THE DAY OF VENGEANCE OF OUR GOD
Copyright Š 2013 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
("The Day of Vengeance of Our God" is taken from The Theology of Robert B. Thompson, copyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson, found in the Kindle Library)
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Some passages of Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEŽ, Copyright Š 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
The Day of Atonement
The Day of Vengeance of our God
War in Heaven
Deliverance From Foes Too Strong For Us
The Shelter of the Most High
The Day of AtonementLast night as I was praying, the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament Day of Atonement came to mind along with the Scriptures I have used so frequently in time past. These are old fires to warm my hands by. The baptism with fire is one of the primary revelations Jesus gave to me so many years ago.
Of the seven feasts of the Lord, the Day of Atonement is number six. Pentecost is number four. The Blowing of Trumpets is number five.
The twentieth century beyond all doubt was the "Pentecostal Century," with speaking in tongues spreading throughout the world.
The Blowing of Trumpets is the next step in the program of redemption after the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Pentecost. This step signifies the coming of the Lord Jesus to declare war on his spiritual enemiesSatan and the demons.
The Jews celebrate the Blowing of Trumpets as New Year's Day. It is the first day of the year of kings and contracts, of doing business in the earth. This is why we are hearing more from Christian leaders and songwriters about the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
Notice how the twenty-third Psalm begins with "The Lord." The twenty-fourth Psalm begins with "The earth." This change is not happenstance. The twenty-third Psalm speaks of the spiritual blessings of the believers. The twenty-fourth Psalm refers to the entering of the Man of War into the personality of the saint. Both Psalms help us today, but it is the twenty-fourth that is of particular emphasis in the present hour.
The Day of Atonement is the period when Christ reconciles us to God by removing the sins in our personality. It is the judgment of his spiritual enemies in mankind, beginning with his spiritual enemies in his Church. The Day of Atonement has begun now and will continue throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age, often referred to as the "Millennium" and perhaps beyond that.
The coming of Christ that is taking place today, in fulfillment of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, is mentioned in John 14:21-23. Jesus stands knocking at the door of his people today. He wants to enter us and become our very Life.
How can you tell when the King has come to you? The Spirit of God will make you aware of the sins you are practicing. When you become aware of a specific sin you are to confess it clearly; denounce it as evil; renounce it, saying clearly and firmly that you want nothing more to do with it forever. Then you are to look to Jesus knowing you have been forgiven and cleansed. You will discover that you now have the ability to resist this behavior (I John 1:9).
It is the eternal judgment of that spirit. It will not be mentioned to you at the future Judgment Seat.
The Day of Atonement rightly may be termed the "Day of Reconciliation." There are three areas of our personality that are to be brought into harmony with God's personality:
First, our love of the world spirit such that we look to the world for survival, security, and comfort.
Second, our sinful nature. All sorts of unclean spirit dwells in our flesh. Each of these must be presented to the Spirit of God for removal, once He shows them to us.
Third, our desire to maintain our self-determination. We want to conduct our life as we see fit.
When Christ cried out "It is finished," He meant the guilt of the sins of mankind has been atoned for. It is true also that He meant the adamic race has come to an end. God desires that each of us by faith die with Christ on the cross of Calvary. Now we are to live by his resurrection Life.
To live by the Life of Jesus means we are to meditate in our Bible every day (if a Bible is available to us). More than that, we are to live in a state of prayer, bringing every decision to the Lord Jesus. We are to live by his Life in our thinking, speaking, and acting.
In the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament Day of Atonement we are baptized with the fire of Divine judgment. All that is chaff must be burned up.
It is interesting to note that the trumpet of the Jubilee was blown on the Day of Atonement. The demons are condemned and we go free.
Allow the Holy Spirit to bring you into complete freedom from the Antichrist world spirit.
Allow the Holy Spirit to remove every trace of Satan from your flesh.
Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you throughout the program of death to your self-will and entrance into the Life of Christ.
Note that Lazarus was raised on the fifth day, the day of the Blowing of Trumpets. (John 11:13,14)
Borrowing a phrase from Isaiah 61:2, we just have been discussing "The Day of Vengeance of our God."
