THE WALLCopyright Š 2013 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
("The Wall" 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.
Rebuilding the Gates
The WallThere is a great wall surrounding the new Jerusalem, the perfected and glorified Christian Church. That jasper wall, whose foundation consists of precious stones, portrays the wall against sin that has been formed in each individual who is one of those who compose the city.
There was no wall surrounding the original Garden of Eden, the birthplace of mankind. Satan had ready access to Adam and Eve. Had there been a wall, Satan could not have entered.
God is going to restore Paradise to the earth. But for eternity Paradise shall be surrounded by a wall through which no rebellion against God's will can enter.
There shall be no more unwalled Edens!
You may wonder why, when you are serving God with all your might, you are having so many problems; so many testings. It is because God is creating in you a wall against all rebellion and uncleanness.
The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, including the wall. Some seventy years later the work of rebuilding Jerusalem began.
Nehemiah, the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes of Persia, heard from Hasani, his brother, that the wall of Jerusalem had been broken down and the gates burned with fire.
Since the ruined city of Jerusalem was surrounded with enemies, who certainly did not want the city rebuilt and become a threat to their domains, the construction of a wall and gates was of first importance. As long as Jerusalem was not protected, the Samaritans and Ammonites would tear down whatever was built.
So Artaxerxes agreed to send Nehemiah to see what he could do to assist those Jews who had left the comforts of civilization that they might restore their holy city.
May I say that this condition exists today in the Christian churches of America. The wall against sin has been torn down and the gates burned with fire, so to speak. Because of the pressures being exerted by the Muslims, the homosexuals, and the Socialists, Christian people are becoming concerned that our traditional way of life is vanishing. They wish to restore the old values of America, but there is no wall.
There are brilliant comments by various scholars, but there is no wall. There are plans by conservative politicians to overthrow the present regime, but no wall. There are public and individual protests of one sort or another. But as soon as a stand is taken, the enemy enters and tears down the flimsy construction that has been attempted.
When the righteous are not righteous enough, the wicked prevail.
I suppose numerous Americans do not realize this, but America has been wealthy and powerful because of the Presence of God, not because of democracy or our Bill of Rights. Now there are abortions and other sins being practiced, and God is leaving us. The problem is spiritual, and our physical weapons, such as politics, cannot prevail.
The wall has been broken down and the gates burned with fire.
The wall is the resistance to disobedience to God and to moral uncleanness.
How has the wall been broken down?
The wall has been broken down by the Christian teaching of Divine grace as an alternative to godly character and behavior. It is just as simple as that.
It does not take a professor of psychology or a doctor of sociology to grasp the fact that if you tell people God sees their behavior through Christ (which is unscriptural) and they are going to go to Heaven regardless of how they behave; and stir into the pot the demon-filled atmosphere of America; no wall against sin will be created in them. They will not grow spiritually. They will continue in their unchanged nature. They will keep on sinning.
The wall against sin has been broken down in the Christian churches of America. The Muslim people are appalled when they witness the moral behavior of the American people. And well they may be. Our behavior in America, to a great extent, is satanic, not godly; not Christlike.
How can we expect a Muslim to come to Jesus when he sees the immoral activity of Americans; when Americans are supposed to be influenced by Christianity? Christ has not called us to make converts but to testify of him. When He is lifted up He will draw all people to himself regardless of race, religion, gender, wealth or poverty, or age. But He is lifted up when we show in our conduct his ways, and we are not doing this at all!
I notice that the main concern of American people over the President's policies has to do with economics. If we really were serving the Lord Jesus, our main concern would be with the practice of abortion, the murder of developing children, and other perversions of morality.
What, then, is to be done?
First, each individual Christian must turn to Christ and find his will for himself or herself. I have done this. The Lord is not speaking to me about trying to save the nation but about my personal walk. Jesus is demanding that I keep Him in my consciousness every waking moment, asking Him for his guidance in every decision, to the smallest detail.
I know that the spiritual fulfilment of the Jewish Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is being emphasized today by the Spirit of God. We must confess our sins as the Holy Spirit points them out to us. We then must accept our forgiveness and, with the assistance of Christ, turn away from our sins resolutely.
If we are to do this, we must search the New Testament to assure ourselves that God is not seeing us through Christ but is well aware of our behavior. For example, if the Corinthian believers took the Communion when their heart was not right they became ill or died. That would not be the case if God was "seeing them through Christ."
