Colossians 3:5-6 So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God). It is on account of these [very sins] that the [holy] anger of God is ever coming upon the sons of disobedience (those who are obstinately opposed to the divine will),
Being born-again is just the beginning; we have not arrived yet, nor are we instantly in possession of all that God desires to bring us into. Just as a natural child holds the potential to become a man, he is still a baby, he must still mature and grow up before he will become a man. Spiritually speaking, we must grow up in Christ, giving HIM the pre-eminence in all things.
Ephesians 4:15 Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
Always bear in mind that 'God's ways are not according to man's ways.' God will never bend or conform to our ways, we must submit and conform to HIM. I realize that today there are many false teachers freely spreading their false messages... presenting a very different picture of GOD.
If we were to believe them, then God is only love. They would have us to believe that we (impotent, finite creatures that we are), can use the very Word of God, against God, in order to get what we want. I am sure that many of you have heard from pulpits across the land, "God said it in His Word, and He has to do it, because He cannot go against His Word." "God just wants to open the floodgates of heaven and pour down blessings into your life...(of course you can expedite the blessings by giving to this ministry)." These things might sound appealing to our flesh, but they are actually in direct conflict with both the Life and Gospel of Jesus. So we are left with determining whose voice will we listen to? Far too many hear the message, consider the position and prominence of the messenger, and never bother to read the Word for themselves. They have not spiritually matured enough to recognize their 'inner witness.' This leaves them vulnerable for every smooth-talking charlatan that comes along, claiming to be the 'man of God.'
The Truth of God is simple enough that even a little child can understand it. At the same time, the message of the cross is offensive to the natural man. The mysteries of God are incomprehensible to our carnal reasoning. This is why there are so many denominations and religions in the world. They are the result of man using carnal reasoning in an attempt to comprehend and explain spiritual things that are beyond their comprehension. Only the Holy Spirit, Who Is the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, can open our understanding to the mysteries of God.
For us to be able to see into the secret things of the spirit, we must die to our flesh, our carnal reasoning, and become as a little child. There is no other way.
1Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
We do not learn the "mysteries of heaven" by attending Seminaries or Schools of Theology. ONLY the Spirit of God can impart this into the hearts and minds of believers. We have an overabundance of man's ways being demonstrated in the world today... but very little evidence of God's way is seen or heard. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, that would be you and me. He tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:2-10:
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago - whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows - was caught up to the third heaven. And I know that this man - whether in the body or away from the body I do not know, God knows - Was caught up into paradise, and he heard utterances beyond the power of man to put into words, which man is not permitted to utter. Of this same [man's experiences] I will boast, but of myself (personally) I will not boast, except as regards my infirmities (my weaknesses).
Should I desire to boast, I shall not be a witless braggart, for I shall be speaking the truth. But I abstain [from it] so that no one may form a higher estimate of me than [is justified by] what he sees in me or hears from me. And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.
Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me; But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.
Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength.
The enemy of our souls has no qualms when it comes to deceiving the elect. He is adept at disguising himself as 'an angel of light.' It is a shame that more believers have not matured enough in Christ to exercise spiritual discernment. We are far too prone to accepting things at face value, without ever 'testing the spirits' as we are commanded to do. We hear some scripture quoted (often inaccurately or out-of-context), feel an emotional rush, get caught up in the moment, and attribute it to being the move of God.
Paul could have gloried in the things the Lord did through him... But he refused to.
How many today are receiving the glory that belongs to God alone, unto themselves? How many are judging the 'success' of their efforts according to the standards of the world? ...how much money they are making, how many followers they have attracted, how influential and highly esteemed they are? How often do we see/hear leaders who call what they do 'their ministry'... with 'their name' in big letters? Seems that our leaders have no such qualms about becoming 'puffed up.'
You can look far and wide today and you will hear many things coming from the pulpits across our land, but you will be hard pressed to find a leader who is humble. To get Big today, you have to compromise. This is simply the way it is. Contrary to popular opinion, bigger is not better. In fact, today it seems that bigger is more polluted with the ways of the world and false doctrines. We see a lot of arrogance in leaders and followers alike. We hear a lot of great claims, but don't expect to have anyone thank you for examining their fruit too closely. Don't expect to be welcomed with open arms for taking a stand against mixture or false doctrines, because it will not happen. If anything, you will be attacked as a cause of contention and division among the 'brethren,' and if some of today's leaders have their way, you could end up labeled as a danger to the 'unity' of the 'New Order' and be put in a concentration camp, or even killed.