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20NASB)
Christ dines on our obedience and worship. We dine on his body and blood.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (Psalms 24:7,8NIV)
The Day of Vengeance of Our GodIn the work of evangelism we ask people if they will accept the atonement made by the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. Perhaps we should ask people if they will accept Jesus Christ as their King and do what He commands. When they accept Christ as their King, their sins of the past automatically are forgiven.
If you will read through the Book of Acts you may notice that today's method of getting people "saved" is not set forth there. The Apostles did not advise their listeners just to ask Christ to be their Savior and forgive their sins. They did not present the "four steps of salvation." Neither did they suggest that people let Christ into their heart or be "born again." Our current approach is unscriptural. It is misleading and destructive.
In the Book of Acts the implication is that it is repentance that brings forgiveness. To repent is to turn away from our sinful, rebellious nature and present ourselves as slaves to King Jesus. When we do this, our past sins are completely forgiven.
So today we ought to say to sinners, and believers as well: "Accept Christ as your King. Resolve to obey him. Then be baptized in water as a sign you have died on the cross with Christ and now have risen to walk in the newness of his Life." This is the proper way to bring someone to salvation in our day. "You are to obey Him in every aspect of your life."
For two thousand years the forgiveness of sins has served as a down payment on the redemption to come. The forgiveness is a beginning aspect of deliverance from the authority of Satan. It is a guarantee that when the Father's time comes to make Christ's enemies his footstool, giving Him the authority and power to redeem us from all that is evil, we will be "saved," that is, we will be a candidate for perfect, complete redemption from the hand of wicked spirits.
Here are a few passages that speak of the present redemption and of that which is to come:
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. (Ephesians 1:7NIV)
Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:14NASB)
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30NASB)
Who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5NASB)
Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. (Romans 13:11NASB)
Can you see from the above that we have a beginning of redemption through the blood of the cross, and that this redemption is a deposit on the full redemption that is to come in the last days? At that time, our entire personality will be redeemed from the image and works of Satan?
It is my point of view that the Day of Redemption, the Day of Vengeance against all that is the enemy of Christ, has begun. It is a new and surprising work of God that will enable us to be more than conquerors throughout the fierce judgment that is to come upon the United States of America because of our sinning.
The forgiveness of sins we acquire by placing our faith in the atonement made through the blood of Christ is not the primary work of redemption. Rather it is the starting point and the necessary prerequisite for redemption. The Divine redemption from the hand of Satan occurs when the Lord Jesus Christ by his power frees us from worldliness, our sinful nature, and our self-determination.
The requirement previously was to ask the Savior to forgive our sins. The issue now is to ask the King to deliver us so we can do his will. We have arrived at the Day of Vengeance of our God.
I suppose most believers have run across the following verse:
The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." (Matthew 22:44NIV)
It appears that the Father has invited Christ to sit at his right hand until the Father puts Christ's enemies under subjection to him.
Let's think about who Christ's enemies are:
The angels who followed Satan.
The False Prophet.
The spirit of the world, which actually is the spirit of Antichrist.
The lusts and passions that dwell in the flesh of people.
The self-will of man, his desire to govern his own life apart from Christ.
There may be other enemies of Christ but I can't think of them right now.
During the Day of Atonement, an atonement was made employing two goats. One goat was slain and its blood sprinkled in the Most Holy Place. The other goat was led out of the camp and left in a wilderness area.
The atonement made by these two goats reveals the two actions that must be taken if sin is to be dealt with properly. First, the sin must be atoned for by the shedding of blood. Secondly, an atonement (reconciliation to God) must be accomplished by removing the sin itself.
He is to cast lots for the two goatsone lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat. (Leviticus 16:8-10NIV)
If God is to be reconciled to man, and man is to be reconciled to God, sin must be forgiven, and then removed. When sin is only forgiven, as in most of the current evangelical preaching, the atonement has not been completed.
