This is a multi-part article concerning the saints who are being called at this very moment “for such a time as this”. These saints will be alive to witness the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and “our gathering together unto Him”. We suggest reading each part carefully and absorbing its content before continuing on to the next part. May God, through His precious Holy Spirit of truth, enlighten your heart as you proceed.
SET APART AS A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST
As Christians, we know that we have been called and set apart to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. But many are unaware of the “discipline” that comes with that calling. The scriptures plainly exhort us to…
“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” (Hosea 6:1-2)
“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)
Multitudes of Christians, especially in America, have come to “know” the Lord as their personal savior. Multitudes more have gone on to “know” the Lord as their baptizer in the Holy Ghost. But somewhere along the way, they have become distracted with “the cares of this life and the lust of other things”. They’re oblivious to the fact that, as disciples of Christ, they are meant to “continue” in the things of the Lord … not just sit back and enjoy the things that this life has to offer.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” (Titus 2:11)
“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Titus 2:12)
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13)
Many are “looking”, but they are not “watching unto prayer” with the heart-felt attitude of a sober mind and a humble spirit! Instead, they are busy using their wonderful liberty in Christ to play golf, purchase the latest technological gadgets and rushing madly to see the most recent Star Wars movie!
Instead of preparing for what God is going to do shortly in the days to come, they’re just sitting on their “lees”, enjoying whatever they can … and “waiting” for the return of Christ!
“Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.” (Jeremiah 48:11)
Within the context of this article, Moab could easily represent those who have become contented with the “dregs” of their Christian walk instead of diligently pursuing to be “emptied” out from vessel to vessel in order to have their hearts filtered of more and more “dregs”. They are like the modern Laodicean church that says…
“…I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;”
And know not that they are…
“…wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Revelation 3: 16-17)
They also turn a deaf ear to hearing and obeying Christ’s exhortation to…
“…buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Revelation 3:18)
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Revelation 3:19)
Being “prepared” for end time events has nothing to do with stockpiling food and ammunition. It has to do with a Christian’s relationship with the Lord:
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)
The days are fast approaching that the rain and wind are going to blow against every Christian’s house (vessel). Those days will separate the “wise” from the “unwise” … not in terms of eternal salvation (which no man earn), but in terms of being able to spiritually cope within a wicked world right before the return of the Lord. These will be the days of the “great falling away” (apostasy).
In the Book of Esther, we find a season of evil planned against the Jewish nation of that day. An arrogant man named Haman who recently had been promoted by the king, conspired greatly to destroy the Jews because an individual named Mordecai refused to “bow” unto him and pay him reverence.
“And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.” (Esther 3:2)
Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to a false image in the face of the fiery furnace, so true Christians will refuse to bow down to false images yet to come.
“And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.” (Esther 3:5)
“And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.” (Esther 3:6)
In the end time, Satan will be full of wrath against God’s people and seek to destroy them all. But, just as God had already set into motion the gears of deliverance for His people in Mordecai’s day, so shall He move in our day.
Mordecai had brought up as his own daughter a first cousin named Esther. She was very beautiful and a virgin. When the king desired a wife, he proclaimed that certain virgins in the land be brought before him that he might take unto himself a bride. Esther was one of those virgins but she needed to enter into a season of “purification” to prepare her for the opportunity to appear before the king.
“Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:” (Esther 2:2)
“And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:” (Esther 2:3)
“So it came to pass, … that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.” (Esther 2:8)
“And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her things for purification, … which were meet to be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.” (Esther 2:9)
In the same manner, Christians have been called unto the house of the king and have been given access to ALL things that are “meet” for them in order to purify and prepare them to be ready to meet their king. This is done through the Holy Spirit which now abides in the blood of Christ which cleanses us from sin in the heavenly places.