The preceding verses in opening passage of Hebrews 12 shed more light on what the shaking is for. Vs. 18-26 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
What we have lost sight of in these last days, is that Our God Is Holy; that our God is in absolute control of all things. That God cares about every aspect of our lives. HE knows every thought we think, and there is nothing done in secret that will not be revealed.
Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 6:15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
Paul fully comprehended WHO apprehended him on that Damascus road and the purpose for which he was called... Following Christ was not a part-time job... it was his all consuming passion in life. 2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. God is jealous over His own, and Paul was likeminded in his zeal to present Christ's Bride... pure and undefiled.
The Prophet Isaiah said in 8:13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
Jesus reiterated the same word in Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
We have no 'Fear Of The LORD' today. The people have been fed such a watered-down, polluted concept that God is only love, till there is no longer any Reverential Fear of the Lord among His people. David understood the fear of the Lord...Psalms 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
The flippant, casual attitude exhibited by both leadership and congregations today is a mockery and an abomination both to God and themselves. There is a definite purpose in the shaking...
Jeremiah 33:8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
There is a movement underway that would minimize and negate the Holy Scriptures, describing them as of no more impact than the Readers' Digest. There are those who would have us to believe that the new words coming forth today through the growing 'Prophetic Movement' are what we are supposed to now hear and follow, disregarding whether they are in alignment with or in blatant contradiction of the Word of God.
Ephesians 5:26-27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Apparently being cleansed, or holy, or righteous, or sanctified are no longer requirements in the new wave that is sweeping across the land. The Prophet Isaiah states a solemn warning to us in 8:11-14 For the Lord spoke thus to me with His strong hand [upon me], and warned and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, Do not call conspiracy [or hard, or holy] all that this people will call conspiracy [or hard, or holy]; neither be in fear of what they fear, nor [make others afraid and] in dread. The Lord of hosts--regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him]. And He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred and indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him]; but He shall be a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
So who are we going to listen to? The wolves or the WORD?
And again in Isaiah 58:13-14 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
There is a shaking coming my friends, the like of which this world has never seen. Already we are seeing the signs in the earth with the increase in severity and frequency of calamities and natural disasters, wars, and genocides. The more men cry for 'peace'... the further it seems to flee from them. Part of the new movement embraced by millions is based on lies and the compromise of Christ's Gospel.
Isaiah 2:19 Then shall [the stricken, deprived of all in which they had trusted] go into the caves of the rocks and into the holes of the earth from before the terror and dread of the Lord and from before the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake mightily and terribly the earth.
The time is past, when men can seemingly get away with polluting that which is Holy. We are already into the time of separating the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares. As the darkness in this world increases, so increases the light within the hearts of His Own as they are brought into perfection by the things which they suffer. Being perfect in the eyes of God is not dependent upon being perfect according to the standards of man. God sees the heart, while man sees only the outer shell. The work being done in this hour is an inner work.
Jesus said in Luke 17:20-21 Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display, Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
We will never see ourselves as perfect... and others will certainly never see us as perfect. That need not be our concern. The LORD OF GLORY was utterly perfect, and they hated HIM for it. Their eyes were blinded and they were unable to recognize WHO it was that they crucified. Our sole obligation is to keep our eyes steadfastly focused upon Christ and Christ alone. If we do that, He will change us from within. It is not necessary for us to even be aware of the work being wrought in us, as He brings us into one mind and one Spirit, equipping us for our role in His plan for this generation.
Concerning the multitude of false gospels and lying signs and wonders people are running after and accepting, calling them of God... Again, Jesus said...
Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Matthew 7:20-23 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The Great Shaking is coming! To test and try us, to separate the false from the true...
The Fire is coming! To cleanse and purify the vessels of honor, and to burn up the chaff (works of the flesh)...
The Judgment of a Just & Holy God is coming...and HE is starting with His Church!
Everything that God is NOT the Author of will be brought down and utterly destroyed!
If we are grounded in the Word, and walking in a relationship with the Father and the Son, we have nothing to fear...
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.