the primary and absolute source for all doctrine and practice (faith and morals).” (from the above CRI link)

And

“Scripture is sufficient: it is all that is necessary for faith and practice. For Protestants “the Bible alone” means “the Bible only” is the final authority for our faith.  (from the above CRI link)

Scripture itself contradicts these claims. 

The Apostle Paul teaches, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ”.

Not, “Faith comes by reading, and reading by the Scriptures.”

Here’s a familiar passage where Paul writes to Timothy about Scripture:

2 Timothy 3:14–17 (NASB95)
14You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

It may seem ironic, inconsistent, or even hypocritical that this message you’re reading cites Scripture extensively, while seemingly diminishing its importance.  Not at all – Scripture is invaluable for teaching and that’s why this message is based on Scripture.  But Paul, the author of both Romans 10:17, and 2 Timothy 3:16 teaches in the former that Faith comes by hearing Christ, and he is conspicuously silent in the 2 Timothy passage on Scripture being the source of Faith.  He is consistent.  If “the Righteous shall live by Faith” and we could obtain Faith from Scripture, then it would be an inconceivable oversight for it not to be listed here with “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”.  Scripture teaches us about Faith, but Faith does not reside as a source for us in the Bible.  As Paul instructs Timothy above,

the sacred writings are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The Bible shows the way that leads to salvation, but Christ Jesus Himself is the source of Faith by His Word to us.

Yes, Jesus can, and very often does, speak to us through the Scriptures.  But to live believing that He does not speak to us personally in the Spirit, cripples the faith-walk and contradicts Scripture, and has emasculated the church.

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The problem is the same as with the Jewish scholars who crucified Jesus.

John 5:37–40 (NIV84)
37And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
38nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
39You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
40yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

In this exchange, Jesus actually points out the insufficiency of Scripture alone/only as He indicates that you need to hear or see (have a personal encounter with) God and have His word dwell in you, in order truly to believe in Him (vs. 37).    Consistent with that, Jesus states that eternal life consists in knowing the Father and Jesus Christ; not in knowing the Scriptures, and not in knowing about God.

John 17:3 (NASB95)
3“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

In Isaiah 28:9-13 the Lord describes what happens to those not focused on listening to Him.  He will give them over to
“Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there,” ;
and they will stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.”

Isaiah 28:9–13 (NASB95)
9“To whom would He teach knowledge, And to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast?
10“For He says, ‘Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there.’ ”
11Indeed, He will speak to this people Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,
12He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary,” And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen.
13So the word of the Lord to them will be, “Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there,” That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.

Without “hearing the word of Christ”, the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura in its various forms has produced a church without faith which is dead religion:

2 Timothy 3:5 (NASB95)
5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

The church, being taught such a highly Biblio-centric religion, is devoid of a living, breathing, abiding, conversing relationship with our precious Lord – the church does not know God.  At best, they know about God. 

Without true faith, they are easy prey to both kinds of wolves –

John 5:43 (NASB95)
43I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

True today – Many others have come in their own name and have been received by the church, preaching a false gospel and all kinds of lying error.  They have led the church in apostasy by the antichrist spirit.

As well as :

Matthew 24:5 (NASB95)
5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.

This is happening all over the world!

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John 10:1–5 (NASB95)
1Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
2“But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.
3“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

John 10:27–28 (NASB95)
27“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

Again, Jesus says that His sheep hear His voice, and follow Him. 
Not, “My sheep read the Scriptures and know about Me.”

Tragically, today there are many millions of “Christians” that do not hear and know the voice of Jesus.  Instead, they are hearing and following false “apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers”.  Rather than hearing the word of Christ for faith, they know and follow the voice of the “strangers” into apostasy.  Consider the millions and millions of “Christians” who follow the heretical leaders in:

  • The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
  • The wide-spread ecumenical movement – Evangelicals joining with Roman Catholics, Mormons, and other cults
  • The false-gospel “main-line” denominations teaching “another gospel” of infant baptism and sacraments for salvation
  • The false signs and wonders churches
  • The prosperity gospel churches
  • The “main-line” LGBTQ-friendly denominations, now including the Southern Baptist Convention
  • The Reformed Calvinists believing in a tyrannical god that predestines most of mankind for eternal torment in hell, with no possibility ever of salvation – a false “gospel” and a different god

Does this give us a truer perception of how small the remnant really is today; and who is truly born again of God?  These millions upon millions are following “the voice of strangers.” 

