Friday, August 7, 2009

BABYLON

Joseph Herrin
(08-07-09)

I recently read a book by Benjamin Baruch that had been given me by a brother in Christ while I was traveling across the country. The book is titled The Day of the Lord is at Hand. The book contained some excellent sections, and made it well worth the reading. I shared it with my friend Randy Simmons, and he has also been very impressed with much of it.

As Christians we are to examine all things carefully. We must always seek to exercise discernment to recognize the difference between those things that arise from the Spirit and those things that arise from the soul. This requires a sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit, as well as a great carefulness in examining those things we read and hear. Oftentimes I have been led to in depth study and prayer to discern a matter that I had questions about. We should all be careful, especially in this hour when deception is everywhere about us, to test all things,asking the Father to ever guide us into truth.

There were some things in Benjamin's book that the Spirit did not bear witness to. I was put off by the date setting in the book, some of which have already come and gone without the anticipated events occurring. Also, there was a tendency toward too much literalness in some sections. For example, Benjamin spoke of America being Babylon, and he counseled people to leave America, equating this to fleeing from Babylon. He mentioned his own plans of going to Israel, as some do who take the Scriptural prophesies about returning to Zion very literally. He spoke of Christians fleeing to the area known as Petra where they could find refuge in the rocks and caves and surrounding wilderness areas.

I am convinced that Babylon, Zion and Petra should all be understood in a more spiritual sense. Petra of course, means rock. As Christians we do have a Rock of refuge, that being Christ. As we find our habitation in this Rock we will indeed find safety and peace.

The remainder of today's post consists of a chapter taken from a book I wrote some years ago titled The Road from Babylon to Zion. It defines what Babylon and Zion truly are. These two cities throughout Scriptures represent two opposing kingdoms. Babylon typifies the kingdom of Satan, while Zion is a figure of the kingdom of God.

Our entrance into either kingdom is not based upon physical location, anymore than being "IN CHRIST" is a physical location. I do not have to dwell in Jerusalem on Zion's hill to be "IN CHRIST." Neither is our citizenship in Babylon or Zion determined by outward measures.

I have often declared of late that America is Babylonian in her character. This is very true, but it has nothing to do with her location. It has to do with the spirit fromwhich she operates.

In this hour, the Spirit of Christ is calling forth to His people to come out of Babylon. I pray that as you read the words that follow that you might discern precisely what this means.

Babylon

It is necessary at the beginning of this book to identify what Babylon is and what she is not. There is much confusion over the identification of Babylon, yet her identification is a very important matter. If Yahweh God is calling His people out of Babylon in this hour, (and He is), then His people must understand what they are being called out from.

Some have supposed that Babylon represents a country or nation of the earth that fits some characteristic attributed to her in scripture. For example, Babylon is spoken of as a land of trade where “the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality" (Revelation 18:3). She is further described in this way:

Revelation 18:11-13
"And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more - cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives... saying, "Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!' And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, "What city is like the great city?'”

Some have supposed that America must represent Babylon since it is the greatest consumer nation in the world. Yet others have argued that Babylon is New York City due to the scripture’s repeated use of the word “city.” If this were true, then coming out of Babylon would mean that the people of God who reside in either America or New York City must depart from these places. If Babylon were merely describing a physical location then simply changing one’s place of residence would fulfill the command to “come out of her, My people” (Revelation 18:4).

It is true that there is much in America and New York City that are typical of Babylon, and undoubtedly there is a judgment, and plagues reserved, for all such places who have been given great light and have chosen instead to walk in darkness. But Babylon is not referring specifically to America, nor to her “queen city.”

Some have supposed that Babylon refers to the actual Babylon of the Old Testament. The ancient city lies in the country of Iraq, and although it has been an uninhabited ruin for centuries, some have advanced the notion that Saddam Hussein is having Babylon rebuilt and that it will be populated once again. (Note: This was written prior to Saddam Hussein's fall from power.) The ancient city is the site of much excavation and archaeological work today. But it will not be inhabited, nor will it rise to a glorious position such as she once knew in the world. The climate has changed. Bodies of water have dried up. What was once a fertile region is now a barren wasteland due to the judgment of Yahweh. Furthermore, we have Yahweh’s word that the ancient city of Babylon will never be inhabited again.

