2 Words in 1
“As Many As I love, I Rebuke and Chasten….”
(Jesus Christ) . . .
Whether we like it or not, the Lord was talking to the church. We might ask, just which church was He speaking expressly to, in this part of Revelation. As we read, it was the one that had become lukewarm. They thought they had so arrived; they were rich, they were clothed in the finest and they had need of nothing. My heart says, dear Lord, why do we have to get like that.
The definition of “chasten” is: to punish in order to correct or make better; to chastise. Another writer, says “discipline.”
I recall years back now, at a very well known conference, a guest speaker spoke about a shaking that was coming to the land. He commented, that everything that was not truly grounded in the real thing, would be shaken loose. He also said, that there were many people who were having great trouble, and they were blaming it on the devil. The messenger said, it’s not Satan; it is truly the hand of God.
We live in the dispensation of Grace; that is a fact. People, even on here, have commented that Grace, isn’t an excuse to sin; and that’s true. There’s need that someone also says, that Grace, is not an excuse for proclaiming that God does not chastise His people either. We can’t change what the Lamb of God had John write here. We might dice it up anyway we like, but it will never change what He said. I think that the very fact He said that He would “spew” them out of his mouth, is quite clear as to how serious He was. He did not suffer so and give His life, so we could be so lukewarm.
I remember back when I was a lad in the church, that the grown-ups had a different attitude about the chastening of God. We didn’t know everything as some feel they do today, and we did not have so many possessions either. I think, in many ways, that was good. Our people, had no problem to say, that if they weren’t obedient to God, He would give them a very good whipping. Of course, that was before so many lost, the true fear of the Lord. They knew, we were his children; and He would surely correct us.
What that speaker prophesied back then, has come to pass, many times; and it still is. It still takes a lot of heat, to iron a shirt, if it’s badly wrinkled. I think today, that many of us have gone through a lot; a lot of refining and a lot of pain and suffering; and yes, a lot of correction and chastening. The church mentioned here, sold out for something. It does not matter whether I believe this verse; what matters is, that this is what Jesus said.
His word to this church, was to “be zealous therefore and repent.” Yes, to turn, from our wicked ways. Many of us won’t receive this. He said, we were blind.
Perhaps, let us just begin by defining this word “perceive.” It means: to become aware of (something) through the senses, especially the sight; to recognize or observe. What we’re impressed to talk about here, is our “spiritual” senses; not what we can see or know in the natural, but what we can know in the Spirit. We have spiritual abilities, that many of us are not using; or very little. We should be knowing much more.
Jesus, could perceive things. He knew what the people were thinking; it truly caught them off guard, because they didn’t realize He knew. It’s likely that this is another reason they said He had a devil, and was doing things through demonic power. They did not have these true spiritual insights; and many today don’t; because these senses, need to be exercised, in the Holy Ghost. There was no way that they could explain, how He was able to perceive things so clearly. They hated him, because He knew these things.
Peter, could perceive things. There was a man who was a sorcerer; yet it was said he came to believe the Gospel also, and he was baptized in the name of the Lord. He followed with the ministry, seeing all of the wonders and miracles that were done; seemed, a real convert. That is, until he saw the apostles laying hands on people, and they were receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost. He offered them money; he wanted to have the same power they had, to do what they did. Remember, he followed the ministry.
“For I perceive, that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” Peter saw it; he had the spiritual perception to know what was in this mans heart. He saw it, in the Spirit. Being born of the Spirit, gives us spiritual “feelers,” if you please.
Isn’t it correct to say, the deeper we go in the Holy Ghost, the more we can perceive things? It seems this man put on a good show; and he may have fooled many people. But he could not fool the Holy Ghost; he could not deceive gifted people who were in the Spirit.
Why are we being led to talk so much about this subject today. I believe, that we are not so far away from demonic forces doing great signs and wonders. False prophets, false apostles and even false Christs, are arising at the most alarming rate; the truth is, many of them have been doing their operations, for a long while now. Many are being led astray; many are now already deceived; that is God’s word. It’s no time to be lethargic or to rest in ease.
It takes the Spirit, to know other spirits. We simply, have to know.
~ Robert Blackburn