After 2,000 years, the church institution fails today to make disciples who know Jesus and His voice – who live in the abiding and union relationship that Jesus describes in the 14th, 15th, and 16th chapters of John.  But the true disciple, who knows Jesus and hears His voice, is the one Habakkuk speaks to today in order to equip them to stand and not perish in these end times.

The church being Biblio-centric to the exclusion of hearing Christ’s voice, is responsible for the descent into wide-spread apostasy today.  The church is rendered impotent because there are no “hearing ears” and there is no faith.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.  But the congregations are taught not to hear.  At best, the institutional church is taught about Jesus Christ.  That is why Jesus is calling His true Church out of the institutional church now.  It bears repeating:

Hebrews 11:6 (NASB95)
6And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

When you seek Jesus with all your heart and talk with Him, He will tell you; and He will show you what you need to do and where you need to go.  He will lead you into all truth.

Read the Gospel of John, Chapters 14, 15, & 16.  After 2,000 years of “church”, is this truly your experience personally, and in your congregation?  Are you truly abiding in Him, and He in you?

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Just please know that God has always spoken to His people – not just to prophets and other “especially spiritual” people:

Deuteronomy 4:32–38 (NIV84)
32Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?
33Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?
34Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

35You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.
36From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire.
37Because he loved your forefathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength,

38to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.

This was to the rank and file of Israel.

Read also Judges 2:1-4 for another occasion when Jesus spoke extensively with all Israel, not just patriarchs or prophets

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Romans Chapter 10 is key to understand and demonstrate what is happening today.
(some of this is repetitious, but needs to be emphasized)

Let’s take time to re-examine this important passage in context.  It’s important because virtually all current teaching from this passage erroneously teaches to hear about Christ rather than to actually hear the voice of Jesus. 

Romans 10:14–17 (NASB95)
14How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
15How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
16However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”
17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

In every translation other than the “American Standard” and the “New American Standard” the second sentence in vs. 14 is rendered to say,
“How will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?”
rather than
“How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard”
as in the NASB.  I do not find the word “of” in the original text.  I believe it is supplied, and it makes for a drastic change.  In our walk it makes a big difference whether we hear about Christ, or if we hear HIM

If anyone knows the difference between hearing about Jesus and hearing Him personally it is Saul/Paul, the writer of this Book of Romans.  Paul had heard about Christ as he watched and approved of Stephen being stoned to death, and as a Jewish scholar he knew the scriptures about the Christ; and he continued on with murder and hatred in his heart against Jesus and the People of The Way.  But he heard Jesus speak to him on the road to Damascus, and he was radically changed forever and began walking in true faith. 

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pg 10

After recounting his encounter with Jesus to King Agrippa, He concluded:

Acts 26:19–20 (NASB95)
19“So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

He heard Christ and that was the foundation for his entire ministry – his life.  He lived by faith.
And Paul makes this distinction to us as he sets the context for this Rom.10 passage. He refers to Isaiah 52 when he quotes the “How beautiful are the feet . .” reference.

In Isaiah 52, the verse preceding the “How beautiful . . .” reference, Jesus identifies Himself as the preacher as He proclaims,

Isaiah 52:6–7 (NASB95)
6“Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’ ”
7How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

And Paul confirms and reiterates that we are saved as we hear Him, Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:17–19 (NASB95)
17And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;
18for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,

And, here Paul indicates that the believing Ephesians learned Christ by hearing Him, not by hearing of Him:

Ephesians 4:20–21 (NASB95)
20But you did not learn Christ in this way,
21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,

I dwell on Rom. 10:14 because it is pivotal.  It is important because it demonstrates what has happened in the Church.  The vast majority of teaching has become teaching about Jesus/God.  Teaching that we can and must hear Jesus ourselves as our basis for faith and daily living is rare.  Even teachers who claim that they believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today, do not teach hearing God as the Way of Life.

There is a backlash of fear from the excesses, heresies, and aberrations manifested by antichrist forces within what is known as the Church over the centuries.  Yes, the “Proud” will not walk in the Truth, but fear of the counterfeit cannot be allowed to rob the “Righteous” of hearing Jesus and living by Faith.

Again, verse 14 demonstrates the apostasy because every translation but one teaches the error that we must hear about Christ, rather than hear HIM.  And that foundational error continues as verse 17 is wrongly taught to say that faith comes by hearing about or concerning Christ, rather than by hearing Him.  That is serious error and deception.  And with that erroneous doctrine Christ has ceased to be the Head of the church.