Jeremiah 51:36, 37, 41-43, 61-64
Therefore thus says Yahweh, "Behold, I am going to plead your case And exact full vengeance for you; And I will dry up her sea and make her fountain dry. Babylon will become a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and hissing, without inhabitants... How Sheshak has been captured, and the praise of the whole earth been seized! How Babylon has become an object of horror among the nations! The sea has come up over Babylon; She has been engulfed with its tumultuous waves. Her cities have become an object of horror, a parched land and a desert, a land in which no man lives and through which no son of man passes... Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, "As soon as you come to Babylon, then see that you read all these words aloud, and say, "You, O Yahweh, have promised concerning this place to cut it off, so that there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast, but it will be a perpetual desolation.' And as soon as you finish reading this scroll, you will tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates, and say, "Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again because of the calamity that I am going to bring upon her; and they will become exhausted.'" Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

People imagine many vain things, but these scriptures should be sufficient to let all know that the ancient city of Babylon will not rise again as some mystical phoenix from the desert to once more ascend to glory. Yahweh’s judgment on ancient Babylon is final. Her ruins stand now as a somber warning against spiritual Babylon and her impending judgments and plagues. She too will be broken beyond remedy, never to rise again. We must conclude that the Babylon of Revelation is not speaking of the ancient city being rebuilt.

Others have supposed that Babylon represents Rome and the Roman Catholic Church, and there is much to support this argument. The following scripture reveals more about the character of Mystery Babylon.

Revelation 17:5, 6, 9
And on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Yahshua. Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits...”

Untold numbers of saints have been martyred at the hands of Rome and the Catholic Church. Through Rome’s influence many heresies and pagan practices have been mixed in with the worship of God until Christendom has become a corrupt mixture. Rome also sits on seven hills.

Many books and a myriad of sermons have gone forth proclaiming the Roman Catholic Church to be Babylon. Without a doubt there is a connection between Babylon and Rome, yet the Babylon of Revelation is more than the Roman Catholic Church. It is noted in the preceding scripture that Babylon is “the mother of harlots.” Babylon has many daughters, and each one of these daughters is also Babylon. Some have argued quite convincingly that these daughters are the various denominations that populate Christendom today. Even within the denominations that have protested against the Roman Catholic Church (the Protestants), there is much of Rome left in them.

Entire books have been written to expose the false pagan practices that have become part and parcel of Christian practice today, both inside and outside of Rome. It is not just the Catholics that celebrate the Christ Mass on the historic date of the pagan festivals of Sol Invictus and Saturnalia. It is not just the Catholics that have kept the name and the date of the Spring fertility festival held in honor of the goddess Ishtar (Eostre, Astarte, Ashtoreth) which we know as Easter. It is not just the Catholics that have brought such devastation to the body of Christ by instituting the false divisions of clergy and laity. All of these things, and many more, are as typical of the harlot’s daughters as they are true of the Great Harlot.

If we try to identify Babylon by her false practices, however, we will fail. These things are merely symptoms, and the outward trappings of Babylon. We must discover the root and the heart of Babylon to know how to truly come out of her. The saint could identify every false practice and every pagan influence of Babylon, and separate themselves from all such things, and still not have come out of her.

We are getting much closer to the center of things in looking at Mystery Babylon’s association to the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant denominationalism. If these entities represent Babylon, the Great Harlot, and her daughters, then the call to come out of Babylon is a call to flee from Catholicism and all denominationalism. Yet there are those who have come out of these and they are not yet free of Babylon, for Babylon at its heart represents a spiritual principle.

