BLINDNESS AND DEAFNESS

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BLINDNESS AND DEAFNESS Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Today God is building the Body of Christ. The Head and Body of Christ compose the “Servant of the Lord.” Each member of the Servant of the Lord must be “blind” and “deaf.” This means the Head must receive information primarily from the Father, and the members of the Body must receive information primarily from the Head, the Lord Jesus.

BLINDNESS AND DEAFNESS

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

The Servant of the Lord is described in Isaiah, Chapter 42. The Servant of the Lord is Christ – Head and Body. This means this chapter is speaking of each member of the Christian Church.

One characteristic of the Servant of the Lord is that each member must become blind and deaf to the influence of the Antichrist world system, and gain information and guidance from the Spirit of God.

It may prove to be true that the major social and scientific phenomenon of our day is communication, the conveyance of information and advice. The Internet, computers and television are revolutionary modern inventions; along with these communication methods we also have the radio, books, many newspapers and periodicals, regular telephones, cell phones, facsimile transmitters, high speed printing presses, cameras, copy machines, satellites and other devices.

We may not think much about it, but several of these devices did not even exist a hundred years ago. We constantly are being bombarded with ideas and images.

Perhaps in another hundred years, sociologists will be able to examine and evaluate the effect all this instrumentation has had on the lives of people of the world.

The information coming to us from the various communication forms and devices presents an image or picture of what is true and significant in the world. As we are being impacted by these pictures and ideas we make judgments that sometimes affect our behavior, that guide our life. The truth is that these impressions are from the world spirit, the Antichrist spirit. We and our children are being molded by these.

Paul exhorts us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

The members of the Body of Christ are not to be molded or guided by the Antichrist spirit of the world, with its emphasis on money, lust, violence, drunkenness, and pleasure. We are to be transformed into the image of Christ by the renewing of our mind.

Now, how do we go about renewing our mind? We do this by presenting our body as a living sacrifice to God.

How do we present our body a living sacrifice to God? We do this by bringing every decision of every day to Christ for His judgment and will. We pray without ceasing.

Such a continual looking to the Lord may seem impossible to the new Christian. But it is not at all impossible. We will look to one source or another for our decisions. We can just as easily look to the Lord.

Let us say we are considering talking to another person and sharing information with him. How would we go about deciding whether or not we should do this? We can guess if this action is worthwhile. We can judge by past experience. We can ask someone’s opinion. Or, we can ask the Lord. It is just as quick and easy.

In my own case, what I hear from the Lord is usually what I think is wise or what I want to do. But sometimes I get a clear “No,” much to my surprise. After a while I see why it was best not to do what I had planned on, even though at the time it appeared to be desirable and reasonable.

This is how we abide in Christ. This is how we escape being conformed to the image of the world. As we keep interacting with the Lord Jesus our behavior and decisions are transformed as our mind is transformed.

If I am hearing correctly from the Lord, we Americans are heading toward catastrophic events – events that will cause people’s hearts to fail them because of intense fear.

The current teaching of the pre-tribulation, any-moment “rapture” is not only unscriptural, it is destructive. It is destructive because the believers are looking forward to an external event that is not going to take place, and are not going to the Lord Jesus to find out the plans He has made for their well being or how to prepare themselves to stand in the evil day, the day of trouble.

Ask the Lord how you should prepare for the calamities on the horizon. Don’t go by what you have been taught all these years, ask the Lord for yourself. You will find that He will speak to you about preparing yourself to stand victoriously in the midst of severe trouble. He will exhort you to press into Him, to pray for the wisdom and strength to clean out of your personality all sin and rebellion. He will promise to take care of your loved ones if you will set aside your own life and serve Him with all diligence.

I don’t think the Lord Jesus will tell you not to worry because you won’t be here when trouble comes!

The point is to seek the Lord until you hear from Him. Do not rely on what commonly is being taught concerning the “rapture,” because it is not scriptural. You and your loved ones will be unprepared for what is ahead.

When we go to Jesus about our safety and health, and that of our loved ones, He assuredly does not speak of carrying us to Heaven. Nowhere does the Scripture speak of there being protection in Heaven. This idea comes from our mythology concerning Heaven. In every instance, the Bible teaches us that our protection is found only in the Lord, and you can have that protection here on the earth no matter how great the uproar becomes.

