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Loyal
Friday, October 30, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “I Do Not Seal My Lips.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Jeremiah 8 (NASB).

Refuse to Return (vv. 4-7)

“You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord,

“Do men fall and not get up again?
Does one turn away and not repent?
“Why then has this people, Jerusalem,
Turned away in continual apostasy?
They hold fast to deceit,
They refuse to return.
“I have listened and heard,
They have spoken what is not right;
No man repented of his wickedness,
Saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his course,
Like a horse charging into the battle.
“Even the stork in the sky
Knows her seasons;
And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush
Observe the time of their migration;
But My people do not know
The ordinance of the Lord.

The people of God today are those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior of their lives. Collectively they comprise the church, the body of Christ. Apostasy means: “departure (implying desertion); literally, ‘a leaving, from a previous standing’" (biblehub.com). Other words for apostasy are backsliding or waywardness, i.e. meaning leaving (deserting) their loyalty and pure devotion to Christ and the true gospel of our salvation in favor of a gospel which does not confront sin or require repentance or obedience, but which gives free license for lasciviousness. It also means returning to living in sin, which Jesus had delivered them out of. Yet, this “desertion,” goes beyond just forsaking the gospel for themselves, but it includes helping to put it to death, and even helping to persecute those who still hold fast to the teachings of Christ and those of his NT apostles. This helping to facilitate the demise of the gospel and the persecution and even killing of Christians may be outright, with full knowledge, or it may be by way of partnership with those who are doing this outright.

There are those within the church, and within the government of the US, who are presently working to paint evangelical Christianity as hateful, bigoted, intolerant and mean-spirited, because the gospel confronts people in their sin, calls them to repentance, and it urges them to turn their hearts to Jesus Christ in faith, or to return to following Christ with their lives. It also claims an exclusive relationship with God, only through faith in Jesus Christ, and that all other religions are false, and that only through faith in Jesus Christ can anyone go to heaven. It also tries to persuade people to forsake their sins and their idols, and to walk in obedience to Jesus Christ/God, and to his gospel, which does require repentance and obedience to Christ’s commandments (though not absolute perfection). Obama and the Pope are two powerful voices right now promoting this doing away with “religious extremism,” and all that divides us as a people, so we can all come together as one in unity, yet they are not the only voices in favor of the demise of the gospel.

There is a lot of talk right now in the news about meetings to discuss “budget deals,” “nuclear deals,” and agreements on how to resolve conflicts between people groups with opposing ideologies. I believe that the real deal being decided upon here by heads of nations and people in positions of power and authority, though, is how to do away with the gospel of Christ and those who are keeping the faith, holding fast to the Word of God, and who are sharing the gospel with others, and who are encouraging them to believe in Jesus or to return to Jesus. This is really about the blending of various religions and walks of life into one in unity (in chorus, in harmony), recreating traditional values, morals and Christian faith into something more modern and eclectic (diverse), choosing various doctrines (beliefs), taken from various sources, including Satanists and atheists, and blending them all together into something that is agreeable to everyone. So, the way must be prepared for this to happen, and that path includes the persecution of Christians and the removal of the true gospel from the public, to make way for this eclectic religion to take its place.

Lying Pens (vv. 8-12)

“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
And the law of the Lord is with us’?
But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
Has made it into a lie.
“The wise men are put to shame,
They are dismayed and caught;
Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord,
And what kind of wisdom do they have?
“Therefore I will give their wives to others,
Their fields to new owners;
Because from the least even to the greatest
Everyone is greedy for gain;
From the prophet even to the priest
Everyone practices deceit.
“They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.
“Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done?
They certainly were not ashamed,
And they did not know how to blush;
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time of their punishment they shall be brought down,”
Says the Lord.

This apostasy, i.e. this backsliding has been helped along by those who claim to be shepherds of the people, but who preach what is false. These false shepherds of the people have the Word of God available to them, and many of them have Bible college degrees, especially here in America where we have so much open access, today, to various translations of scripture and so many Bible study helps, sermons, Christian music, etc. Yet, they handle the word of God falsely in order to deceive and to gain followers for themselves, instead of followers of Christ and for his gospel. They have rejected the Word of God in favor of the wisdom of this world, and for what makes people feel good. They put Band-Aids over serious sin wounds, and tell the people that God does not require them to repent of their sins or to obey him, but all they have to do is “believe,” though “belief” is not explained, and they tell them they now have heaven guaranteed, no matter how they live their lives from this point on, as well as they convince them that God will never be angry with them and that he will not discipline them, and that they will never have to suffer tribulation in this life.

Many of these shepherds of the people have been trained in avoiding or discouraging believers in Jesus who have “strong convictions,” or in how to publicly bring them to ridicule, and to convince their congregants to not listen to them or to shun them, too. Many of them are trained, instead, in how to entertain sinners, market the church just like any other business, and how to make the church attractive and enjoyable for the sinful world to attend their meetings, and to want to return to their meetings. This has been going on for quite some time now, and it has gradually been getting worse, i.e. the church has been progressively moving away from the truths of scripture and has been moving toward humanistic philosophy and this blending of different beliefs and peoples together as one. And, now this apostasy is being taken to another level, i.e. our leaders are deciding on the “meanness” of the gospel, and on how they are going to handle the conflict it presents to the rest of the world, and how they are going to negotiate its departure. And, there is a sense of urgency that they come up with a solution soon, one which Obama and Pope Francis have not so subtly been hinting at for some time.