Let us examine one more example of that which people are identifying as Babylon in this day. This last example is also related to Rome and her heresies. Many are identifying Babylon today by outward measures, by forms of worship, forms of assembly, practices and traditions. Many are looking back to the manner and practice of the apostles and how things have deviated since those first meetings of the early saints. Certainly there is value in discerning these matters, but returning to a “New Testament form” does not insure one’s departure from Babylon, nor does holding to what is considered a deviation from the original pattern mean that one is still in Babylon.

By way of illustrating what I am speaking about, some say that home churches are the model that was portrayed in the New Testament and that large gatherings and meetings in buildings dedicated to the gathering of the saints (church buildings) are a Babylonian device and should be avoided. The truth, however, is that there are saints meeting in homes who are indistinguishable from those who meet in church buildings. The only difference is one of form. The true distinction between Babylon and Zion is one of the heart, and it cannot be measured, or quantified, or described and set forth by examining traditions, practices, or forms.

This is not to say that these things are unimportant, but leaving a fellowship of believers who meet in a church building to join others who meet in someone’s home is not to be mistaken as journeying from Babylon to Zion. Neither is leaving a church that has pastors and deacons to go to a church that has a five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Nor is leaving a body that meets on Sunday to join a group that meets on the traditional Sabbath which began at sundown on Friday. Nor is leaving a group that uses the names and titles God, Lord and Jesus to join a group that uses the names and titles Elohim, Yahweh, and Yahshua.

All of these matters should be examined, and we should ask the Father to grant us wisdom and understanding in them all, but these things do not mark the boundaries of Babylon and Zion. The Pharisees sought to conform to the letter of the Law and they had an appearance of righteousness, but Yahshua testified of them that inwardly they were full of dead men’s bones. Even so, we can faithfully reproduce New Testament forms to the best of our understanding and still be considered citizens of Babylon. We should consider our Savior’s words:

Matthew 7:21-23
"Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'”

In this scripture we see a people who confess Yahshua as Lord and they are doing the very same activities that He did. Yahshua prophesied and so did they. Yahshua cast out demons and so did they. Yahshua performed miracles and so did they. Yet we have Yahshua’s very pointed pronouncement, “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

It is not enough to conform to Christ in form, or even in action. We must have an internal conformity. Yahshua lived to do the will of the Father, and so must we. Yahshua never performed any of the activities mentioned of His own initiative. He only did what the Father commanded Him to do. Yahshua never walked in lawlessness, He was every moment surrendered to the governmental will of His Father in heaven.

There are many home churches today that are doing much of their own initiative. There are many fellowships that eschew pagan practices and that name the name of Yahweh and Yahshua, yet they are full of their own plans and ambitions. There are many local bodies of believers that have five-fold ministers and who seek to pattern themselves after New Testament forms, but they are still living out of the soul of man and making decisions apart from the Spirit of God.

Leaving Babylon requires much more than simply changing forms and practices that are outwardly observable. Undoubtedly, the people of Zion will stand out from the citizens of Babylon in numerous external ways, but the real difference is inward. To leave Babylon one must be circumcised in the heart. Babylon must be removed from one’s desires and passions before one can journey out from Babylon.

Babylon and Zion have actually existed side by side throughout the entire history of the Scriptures. We see Babylon and Zion in the two brothers Cain and Abel. Both men brought an offering to Yahweh. Cain brought of the fruit of the earth, while Abel brought forth of the firstlings of his flock with their fat portions. We are told that God had regard for Abel’s offering, but not for Cain’s.

What was the difference between Cain’s offering and Abel’s that God would regard one and not the other? I have heard many vain things preached regarding this story. Many have suggested that Cain did not bring the best of the fruit of the ground while Abel brought the best of the flock. But the scriptures do not say that Cain brought less than the best of what he had grown. I believe that he did indeed bring the very best of his produce from the ground. Why then did God despise Cain’s offering?

