False Prophets

False Prophets

“Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace — and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar — say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’ ”

Therefore thus says the Lord God: “I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it. So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

“Thus will I accomplish My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it with untempered mortar; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it, that is, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,’ ” says the Lord God. — Ezekiel 13:10-16.

Men, the Lord has turned His attention to the false prophets of Israel, who prophesy from their own hearts what God has not spoken. The Lord likens these false prophets to builders who construct walls without reinforcement materials. Some translations use the term “untempered mortar”, others use “plaster” or “white-wash”.

Many structures in this time were built with stone or mud brick and then covered with this plaster compound to smooth the surface. A wall built from plaster alone would have an appearance of soundness, but lack structural integrity. God says He is sending a storm against the false prophets facade. The unfortified walls of false prophecy would come crashing down, offering no shelter from the Lord’s storm of judgment.

Furthermore, these false prophets would be called to account by the people (v12). These false prophets were offering the people false assurance, deceiving them into believing all was well when in fact, their condition had become sinful and dire. It should be noted here, the people were not given a pass on their sin. They were not excused because they’d received fraudulent counsel, but those who had led others astray would be judged for their role.

Many would like to think blame-shifting equals forgiveness. The ways of God, the atoning blood of God’s only begotten Son, applied over one’s heart is the only hope for forgiveness of sin. Today in our time, Jesus is often taught to be a profitable addition to our lives. With Jesus we receive Holy Spirit, which offers blessings, comforts, protections and sustaining. All of this is true, but accepting Jesus for the party gifts is no foundation for a secure eternity. In effect, pastors who preach prosperity gospel, diluted truth, or condone blatant sin to go excused are building unfortified walls that will offer people in our time no protections from God’s judgment in eternity.

Move forward men, with Christ as the living cornerstone of a secure foundation of eternal security.

Vance Durrance

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God With Us

GodWithUs

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.  — Matthew 1:22-25

Men, all this was done so that the prophecy would be fulfilled. Isaiah prophesied about the virgin birth of “Emanuel” in Isaiah 7. Another translation spells it “Immanuel”. Either way, it means “God with us”.

Joseph wakes from the dream, does as he was instructed, and married his wife but did not consummate the relationship until after the promised Son was born. They called His name Jesus. Earlier we recognized that Jesus’s legal lineage was secured through Joseph. In Luke’s account we learn that His blood line was secured through Mary.

There are more moving parts to the fulfillment of Jesus in prophecy than could ever be accounted for by a fraud. We’ll see more in following passages. There is no comparison anywhere else. Jesus is Joseph’s first born. Read Exodus 13:11-16 and consider, the redeemed first-born Son of God, Mary and Joseph would also be our redeemer.

Think about “God with us”. Not above us, but with us. Not somewhere distant in the clouds, but with us. Earlier we mentioned from vs1-17 that Jesus marked a new era. No longer would there be a separation by the curtain. Later in Acts, the Holy Spirit is sent to indwell us. We will never be alone. The complexity of God’s love for us secures it. From His physical presence in the 1st century, to His indwelling Spirit in this life, to His immediate glorified presence in the next chapter, we are never alone who call on His name as Savior.

There is an entire study which could be done on all the ways the adversary tried to stop the Lord’s redemptive plan from taking shape through history all the way back to the garden. Nevertheless, Jesus is born as prescribed.

Move forward men, with the accompaniment of the Lord our God. Fearful, alone, insufficient? Why? God is with us. As we walk with Him, darkness flees, and bows to the light. Victory is secure in His steps. Without fully comprehending all the variables, Joseph knew the dream was true and did as instructed.

Vance Durrance

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Boasting and Security

boastingBut far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen. — Galatians 6:14-18

While the Judaites hope that they can boast of convincing Galatia to return to the law, Paul has a different agenda. Paul says, “may i never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” What do we boast of? Where is our security if not in the Lord?

Paul has considered all else dead to him except Jesus. Paul goes on to say, circumcision counts for nothing. Only becoming a new creation matters. Paul blesses all who adopt the principal of being made new in Christ with peace and mercy. Do we count it a blessing being made new? Do you try to hide it in certain circles? What part of your old life are you holding onto, refusing to surrender it, so that you can fully be made new? Do we boast in the Lord and being made new in Him? Are we known as followers of His way, or are we a bitter compromise of the Lord Jesus Christ and our old life? In truth, He is Lord of all or hardly Lord at all.

Move forward men, because we certainly have plenty to boast in. Who else can boast of a relationship with One who is undefeated by death? Where else shall we go to boast in an advocate who can create the unimaginable out of nothing with just His voice? What else has offered the hope that the Lord freely delivers? I boast in the Lord, His security, His life, His mercy, His love for me in spite of me. I am made new! Are you? Stand and be counted as such and don’t allow anyone to dissuade you.

Vance Durrance

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