(Excerpts from What I Have Learned From the Lord.)
Copyright © 2012, by Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Fretting Because of Evil People
Table of Contents
Filled With the Fullness of God
Fretting Because of Evil People
From the standpoint of a Bible believer, situations that are developing in the United States are grim. I imagine that the worst of the actions taking place is the aborting of fetuses for no good reason, just to demonstrate that the mother has this right if she is troubled about having a child.
One can understand an abortion in the case of rape, or to save the mother’s life; but not to remove an inconvenience.
Aborting a fetus for no defensible reason is murder. I am certain that God is well aware of every instance of abortion-on-demand, and some person is going to answer for it before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Another horrible circumstance is that of imposing on elementary-school children the idea that a person can determine whatever gender he or she is according to how he or she feels. This agenda is monstrous, and the marvel is that people, although they may not approve of it, submit to it rather than disturb their comfortable life. Gender confusion is being forced on the American people by tyrannical federal and state governments.
Well, the world never has been the friend of Christian people, although in America this hostility has not been as obvious as it has been in other countries. Today, it seems, Christians sometimes are being viewed as second-class citizens. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is Americans increasingly are able to indulge in excesses of the flesh, in behavior that the Bible condemns. As far as I know, the main resistance to homosexual behavior has been from the Christian churches.
Now, as we see the moral landslide, what do we do about it? Since we have freedom of speech and the opportunity for political activity, we can attempt to influence the government in terms of the values we believe the leaders of the government should proclaim. Such action is praiseworthy and may have done some good.
We Christians often take refuge in the following passage:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (II Chronicles 7:14)
I would never for one moment suggest that people should not pray for their government, for this is scriptural.
But there is another factor that must be considered. When we consider these abominations, so contrary to the history of our country, before we take political action we should pray and ask God what we should do. I believe any Christian would maintain we should try to find out what God is saying about this debauchery before we take some kind of action.
As a fervent disciple of Jesus, we must not take anything for granted. We must endeavor to find out what the Master is saying. Would you agree to that?
When the Babylonians posed a threat, Jeremiah said the following to the King of Judah:
I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, “Bow your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and you will live. (Jeremiah 28:12)
You can imagine how unpopular Jeremiah became by saying that.
When the Jews were in captivity there were prophets, such as Hananiah, who kept the Jews in Babylon in an uproar by telling them they soon would return to Jerusalem.
Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles of the LORD’s house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon. (Jeremiah 28:3)
During the time that the Jews were in captivity in Babylon their “prophets” were declaring that in a short time they would be released. But the Lord told Jeremiah this was not so, and that the Jews should settle down.
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. (Jeremiah 29:7)
I am not stating that we should lay back and do nothing when evil people are influencing the government and the schools. Rather I am saying that we are not to go by what seems to be true. We are not to take for granted that what we think ought to be done is necessarily God’s will.
I am sure the Jews of that day could not believe that God was telling them to make Babylon their home for a season. But God was saying exactly that!
“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.”
I have prayed that God would give us righteous government and godly public schools. But things keep getting worse. Also, the people who are seeking the presidency are attacking each other with such fervency and vitriol that I am not impressed with them.
Can we by democratic processes guarantee that we will elect a president who will respond to the desires of hard-working, decent people and not endorse or condone people with values which clearly are sinful from the standpoint of the Bible?
Whether we can or cannot, I have gone to the Lord about this problem of immorality in our country. What God seems to be telling me, and you be the judge of this, is that America has crossed over the line with our abortions and immoral behavior. Now He is going to punish the American people so they can see what they have given away.
I have not heard from the Lord that He is going to prosper us financially if we pray. I am hearing rather that things are going to become worse because our nation is pursuing pleasure rather than righteousness.
I believe God is telling me that our nation will not be saved from serious harm. Therefore it is up to us as individuals to seek Jesus for ourselves.
As far as the Divine redemption is concerned, we are moving toward the spiritual fulfillments of the last three of the seven Jewish observances. Without going into detail, these fulfillments can be summarized by saying Christ is coming in the Spirit to declare war on His enemies, beginning with His churches. We are to confess our sins, as the Spirit points them out to us, and renounce them, turning away from them with all our might, with the help of the Lord.
The God of Heaven is planning on making us His eternal dwelling place. This is what the Lord is telling me, I believe.
You can see how different this is from trying to persuade the secular government to establish laws against homosexuality and abortion. Our kingdom is not of this world, Jesus maintained.
Another consideration is that the sins of our nation are inspired by demons who cannot be overcome by politics. They can be overcome only as we Christians lead righteous lives and are sternly obedient to Christ. From what I see, I think the Christian people are more interested in getting out of here in a rapture than they are in leading a righteous life.
I know I may be regarded as unpatriotic, even though I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of seventeen, in the middle of World War Two. I would imagine Jeremiah also was considered unpatriotic. But this cannot be helped. A true man or woman of God will speak what God is saying, regardless of the consequences.
If we are to save ourselves and our loved ones we must press closer to Jesus. If the troubles on our nation are proceeding from Divine judgment, then we need to orient our thinking so as to conform to the will of Christ.