The reason has to do with what the offerings represent. We can easily see that Abel’s offering of the firstlings of his flock was in keeping with the offerings that Yahweh ordained should be brought before Him. The firstlings of the flock represent the Lamb who would be slain for the sins of the world, and we are told that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin” (Hebrews 9:22). Abel’s offering found acceptance with God because it looked forward in faith to that spotless Lamb that would one day cleanse the world from all guilt and condemnation. The scriptures reveal that it was because of this faith that Abel’s offering was acceptable in God’s sight.

Hebrews 11:4
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous...

Cain, however, made an offering based upon his own works that did not look to the future atonement of Yahshua. After Adam sinned, the ground was cursed and produce came forth by the sweat of man’s brow. It was the fruit of his own sweat and labor that Cain presented to God as an offering and God was not impressed. Babylon always seeks to ascend to God through its own works. This is prefigured as mankind sought to build a tower that would reach to the heavens. Babylon seeks by its own works to find acceptance and approval before God. Cain made an offering of the best that he had, and I am certain he was proud of the quality and quantity of the fruit. He thought, “Certainly God will have regard for my offering,” but God did not. By works of the flesh no man will be justified before God. Justification is only by faith in Yahshua and HIS FINISHED WORK.

This is actually the key distinction between Babylon and Zion. Babylon initiates great works and then asks God to bless them. Babylon has the appearance of great industriousness and her progress seems evident to all. But Babylon’s works are the works of man. Babylon may be doing the same kind of works that Yahshua performed, but she is doing them as she sees fit, not by command of God. Babylon is not Spirit directed, she is soul directed.

The soul of man devises many plans that seem noble and right and which find the approval of others. As we saw earlier, some of these activities include prophesying, casting out demons, and performing miracles. These activities also include feeding the hungry, proclaiming the gospel, building ministries with noble sounding purposes, and the list could go on and on.

The majority of the saints have been taught to judge things according to sight. If they observe a man casting out a demon they judge such a one to be righteous and holy and pleasing to God. If they see a person performing an authentic miracle they conclude that this person certainly bears the stamp of God’s approval. If they see a person operating a charity to care for the poor, they will also assume that it must certainly be of God. Yet Yahshua said that “many” would come to Him in the day of judgment and proclaim that they did such things in His name, but He will deny even knowing them.

This is a large part of the trouble of coming out of Babylon: Babylon looks good on the outside. This is the same struggle that those who followed Messiah faced when He said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, you can in no wise enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” The Pharisees looked good. They prayed. They fasted. They tithed of all their substance. They meticulously kept the Law... Yet, they were relying on their own works to gain approval before a holy God...

The paradox today is that it is often the most righteous looking people who are the chief citizens of Babylon, for they are working hard to find approval before God. They are striving laboriously to appear righteous. Many a minister has spent his entire life working to find the approval of God and of men, and he has yoked the people who follow him to the same burden of works. They may accomplish many remarkable things, but before God it is all striving and dead works, for they are not born out of faith in the completed work of Christ. As the Galatians who began in faith and then tried to continue in works, such ones have become severed from Christ and He has become altogether worthless to them.

Looking at a church externally, how can you tell which ones are of Babylon and which are of Zion? They may both be performing the same activities, but one body is striving to be judged as righteous, while the other is resting in the knowledge that in Christ, Yahshua the Messiah, they are already righteous. One is seeking to overcome the flesh, the world and the Devil by imitating the works of Christ, the other realizes that Christ has already overcome all and they are in Christ and He is in them. One body is expending their very life to be approved before God, and the other proclaims that they have died and their life has been hidden with God in Christ Jesus, Yahshua the Messiah.

These are things that are not easily quantified and observable, but Babylon is living life from a point of striving to be approved before God and man, while Zion is resting in the life of the Son. Zion is a people of faith...

This is the difference between Babylon and Zion. Babylon is a land of works where man must accomplish every task and fulfill every mandate. Babylon knows nothing of rest and faith. Oh yes, Babylon speaks very much about faith, but it is a faith that is rooted in man’s ability. Babylon’s faith is founded upon man’s ability to envision some end and to see it through. Babylon is built with blueprints, and planning sessions, and organization, and fund drives, and pep rallies, and the sweat of untold men and women. This is why when all is said and done and some project has come to completion, the people of Babylon feel justified to stand and proclaim:

Daniel 4:30
"Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built... by the might of my power...?”