I recently sampled twelve random videos by evangelical preachers on YouTube that taught specifically on Romans 10:14-17.  Every one of them taught that by vs. 14 you must hear of Jesus. The original manuscript says you must hear Jesus. 
And in vs. 17 they also taught that “the word of Christ” means the word about or concerning Christ.  But here in vs. 17 the Greek phrase “word of Christ” is in the genitive case making it possessive or attributive.  So the correct teaching is, “faith comes by hearing Christ’s word.”  They totally changed Paul’s intended message, and taught a different and heretical and emasculated way of living by faith.

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pg 11

Going back to the Hebrews 11 vs. 7 example:

Hebrews 11:7 (NASB95)
7By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

In Genesis 6, we read the account of Noah and it is clear that his faith was not from hearing about Christ, but from hearing Christ’s word of specific instruction about the devastation to come and how to be saved through it.

Christ gave Noah detailed direction on how to build the ark and fill it with the creatures of the Earth; and Noah heard and obeyed, despite not being able to comprehend on his own those unseen things to come.  That was his faith and his righteousness.  And Noah had no Bible.

I revisit the Noah example because Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:

Matthew 24:37–39 (NASB95)
37For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.
38“For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Jesus gives us Noah as an example for living in the last days as he says it will be “just like the days of Noah”.  First, Hebrews 11:7 tells us that by faith Noah was warned by God about things not yet seen.  Jesus warned him and gave him exact instruction as to how to live in those days of destruction.
Likewise, in these last days, “just like the days of Noah”, Jesus will warn us about things not seen.
Remember, Jesus says;

John 16:12–15 (NASB95)
12“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
14“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

15“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

Why This Message At This Time?

The very first time God instructed in Scripture “The righteous shall live by faith” was through Habakkuk Chapter 2.  That passage in context says:

Habakkuk 2:1–4 (NASB95)
1I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved.
2Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run.
3“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.
4Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

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pg 12

And in the NIV translation:

Habakkuk 2:1–4 (NIV84)
1I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
2Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.
3For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
4“See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous will live by his faith—

In this passage, the prophet Habakkuk is waiting on the Lord seemingly expecting a reproof.  But when the Lord manifests His message as a vision, “it speaks of the end”.  He commands Habakkuk to inscribe and preserve the words of the prophecy accurately for a messenger to deliver at the future appointed time.
The Lord specified to Habakkuk to inscribe this message on tablets:

      1. “so that a herald may run with it.”
        He wants the messenger to deliver the exact words of the prophecy preserved accurately from a hard copy.  The message would not be lost or altered when delivered in the distant future.
      1. “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

The message is specifically intended for, and must endure until the appointed future time; until the end.

Regarding the Habakkuk prophecy, it’s also important to realize that the Lord says there are two groups:

Habakkuk 2:4 (NASB95)
4“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

There are the Proud, and there are the Righteous. 

  • The Proud — The unregenerate . . . not born again . . . at enmity with God. They do not love the truth (2Thess. 2).  They are arrogant in their rebellion against God. Their “soul is not right”.
  • And the Righteous — The regenerate . . . Those who are humble and have repented . . . Those who are born again . . . Those who have been made Right with God by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ for their redemption.  Those who are in Him.

John 14:20 (NASB95)
20In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

Either we are Proud, or we are Righteous. 
And if we are Righteous, we live by faith – every one of us.  Faith is our way of life – minute by minute, each day by day – hearing Christ Jesus and walking accordingly as we abide in Him.  This is the life God has bought and ordained for us.  What a blessing it is to walk with Him.  He is and will be our Salvation, our Ark.

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pg 13

It’s worthwhile to digress here and note that this is not the only time that God has given a message specifically intended to come to light and be manifested at a future time.

Paul wrote to Titus:

Titus 1:1–4 (NASB95)
1Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,
2in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,
3but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior,

4To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Titus 1:1–4 (NIV84)
1Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness—
2a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,
3and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

4To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Paul tells us in his letter to Titus that his proclamation/preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles was a promise from “long ages ago”, but had just at that “proper time” / “appointed season” been “manifested” / “brought to light”. 
Paul also states this principle at –

Romans 16:25–26 (NASB95)
25Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;

Likewise, the Lord told Habakkuk:

Habakkuk 2:3 (NASB95)
3“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

And in the NIV –

Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV84)
3For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

Since the time of Habakkuk, the truth of this message has been there in Scripture for all.  Paul also reiterated the message three times in his New Testament letters.  Now, as we are entering these very last days, we are likewise at the “proper time” / “appointed season” for the message, and the Lord is likewise manifesting and bringing to light His prophecy by Habakkuk.  The time for the vision/revelation is now.