The Gospel message shall never be changed. When we say that our preaching must change from only the forgiveness of sins to forgiveness of sins plus the removal of sins plus stern obedience in every aspect of our life to our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, we are not preaching another gospel. Rather we are affirming what the Bible teaches: that God's ultimate goal is for his will to be done on the earth.
What has taken place? Have we come to a step forward in the Divine redemption? Is the issue now that of obeying the King instead of only asking the Savior for forgiveness? Have we come finally to the Day of Vengeance of our God? Is the Father ready now to make the enemies of Christ his footstool?
How about repentance? It is repentance that is stressed in the Book of Acts when someone is presented with the need to be saved. When we set ourselves to do the will of Christ we automatically have repented. Repenting does not mean feeling sorry for our sins, it means to begin to live righteously.
At the time of the birth of the Christian Church, those who were present, being convicted of sin, asked Peter and the other Apostles what they should do. Notice carefully that Peter did not advise them to "let Christ into their heart."
Rather, Peter stressed repentance, that is, that they turn away from sin.
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far offfor all whom the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:37-39NIV)
At my first encounter with the Divine redemption I was taught the famous "four steps of salvation": "Admit that all people are sinners and have come short of the glory of God. We cannot save ourselves by good works. Christ died on our behalf and we must confess Him as our Savior. Accept God's gift of salvation by faith and ask Christ to come into our heart."
There are some evangelicals who add that we must agree to turn away from sin. But then they may emphasize the grace of perpetual forgiveness to such an extent that the requirement for repentance is largely negated. A bloated justification obscures the new-covenant necessity for sanctification.
In the Book of Acts, repentance is revealed in works of righteousness. Making works of righteousness a necessary part of salvation is unacceptable to numerous American pastors, teachers, and evangelists.
The emphasis of the Book of Acts is on turning away from sin. Asking Christ to come into our heart is not mentioned even one time.
How about forgiveness of sin? We find in the Book of First John that Christ already has died for the sins of the whole world. By accepting Him as our lawful King we already have repented and been forgiven the sins of the past.
The full Divine redemption does not result in sinning people who have been forgiven, but transformed people who do the will of Christ in every detail of their lives. The issue from now on is obedience to Christ.
This means that all of today's Christian church-people who have received Christ as their Savior from sin must now receive Him as their personal Lord, telling Him they are ready to cease from their own works and to look to Him for every aspect of their lives, including their religious practices.
Every person in the physical and spirit worlds absolutely must subject himself or herself to the will of Christ. To not do so, after every effort has been made to correct the rebellious nature, is to insure eternal residence in the Lake of Fire with Satan and his angels.
You may have wondered why the Lord stopped in the middle of a passage when He was reading from the scroll in his local synagogue in Nazareth.
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. he has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:18-20NIV)
If you will take a look at the sixty-first chapter of the Book of Isaiah you may notice that the next phrase after "the year of the Lord's favor" is: "and the day of vengeance of our God." Jesus did not finish the thought in Isaiah. The great Day had not come at that time. It is here now!
It had to come sometime, didn't it? The Father promised his Son that He would put the Son's enemies under his feet. Well, guess what! The Day of Vengeance upon the enemies of Christ has begun, and it has begun with those who are pressing into Christ and crying "Not my will but yours be done."
I am being very bold when I announce that a new dimension of the one work of redemption has begun. But let us put my words to the test.
Are you a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ? Has there been some sin in your life that you have wrestled with and can't seem to gain victory over? Then try this, and you will find out for yourself if things are changing in the spirit world:
Name that sin clearly to Christ. Don't cloud the issue with words. Instead say, "I stole," "I lied," "I committed fornication," "I am addicted to pornography," "I am taking drugs," and so forth. The more specific you are the more specific your deliverance will be.
Now tell the Lord you need his help to never practice this behavior againnot even one time!
At this point Christ will forgive this specific sin completely and set in motion wisdom and power that will deliver you completely from this behavior.
Try what I have said and see for yourself if something has changed in the spirit world; if God is ready now to put that behavior under the feet of Christ. Or maybe we now have the faith to claim the deliverance from sin that always was available.