Think of the Bible instances of protection, such as Noah and the Ark, Daniel in the lions’ den, the three Hebrew children in the fire. God did not carry them away from the danger. He protected them in it so they emerged more than conquerors.

In the case of Noah, God told him to build an ark and to coat it with pitch on the inside and the outside. God did not tell Noah He was going to carry him and his family to Heaven. Noah made the ark watertight on the inside and the outside. Because the ark was watertight, Noah and his family were able to ride safely on the waters of judgment.

This was an altogether different plan for survival than that of being carried up to Heaven. One difference is that they were kept from the judgment even though they were immersed in it. Another difference is that many years had to be spent in preparing the ark.

The ark was made waterproof with pitch. Pitch is found where there is oil, as there is in the Middle East.

So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. (Genesis 6:14)

The Hebrew term for pitch employed in Genesis 6:14 is KO-fer. Kopher is derived from kaw-FAR, which is translated “atonement” 71 times in the Authorized Version of the Bible.

The idea of being made judgment-proof by atonement on the inside and the outside is extremely important. Instead of jumping up and down next to our pew as the necessary preparation for being caught away to Heaven in a “rapture,” we find gaining Christ on the inside and the outside is the necessary preparation for surviving Divine judgment so we may stand in victory before Christ.

Once we have Christ on the inside (in our heart) and the outside (in our behavior), a thousand may fall at our side and ten thousand at our right hand, but it shall not come near to us or harm us in any significant manner.

Think about the many years Noah worked on the ark, perhaps being assisted by his sons as they grew up. Imagine the hours spent driving the pitch into the seams of the Ark. If any seam was omitted the ark might have sunk and the people and the animals would have perished.

Seams! Seams! Seams! Will they never end? We feel this way sometimes when the Holy Spirit begins to point out the sins we are committing.

I personally believe the purpose behind the false doctrine of the pre-tribulation “rapture” is to turn people away from the careful seeking of Christ. Some churches invite the members of the congregation to jump up and down next to the pews to prepare them for being caught up. Can you see the utter foolishness of this? Can you see how people are easily led away from the need for cross-carrying obedience to Christ as the necessary preparation for the age of physical and moral horrors that is approaching?

The work of atonement, of being reconciled to God in our inward spiritual nature and our outward behavior, must take place today. Once the Divine judgment begins we may be too oppressed to even pray, let alone spend time with the Lord so He can He caulk the seams in our personality.

Notice that Noah was to caulk the ark on the inside and then on the outside. So it is today. God’s people are not judgment-proof in their inward nature. Each of us must seek Christ night and day until our inward nature is living in Christ’s resurrection Life. If we are not careful to do this we will “sink” in the day of judgment. We will be as the foolish virgins who were not permitted to go to be with the Lord.

Notice this pattern in the Book of Luke:

Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:34-36)

Can you see that the problem is dissipation, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life? We must pray, pray, pray that Christ will remove from us dissipation, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life. For these works of the flesh, proceeding from a corrupt inward nature – Christian or not! – are sufficient to prevent our standing victoriously before the Son of Man. This does not mean only to be qualified to be raised from the dead when Christ returns, it means to be able to stand in victory today regardless of what takes place on the earth.

If I am hearing the Lord, this is what He is telling Christian people in America:

“Make yourself ‘watertight’ on the inside and the outside. Put away your love of the world, the lust and passions of your flesh and soul, and your self-will. Place seeking Christ as the highest priority of your life.

“Soon the horrors of Divine judgment will fall on your nation. If you are not living in Christ, interacting with Him at all times, you will not be able to survive spiritually. You will not be able to stand in victory in My Presence.

“Do not look to Satan as being the cause of the problems of the world. Satan can do only what Christ permits. The one you must please if you are to stand, and help others to stand, is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who is bringing the calamity, not Satan.

“Why is the Lord bringing calamity upon you? It is not because He rejoices as your possessions are burned up or carried off in a flood. Christ takes no pleasure in the agony of people. It is His will that you live in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

“But America has turned her back on Me. She is living in pleasure. Normal relationships meant for marriage have become infernos of satanic lust. Children, who would have been treasures for you and Me, are being aborted. Instead of reading the Bible and praying, families are watching the antics of demons on the television.

“In order to save your nation I am going to have to punish you severely. Many will die. Many will suffer in a manner they never would have thought possible in America. And this is just the beginning of your sorrows.

