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I greet you in the name of Jesus. That's so true! Are we ready? Are we waiting? Are we preparing? I think that is our work on earth, to get ready for that day; either the day we die, and not just for that day, we walk it daily or we will miss that day. And the encouragement about not going to sleep, like that frog*, he didn't realize he was deceived. He didn't realize he was in danger,and Satan's going to try his best to do the same thing to us; seems like he's done it to all the churches in the past and I might have said this before, but I remember that great disappointment in my heart when I realized, there's just no church going to stand. Excepting maybe I should say group - I think the church will stand. Groups just deteriorate, get cooked after a while, and it takes time. That was mentioned too. Satan has time. We have time; we can use it for the kingdom of God or we can get caught up in these things If we could stand for prayer... Heavenly Father, we thank you for your blessings to us. We thank you for your goodness to us. We ask you to be with us today. We need your help, we need your spirit to help us understand your word, to walk faithfully unto the end. Be with all those all over the world who are seeking for your kingdom, for your way, help us to be one with them. Help us to encourage one another. I ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen. Really, in simple words, I guess, we're on this earth to be proved, tested and to see how we respond, to see what we are made of. And our battle is in being faithful to the word of God, being faithful to the teachings that He left us. And it a battle. My thoughts have been on sharing about what His words were. How serious they are. He left us with His words, and Jesus came to give us these words. He suffered through this life and now it is our turn, if we want to be faithful, if we want to do the Father's will. If we come here to do our own will, then we're of this world. But if we come to do the Father's will, we can learn. In Deuteronomy 18 there's a short piece. I'll read to the end, just how serious God takes his word, and what happens when we speak out of our own minds and end up making people believe that this is the word of God. Starting at verse 19, It shall come about that whosoever shall not listen to my words which I speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in my name, which is not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. You may say in your hearts, How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and the thing does not come about, or come true, this is the thing that the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously and you shall not be afraid of him. Up here it says that prophet shall die. When we speak that which is not from the Lord, and this has something to do with prophecy as well, because if it doesn't come to pass, or if that person falls back, that not does not necessarily mean they're wrong, but it does mean we need to be very cautious. It seems God allows us to test things, test the spirits, He's not wanting us to jump into anything and everything, we know that doesn't work either. In Psalms 50, there's just one short verse I was going to read, For you hate discipline and you cast my words behind you. If we don't love the discipline of the Lord, we just by-pass him. All around here...when you see a thief and your pleased with him and you associate with adulterers...that's what he's talking about (in these verses), just casting his words behind us, or not heeding his words; very serious. Proverbs 4:4-7 Then he taught me and he said, Let your heart hold fast my words, keep my commandments and live. Acquire wisdom and understanding, do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth, Do not forsake her and she will guard you. Love her and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is acquire wisdom and with all your acquiring, get understanding Let your heart hold fast my words. In Jeremiah 26, starting in verse 4, you will say to them, thus says the Lord, if you will not listen to me, to walk in my law which I have set before you, nor to the words which my servants the prophets whom I have been sending to you again and again, but you have not listened. Then I will make this house like Shiloh and this city will make a curse to all the nations of the earth. If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law which I have set before you. We'll turn to John 5 in verse 39, starts with, you search the scriptures because in them you think you have eternal life. It is those that testify of me and you're unwilling to come to me that you might have life. I do not receive glory from men, but I know you, and you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in my Father's name and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name you will receive him. How can you believe when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God. Do you think that I will accuse you before the Father? The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope, but if you believed Moses, you would have believed me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words? Here Jesus gave an example. If we take glory from one another, we can do that all we want. That's what the world is doing: giving glory to each other, trying to lift each other up, and receive one another, but if we come in the name of Jesus, it will be like :If you do not believe in his writings, how will you believe my words? So how can we believe if we accept each other, other than the word of God? Or the words of Jesus. Verse 44 How can you believe when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that comes from the one and only God? I think one example of that is like the Anabaptist. For some of us, our heritage goes back to them andwe can say we're doing like they did, we have all these things going among ourselves, but are wedoing what they preached back then? I was thinking about all the Anabaptist groups. We're always in the danger of falling back. It doesn't matter where we come from, who we are, we're always in this great