This brings us to the problem of “fretting.”
The Bible commands us not to fret about the actions of evil people. We find this in the thirty-seventh and the seventy-third Psalms. When we fret about the conditions in our country or in the world, we are demonstrating our unbelief in the power and wisdom of God.
If we think about it, the Person who spoke the creation into existence has the power to put an end to evil people. Is that true or not? If He does, and He does nothing about the evil in the land, what does that tell us?
I realize that many would say it is up to us to put an end to evil. We certainly should if we could. But what if, as in the case of California in the present hour, laws are passed that will tend to lead little children into sexual attitudes and practices that are not biblical? How can the parents resist the law without having their children taken from them by the government?
Remember, secular parents may not be concerned enough to want to change the curriculum. In many cases they are content to just live with it. Maybe it is a good idea, they may think, to let a little boy decide to become a little girl. Therefore the secular parents may not assist the Christian parents in pressing for change in the schools. Fervent Christians are becoming a shrinking minority in our country.
At the present time there is a furor among the Girls Scouts USA. The girl scouts are accepting boys who think they are girls into their midst. This means a high-school boy can claim to be a girl, and then go camping with the girls. You can imagine the rest. It is an abomination, from a biblical standpoint. It destroys everything we admire about the Girl Scouts organization.
Just imagine the little eight year old girl campers sharing their thoughts with a boy in their midst. Truly, sin produces a lack of judgment.
Well, the United Nations as well as our own local and federal government are promoting this gender confusion. Certainly we should resist it in whatever manner we can. But what if this tide is irresistible because God is not preventing it but is allowing it because of our sin? I do believe this is what is happening?
If our nation is as far gone as I think it is, when I consider the entertainers who give obscene performances and are wildly popular, then I am not certain any political efforts on our part are going to do much good–especially if God is not supporting us.
We can, of course, retreat in an orderly manner, protesting all the way. This, however, is not pleasing to me. I want to attack and win the war, not participate in an orderly retreat. How about you?
So I go to the Lord. He tells me to obey the Bible and stop fretting. He tells me to rejoice in the Lord always. He tells me to think about that which is of good report. I know this is the Lord speaking because it is what the Bible says.
Nowhere, as far as I know, does the Bible command me to force my values on the secular community. And the Lord never has told me to do that.
So I have a choice, don’t I? Since I don’t really have the power to change the course of the nation from its dive into the cesspool, I can do one of two things. I can fret myself continually, which is against the Scriptures. Or I can draw near to Christ and live by His Life. I can rejoice because I know Daniel tells us God is going to put an end to sin.
I am to make certain that I have confessed my own sins and turned away from them. I am going to wake up every morning telling Christ I want to think, speak, and do what He is thinking, speaking, and doing today. I want to live by His Life more each day.
If He leads me to take some kind of political or public action, I will do that, realizing that I will accomplish good. So far, Christ has told me clearly to keep writing the truths of the Kingdom as the Spirit enables me.
When the Lord called me to preach, while I was in prayer in a former Japanese barracks at the end of World War Two, waiting for the Bible study to begin, He called me to preach the Bible. That is what I have been doing ever since, and I am enjoying every day of it.
Do not fret yourself. It leads only to evil. Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, rejoice!
Filled With the Fullness of God
We have been at the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Passover. Many of us have been at Pentecost. Now it is time to move forward to the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles.
The feast of Tabernacles includes three sub-feasts: the Blowing of Trumpets; the Day of Atonement; and the feast of Tabernacles itself.
The Blowing of Trumpets is taking place today, as Christ is coming in the Spirit of God to drive His enemies from the creation of God. He is beginning with those in the Church who are closest to Him. We are to confess our sins and turn away from them, with the Lord’s help.
Such is our entrance into the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, in which every aspect of our personality, including our wall, is to be reconciled to God. God helps us change from self-will to God’s will by keeping us in prisons of frustration, delayed gratification of our fervent desires, weakness, and helplessness.
The preceding six fulfillments of the Jewish feasts bring us to the final celebration, the feast of Tabernacles. In the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit make us Their eternal Tabernacle. We are filled with all the Fullness of God, which prepares us for the numerous roles and responsibilities of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
The Holy Spirit already is dwelling in us if we are faithfully obeying the Lord Jesus.
Some of the roles and responsibilities of the Kingdom of God, that we can fill as God dwells in us, are as follows:
- To be a member of the Bride of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9)
- To be part of the Temple of God (Ephesians 2:22)
- To be a member of the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:12)
- To be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)
- To be a part of the vehicle for the end-time revival (Isaiah 60:1,2)
- To be a restorer of Paradise on earth (Romans 8:21)
- To be a source of eternal life and healing for the nations (I Corinthians 15:45)
- To be a member of the royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9)
- To be a witness of God (Isaiah 43:10)
- To be salt (Matthew 5:13)
- To be a son of God (Revelation 21:7)
- To be a brother of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29)
- To be an overcomer of the accuser (Revelation 12:11)
- To be a governor of the nations (Revelation 2:26,27)
- To be a soldier in the army of the Lord (Joel 2:11)
- To be a judge of men and angels (I Corinthians 6:2,3)
- To be a wall of defense around the Glory of God (Revelation 21:14)
- To be a part of the revelation of Himself—God in Christ in the saints (Revelation 3:12)
It may be that God will use us even today in some of these roles and responsibilities. However, we are much better qualified to accomplish these responsibilities when God is dwelling in us in His Fullness.
