A Call To The Remnant

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Archive for March 31st, 2009

God’s Judgement upon the established Church and His raising of the remnant.

Posted by appolus on March 31, 2009

Eze 19:10 Your mother is like a vine in your blood, planted by the waters; she was fruitful and full of branches because of many waters. And she had strong rods for the scepters of those who bore rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches; and it was seen in her height, with the multitude of her branches. But she was plucked up in fury; she was thrown down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit. Her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire burned them up. And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. And fire has gone out from a rod of her branches, which has licked up her fruit so that there is no strong rod in her to be a scepter to rule. This is a mourning and shall be for a mourning.

This word is an accurate representation of what has happened to the visible Church. In the story of Ezekiel, Israel has already been judged. Now it was time for Judah to be judged. In our modern day world, Israel undoubtedly represents the dead denominations that were replaced by Pentecostal churches and community churches across the land and around the world. These were vibrant places of worship where new life was found and the presence of God resided.

Ezekiel 17 starts out with a riddle from God. This , to the modern reader , may seem like a light-hearted thing. In the reality of the day that it was written, it was no such thing. Many times in the ancient world, a riddle would represent a mental competition between two kings in which the loser submitted to the winner and was killed. So, when God poses a riddle to King Zedekiah, we know that the King is in deep trouble. So what was the political situation in Zedekiah’s day and how does it parallel our own times?

King Zedekiah was placed on the throne By Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. He had invaded Judah, just as Ezekiel prophesied. He took King Jeconiah, only 18 years old and ruler for a mere three months, and replaced him with Zedekiah. So, Jeconiah was the young tender branch in the riddle. Zedekiah is the seed that is planted in a fruitful field. The fruitful field is Jerusalem. This is represented by a willow tree, which is not a stately tree, but it does grow fast in wet soil. Jeconiah makes a covenant with Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar is his protector. Judah no longer has mighty men, they have been defeated by Babylon. Judah was now in an impotent state. It could not threaten or terrorize it neighbors, nor could it defend itself against other countries, it relied upon Babylon. Judah now paid tribute to Babylon. This was a great reversal of fortunes for the country that used to take tribute from others, it now pays tribute to Babylon and is completely dependent upon Babylon for its very survival. Sin has certainly changed the fortunes of Judah and one could draw many personal parallels from that story.

So , Zedekiah was the low vine in the riddle but he was still a blessing to Judah even although his branches were necessarily turned towards Babylon. Even in this lowly state, God was giving Judah an opportunity to rebuild itself in humility because Nebuchadnezzar could have easily completely crushed Judah. This was a window of opportunity to repent and rebuild. Yet, Jeconiah’s pride got the better of him, and he reached out to Egypt to make a secret alliance against Babylon. Egypt was the second eagle of the riddle. This would prove disastrous for Judah and for Jeconiah. Jeconiah is destroyed and his “roots,” pulled up.

Psa 107:4 They wandered in the wilderness, in a desert by the way; they found no city to dwell in.
Psa 107:5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
Psa 107:6 Then they cried to Jehovah in their distress, and He delivered them out of their troubles.
Psa 107:7 And He guided them by the right way, so as to go to a city to live in.
Psa 107:8 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the sons of man!
Psa 107:9 For He satisfies the thirsty soul, and fills the hungry soul with good.

Yes, indeed the Lord satisfies the hungry and thirsty souls. Yet, it would do well for all who have been fed and watered by the Lord to remain thankful and not to become discontent, for what happens to the man who is not thankful, or the church that is not thankful and becomes discontent?

Psa 107:10 Those who sit in the darkness and in the shadow of death, being chained in affliction and iron;
Psa 107:11 because they rebelled against the Words of God, and despised the advice of the Most High.
Psa 107:12 and He humbled their heart with labor; they fell down, and none was helping.
Psa 107:13 Then they cried to Jehovah in their distress, and He saved them out of their troubles.
Psa 107:14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their bands in two.
Psa 107:15 Let them praise Jehovah for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the sons of man!

Do you see the pattern of foolish man? Can you see the pattern of a foolish church who grow tired of seeking the living God, who grow discontent with their lot in life, who reach out to the world to gain that which God decided in His wisdom that they should not have, and they should not have it because of their very discontentment and lack of gratitude. Who impatiently and arrogantly seek to discover their own way in life at their own pace, forgetting that they are servants of the most High who has commanded us to wait upon His word. To only move when the cloud moves, to always follow His Presence.