Zion, however, is not seeking to build anything of her own will and initiative. Zion is a people of rest. Zion knows that salvation is of the Lord, as is sanctification, and as is glorification. Zion does not labor to build a city, for she seeks a city not built with hands whose builder and maker is not man, but God. Zion does not seek to work for the approval of Yahweh, she works because she is approved by Yahweh.

Zion is a city of rest. This does not mean that those who are of Zion are doing nothing, it means that they are doing nothing of their own initiative. They are doing those works that God prepared beforehand for them. They are not dreaming up their own works, nor are they stretching out their hands to labor in fields to which they have not been sent. Austin Sparks made this very enlightening comment:

Thus it was that we were turned in that dark hour to Romans chapter six, and, almost as though He spoke in audible language, the Lord said: ‘When I died, you died. When I went to the Cross I not only took your sins, but I took you. When I took you, I not only took you as the sinner that you might regard yourself to be, but I took you as being all that you are by nature; your good as your bad; your abilities as well as your disabilities; yes, every resource of yours. I took you as a "worker," a "preacher," an "organizer!" My Cross means that not even for Me can you be or do anything out from yourself, but if there is to be anything at all it must be out from Me, and that means a life of absolute dependence and faith.’

At this point, therefore, we awoke to the fundamental principle of our Lord's own life while here, and it became the law of everything for us from that time. That principle was: "nothing of (out from) Himself," but "all things of (out from) God."

The Son can do nothing of (out from) Himself, but what He seeth the Father doing: for what things soever He doeth, then the Son also doeth in like manner' (John 5:19).

"I can of Myself do nothing: as I hear I judge" (John 5:30).

"My teaching is not Mine, but His that sent Me" (John 7:16).

We saw that this explains so many strange and - naturally - perplexing things in His behavior: acting and refusing to act; going and refusing to go; speaking and refusing to speak. Later, we came to see that this is the whole meaning of life in the Spirit, and that it is an altogether different life from the natural ways of men, even of Christian men. At the time of this seeing, it was a matter of this law becoming basic, absolute, and ultimate, and it was something totally different from what had been in all our ideas and activities in Christian life and work.

Yes, those who are of Zion are to be emptied of self, both that which they consider bad as well as that which they consider good. Zion is not led by some concept that defines the actions which righteous people must do. Zion is lead only by the Spirit. What they see God doing, they do. They do nothing for God of their own initiative. Zion is to live out the words of Paul:

Galatians 2:20
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Babylon seeks to perform godly works through human industry and effort. Babylon asks the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” and then it tries to perform that action in the power of sinful flesh. Zion, however, sees self as crucified with Christ and Christ now living in and through them. As one brother has stated, Zion says, “Watch What Jesus Does!”

By faith in the work of Messiah, Zion enters into rest. Due to unbelief, Babylon endures ceaseless striving and fails to enter into the sabbath rest of God. Babylon’s works are birthed in the mind, will, and emotions of man. Many of these works appear noble and some are even supernatural in nature. But due to the corrupted source from which they arise, all such works are rejected by God. Many of the works of Babylon are in direct opposition to Zion and her citizens.

Yahshua said the day would come when people would kill His disciples and think they were doing God a favor. Such is the end result of the polluted well that Babylon drinks from. In the name of God and His Christ millions of saints have been martyred in the past 2,000 years. This is the work of Babylon. What a shock is in store for these who will stand before Yahshua and say, “Did we not kill the infidels and heretics in Your name?” He will reply, “When you did it to the least of these My brethren, you did it unto Me.”

Perhaps now you can see more clearly why Zion and Babylon cannot be identified merely by external measurements. Tares and wheat look much alike until they bear fruit. I know some would like to have a rule of thumb to be able to tell Babylon apart from Zion. Such rules are hard to come by, but one indicator I will give. Zion is a people of faith, while Babylon walks by sight and reason...

