Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 1:15 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Seek Ye First.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Luke 18:1-8 (NASB). Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” The Opposition The woman, I believe, represents the church here on the earth. The opponent of the church is Satan who disguises himself as an angel of light, and who has many human representatives who do his work for him on this earth. His servants are false christs, false apostles, and false teachers of the word of God. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing who pretend to be true shepherds of the flock. They can be political figures, i.e. government leaders, and/or religious figures, i.e. leaders in the church. They promise the people peace, safety, security, hope, and/or equality and justice. And, yet their words cannot be trusted. They fill the people’s minds with false promises. They tell them many lies, hoping the people will believe their lies and thus will be deceived into trusting them. Their speech is as smooth as butter, and many of them are gifted orators with eloquent and persuasive (silver) tongues. They twist the truth to their advantage and cleverly insert lies into truth in order to make their lies acceptable. They try to get us to buy into humanistic philosophy above the teachings of scripture and they try to get us to doubt God’s word. They also try to get us to bow to human authority over the authority of God in our lives. If their smooth and persuasive tongues do not work against us, then they will try to beat us down with lies against us and will convince others that we are the enemy because we hold to God’s truths. They will call us intolerant, bigoted, disunifiers, and haters, and they will convince many not to listen to us. They will convince many Christians to reject the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and thus they will follow after these lies of humans, instead, because it is what sounds pleasing to their itching ears. Call On Jesus When we come up against the enemy of our souls, even in human form, via his human representatives, we need to call upon our Lord to rescue us. Yet, Jesus has not promised us that we will have immediate relief from trouble and hardship. In fact, he promises us that we will be hated and persecuted for righteousness’ sake and for the sake of his name, and that many of his servants will even be killed for their testimonies for Jesus Christ. Yet, we should remain persistent in calling upon him, and we should not give up or lose heart, for one day he will rescue us physically from our oppressors. He will suddenly come again one day to take us to be with him and to judge the earth and the people of this earth. In the meanwhile, he does rescue us emotionally, mentally and spiritually. He has given us the armor of God (See Eph. 6:10-20) with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us. We must answer his accusations and lies with the truth of God’s word and with the truth of what we know about God. We must call upon Jesus, and trust in his love, mercy, grace and sovereignty over our lives. He fills us with his peace. Sometimes we may even need to pray for God to surround us with his angels when Satan is fighting particularly hard against us. In all persecutions, hardships, difficulties and troubles we need to turn to Jesus and not to broken cisterns which do not hold water. He will give us all we need to endure to the end. Will He Find Faith? Very early in the morning today the Lord Jesus gave me a picture of the spiritual condition of a vast majority of today’s church here in America, and it is on the decline. It is as Paul described in his letter to the Ephesian church. A vast majority of believers in Jesus (or professing Christians) are spiritually immature, “tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.” Their commitments to Jesus Christ are continually changing in position, away from God and toward greater faith in humans. Their foundation for their faith is not Jesus Christ but is human-based philosophy loosely based in Christ and scripture. This human philosophy focuses much on self-pleasure and on making people feel good. They spend much time, money and energy on entertainment and in making the world feel “at home” in their church meetings. Thus, they dilute the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more appealing and acceptable to the world. They avoid anything they consider “negative,” such as the subjects of sin, repentance, obedience, judgment and hell, and they try to keep things upbeat and positive (pleasing to itching ears). Instead of leading their people to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people, they teach them to just go around blessing people via good deeds, but to avoid subjects which might offend people. Many of these believers, thus, focus much of their conversations around having fun, joking, laughing, etc. Many of them preach a gospel which is only half the gospel. Most of them do preach that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that he was resurrected from the dead, that he ascended to heaven, that he sent the Holy Spirit to indwell his followers, and that we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, they don’t teach that the word of God teaches us that faith in Jesus involves turning away from our lifestyles of sin, being transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and being given new lives in Christ, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See Ro. 6-8; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Pet. 2:24-25; & 1 Jn. 1-5). They don’t teach that God’s grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives and that Jesus Christ died so we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave himself up for us (See 2 Co. 5:15; Tit. 2:11-14). So, the church is on a spiritual decline. I believe God intends to judge his adulterous, idolatrous, wayward and lukewarm church (See Rev. 2-3), not in the sense of the judgment of hellfire, but in the sense of divine discipline and correction for the purpose to bring them to their knees in humility and repentance so that he can revive and restore them before he does come to take his bride to be with him. At that time I believe many of these human-based churches will be brought down and that many will repent in humility and the church will be revived, and I believe that will be a huge answer to prayer, because one of our greatest concerns presently is the spiritual decline of the church and that so many who profess the name of Christ are living no differently from the people of the world. Yet, one day he will also destroy our persecutors and we will be set free and will no longer be the hated and rejected but will we will reign with Jesus in his millennial kingdom. Amen! In fact, those who are killed for their faith in Christ are already rescued and set free from persecution and are no longer suffering rejection and mistreatment. So, while we are still on this earth, we must seek Jesus and his kingdom first and we must continue to pray for the salvation of souls, the revival of the church, and the encouragement of his persecuted saints, as well as to call on him to rescue us from our persecutors. He will fulfill all he has promised. He will never leave us or forsake us. So, trust him and keep praying, and never give up! Trust in his word and in all his many promises to us and rest in his love. Seek Ye First / Music: Karen Lafferty Scriptures: Matthew 6:33; 7:7; 4:4 Seek ye first the kingdom of God And His righteousness; And all these things shall be added unto you. Hallelu, Hallelujah! Ask, and it shall be given unto you; Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Hallelu, Hallelujah! Man shall not live by bread alone, But by every word that proceeds out from the mouth of God. Hallelu, Hallelujah!