We must become absolutely convinced that we are going to reap what we are sowing. This is true whether or not we name the name of Christ. In fact, I do not think that most Christians in America actually believe that if we are to be a disciple, that is a Christian, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, our personal imprisonment, and follow the Master.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is not always being taught. The wall against sin has been broken down in our country because of unscriptural teaching and preaching. The enemy is announcing from the pulpits of America: "You shall not surely die even though you are yielding to your sinful nature."
Well, we may not be able to convince the ministers of the Gospel that they have departed from the Scriptures. We may not be able to stop the murder of the infants. But there is one thing we can do. We can draw close to Jesus with all the strength we have until we are certain we are doing his will.
About three years ago Audrey and I were at a pastor's conference. Part of the audience consisted of young people preparing to enter the ministry. A strong word came to me. I resisted it because I did not want to call attention to myself. Finally I knew it was the Lord. So I went to one of the people in charge and said, "I have a prophecy." Then I went back to my seat. I was not called on to give it.
This is what the Lord said, to the best of my remembrance:
"The days ahead are going to be filled with difficulties and perplexities. You (speaking, I believe, to the young ministerial candidates at the convention) are not to focus on what is familiar. I am going to work in new and surprising ways (this was emphasized) that will be more than adequate to overcome the difficulties and perplexities. Follow me carefully and be strictly obedient."
Two nights later, after having forgotten about the incident, the Lord let me know that He was grieved because the young candidates did not hear his message. Since then I have had several opportunities to tell people that Jesus is going to do "new and surprising things and not to cling to the old ways of ministry."
Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. (Isaiah 43:18NASB)
I am not certain what the "new and surprising ways" will be. I think one of them may be that Christ is going to enter in a greater measure into those who are looking for him, in fulfilment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles. We are going to need this kind of Divine Presence, wisdom, and power if we are to be able to stand spiritually and assist others. I know this is true.
So I am resolved to save myself, my loved ones, and all who will listen to me by exhorting us all to turn away from the fascinations of the media and the electronic toys, and pay strict attention to Jesus.
Our King is mightier than all the forces of Hell. He proved this in his resurrection from the dead. He sits as King of the flood. The nations are as a drop in the bucket.
The Father knows the sparrow that falls to the ground. In fact, He knew about that particular sparrow and when it would fall when through Christ He created the heavens and the earth.
The Father has given Jesus, our very best Friend, unlimited authority and power! Whoever will call on Him in the catastrophic days that lie ahead, whether the individual is a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, homosexual, Socialist, Buddhist, of no particular religion, or an atheist, will be helped.
God's Word, that cannot be changed, states as follows:
For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13NIV)
Rebuilding the GatesIt may be true that many Christian people are feeling the need for a reformation of Christian thinking. Because of the warping of Paul's doctrine of "grace," the current teaching leads one to believe that how the believers behave is of little consequence. The main emphasis is to maintain a belief in the facts associated with the salvation that is in Christ. This attitude seems to me to be more Gnostic than Christian!
I suppose it is a common practice among the religions of the world to view belief in the various doctrines and the practice of the liturgies of the religion to be more important than the personality and behavior of the individual. Perhaps these mystical belief systems are accepted by the people of the world as part of life on our planet.
However, such separation of the doctrines and practice of the religion from the personalities and behavior of the converts is particularly deadly when it comes to Christianity. The purpose of the Christian salvation is to provide, through Christian people, a true witness of the Person, will, and way of God, and his eternal purpose in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Well, I am up to my old tricks. I am endeavoring to convince people that when Paul was comparing grace and "works," he was comparing belief in Christ with the "works" of the Law of Moses, not belief in Christ with godly behavior. This fact, although it can be presented clearly, logically, and scripturally, seems to be unknown to most Christian leaders and their followers.
When our belief in Christ does not result in a change in our behavior, it is not genuine belief in Christ. I would imagine we all would assent to this. But the heavy emphasis on "faith alone," assuredly not a scriptural emphasis, does not accept the simple fact that when our belief in Christ does not result in a change in our behavior it is not genuine belief in Christ.
So because of this glitch in Christian thinking, the testimony (not the preaching, which continues enthusiastically as though it were Bible based!) of the Christian people is so weak our government is running afoul of just about every moral standard we always have sought to maintain.
False doctrine has led to spiritual weakness and the destruction of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. I think Jesus is telling us it is time for a reformation of Christian doctrine and practice.
Let's think about the third chapter of Nehemiah, and the rebuilding of the gates of Jerusalem.