From this point forward the Holy Spirit will bring to your attention, over a period of time, every bit of spiritual uncleanness in your personality. When the Spirit shows them to you, you must confess them, denounce them as filthy spirits, and renounce them with all the force you can summon. Christ will help you do this.
What I am talking about is the Day of Vengeance of our God. It is not vengeance against you at this time, it is vengeance against the enemies of Christ.
Judgment always begins at the household of God, and with those nearest to God. The work of the Day of Vengeance will continue until the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age that often is referred to as the "Millennium." All sin must be removed from the creation so there will be no sin or rebellion of any kind whatever during the eternal reign of Christ over the new earth.
God shall appoint judges on the new earth who will insure that sin and rebellion never again will trouble God and his children.
I am ready to keep pressing forward until all sin has been removed from myself and from the creation, and God's will is done on the earth as it is in Heaven. Would you care to join me in this endeavor? I do not believe we are going to be able to stand during the days that are coming unless we learn to walk carefully with the King!
Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. (Daniel 9:24NASB)
War in HeavenThe Bible states there was war in the heaven. We may not have thought much about this. But apparently there were numerous skirmishes of various kinds as the forces of righteousness attacked the wicked. Angels were involved in the battles.
This accounts for the expression, "Be glad, heavens, and those who tabernacle in them," when Satan and his forces are cast down to the earth. So we have much to learn concerning the battle between God and Satan; Christ and Antichrist. I believe this battle is beginning in our day, as we see ministers of the Gospel, because of sexual lust, fall from their high position in Christ.
Satan is being torn down from the heavens and he is bringing down with him those who spiritually have been raised in Christ but who never have submitted to the crucifixion of their will.
Indeed, ours is a dangerous era. Each of us who names the name of Christ must be exceedingly careful to maintain the Presence of Christ at all times lest he be deceived. Also, he must pray to the Father, "Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from the evil one."
Those who insist that once we believe in Christ we never could fall back are in error. We must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, praying that we not be led into temptation and deceived. Indeed, it is entirely possible for someone else to receive the crown of victory in Christ that originally had been in our possession.
I think we have changed what fundamentally is a battle of God against Satan, righteousness against wickedness, truth against the lie, into a religion, the Christian religion. It appears that numerous church-attending believers have little or no understanding that their life is to be a daily battle against wicked spirits. Perhaps they have not been taught to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.
And they did overcome him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lifeunto death; (Revelation 12:11YLT)
Deliverance From Foes Too Strong For UsWe assuredly are heading into dark days in America. Our traditional values are being trampled underfoot. The vilest sexual practices take place in public streets while the police stand by doing nothing, even though such activities are against the law. Some of the literature available to public-school students, from kindergarten on up, is so inappropriate in its content of a sexual nature that we know America is heading toward destruction.
America is becoming "Sodom."
Most of us have not experienced such abominations before. All experienced Christians have had to battle against various forms of spiritual darkness; but nothing compared to what we are faced with today. We can be certain there are powerful spirits of darkness that are influencing people in positions of authority, especially when we hear of kindergarten children being taught about alternative sexual life-styles.
I realize numerous Americans (and not only Christians!) agree that we are watching helplessly as our nation sinks slowly into a cesspool of moral depravity. We really are going to have to know Jesus if we are to be able to survive morally, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually during the coming days. We need to know how to pray until we gain personal victory. In the eighteenth Psalm, King David tells us of his own victory in prayer.
There will come occasions when the enemy is too strong for us. I think sexual lust is intense enough now that Christian people are succumbing to the temptation to perform immoral acts. They do not want to do such things. But the temptations are so strong and fiery that they yield to them while their minds are telling them this is wrong.
He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. (Psalms 18:17NASB)
Now, what did David do in order to be rescued from an enemy who was too strong for him?
In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears. (Psalms 18:6NASB)
David called upon the Lord. He did not attempt to use some formula for success. He called upon the Lord! I cannot emphasize this too strongly.