danger of becoming lukewarm. Or like that frog, we become slowly but surely overcome, and than it's too late. Ezekiel 33:31 They came to you as people come and they sit before you as my people and here your words but they do not do them, because they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain. Gain could interpret into money, it could be things, possessions, behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear your words but do not practice them. So when it comes to pass, as surely it will, then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst. When it's too late, again, they will realize there was a prophet in their midst. My thought is that we don't allow that to happen to us, and I think I'll try to share some of my thoughts about that later. In Matthew 24:34 Truly I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Can we trust Jesus? Is He worth giving our lives for? He's not going to pass away, his words are not going to pass away, heaven and earth are going to pass away, but my words will not pass away. But in that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the son of man will be as in the days of Noah, for as in those days, before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage until the day that Noah entered into the ark. Reminds me of that frog again. And they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away, so will the coming of the son of man be. And they did not understand. That frog did not understand what was going on, neither did the people here. They were deceived. They thought that all things were going on as before. But the day came that it didn't go on as before, but it was too late, they couldn't get in. We see these pictures of many people crowding around the ark, trying to get in, and knocking on the door, but the door was shut, the flood's coming up - water coming up- it was too late. I think Mark 13 gives kind of the same account, verse 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away, but in that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the son, but the Father alone. Take heed. Keep on the alert, for you do not know when the appointed time will come. It will be like a man away on journey, who upon leaving his house, putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanding the door keeper to stay on the alert. Therefore, be on the alert, because you do not know at what hour the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows or in the morning, in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. What I say to you, I say to all, Be on the alert. Don't go to sleep. That's what that frog did, he went to sleep till it was too late. Luke 21, same passage again, Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Be on your guard so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap. We need to be careful to stay free, for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth, but keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place and to stand before the son of man. These are all warnings to stay on guard, in Luke 9: 23 he's telling them what's going to happen, in verse 23, it says, and he was saying to them all, If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me, for whoever wishes to save his life, will lose it, and whoever is willing to lose his life for my sake, he's the one will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world but forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the son of man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and the glory of the father and the glory of the angels. But I say to you truthfully, that there are some of those standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God. What are the things we might be ashamed of? Does the world bother us of how we dress? How we eat or how we live? Do we try to live like them? What are we ashamed of? I'm sure we all have different thoughts, things that we were at least at one time ashamed of, we do need to repent of being ashamed of Him. He's going to be ashamed of us if we continue making decisions, things we're ashamed of because of what people might think. It's usually what it is. We're not ashamed of a tree, we're not ashamed of a car...not because of the car, we might be ashamed of what car we have because of people - we're ashamed of people. What do people think? We need to guard against that. In John 14: 23 Jesus answered and said to him, if anyone loves me, he will keep my word, he will KEEP my word, and the Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him. He who does not love me, does not keep my words, and the word that you have heard is not mine, but the Father's, who sent me. If we love him, we will do what he says. In John 5, starting in verse 39, I guess I read part of that so it's going to be a repeat, but as a reminder, I have come in my Father's name and you do not receive me, if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can believe if you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? In Luke 24:44, he starts with, Now he said to them, these are my words, which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about in the law of Moses and the prophets, might be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, thus it is written, that Christ should suffer, rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins might be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem You are witnesses of him and behold I am sending forth the promise of my Father upon you, but you are to stay in the city till you're clothed with power from on high. I was just thinking how needful it is to understand, and he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And we all need that , we can help one another understand and God can open our hearts and minds to where we can understand, and it's so needful to be able to understand what we need to do. John 15, we know the song about I am the vine and you are the branches, this is verse 5, I am the vine and you are the branches, he who abides with me and I in him, he bears much fruit, but apart from me, you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up, and they gather them and cast them in the fire and they are burnt. