3 Words in 1
How do you Know?
Rising up to Play
It can’t be Talking about Us?
How do you Know?
A spirit, entered into the man of God and gave him some directions. It actually stood him, straight up on his feet. As others would be, he was carried away to places he was meant to go to. I heard this spirit tell him that he must take a message to these people. His actual words were, “I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.” It did not matter, whether they would hear the message or not. He was to give the message, nonetheless. Oh, Lord.
“And they yet shall know, that there hath been a prophet among them.” I got the impression that his man, was not the toughest person around. It was going to take the spirit, doing a work on him. He was going before a rough bunch of folk; they were obviously going to look at him harshly, and there was a clear indication, that they were not going to be happy, at what they were being told. He was told, more than once, not to be afraid of them. The bearer of bad news; to bring warning, people didn’t want to hear.
One thing you can judge about a prophet, is whether the things they say, come to pass. Rebellious religious folk can be very ugly; especially if one is sent to call them on their stuff. How do you know what they are telling everyone, is true? How do you know they are really of God?
I think we might all answer, how you can tell if it’s a false prophet; by their fruit. And what kind of fruit would that be? If they’re always prophesying about money and wealth and there’s a catch to their utterance, you know something is not right. For example, if you send them X number of dollars, you will get the promise. And, if they live in above abundance, higher than most saints.
And if they only prophesy good; God’s favor and nothing but blessings. First of all, and most important of all, the Holy Ghost in you, should agree with the Holy Ghost in them. If it doesn’t, something’s wrong.
But that only works, if you are full of the Spirit. Know this. True prophets of God, men or women, are not exempt from manifesting the fruit of the Spirit. Let that sink into our own spirit.
The Holy Ghost does not approve flesh or self. If what you hear is not of God, it will have a strange sound; it won’t seem just right. And if it doesn’t seem just right, it probably isn’t. It does not matter how much people promote them; what does the Spirit in you, discern about it.
Paul told Timothy to reprove, rebuke and exhort, with all “longsuffering” and doctrine. Longsuffering, is a fruit of the Spirit. Beating people up, or having a harsh or condescending voice or attitude, is not of the Spirit. It doesn’t matter who they are. When the scripture used the word doctrine in this verse, it means exactly that. Not what someone made up, or some rule that man designed, but some teaching, that is truly backed up by the Word.
Even the worse kind of news, can be delivered in a loving and considerate voice. Speaking too sternly or brazenly, does not mean it is of God. If the people cannot feel the Holy Ghost as we are speaking, we are either a beginner, or we are speaking on our own.
Whatever God reveals to us, should make us humble; sharing those things, is truly, a genuine honor.
God is calling forth mighty vessels. He will cause them not to be afraid. If it is truly the voice of the Lord, His sheep will know it. They know, His voice.
Rising up to Play
We were given some examples; and they come from places many of us would rather not visit today. If we are to believe, that we are close to the Lord’s return, then we have to go back into the Old part of the book.
As it was, in the days of Noah; so shall it be, at the coming of the Son of Man. What were they doing. Some of us heard this taught many years ago. If we thought it was rough then, I wonder what we think about the way things are today. But there were even other examples.
Paul made a statement in one of his letters to the Corinthians. In fact, he made the comment twice, in that particular chapter. “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” What things was he talking about?
He was talking about things, God’s children were doing. They were lusting after evil things, they should not have been lusting after. They were idolaters; they committed fornication, and 23,000 fell in one day. He told us not to tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him, and were then destroyed of serpents. We were not to murmur, as they did, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Again, Paul said, it was for our example.
With many of them, God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. These verses did not come from the Old Testament, they came from the New Testament. Those who sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play, were the idolaters. I believe it is what happens, when folk make idols of things; when some things become more important than God.
We know, that God was never opposed to us having things; for it is true, that God loves to bless his people. But when having stuff, and even having money, becomes dearer to us than the one who gave it, God reacts to that.