It is the practice of many of us American Christians to look for something that will "work." To this end we buy books, booklets, and tapes that will tell us what to do to get victory over this or that. How many Christian books and tapes do you know of that show us how to get what we want from God? If we forgive our enemies we will be healed of arthritis. If we speak the word of faith, the material world will respond in the manner we desire.
"If we will hold steady in faith, God will heal our child of appendicitis, or diabetes, or swine flu. If we take him or her to the doctor we are showing that we do not believe the promises of God. We can get God to do whatever we want if we just keep 'believing.'"
One time our presumption will work, or seem to. On another occasion it does not work, and we assume we have not believed hard enough.
Brother, Sister, will you ask God right now to deliver you from this presumption, this false faith?
I went to the DMV a few days ago to renew my driver's license. The lady at the window said to me, after testing my vision, "Your eyes are stronger than mine!" I am eighty-four years old.
I had been wearing glasses for nearsightedness from the age of seven, I believe. About forty years ago I was praying for a healing line after I had preached. A young girl asked me to pray that she would not need glasses. It is my custom to pray for whatever people ask.
I never heard that she was healed. Three days later when I woke up I forgot I could not read my watch without my glasses, and checked the time. Not only could I see the face clearly, I could read the other fine print on the watch face.
I couldn't believe my eyes! And I wasn't prayed for. The Bible says God will heal those who walk uprightly before him.
On another occasion, when I was principal of an elementary school, I developed severe arthritic pain in my right knee. When it hit, it was so sharp I could not stand on my right leg. It was like a knife stabbing my knee!
When I went home I prayed and asked the Lord what I should do. I felt He wanted me to go to the doctor. So I did. I always ask the Lord whether or not I should go to the doctor. If He indicates I should, I go. While I am on the way I ask the Lord to give the doctor wisdom.
The doctor injected cortisone, I think it was, into my knee. He said, "It will return and you will be on crutches." An elementary school principal on crutches!
Okay. A week or so later my knee began to swell. I thought, "I'd better get back to the doctor." We were living in Palo Alto, California at the time, which has nothing to do with this story.
While I was preparing to go to the doctor, I felt the Lord touch my knee. I had felt that touch before so I knew what it was.
I said to Audrey, "I have been healed!" I began to jump around the front room, landing heavily on that leg. To this day if I feel pain in that knee, I jump up on down on my right leg. You see, I am determined to keep that healing.
After a couple of weeks the swelling was gone completely.
Why am I saying all this? It is so you will understand that my family and I have experienced Divine healing. My wife Audrey was healed totally of a congenital thyroid condition.
So when I speak about presumption, I want you to understand I know what I am talking about. I know what it is to be healed. I have experienced the sensation of having God touch me, of being actually healed, not just believing I was healed.
Divine healing is real.
But "stepping out in faith" apart from hearing from Jesus is not faith. It is presumption.
Ten thousand formulas for spiritual success, and they earn a considerable amount of money for those who advance these formulas.
Now I am going to tell you the one correct formula: Call on the Lord, as David did. Be polite when you do. Remind the Lord you are doing his will to the best of your knowledge. Then ask courteously but forcefully. Blow the trumpet so God will know you have a problem.
Whatever you do, do not say you are healed when you have not been healed, or Christ has not told you, you have been healed. This is the power of positive thinking. It is not Divine healing. It is a metaphysical practice and may work on certain occasions. But it will not bring the Presence of Christ. It will not bring the response that David enjoyed when he called on the Lord.
The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around himthe dark rain clouds of the sky.
Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies, great bolts of lightning and routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. (Psalms 18:7-19NIV)
How would you like that kind of answer to your prayer for deliverance?
Well, you won't get it by practicing a formula for spiritual success or by thinking positively. Call on the Lord. Do so several times a day, courteously but forcefully. Keep it up until the Lord delivers you or He tells you what He wants you to do.
Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. (II Corinthians 12:8NASB)
The Shelter of the Most HighIt seems to me the Spirit of God is warning us that chaos is approaching the United States of America. If I am hearing the Lord correctly, much blood is going to be shed. Then the United States will slip down to a lower status in world affairs and the power of the world will move to the East.