Each of these gates tells us something about the direction the work of reformation should take.
Notice that the first gate to be rebuilt is the "Sheep Gate." The tremendous emphasis of the Christian organizations of our day is to "go out and get the 'fish' saved." However, the tremendous emphasis of the Spirit of God is on building up the Christians, the "sheep," into the full stature of Christ.
The gifts and ministries given to the Body of Christ are, for the most part, enablements designed to build believers to maturity in Christ. They are not addressed to the world.
The "sheep" today need to be fed the Word of God. They cannot grow on the traditions of the pre-tribulation rapture, and a sovereign grace that does away with any need for self-denying discipleship.
It is true also that there is a great need for the operation of the gifts and ministries given to the Body of Christ. I think there are going to have to be changes in how the Christian churches operate in America before we have the widespread operation of gifts and ministries that are necessary if the believers are to be brought to spiritual maturity.
As far as the need to be fed the Word of God is concerned, three important doctrines of the new covenant are almost never preached. One such important teaching has to do with what it means "to overcome." The promises to the overcomer are those rewards we ordinarily think of as being the rightful inheritance of all Christians. But the promises are not made to all the members of the churches, only to the overcomers of those churches.
When was the last time you were taught about what it means to be an overcomer?
A second important doctrine is "the rest of God." Leaving our own plans behind and pressing into God's rest is the thesis of the Book of Hebrews.
When was the last time you were taught about what it means to labor to enter the rest of God?
A third doctrine has to do with the stated "mark" of the Apostle Paul. It is that of attaining to the out-resurrection from among the dead.
When was the last time you were taught that you must lay aside all else in order to attain to the first resurrection from the dead?
What were you taught? Probably how you can have a more successful life if you "accept Christ." Probably how the "rapture" may take place before next Sunday and you will go to Heaven to live forever in a mansion.
Probably that God sees you through Christ, and even though you are drinking alcohol and watching pornography on the Internet, God sees only the purity of Christ, and is having fellowship with you as you watch men and women behaving like lust-filled animals.
You are not going to grow on this diet. When the Lord comes to give resurrection bodies to his warriors, you are not going to be ready. You are not going to be able to stand during the bloody days that are on the horizon for America.
Please notice, in the third chapter of the Book of Nehemiah, that the Fish Gate comes after, not before, the Sheep Gate.
Why is this? It is because the Lord's "sheep" must be built up before the "fish," the unsaved of the world, will come to Christ.
Jesus said that when his elect are one in Him and the Father, and with one another, the world will believe. Today we are trying to get the world to believe when the Christian people are not one in Christ and the Father or with one another. Is that true?
So it is time for a reformation of Christian thinking.
As we read on through the third chapter of Nehemiah we see the "Old (Jeshanah) Gate."
We need to seek the old paths, the good way. The destructive doctrine of Dispensationalism has cut us off from the Old Testament as though we were in some new kind of relationship to God. Will we ever understand that God and Christ do not change? They always demand righteous, holy, obedient conduct on our part. We ought to know better than to believe God has given us a covenant that permits ungodly behavior!
We notice the beams and bolts and bars. This is because we lost that which was given freely to the Apostles of the First Century. Now we have to build it back up, a beam, a bolt, and a bar at a time.
The basic story of mankind, as well as of us as individuals, is that we cannot retain that which we are given freely. We lose it, and then have to get it back by a lot of hard work and disciplinethat is, if we live to have a second chance.
Because of the fear of God held by the pioneers of our country; because many citizens were taught the ways of the Bible; and because of hard work; America became the richest, most powerful nation on earth.
But, as was true of Samson, we Americans have embraced the ways of the world. The world always has been and always will be a prostitute. It will sell its favors to the highest bidder.
Now God is abandoning us so we can find out why we were so prosperous. Our eyes have been put out. We do not have the strength or the wisdom sufficient to overcome the numerous ungodly forces invading America.
The wise men of the media, the scholars, the philosophers, the professors of economics, present one opinion after another. But they do not realize that the problem is God. We have left God and now He is leaving us.
I am not hearing from God that we are going to be able to bring our nation back to its former prosperity. What the Spirit seems to be saying is that each believer is to turn to Christ as never before. By so doing he (or she) will save himself and those for whom he is responsible.
May Jesus help us save ourselves and our loved ones, because our beloved country is giving away its Christian heritage to that which is not of the Lord.
Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13NASB)