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, these are words of Jesus, if my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples... and so prove to be his disciples, all his disciples proved to be faithful but one who was covetous and wanted money.... Just as my Father has loved me, I have loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be made full. This is my commandment that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves , for a slave does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you, and i appointed you, that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in my name, I will give. This is my commandment, that ye love one another. It is Christ's desire that we care about one another, that we love one another. In Matthew 7...and some of my thought in all of this is how we can love one another, how we can be for each other, and how we can build on this rock, Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them, may be compared to the wise man who built his house on the rock. If we build on other things, my prayer is that God destroys, always has been, but if we built on the his words, if our focus is to live His life, we won't have time to devour one another, and dispute and argue among ourselves, about things that are not for him. And I know we all have our excuses for why stand where we stand, but if we stand on his words, can we go wrong? Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them, may be compared to the wise man who builds his house on the rock, and the rains fell and the floods came and the winds blew and slammed against the house, and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. I think most of us have lived long enough to see a fair amount of shipwreck, some people just left God completely, and I have one in mind that I would never believed him to leave God and not care about him anymore. So zealous, so full of love, then, I don't know what happened, somewhere he allowed himself to get cooked, and the point is, the wind blew, the rains came and his house didn't stand. It looked like he would've been built on the rock perhaps, at least to me it looked that way, but he must've built on something else, he did not stand. Then there's many more in between that are not so easy to understand, but that's not the point, the point is that we keep our zeal for the kingdom of God, so that we don't need to be like the one who heard the word of God : everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand, and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house , and it fell, and great was its fall. That's what happens when we're building on other things. If we can have our unity on the word of God, words that Jesus brought. Or I guess I'll just share, the fellowship I love is to do, and then be with people as well, who do what Jesus taught, chiefly Matthew 5,6 and 7. We all know that very well, some of us may have memorized it. This is the unity I'm looking for, the unity I love is I love is to be zealous for His kingdom, and be doing the things that Jesus taught. If we do not do the things he taught then our house will crash, time will tell that. There's just no getting around it, time will test us, and even if we deceive people until death, judgment day, we will not deceive God. So I guess I would just like to draw our minds to being for the truth, and then I guess I'm just talking to myself, to be zealous in whatever ways we can. If we start wandering around, like not taking these things serious anymore, that Jesus taught, and there would be many, many examples of things, how we just start drifting, we just go slowly, just like that frog. We'll allow this thing - well maybe that doesn't matter- and we'll adjust to it. I think in my own life I could say there's things that I had to adjust to that didn't seem right and I believe they were right, but then after being used to it, we don't think about it anymore. And that's what happens on the other side. If we allow things that we think might not be good, and we continue in that we will get used to it, and I just sense that in myself at least, that it's easy to get used to things, just happens over and over, even the fellowship we have, the people we're around. I think it's been mentioned different times, if we end up doing things that we had not expected, at one time we would not have believed we'd get there. All I know, let's be zealous for the kingdom of God, I just do not know how we can be safe because once we're there, there may be not point of return, and we will not see it any more, we'll be blind. And the doors will be shut and the floods will rise - we can't get in. I'm not sure if that's a parable, or a likeness of death maybe, that you can't get in anymore, even though they desired to get in - well, we don't know that, we just kind of assume that there were some desiring to get in- some maybe were so far off they could not go across the valley that was between them and the ark, maybe most of them. But there would likely have been some on the same side as the ark, so let us not forget. We all have our thoughts of what we need to be doing, James brought out one point about visiting the fatherless and widows, and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world. There would be a lot of things we could talk about, but I think in our hearts we know when we transgress, we just know that little thing may not be quite right, and we get used to it, and we end up where we don't want to be, sooner or later, and my prayer is that we can help one another in that, to build ourselves on this rock. If we're all built on the rock, I think we have fellowship with one another. And if satan needs time to dissolve us, he'll take it. If he needs generations to dissolve it, he'll take it. He cannot take us when we're strong, he just can't do that. If we feel ourselves strong, he'll probably take us quick. There's a big danger in thinking that we stand. That's why we need to be humble before God. Feel free to share *For the frog story, read The Little Things by Norman Troyer

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