I am not certain that a great deal of prayer is going to alter the destiny of our country. I think the Lord is saying that it is up to each believer to save himself and his loved ones and whoever else listens to him or her.
There are millions of professing Christians in the United States but not that many genuine disciples. A true disciple of the Lord Jesus is someone who denies himself (turns away from his own will and does the Lord's will); take up his cross (accepts the "prison" in which he has been placed); and follows the Lord Jesus at all times, looking to Him for every decision that is made throughout the day.
Notice the following verse:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalms 91:1NASB)
"Dwells in the shelter of the Most High." This is speaking of abiding in Christ; living in Christ at all times. I have found the best way to do this is to keep up a running conversation with Jesus throughout the day and night.
So many decisions have to be made each day! We can reason our way through all these, or we can keep on referring each decisionin fact, all that we are doingto the Lord Jesus. "Help me Lord with this." "Thank You for helping me with that," and so forth. Do you do this? It is an excellent way of maintaining the Presence of Christ throughout the day and night.
There is no way in which I could overemphasize the importance of looking to Jesus at all times, in every situation. We are to keep opening the door to Him and dining with Him, not just on one occasion but all the time.
We are to keep up this dialogue with the Lord Jesus until we are living by his life. There is no life worth living except that which is shared with the Lord Jesus. He and He alone is our wisdom, power, righteousness, and holiness.
The night of moral chaos is approaching rapidly when no human being will be able to work the works of God. But the Lord Jesus can and shall work through us if we are willing to "die in the Lord."
Do you remember that the Lord said whoever believes in Him shall never die? Whoever is serving Jesus now, when he or she dies will continue in full memory and consciousness to serve the Lord. The remainder of mankind will be assigned to their appropriate places, some pleasant and some unpleasant, until they come back to life in the Day of Resurrection. Therefore no true Christian need be terrified when the Divine judgment on America commences.
The believer who is living in the Presence of the Lord Jesus, under his shelter, will find perfect peace and rest in God's shadow. Whatever takes place on the outside cannot possibly reach through and harm the person who is living under the shadow of the Lord. The angel of the Lord surrounds those who fear Him and delivers them whenever danger is present.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them. (Psalms 34:7NASB)
I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!" (Psalms 91:2NASB)
We Americans, most of us, may not in time past have seen the need to have a refuge or a fortress. But I believe we will in the coming days. It can be difficult to keep trusting God for our preservation when all around us destruction is occurring. We have to keep exercising our faith and trust rather than to give way to fear and dread. Faith and fear cannot dwell in our heart at the same time.
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. (Psalms 91:3NASB)
Jesus advised us to pray, "Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from the evil one." The "fowler" continually is laying traps for us. If we are wise we always will post a guard. There are many occasions when Christians let down their guard, when at a party, out shopping, or just at home with their family. If we do not pray without ceasing, we will fall into some sort of trap. It may be a while before we recover.
Personally, I don't think Christian people realize we are in a war. The enemy always is seeking to trip us up. We may be comfortable in our religion, not understanding that the climax of the ages is upon us. Christ alone is Truth. The world spirit is a lie, and that lie continually is being communicated to us in America. It requires a strong Christian consecration if we are to keep our mind from being polluted by the lie that the world is.
One of the "deadly pestilences" of our day is cancer of all kinds. There also are other afflictions, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, cholera and kidney diseases. There are many childhood diseases such as cerebral palsy and Down's syndrome. The promise is that God will save us from these if we are abiding faithfully in Christ.
Sometimes fervent Christians are afflicted with cancer or another sickness. If we have been following the Lord diligently, then these are to perfect us. Nevertheless, we always are to look to Christ for healing in his time.
He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark (Psalms 91:4NASB)
Again we are reminded that God hovers over those who choose to live in Christ's Presence at all times. We are far more precious to God than a baby chick is to the mother hen, or a cygnet is to a mother swan.
God's faithfulness! How often does the experienced Christian depend upon God's faithfulness. None of us would last very long if it were not for God's faithfulness. When we are brought into a place of danger we have to rely on God's faithfulness.