One of the ways in which they are working to accomplish this, and to transition to this one-world religion, is to bring Christianity publicly under disgrace, i.e. particularly those who hold to strong convictions with regard to their faith and practice, and with regard to the gospel of our salvation and the proclamation thereof. They are trying to paint a picture of Christianity, as I said previously, as hateful, bigoted, arrogant and intolerant of others, and its followers as those who try to push their beliefs on others. I believe the goal is to give cause to having to come up with a solution, and the solution being that we must do away with what divides us as a people so that we can all live in “peace” together, where no one gets in anyone else’s “lane,” but we all just say what is agreeable to others and what promotes harmony among people of all walks of life and all faiths. In other words, so many of these disparaging stories in the news about Christians are for the purpose to pave the way for decisions to be made which will hinder our ability to share the gospel publicly.

This is about inserting false religion in with the true gospel, and telling lies about the true gospel in order to discredit the gospel, and it is about making false accusations against its messengers. Yet, this eclectic religion doesn’t have Jesus’ name on it, because it is not of him. In the end, only the true gospel will stand, i.e. it will be a choir of one (God/gospel), for no other gospels have the name (character) of God/Jesus Christ on them. They will all pass away, as will their false messengers, but The Word of God will stand forever. Amen!

A Call for Revival (vv. 18-22)

My sorrow is beyond healing,
My heart is faint within me!
Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not within her?”
“Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?”
“Harvest is past, summer is ended,
And we are not saved.”
For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken;
I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?

We, as followers of Christ, should weep and pray over the spiritual condition of most of today’s church, which is backslidden, and in great need of revival. And, we should not fear persecution, but we should keep on speaking in the name of Jesus for people’s salvation.

I Do Not Seal My Lips / An Original Work / January 13, 2014

Based off Psalms 37, 40

Do not fear when evil man
Has success in all their plans,
For like grass they’ll wither soon.
They’ll be cut off from the land.

Trust in the Lord and He’ll give you peace.
Find your delight in Him through all stress.
All of your ways commit unto Him.
All your desires from Him He’ll fulfill.

Wait for the Lord; keep His way.
Delight in His Word always.
He’ll be with you to the end;
Life eternal found in Him.

I waited patiently for my Lord.
He turned to me, and He heard my cry.
He set my feet on the Solid Rock.
He gave to me a firm place to stand.

Blessed are we, who trust the Lord,
Who do not turn to false gods.
Our desire’s to do God’s will.
His word is within our hearts.

I will proclaim salvation to man.
You put a new song now in my mouth.
I’ll not withhold your love and your grace.
I’ll speak forevermore of your truth.

 
Loyal
And who that has deserted expects mercy? In the OP apostasy is properly described as desertion. When I was in the active military about 50 years ago the penalty for desertion in the face of the enemy was death. I don't know if that's changed but God certainly hasn't changed.

When I was in Viet Nam a man I knew did one of the worst things a soldier can do: He stole from nearly all of his buddies. It was easy because we lived together and trusted each other. He was finally caught, court-martialed and sentenced to time at U.S military prison. The commanding general of U.S. Forces in Viet Nam reviewed his case and upon receiving the promise from the man that he would work and pay back every dollar he had stolen, the general was merciful and removed the prison sentence. To my knowledge the man never paid back a single dollar for I never any of the $40.00 that had been taken from me nor any explanation of why not. I lived on without the money, but what abou that man?

"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." Mal 3:8

Apostasy may not consist in robbing money from God (although it could), but it is certainly taking something back from God that we gave to Him. Did we not vow to turn from (repent) our wicked ways and promise not to return to them? Did we not vow a vow to God and go back on it?

"When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay." Ecc 5:4-5
 
Loyal
And who that has deserted expects mercy? In the OP apostasy is properly described as desertion. When I was in the active military about 50 years ago the penalty for desertion in the face of the enemy was death. I don't know if that's changed but God certainly hasn't changed.

When I was in Viet Nam a man I knew did one of the worst things a soldier can do: He stole from nearly all of his buddies. It was easy because we lived together and trusted each other. He was finally caught, court-martialed and sentenced to time at U.S military prison. The commanding general of U.S. Forces in Viet Nam reviewed his case and upon receiving the promise from the man that he would work and pay back every dollar he had stolen, the general was merciful and removed the prison sentence. To my knowledge the man never paid back a single dollar for I never any of the $40.00 that had been taken from me nor any explanation of why not. I lived on without the money, but what abou that man?

"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." Mal 3:8

Apostasy may not consist in robbing money from God (although it could), but it is certainly taking something back from God that we gave to Him. Did we not vow to turn from (repent) our wicked ways and promise not to return to them? Did we not vow a vow to God and go back on it?

"When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay." Ecc 5:4-5
Yet, I am so thankful for God's mercy, and that if we repent, and we return, that he receives us with open arms back into wonderful fellowship with him. We don't deserve such mercy or grace, none of us do, yet we serve a loving God who, as our Father, longs to gather his chicks in his arms, if we are willing. He loves us so, so much! That is why he is calling out to his wayward people, and he is calling them to repent, because he wants to revive them and restore them back to fellowship with him. And, this is my hope, that those who have departed from the right way will repent, and will return to follow their Lord in obedience. This is a strong motivating force for me in continuing to do what I do, although I would obey God no matter what.
 
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