Yes, there are many other things which characterize Babylon: her sensuality, her pride, her idolatry, her love of the world and the things in it; her persecution of the saints; her pagan practices; her heresies; her false forms and traditions, but all of these are the result of her lack of faith in Yahshua and her failure to enter into rest. These things are the fruit of a faith that is soul directed, rather than being submitted to the leading of the Spirit of God in all things.
[End Excerpt]

For those who have read this far, let me conclude by sharing that the persecution of Christians in coming days will largely be accomplished by other professing Christians. Those Babylonian Christians who are led by the counsel of their own soul will believe it to be a righteous thing to persecute and even kill those who are citizens of Zion. This persecution of the children of faith by those offspring who are children of the flesh has continued for many long ages. Are not "carnal Christians" acting as "mere men"? Are they not acting as offspring of the flesh?

A Christian who has been born again of the Spirit of Christ, yet who continues to operate out of the counsel of the soul, is precisely that one whom God speaks of when He says, "Come out of {Babylon] My people." Yes, God's people are in Babylon. The world cannot help but operate out of the soul, for they have not been born again of the Spirit. The tragedy is that many who have received the new birth continue to operate according to the same principle as the world. They have been born again to be citizens of Zion, but they are continuing to dwell in Babylon.

Come out of her, God's people!

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: http://www.parablesblog.blogspot.com

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

3 comments:

Kenny Higdon said...

Very good and encouraging message for those who are outside the camp.

"The tragedy is that many who have received the new birth continue to operate according to the same principle as the world. They have been born again to be citizens of Zion, but they are continuing to dwell in Babylon."


Is not this tragedy actually pictured in the beast that comes up out of the sea that had a deadly or death wound that was healed. This is also witnessed in other places by the Word revealed to us such as these following examples:
When Paul warns those after beginning by the Spirit but returning to the work of the flesh in Galatians.

The abomination that produces desolation setting itself up in the temple(house) of God is man living and in control by his own carnal thinking. The daily sacrifice dying daily to the old man that Paul taught is little known today. Presenting ourselves to God and not being conformed to this world but being transformed (translated)by the renewing of the mind is a mystery for most all who stay in Babylon.

1Ti 1:5 Now the goal of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to futile talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, not understanding either what they say or what they affirm.



Heb 13:10-16 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat that serve the tabernacle.
For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned without the camp.
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us therefore go forth unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
For we have not here an abiding city, but we seek after the city which is to come.
Through him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which make confession to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.


I would like to share that we do not despise the small things. Do not look for the big and loud but pay close attention to the still & small things that many count as nothing. Oh how blind man is that walks by sight when faith is absent. One can see an earthquake and a fire but not a small voice.

1Ki 19:12 and after the earthquake a fire; but Jehovah was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

Heb 6:7-10 For the land which hath drunk the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them for whose sake it is also tilled, receiveth blessing from God: but if it beareth thorns and thistles, it is rejected and nigh unto a curse; whose end is to be burned.
But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak: for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and the love which ye showed toward his name, in that ye ministered unto the saints, and still do minister.

newine said...

Wow...
I cannot tell you how much this message has blessed me, educated me, challenged me and forced me to see with eyes I thought were already wide open. Thank you and may God continue to bless your wise, prolific and Spirit-led ministry!

Anonymous said...

Your article just confirmed what I was reading in Joshua chapter 9:14 where the men of Israel DID NOT INQUIRE OF THE LORD ...and were deceived...after that Joshua did exactly as the Lord directed him and was undefeated. Before the Lord sent Joshua out He would say "DO NOT BE AFRAID......DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED...."
As things seem to be speeding up and becoming more chaotic...we would be wise to stop and listen to the Lord, inquire of the Lord, and remember to fear not and be courageous....for He is risen and victorious.
Just my simple thoughts.