Worshipping the creature, more than the Creator. It’s likely, that most do not even know what that means. We like to throw all of these attributes on particular groups of people, and never truly consider, we are doing it too. I think, one of the greatest habits of we humans, is to look at what others are doing, and not consider, we might be doing the same thing.
These things this apostle wrote were written to the church; it was not written to those we call unbelievers. We can be deceived. We can follow after men, and lose sight of who the real Leader is supposed to be. We can well see, all of the things we say we are against, in someone else; and not see it in ourselves.
We’ve made gods, out of a lot of things. The reason we can romp and play about some things, is because, these gods, do not reprove us, or rebuke us or prune us. They allow us to continue on as we have been, eating and drinking, having a grand ole time; without a burden, or care in the world.
I hesitate to say, they also let us build up our own kind of kingdom and our power bases and culture centers, and forget what our main purpose is. I don’t like fear mongering, or threatening anyone; it doesn’t work anyway. I do say, when the door to the ark was shut, and the rains actually began, the playing stopped.
These examples, could spare us. If we’d let them.
It can’t be Talking about Us?
God’s people. We’ve been quick to claim the inherited promises of the Old book. We rally in the promises of those who were born on this side of Grace. Even today, we like to go back and pick out certain old verses, and claim them for ourselves. However, we do not want those verses about judgment or the wrath of God; we only want the sweet, pretty sounding stuff. Some folk would love to dismiss the old writings, and just live in the new. But God’s people, cannot do that.
Ezekiel was sent to a people that were impudent, and stiff-hearted. God already knew that they were not going to listen to the prophet; because, they would not listen to Him.
Truthfully, that was not a nice assignment. We have those today, who do not feel any of the old writings, apply to them. I’d like to suggest, that we compare some things that were said about the children of God then, with what we are calling the church, today. We need to ask ourselves, does any of this sound familiar? Is it possible, that many of the same things God spoke to Ezekiel about, appear among us now?
IMPUDENT = exceeding the limits of propriety or good manners, rude, instrusively presumptuous, offensive boldness, disrespectful, impertinent, over bold, sassy, smart, wise, shameless, forward, lacking restraint.
It’s hard to know that God’s people might act like that; but they did. It is the same thing that Jesus Christ encountered among the religious of his day. STIFF-HEARTED = obstinate, meaning to stubbornly adhere to an attitude, opinion or course of action; contumacious, which means, to be obstinately disobedient or rebellious. It doesn’t mean they were right; they just thought they were.
Paul called it, thinking you’re something, when you’re nothing.
I remember living in a small town once; don’t ask me where. But, the folks in that place, hated to see us coming. They did not like to encounter us, or be around us at all. Why was that? Because we were impudent; we were so critical and judgmental of everyone who did not accept our way. We had been told to be bold in what we believed; to be bold in the Lord.
If I’m very honest, I don’t know why so many of us confused that; I think it may have simply been a lack of wisdom, or maturity. Being offensively bold, was not at all what the apostles had in mind; and it obviously was not how they acted in all the places they went to minister in. Acting sassy or smart, or having a holier than thou attitude; never won anyone to Jesus Christ.
There’s nothing wrong with standing up for what we believe; but, if we can not do that using the real fruit of the Spirit, we only drive others away. I see the word stiff-hearted acted out today.
People stubbornly adhere and hold on to their attitude, and no one can convince them they are this way. Let me say this, as meekly as I know how. The religious folk of that era gone by, did not think they were this way either. In fact, they became very, very insulted and even abrasive, when Jesus told them how He saw them.
In truth, they wanted to kill him, and destroy his reputation and message. They hated Him, for what He said; and in the end, they watched Him die.
I know I was like this; I didn’t realize it. I thought I was doing the right thing. I copied what others did; what I had been taught. I’m still repenting over it. If people don’t see Jesus Christ in me, then I’m just another wind to them.