Witness or Rebel?


“Thus says the Lord God: ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her.  She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.’  Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you’— therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Indeed I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations. And I will do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I will never do again, because of all your abominations. Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments among you, and all of you who remain I will scatter to all the winds.

11 ‘Therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you; My eye will not spare, nor will I have any pity. 12 One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.

Ezekiel 5:5-12.

Men, in these selected verses, we get some further understanding on the particular sins that Israel has committed, bringing this calamity upon themselves. Israel has failed at being a testimony of God (v5), has rebelled against God’s statutes (v6-7), and defiled the temple with idols (v11). Once listed out, we can see a clear path to angering the Lord God, and bringing chastisement upon ourselves.

Israel had lived blessed with provisions and protections from the Lord God. Their job was to exalt God among the nations so that outsiders would see the loving kindness of God and be drawn to Him. They didn’t. Instead, they incrementally rebelled against the very God who had provided and protected them. Once they had turned from God, they then became seduced by other means of worship until they had finally erected idols in the very sanctuary of God.

In our time, we are called to be witnesses, to testify of the gospel message of Jesus. Are we committed to this basic expectation? Most agree, we live now in the “end times”. Of the end times, it’s said that many would turn away from sound doctrine toward what our itching ears wish to hear.

Are we rebelling against God? How much of the world have we brought into our Sunday morning experience? I’ve personally sat through services in years past where game day scores were discussed in further detail from the pulpit than the truths of our Lord God. Are we inviting chastisement? Will we too wonder how the Lord God became so angry with us?

Move forward, men, evaluating where we are individually in this devolving slope and repent. Turn back to the Lord while He may yet be found. Evaluate also the condition of your local fellowship. Be the one brave enough to sound an alarm. What are we truly worshipping in our lives today? God, or something else? We spare our own nation by turning back to the Lord individually and locally. What would your city look like in Ezekiel’s model?

Vance Durrance

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The Amen

The Amen
“The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.” –Revelation 3:14b
Jesus is THE “faithful and true witness.” A witness speaks of what they have seen and heard. A faithful witness is one who speaks truthfully and completely about their personal encounter of which they have intimate knowledge. Jesus stands out as THE embodiment of what a witness IS. He spoke boldly of what He knew—for He was no liar (John 8:55). He came from heaven (John 8:14,22) and testified to the truth (Joh 18:37) and to the very glory of God (Joh 14:9). Therefore, those that recognize Christ as these things (Joh 14:6) and have believed and received His testimony (1Jo 5:10), are now HIS witnesses (Act 26:16) who openly and completely share (by word AND deed) His glorious truth with the world (Act 1:8).
“It is one thing to speak about God in words, maxims, precepts; it is another thing to show us God in act and life. The one is theology, the other is gospel,” (MacLaren’s Expositions).
Billy Neal
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Certain Victory


 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.  — 1 John 5:5-8.

Everyone Fathered by God conquers the world, but how? With what power, means, or tool do we “conquer”? Our faith! Our faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that His Word is true. Jesus Christ is the One who came by water and blood. Water and blood are historically used to speak of Christ’s baptism where God spoke out of the heaven, and Jesus’s death and resurrection. He is the only One to be buried and raised both ways. How do we know this? This happened 2k years ago. How can we be sure? Evidence of Jesus existence is overwhelming, but in all the searching and digging, no one has found His body.

But that isn’t enough. The Holy Spirit testifies of the truth. The Spirit, the blood and the water all agree, that Jesus is in fact who He said He was: The Son of the Most High God. That should be good news for us who believe. Our faith assures us victory over the powers of this world. But it’s not an entirely blind faith. While blood and water are testimonies we have recorded in history, the Spirit is alive and within our own hearts. Our hearts know that He is the Son because the Spirit of God our Father resides in our hearts and testifies of His truth and goodness.

Brothers, we don’t have some “old time religion”, we have the living Lord of Hope within, empowering us for all the victories Christ died to grant us. No wonder we hear it said, “open the eyes of our hearts Lord”.

Move forward men, without defeat. This world may leave its marks on us, but our eternal victory is secure in Faith. Faith is perspective. Faith in Jesus is having the perspective of Jesus. If we believe Jesus could conquer, and we believe His Spirit is within us, we can conquer all that Jesus conquered.

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