Ephesians; 1:4 – Election of church age believer, part 45. The elected priest
length: 61:05 - taught on Jan, 16 2019
Jesus Christ is the chosen and precious cornerstone of the house of God, of which, every church age believer is a living stone in that house.
Unfortunately, many, instead of receiving Him as the cornerstone, have rejected Him, and metaphorically stumbled over Him.
No one stumbles intentionally. There is a blindness involved. It is a spiritual blindness. It is not knowing the truth and rather accepting a lie. God gave His law and truth to one people, choosing them to be under His spotlight, so that the world could see the very real results of rejecting that truth and law and also, for the remnant, of accepting it. The majority and almost all of the leaders in Israel, rejected the cornerstone and chose rather to build their house on false gods, unrestricted self-pleasure, lies, and unfounded dreams.
Isa 28 begins another section of prophecy which contains near prophecy and far prophecy. Chapters 28-35 could actually be a prophetic book standing on its own.
ISA 28:1 Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty, Which is at the head of the fertile valley Of those who are overcome with wine!
ISA 28:2 Behold, the Lord has a strong and mighty agent; As a storm of hail, a tempest of destruction, Like a storm of mighty overflowing waters, He has cast it down to the earth with His hand.
ISA 28:3 The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim is trodden under foot.
ISA 28:4 And the fading flower of its glorious beauty, Which is at the head of the fertile valley, Will be like the first-ripe fig prior to summer; Which one sees, And as soon as it is in his hand, He swallows it.
ISA 28:5 In that day the Lord of hosts will become a beautiful crown And a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people;
ISA 28:6 A spirit of justice for him who sits in judgment, A strength to those who repel the onslaught at the gate.
ISA 28:7 And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while having visions, They totter when rendering judgment.
ISA 28:8 For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.
“Unity is the worst thing you can have when self-aggrandizement is the goal.” [Ravi Zacharias referencing the Tower of Babel]
ISA 28:9 "To whom would He teach knowledge? And to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast?
ISA 28:10 "For He says, 'Order on order, order on order [command upon command], Line on line, line on line [verses upon verses], A little here, a little there [many writers].'"
Achieving proper understanding and knowledge is a slow process. God has made it this way so that only those who desire it will have it. Teaching and learning are a slow, patient, and continuous work.
Understanding of anything important takes time, patience, perseverance, overcoming frustration, and most of all, flat out desire. God has put desire for His Word in every believer.
PHI 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
PHI 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
God is working His good pleasure. This is not a guarantee of fulfillment. It is a promise of success if your desire matches His.
PHI 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
PHI 2:15 that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
PHI 2:16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
In the world of constant news, people want the story in a few minutes, and if it’s longer, they don’t want it. The media understands this, and they take the threads of the story that will tantalize and they harp on it. It is a twisted minor truth that becomes no truth. It is text without context and so becomes a pretext, which is a false motive designed to cover up the truth.
In order to understand the working of the world’s events and the things that make for good government, economy, art, culture, music, entertainment, etc. we would have to spend much time reading about it and assimilating it and digesting it, and do that with the backdrop of the truth of the Word of God. How many people in our world actually do that? People spend much of their time in front of television and computers and phones producing light signals carrying data, transformed into video that are designed to tantalize with untruths that evil is exciting and goodness is boring. The world spends more time in front of that than they do in front of truth.
Media fills the mind with impossible desires, and emblazons the heart with unattainable images of happiness, fulfillment, and success.
It is thoroughly implanted on the heart an unattainable desire, and people spend their lives in the dream of achieving it, and when it becomes clear that they will not attain it, the reserve themselves to a bare existence of feeble entertainment and monotonous days of boredom. In a word, life. Life from heaven was offered to them, they said no, that isn’t life, and they bowed down to idols on computer screens.
There is a difference between a naked woman in a painting made by a great artist like Michelangelo and a naked woman in a pornographic image. There is a difference between a drug used for healing and the same drug used for personal pleasure or for solving emotional problems. Because they have some things in common, the evil salesman, the devil, tells you that they have everything in common.
Only God has revealed to us the difference between the sacred and the profane. The world has completely loused them up.
God does not impart wisdom in a flash to the lazy. This is the way Satan peddles lies. We all see clearly that the promise of attaining something important quickly only encourages laziness.
As the people of a nation deepen their apostasy, they become lazier of mind, and it becomes increasingly difficult to impart any spiritual truth to them. No great course or mountain-top emotional experience are going to solve anyone’s problems. There is no shortcut to success in the spiritual life.
There is only one way to grow as a Christian - daily learning the word of God, command by command and line by line.
It’s not flashy or exciting. It can’t even be marketed as exciting. The demons offered the quick and fast excitement through the religions of Israel’s neighbors, and Israel took that course.
You see, this is the real test of everyone’s life. God has set before us the so-called quick-fix and the slow, life-long change. He has set before us the instantaneous pleasure and the long-term investment in a far greater and lasting pleasure.
We are surrounded by lies. The media, the political arena, the university, social media, the news, the pulpit, the marketing industry. “The lie stuck like a fishbone in the throat of the microphone.” [Muggeridge]
Quotation on truth's casualty from Malcolm Muggeridge in his work, Chronicles of Wasted Time:
"Yet even so, truth is very beautiful; more so, as I consider, than justice - today’s pursuit - which easily puts on a false face. In the nearly seven decades I have lived through, the world has overflowed with bloodshed and explosions whose dust has never had time to settle before others have erupted; all in purportedly just causes. The quest for justice continues, and the weapons and the hatred pile up; but truth was an early casualty. The lies on which our wars have been fought and our peace treaties concluded. The lies of revolution and counter-revolution! The lies of advertising, of news, of salesmanship, of politics. The lies of the priests in the pulpit, the professor at his podium, the journalist at his typewriter! The lie stuck like a fishbone in the throat of the microphone, the hand-held lies of the prowling cameraman.
"Ignazio Salone told me once how, when he was a member of the old Comintern (an internal organization in communist Soviet Union, from 1919-1943, that advocated world communism), some stratagem was under discussion, and a delegate, a newcomer who had never attended before, made the extraordinary observation that if such and such a statement were to be put out, it would not be true. There was a moment of dazed silence, and then everyone began to laugh. They laughed and laughed until tears ran down their cheeks and the Kremlin walls seemed to shake. The same laughter echoes in every council chamber and cabinet room, wherever two or more are gathered together to exercise authority. It is truth that has died, not God."
“It is truth that has died, not God.” [Muggeridge]
Learning comes only from the daily grind in God’s word.