Faithfulness is part of the image of God, and He will help us grow in this virtue.
I never have found God to lie. Have you? It is a point of honor with him.
A rampart is a defensive wall. The faithfulness of God is our shield against the enemy, a wall that keeps out those who would harm us, particularly unclean spirits. We keep our rampart and shield in place as we look to Jesus continually.
As I stated previously, we Americans have lived in a relatively safe environment. The Spirit seems to be speaking that we need to prepare ourselves for the dangers that are ahead. We must live close to Jesus if we are to be able to stand and help others to stand as the period of judgment draws near.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day (Psalms 91:5NASB)
Have you noticed that you are weak at night? I make it a practice that the moment I awaken and feel dread or fear, I ask in Jesus' name that fear be cast out of every room of our house and the grounds outside, God is quick to honor this prayer, and soon there is a sense of peace and safety.
The "arrow that flies by day" speaks of military conflict. It is not unlikely that our country will be attacked one day. There are tensions among the various nations, and America is a target of envy and jealousy. The promise is that we will not "fear."
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3NASB)
He will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. (Psalms 112:7NASB)
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psalms 34:4NASB)
In our time, two of the greatest dangers are that of a nuclear bomb or the distribution of a disease. such as anthrax. We will be tempted to jump in our car, join the traffic jam, and attempt to go somewhere we think will be safer. This could very well be "out of the frying pan and into the fire." We must practice today to look to Jesus for wisdom when we see danger approaching. This is so very important!
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. (Psalms 91:6NASB)
There have been pestilences and plagues at various times in history that have killed millions of people. One of the best known is the "black death," bubonic plague that killed over a fourth of the population of Europe. The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed more people than died in the First World War.
There is no certainty that a similar plague will not come upon the world one of these days, such as cholera. There is so much wickedness being practiced that Divine judgment surely is not far off. But we are not to fear any plague, because we are protected by God's faithfulness. This is true provided we are dwelling in the shelter of the Most High.
A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. (Psalms 91:7NASB)
The teaching of the "pre-tribulation rapture" is a major error of our day. It is designed to allay the fears of the believers by promising them a free trip to Paradise before they could possibly be faced with the dangers outlined in the ninety-first Psalm.
That the rapture teaching is erroneous can be seen in the verse above. "A thousand may fall at your side." That sounds to me like we will be present during these violent dangers, but preserved by God's faithfulness. Does it sound like that to you? If we are removed to Heaven, how is it possible that a thousand people will fall at our side and ten thousand at our right hand?
Christians who place their faith in the so-called "rapture" will not prepare themselves to stand in the evil day. If this is what is happening today in America, then we know the source of the "rapture" concept.
God did not "rapture" Daniel to Heaven when he was thrown into the lions' den. God protected Daniel while in this dangerous situation. This is God's way of deliverance, not removal from the danger. Think about the three Hebrew young men in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace!
You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. (Psalms 91:8NASB)
Again, we are not going to be carried up to Paradise when plagues come. We are going to be protected while in the midst of them. We actually will be here to see what happens to wicked people.
If you say, "The LORD is my refuge," and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. (Psalms 91:9,10NIV)
Notice the "If." "If we say 'the Lord is my refuge.'" If we choose to honor the Lord by saying "He is my refuge," and make Him our dwelling place, then no harm will overtake us nor will disaster come near us.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalms 34:6NASB)
There is an expression circulating today among Christian people. It is "God's unconditional love." Anyone who is familiar with the Bible realizes that God's blessing is always based on the behavior of the recipient.
It absolutely is true that God can forgive the worst of sinners. The atonement is not prevented by any past works of wickedness. The forgiveness is full, free, and does not need additional works of penance.
The Bible tells us that God repays the faithful with faithfulness and the wicked with destruction. The current idea that a believer can live in sin and disobedience to God, and still be protected by grace, is as big a lie as has ever entered the universe.
God sees all that we do, whether or not we are a Christian. If we serve Christ faithfully, we will abide under God's blessing. If we live according to our sinful nature, we will reap corruption. As we sow we shall reap.