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pg 14

To this point, I’ve endeavored to clearly “herald” Habakkuk’s message – to define it, demonstrate it, and explain how we are to apply it; all from Scripture, in context.  Now, it’s up to you to accept or reject the message.

“He that has ears to hear, let him hear”.

His sheep do hear His voice.

And

John 16:13 (NIV84)
13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

We do not know the day or the hour, but Jesus by His Spirit will warn us, who are walking by faith, as he did Noah. 
For Jesus said:

Matthew 24:36–37 (NASB95)
36But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
37“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.

and we know from Hebrews:

Hebrews 11:7 (NASB95)
7By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Neither did Noah know the day or the hour of the impending flood, but, warned by God, he was in the ark when God shut the door.  Jesus Christ is the Ark of the Righteous.

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Are We In, Or Approaching The Very Last Days?

Hebrews 1:1–2, 1 Peter 1:20, 1 Peter 4:7 (and others) tell us that the New Testament writers understood they were in the last days; but Habakkuk says that his prophecy was for “the end” and his message is just now being brought to light.  The Lord is heralding it today.

No one can specifically and absolutely say solely from the authority of Scripture that we are in the very last days – approaching the end.  You’ll have to hear it directly as you abide in Jesus.

You can read what the signs are, but what the Bible consistently exhorts is –

Be Ready

And the only way to be ready is to be living by faith as The Lord teaches us.

He will tell you what is yet to come.

being warned by God about things not yet seen

The institutional church is not, and cannot be ready.  Jesus has removed His lampstand (Rev. 3:5), and there is no oil for their lamps (Matt. 25:1-13).

As to the signs; false teachers, wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, famines and earthquakes, etc. – people say that they have always been, even though now they are rapidly accelerating.  One sign that is unprecedented, however, is the apostasy in the church today, which Paul describes in —

2 Thessalonians 2:1–3 (NASB95)
1Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
2that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
3Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

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pg 15

Here is what is coming –

Revelation 13:15–18 (NASB95)
15And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
16And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,
17and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.
18Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

And

Matthew 24:21–22 (NASB95)
21For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
22“Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Habakkuk’s prophecy emphasizes that the Righteous shall live by Faith at the End.  Can we ignore that?  We must truly abide in Christ Jesus, hearing His wonderful voice, and walking accordingly.

LIVING IT OUT:

We can look to the example of Jesus Christ for instruction on how we live by faith.
Jesus proclaimed that it was by the anointing of the Holy Spirit that He would preach and perform miracles.

Luke 4:17–19 (NASB95)
17And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,
19To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

Peter later attested to this in Acts 2:22 (NASB95)

22“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—

And after Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, the Bible says:

Matthew 12:17–18 (NASB95)
17This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
18“Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

Also, at multiple times, Jesus says He did not speak or act on His own; but he only did and said what His Father was saying and doing.

John 14:24–25 (NASB95)
24“He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
25“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.

John 14:31 (NASB95)
31but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.

John 5:19 (NASB95)
19Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

John 12:49–50 (NASB95)
49For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.
50“I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.

John 14:10 (NASB95)
10Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

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pg 16

Accordingly, we know that Jesus lived and ministered by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and He did and said only what the Father was doing and saying.  He had relinquished His own divine powers:

Philippians 2:5–8 (NASB95)
5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus, was fully God (large “G”), but He humbled Himself and became “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  This instruction says to us: “ 5Have this attitude in yourselves”.   We, the created, are likewise to lay down our lives in obedience, forsaking any ludicrous attitude or notion that we are our own god.

John 13:16 (NASB95)
16Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.

Truly, most of us live a largely autonomous life, checking in periodically with our “Lord”.  In practice we are the god of our own life, except maybe for the “big stuff” when we deign to seek Him.
That’s not how Jesus lived, and it’s not what we’re called to in living by faith.

Jesus teaches us, His disciples, that we’re to live in close union with Him and the Father.

John 14:20 (NASB95)
20“In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

John 14:23 (NASB95)
23Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

John 15:4–7 (NASB95)
4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
6“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
7“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 17:20–21 (NASB95)
20I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;
21that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

Are any of us actually living this way?  Or are we devoted to Bible study and church activities and programs?  If we are abiding, we are bearing much fruit.  If not, we will be cast into the fire.  If we are abiding,

John 16:2–3 (NASB95)
2“They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.
3“These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me.