“It is time now – right now! – to set your house in order. You must make yourself judgment-proof by turning away from all sin and doing My will each day. Only then will you be able to stand in the day of trouble that is coming.

“If you will turn away from the way your nation thinks and acts, and find out from Me how you should think and act, I will give My angels charge over you and your loved ones. But if you do not recognize that this present hour is the time of your visitation, you will drift along and then be defeated spiritually in the day of calamity that is coming.

The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you. (Luke 19:43,44)

“In My mercy I am warning you in advance, just as I did Noah. He was moved with fear and prepared an ark to the saving of himself and his household. You can do the same if you so choose.”

I think this is what Christ is saying to us in America. It is time for us to press into the ninety-first Psalm, into the secret place of the Most High. Then we will survive every sort of calamity, according to the promise of God.

But know for certain there will be no “rapture” to carry away foolish, pleasure-loving American Christians who have not taken the trouble to “build an ark,” so to speak, to caulk all the seams thoroughly.

Now let’s see what the Lord has to say about “blindness” and “deafness,” because these are one of the aspects of abiding in Christ.

Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see! Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one committed to me, blind like the servant of the LORD? (Isaiah 42:18, 19)

Exactly what does this passage mean?

It means we are not to gain our guidance from the information sources of the world, but from the Spirit of God. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

We are to look to the Lord Jesus constantly, bringing every decision to Him.

Proverbs tells us to acknowledge the Lord in all our ways – in all our ways. Some people do not hear words from the Lord as do other believers. It doesn’t matter. The promise is that if we will acknowledge Christ in all our ways, He shall direct our paths, making them straight before us.

Should there be war in the future, we are not to panic. If we have made a habit of going to Christ for everything, we will not lose control. We will just keep going to Christ for His guidance.

My family and I live near a nuclear reactor. There has been speculation that the terrorists will blow up nuclear reactors, exposing multitudes of people to harmful radiation.

What should we do? Move to some place where there is no nuclear reactor?

As I am writing (June 24, 2002), one of the largest wildfires in the history of our country is burning in the state of Arizona. One might flee to such an area to escape the possibility of a nuclear explosion, only to be imperiled by a huge fire.

There is no safety except in Jesus Christ. If we rush about in distraction, not believing in the power of the Lord, we might place ourselves and our loved ones in great danger. Do you see the point?

Do you remember when the disciples showed the Lord the Temple of Herod? They saw one of the most spectacular buildings of all history. Jesus saw a pile of rubble. Jesus is the Servant of the Lord. He was “blind” to his natural vision, in this sense. He saw the Temple of Herod as God saw it. Every member of the Body of Christ must learn to see things as God sees them. Only then will we be able to survive the disasters that are approaching.

Do you remember when Joseph and Mary, in obedience to the Law of Moses, entered that same Temple holding the baby Jesus, only Simeon and the elderly Anna had eyes to see Him. The numerous priests and elders could see in the world, but they could not see as God sees.

Let me spiritualize the following passage:

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.”

This may be referring to those who have been martyred by being beheaded. But that strikes me as odd. Many martyrs have died by being burned at the stake, many more by being shot. Why single out those who have been decapitated? It doesn’t make sense.

But in these days the major issue is cutting the head of man off the Body of Christ. Our natural mind is an enemy of God. As long as we follow it we will be sure to miss God. Mental knowledge puffs up. Theology usually manages to miss God, as Stephen pointed out to the Sanhedrin.

We have to learn to be guided by the Spirit of God if we are to do the will of God, and if we are to understand the Scriptures.

So I may not be too far off when I suggest Revelation 20:4 is speaking of those who have turned away from their natural thinking “because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.” I know I have, and you probably have also.

If we are willing to die in the Lord, in the present hour, our works will follow us. For it is certain the hour is soon to come when no person can perform the works of God, except those who have died to their own understanding and abilities.

The Lord Jesus, the Head of the Servant of the Lord, is a good example of someone who was not guided by His natural senses alone. For example, He did not judge according to the appearance of things. He listened for the judgments of the Father. When He heard what the Father was saying, then Christ made a judgment; and His judgment was righteous because He was not seeking His own will but that of His Father.

Did you ever think about how much gossip is carried on in the Christian churches? Did you ever estimate how much damage is done by gossip?