This truth is not always heard in today's preaching in America, but it most certainly is what both the Old Testament and the New Testament declare clearly and forcefully.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalms 91:11,12NIV)
As I was writing my new book, Godwill Castle, I began to realize the great number of angels who work in God's universe and the variety of their services. There are angels protecting every one of the true followers of the Lord Jesus. They guard us in all of our ways, not just some of our ways.
We have been created to love God and to be in union with God through the Lord Jesus. This is not true of any angel. The angels do the work of the Kingdom, including fighting against the evil spirits, and serve the elect in numerous other ways as well.
I rather suspect that Jesus was able to walk on the water because angels were lifting Him up in their hands. God sent an angel to Gethsemane to strengthen Christ at the time of his greatest agony. Angels keep us from innumerable dangers and traps.
But we must remember that God's angels belong to God and do his will. God's angels always will honor and assist those who are obeying Christ. We never are to presume to direct an angel. Our role is to pray to Jesus. When we do, God sends his angels to deliver and help us.
Do you remember how the Commander of the army of the Lord told Joshua that he was not for Israel or for Israel's enemies? Rather the heavenly Commander is the servant of God! We need to keep this in mind, because there is presumptuous talk in our time about what great spiritual power and authority we think we have.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down. (Psalms 91:13NASB)
One of the ideas that accompany the unscriptural teaching of the "rapture" of the believers is that such an evacuation is necessary so we will not be injured by Antichrist or the Great Tribulation. This teaching does not take into account the power of Christ or the authority He has given to those who live in his Presence.
We not only are protected against Satan and all his helpers, we will stamp on them. As Paul wrote, "God will crush Satan under your feet shortly."
This does not mean we are to go charging about, rebuking unclean spirits. We must wait until the Lord Jesus directs us to go on the attack.
Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. (Psalms 91:14NASB)
Again, we have a condition: "Because he loves me." How do we know we love Jesus? We know we love Him when we keep his commands. We know we love Him when we talk to Him all day and through part of the night. We know we love Him when we are willing to lose our life in Him that He may control our mind, emotions, words, and deeds. We know we love Him when we have no other gods that we worship.
Then He rescues us. Then He protects us. Then He sets us on high with Him, far above the turmoil and dangers of the present world. Rather than trust in our own understanding, we acknowledge the name of Jesus in all that we do; in every decision we make; in all our hopes and desires.
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. (Psalms 91:15NASB)
"He will call on me, and I will answer him." There is a tendency today in Christian circles to try to find some formula that will bring an answer to prayer. There is a multitude of books and tapes that counsel us to do this or do that. Then we will be healed, or receive a large amount of money, or otherwise get what we want.
In the eighteenth Psalm, King David, when he was in trouble, called on the Lord. Read this Psalm and notice the tremendous response. This is what we are to do. We are not to look for a formula or something that someone says will "work." Do not try to be your own deliverer. Call on the Lord!
Be courteous and thankful for all your blessings. Don't rely on some method to obtain what you desire. Call on the Lord!
Call on the Lord! Call on the Lord! Always be courteous and thankful, not rude or belligerent. But call on the Lord! He likes to hear your voice. Blow the trumpet of prayer so God knows you are in a battle and need deliverance. Call on the Lord until you receive your answer. This is what David did.
"With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation." (Psalms 91:16NASB)
Such is the reward for serving the Lord. As I said previously, if we spend our life calling on the Lord, then, when we die, we will keep on serving the Lord. He who follows Christ like this will never actually die but will walk into the spirit world; continuing to look to Jesus for all things; continuing to come to know him; continuing to endeavor to find his will and perform it diligently. This procedure will keep on like this for eternity.
To partake of God's salvation means to be conformed to the inner and outer likeness of the Lord Jesus, our elder Brother, and to abide in complete rest in the very center of God's Person and will. It means to have unbroken fellowship with God and his Son, Jesus Christ. It means to inherit people whom we can love and bring into God's Person and ways.
All this if we choose to dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in his shadow.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalms 91:1NASB)