John chapters 14, 15, and 16 are amazing and exciting.  This is the creator of the universe!  What an incredible love He has for us.  But my experience and observation is that we do not come close to the union and fellowship that Jesus speaks about here.  Does He taunt us with an unattainable dream?  Or are we just continuing to live in the world and the flesh, rather than abiding in Him?

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pg 17

As a measure, read the next three passages and ask yourself if this is your experience. 

John 14:12–15 (NASB95)
12“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
13“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14“If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
15“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

 John 15:16 (NASB95)
16You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 

John 16:23–24 (NASB95)
23In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
24“Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

Jesus says to ask for “anything” twice and for “whatever” once, and we will receive it.  This is not happening.  Either Jesus is failing His word or we are.  He qualifies what kind of requests will be fulfilled when He says we are to, “ask in My name”; “ask of the Father in My name”;  and  ask the Father for anything in My name. 

It’s clear that we do not pray “in His name”.  Only by walking in true faith can we know what the Father is doing and live and pray in agreement with that (as did Jesus); asking in His name.

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Habakkuk’s word to us as we approach “the end” is our only hope to be able to stand and not perish in the terrible and treacherous times ahead.  And even if the Lord tarries just a bit longer, we must be teaching and modeling to our children and grandchildren that the righteous live by faith.

Jesus and His word to us is our only hope!

John 16:33 (NASB95)
33These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” 

John 17:11–12 (NASB95)
11I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.
12“While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 

John 17:22–23 (NASB95)
22The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;
23I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 

John 16:12–15 (NASB95)
12I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
14“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
15“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

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pg 18

 

There is a hiding place in Jesus.  He is our salvation.  We will not escape persecution; maybe martyrdom; but we will not forsake our Lord, and our salvation, if we live by faith.  I do not have a “martyr complex”, but I look to Stephen (Acts 7) as a wonderful way to go if that’s what comes.  God’s grace is sufficient and we are no greater than our Master.

The Consequences

2 Thessalonians 2:8–12 (NASB95)
8Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
9that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,
10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
11For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
12in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

Perish” does not mean just physical death followed by annihilation.  It means ongoing destruction and torment for eternity.  Your very worst day while alive here on Earth is far better than your best day in Hell.  The torment there is terrible beyond comprehension, but the knowledge that there is no hope ever, all hope gone for eternity, is even worse.

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The Way

John 14:5–6 (NASB95)
5Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Jesus Himself is the Way.  Scripture is not the Way.  It points to Jesus, and teaches us about the Way.  In reality Scripture has become an intermediary and, yes, a substitute for Christ.  Professors may know the Scriptures, but they do not know Christ.  In truth, today they say it is enough to know about Christ.

When Jesus confronted the Jews and said,

John 5:39–40 (NASB95)
39You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;
40and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

He accused them of idolatry.  They sought their salvation through the Scriptures, and not in Him.  The Jews knew about the Messiah, but were unwilling to come to Him.  The institutional church likewise has come to this point today.

Jeremiah 3:22–25 (NASB95)
22“Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness.”
“Behold, we come to You; For You are the LORD our God.
23“Surely, the hills are a deception, A tumult on the mountains. Surely in the LORD our God Is the salvation of Israel.
24“But the shameful thing has consumed the labor of our fathers since our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.
25“Let us lie down in our shame, and let our humiliation cover us; for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day. And we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.”

It is time for repentance.  Anything in our life that supplants Jesus, anything that occupies a place which is coveted by Jesus, is an idol; and Scripture is an idol in today’s church.  Christ is a jealous God.  He wants and requires all of you and me.

The doctrine of Sola Scriptura is foundational to most of Protestantism, and it is idolatrous.  Sola Scriptura tells us not to listen to Christ, but to read Scripture only – that it’s even dangerous to listen to the voice of Jesus Christ.  It is truly a diabolical teaching.
If you have bought into that teaching, you must repent and begin to seek Jesus with all your heart and listen to Him.  Have ears that hear!  Live by FAITH!

In closing, for the skeptics: 

Do you really believe that you are living the relationship with Jesus which He describes in John chapters 14, 15 & 16?

And what do you do with the multiple examples in Hebrews 11 of Believers of Faith who clearly lived by hearing Jesus and not by searching out the Scriptures?

JESUS, the living God, is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ”.

 

In Christ,
Duncan Albright
mailto:dvawarrior@gmail.com

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