Why do people gossip? Because they are making a judgment based on what they are seeing and hearing in their fleshly, sinful nature. If they would ask the Lord Jesus His opinion of the matter, you can be sure they would not continue to gossip. Why not? Because the things they are repeating are not based on fact; they are not reflecting the actual circumstances. The gossipers are bearing a false witness concerning a brother or sister in Christ, all because they are seeing and hearing by natural light instead of by the Spirit of God.

Why do we thrust one another? Because we are walking in the light of the present world and not in the light of the Spirit of God.

Why do we keep making mistakes and causing problems? Because we are acting according to what we are seeing and hearing in the present world and not what we are seeing and hearing from God.

Why are there divisions, arguments, strife? Because one or the other, or both, of the combatants is not hearing from the Lord. When two people are seeing and hearing from God, there can be no argument. Can there?

Why will we be terrified when we see or hear of millions of our citizens dying from terrorist activities, or natural catastrophes? Because we are not seeing and hearing from God. We are blind to what is taking place in the spirit realm, seeing only the blood flowing in the material world.

We need to keep in mind that the spirit world is the real world. The present world has been fabricated from molecules, and our brain enables us to perceive what is taking place around us according to electrical impulses that travel along our optic nerve. So we are not observing reality but only images that test the quality of our faith in God, and our willingness to obey God.

The purpose of the present world is to examine what is in our heart, so when we are entrusted with the beauty and grandeur of the spirit realm we will not defile it with our wickedness and rebellion.

We need to understand Christ has everything under control. We know from the Bible that whenever the Israelites sinned against God, God raised up other nations against them. The reason so many people are furious at the United States, England, and Israel, is that we are not pleasing God. When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him, the Bible promises.

The problems of today have their origin in the spirit realm. If we would have true understanding, and be able to survive and help others to survive, we must be blind and deaf to the uproar and the reasonings going on around us and pray! pray! pray until we have the mind of the Lord!

Today our President made a statesmanlike speech regarding a solution for the conflict in the Middle East. Let us all hope those nations addressed react in a reasonable manner and bring this tragedy to a swift conclusion.

The problem is that the trouble is spiritual in origin. Satan is determined to take control of Jerusalem, for whoever would govern the world must do so from Jerusalem. Jesus Christ will rule one day from the Temple Mount, and Satan understands this from the Scripture.

Because of this underlying motive, Satan will keep pressing to remove the control of Jerusalem from the Jews. The Scripture states that the day will arrive when all nations look to Jerusalem for the law and word of God. Then Satan’s kingdom in the earth will be at an end.

All the logic, all the compassion, all the good intentions of the world leaders will be affected by the burning passion of Satan to prevent Jerusalem from being established as an area holy to the Lord.

Those who have eyes to see the Lord and hear His voice understand why Israel, England, and America are so hated. They know also why God is permitting His protection to be lifted from these three countries, which at one time had been strongholds of the Judaic-Christian salvation.

When the members of the Body of Christ are living by what they are perceiving with their physical eyes and ears, and what they are understanding from the reasoning of their physical brain, they are blind and deaf to Christ. They are not functioning members of His Body. As long as they continue in this blind, deaf state they are not qualified to be raised from the dead when He appears. They are of no use in the work of installing His Kingdom, His will on the earth.

One biblical example of deliverance from Divine judgment is that of Lot, the nephew of the patriarch, Abraham.

Notice that the angels came to Lot prior to the falling of Divine judgment. Notice that Lot, having been warned, had something to do.

Notice that Lot’s wife, at the very time of the destruction, chose to disobey the angel. Notice that God did not carry them to heaven. Rather He instructed them how to act so as to save themselves from destruction.

The key, of course, was the faithfulness of Abraham. When the time of judgment came, God remembered Abraham. God did not remember Lot, He remembered Abraham.

This is an important lesson for us to learn in these days.

We all are concerned about the health and safety of our loved ones, and will be terrified beyond belief when the Divine judgment falls on America. If we will at the present time turn away from the things of the world and enter firmly into the Presence and will of Christ, then Christ will send His angels to deliver our loved ones, just as God sent His angels to lead Lot away from the site of destruction.

But remember – had Abraham not been faithful to God, Lot, his wife, and his two daughters would have perished in the inferno.