Psa 107:17 Fools are afflicted because of their rebellion, and because of their iniquities.
Psa 107:18 Their soul hates all kinds of food; and they draw near the gates of death.
Psa 107:19 Then they cry to Jehovah in their distress, and He saves them out of their troubles.
Psa 107:20 He sent His Word and heals them, and delivers them from their pitfalls.
Psa 107:21 Let them praise Jehovah for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the sons of man!
Psa 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing!

How longsuffering is our Lord with His stiff-necked children? Time and time again He has mercy upon them and hears their cries and reaches out to them. Time and time again His heart is broken and He is compelled to withdraw from them in order that they may see the error of their ways and that they may become like the deer who panteth after the waterbrooks, that their souls may long after Him and not after the things of the world. Whether it is from Babylon or Egypt, it matters not for they both represent the world and oppression. Has the modern day church been invaded by Babylon? Is it now impotent and without power? Does it pay tribute to the world, does the world influence the church rather than the church influence the world? Has the Lord withdrawn His presence once again from a stiff-necked people?

Psa 107:25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up its waves.
Psa 107:26 They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul is melted because of trouble.
Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and all their wisdom is swallowed up.
Psa 107:28 And they cry to Jehovah in their trouble, and He brings them out of their troubles.
Psa 107:29 He makes the storm a calm, so that its waves are still.
Psa 107:30 And they are glad because they are quiet; so He brings them to their desired haven.
Psa 107:31 Let them praise Jehovah for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the sons of man!

Brothers and sisters, it is time to come out of the world, to come out of the storm into the haven of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this haven we will find that He has calmed the storm and that the waves are still. We will praise Him for His presence and the peace that comes with it. We will know that in the world there is no good thing. Our strong desire will only be for Him and His presence.

Psa 107:32 And let them exalt Him in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the gathering of the elders.
Psa 107:33 He sets rivers to a wilderness and water-springs to thirsty ground;
Psa 107:34 a fruitful land to a salty desert, because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
Psa 107:35 He turns the wilderness into water-ponds, and dry ground into water-springs.
Psa 107:36 And He makes the hungry dwell there, so that they may prepare a city to live in;
Psa 107:37 and sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
Psa 107:38 He also blesses them, so that they are multiplied greatly; and does not allow their cattle to become few.
Psa 107:39 Again, they have become few, and humbled through harshness, affliction, and sorrow.

Yes, those who allow themselves to be humbled through harshness will surely find water-ponds in the wilderness.” He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”
Lord, Lord may those who continue on the narrow path that leads to life be broken by you and raised up again.

Eze 17:22 So says the Lord Jehovah: I, even I, will also take of the top of the highest cedar and will set it; I will crop off from the first of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
Eze 17:23 In a mountain, in a high place of Israel, I will plant it. And it shall bear boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. And under it shall dwell every bird of every wing; in the shadow of its branches they shall dwell.
Eze 17:24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I Jehovah have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish. I Jehovah have spoken and acted.

God is, even as we speak, preparing rain for the “dry tree.” From the very top of the established tree, He will pluck a tender young twig and He will plant it on a high and prominent mountain. When one views a tall tree, it cannot see the very top branches, let alone a tender twig . Does God not always keep His chosen hidden? Can we even imagine what the Lord will do with what would be considered insignificant by the world at large. When the prophet came to choose a King, was he tall and significant? Was he even considered by others? No, but God knows. God takes the tenderest of twigs, that which is considered insignificant by that which is established and He raises it up.He pulls down the proud and the arrogant, in fact, He plucks it up by the roots. The east wind spoils all of its fruits, the east wind being the influence of the world.

Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth tender sprouts (the herb seeding seed and the fruit tree producing fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself) upon the earth; and it was so.

Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth tender sprouts, the herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree producing fruit after its kind, whose seed was in itself. And God saw that it was good.

2Ch 34:27 Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before your God when you heard His words against this place and against its people, and humbled yourself before Me, and tore your garments and wept before Me, I have even heard also, says Jehovah

Job 14:7 For there is hope of a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and its tender branch will not cease.

Isa 53:2 For He comes up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; He has no form nor majesty that we should see Him, nor an appearance that we should desire Him.

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