The Apostle Paul spoke of our need to be filled with all the Fullness of God:
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
When we first receive Christ as our Lord and Savior, a Seed is planted in our personality. This Seed is of God’s Person. It is Divine in Nature. It is not half-human and half-Divine.
Now our body contains the Spirit of God, the Life of Christ, and our own adamic nature.
We have a choice. We can continue to live according to our adamic nature, which is largely sinful and rebellious, or we can live in obedience to the Spirit of God.
If we choose to live according to our adamic nature, the eternal Life that has been born in us will die.
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, (Romans 8:13)
If we choose to live in obedience to the Spirit of God, that which has been planted in us will grow. The Nature of Christ will be formed in us.
When the Nature of Christ has been formed in us, the Father and the Son, will come and dwell in that which has been formed in us. God will come to dwell in our adamic, human nature.
It has been God’s plan from the beginning to create an eternal Tabernacle for Himself in which He can find rest, and through which He can minister to the people He has created.
You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—the place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established. (Exodus 15:17)
Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8)
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)
In Revelation, Chapter Twenty-one, we read that the dwelling of God is among men:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)
The “dwelling of God” is the Christian Church, the Wife of the Lamb. The glorified Church has come down from Heaven to be among the saved people from the nations–they whose names have been found in the Book of Life at the last judgment.
This simple, clear design, that the Church has been called out from the nations of the earth to be the dwelling place of God, is not always made clear in Christian teaching. Yet, until we understand that the members of the Church are a minority drawn from the peoples of the earth so they can be prepared to bring God to the remainder of mankind, it is impossible to understand the Kingdom of God.
If we would have peace we must refrain from grasping a relationship, a thing, or circumstance. All of our treasures must be placed in Heaven. All must be placed on the altar of God, so when He requires them of us we can surrender them to God promptly without undue dismay.
When God calls for something, or when we are afraid He may demand something of us, and we panic, then that person, or thing, or situation is an idol. We must not let anyone or anything become so important to us that we cannot let go of him, or her, or it when God asks for our treasure. We must go to prayer instantly until we have peace about letting the idol go.
Right now, today, we should take an inventory of all that we desire. Divine judgment is approaching America because of our sinful behavior. Soon we will experience God’s displeasure. If in that day there is anyone or anything we are clinging to, that we have not placed in Heaven so to speak, we are going to be miserable as we seek to clutch our treasure. We may rebel against God as we determine to force our will in the matter.
Sometimes anxiety is caused by our fear of losing a loved one or our present circumstances. That fear lingers in our subconscious mind. When we are experiencing anxiety we need to ask God precisely what we are afraid of. Once we recognize what we are clinging to, we can face it and tell the Lord we can be joyful in Him even though that which we dread happens to us.
Some of our grasping can be traced back to our fear of death. I have learned that there is no reason to be afraid of death. Unless we are a truly wicked person, causing pain and harm to people in order to satisfy our own desires, or have been presented with Christ and have knowingly and willfully rejected His salvation, there is no need to fear death.
We would not be afraid to place our treasures in Heaven if we were sure they will be there when we die, intact, in a better condition than they are now. If we realized we are going to families and friends, and there will be no more pain or tiredness, we might be able to die in peace.
Once in a while it comes time for an older person, or even a child, to die. Death may be approaching due to a terminal illness. Or the person may be suffering so much pain that they want to die, and the doctors give no hope. Then we should look to the Lord. If He says it is time for that person to come home, then we are being cruel and unbelieving if we plead with God to keep him or her from dying.
It is true in funeral services that we Christians weep and carry on as though some dreadful thing has happened. It must be that we have no faith that God is to be trusted to bring the person to a happier situation. Actually, in so many instances we are not weeping for the deceased but for ourselves because we will miss the person.
Sometimes I think about people on the other side of the world who are starving to death or approaching death for some other reason. It is possible they are better off dying. The ones who suffer are the living. In this case the grief of the living certainly is understandable. However it is not realistic, because the spirit world is far better than the present world, except for the truly wicked.
On occasion God may remove a person or thing from us, or cause something that seems to be unfortunate to happen to us. Then, if we are a faithful Christian, we will not complain, fret, and become angry with God. If we are serving Jesus as we should, we can be confident that the episode, while it may seem unfortunate or even tragic, is working for our good. If we do not turn away from God in our unbelief we will live to see God’s wisdom and love toward us.
I truly believe that overcoming our tendency to grasp relationships, things, and circumstances is an important aspect of the life of victory in Christ.
(“Three Admonitions”, 3059-1)