It is just this real. If you are not faithful to Christ, there will be no deliverance for your loved ones, unless they themselves have entered into Christ in these days. Lot was a righteous man, according to the Scripture. But his righteousness would not have saved him had it not been for faithful Abraham.

So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived. (Genesis 19:29)

God remembered Abraham!

You may recall that God had told Abraham in advance what He was going to do to Sodom. So it is true that God will tell you what He is going to do in advance, if you are living in the place where you can hear His voice. Walk as a child of the light, and the seasons of God will not overtake you as a thief.

Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3;7)

If you want the 11 o’clock news, don’t go to the television. Go to the Lord at that time and you will hear the truth.

The reason we have to keep close to Jesus, getting our seeing and hearing from Him, is that God sometimes makes major changes in His work in the earth. If we are not hearing from the Lord we will not know when the day of our visitation is hear.

For example, note the following:

The LORD will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies. For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant. (Isaiah 42:13,14)

Now think. Can you see in the above that there was a long time when the Lord was silent, He had been quiet and held Himself back. Now suddenly He cries out, gasping and panting.

Can you see why this is important? At one time God is quiet. On another occasion He is marching out like a mighty man.

If we are not hearing from the Lord we do not know whether to portray Him as being quiet or as marching out like a mighty man. We cannot bear a current witness because we do not know what He is doing.

The role of the spirit of prophecy in the Christian churches is to inform us what Christ is doing right now. Christ is never static. The Ark of the Covenant is always on the move. This is why the carrying poles were not removed from the Ark when Israel made camp. The message is unchanging, but the way it is to be implemented changes from time to time. This is why we cannot imitate revivals of the past, or even the revivals of the Book of Acts. God has something special and specific for our day. If we are not hearing and seeing what God is doing and saying, we are as the blind leading the blind. Personally I think this often has been the case throughout the Christian Era.

Do you recall that at one time the Lord Jesus warned His disciples about using the sword, and then on another occasion He told them to sell something and buy a sword?

Yesterday’s manna already is breeding worms. We need to know what God is saying and doing right this minute; and tomorrow Christ will be new and fresh.

One of the major problems of institutional religion, including Christianity, is that its posture is static. It has too much monetary and ego involvement to move with God when God moves. The stationary posture of denominations has caused considerable uproar and upset whenever God has moved to a new plateau.

I am not speaking of a denomination attempting a new organizational or administrative plan, I am referring to a change such as from Fundamentalism to Pentecostalism; or from Pentecostalism to the present call of the Spirit for deliverance from moral sin and for entering a deeper union in Christ in God.

Each preceding group refers to those who are pressing forward as being “of the devil.” Isn’t it a fact? Yet we never seem to learn.

It is our own fault. We insist on operating in the blindness of the flesh, and we do not know what Christ is doing at the present time.

How much Christian work proceeds without hearing clearly from Christ? How much Christian work proceeds on one assumption or another concerning how God wants us to save the world?

However, it is only that which is wrought in Christ under His immediate supervision, that is of eternal value.

In the Bible it tells how God’s people were living in Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah pleaded with them to obey God by settling down and seeking the prosperity of Babylon.

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)

In fact, even before the Babylonians captured Jerusalem, Jeremiah warned the king and the people to surrender to the Babylonians. (Imagine if Christians preached something like this in our day – that we should surrender to this nation or that power!)

But the nobles would have none of it, and much suffering resulted.

The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll (the prophecy of Jeremiah), and Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the secretary and read it to the king and all the officials standing beside him. It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment, with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him. Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire. (Jeremiah 36:21-23)

Jeremiah was blind to thinking going on around him but very much aware of the mind of the Lord.

Here we are today. If we are to survive, and be of assistance to our loved ones and friends, to others around us, we are going to have to be “blind” and “deaf” to the incessant, ignorant chatter of the media. We will have to spend time seeking the Lord, living in His Presence, until we know what He is saying. This must become a continual practice, the manner in which we live and make our decisions.

Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see! Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one committed to me, blind like the servant of the LORD? (Isaiah 42:18,19)

“Dear Lord, open our eyes that we may truly see. Only in Your light can we see light. Help us turn away from the Antichrist spirit of the world and live in Your Presence and will. Then, and only then, will be able to serve successfully as Your witnesses throughout the age of physical and moral horrors that is approaching the United States of America.

“Amen.”