As we cooperate with the spirit of grace and feed upon His Word, our foundation of intimacy grows in the Lord. This is the process that the “wise virgins” undergo in in the last days to obtain the precious “oil in their vessels” which will light their lamps at midnight in the end time. It is likened unto Esther’s preparation:
“…for so were the days of their purifications … to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;” (Esther 2:12)
This is how the Holy Ghost will prepare each individual Christian as they cooperate with the Word of God and seek His will in prayer. They will be anointed with the “oil of myrrh” in their hearts. And their souls will be filled with the essence of the “sweet odours” from the intimate fellowship they experience from the presence of the Lord. However…
“…in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.” (2 Timothy 2:20)
“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21)
OVERCOMING THE CONSPIRACY
There is a great conspiracy being manufactured against the saints in these last days. This conspiracy can be felt in all aspects of our current life: societal, governmental, financial, medical, educational, political and even religious. Not many Christians in America are keenly aware of the Apostle John’s statement that…
“…the whole world LIETH in WICKEDNESS.” (1 John 5:19)
And fewer still take Paul seriously when he proclaimed that…
“…we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
America has coddled its Christian heritage into a false sense of peace, security, materialism and lackadaisical worship. Rather than individually seeking God in prayer and the godly disciplines found in scripture, many prefer to attend church, pay their tithes and let their pastor do all the work for them. This brand of “overcoming” will fail in the days to come.
That is why Paul exhorted the Christians of his day to:
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:13-16)
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:17-18)
THE GREAT MOMENT OF TRUTH
“Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.” (Esther 2:15)
“So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house … and the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen…” (Esther 2:16-17)
Now imagine for a moment, if you will, what it must have been like for a young Jewish girl named Esther to rise from virtual obscurity into becoming queen over all the land. She had access to all the finest food in the kingdom, expensive clothing, palatial palaces, adoration of the people and, most of all, the utmost favor of the king!
It’s not difficult to imagine modern-day Christians living in America in the same light. We have access to the finest entertainment, food, clothing, homes, automobiles and appliances known to man. In comparison to how humanity has had to survive over the last 6,000 years, we reign as kings and queens in the Earth! All that America has to offer is available to us if we can only find the money and/or means to acquire it. Sadly, many Christians spend their lives doing just that.
Though our Lord delights in taking care of His children, our hearts can become dull towards the things and purposes of God in this life. Surrounded by privilege, it’s easy for anyone to become preoccupied with the cares (and ease) of opulent living. Even the very idea of suffering in the slightest way can become a mental anathema. Yet Paul specifically exhorted us that we should…
“…stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” (Philippians 1:27)
“And in nothing terrified by your adversaries:” (Philippians 1:28)
“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;” (Philippians 1:28)
If, as Christians, we are not willing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel and our commitment to Christ, then we will soon become lukewarm in the things of the Lord. And if Christ were to call upon us in a time of great need, we may find our heart betray us in a moment of weakness … even as Peter’s heart failed him on the way to the crucifixion of Christ. Under a time of great stress, Peter’s heart compelled him on three different occasions to deny that he even knew Jesus!
Be forewarned! It can happen to us right here in America! And the church’s moment of truth is fast approaching!
Now, because of Haman’s wrath against Mordecai, Haman conspired to destroy all the Jews in the province. So he went to the king and spoke lies to him making it look like the Jews were the king’s enemy. And the king believed Haman’s lies:
“And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.” (Esther 3:11)
“Then were the king’s scribes called … and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded … in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring.” (Esther 3:12)
“And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day … and to take the spoil of them for a prey.” (Esther 3:13)
Please read the following scriptures carefully and put yourself in the shoes of those who were affected by this command. Christians in the world are not immune to such action by their leaders. Remember, there’s nothing new under the sun and many today seem to be ignoring the “sorrows” which are taking place all around them as this age is closing out.
“When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;” (Esther4:1)
“And came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.” (Esther 4:2)
There is a “cry” being made today from the mouths of discerning Christians who are trying to warn the Church of impending destruction. Some are hearing … some are not!
“And in every province, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.” (Esther 4:3)
“Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.” (Esther 4:4)
When Esther saw her relative, Mordecai, disobey the accepted norm of the day and do that which was “politically incorrect” to do, she was basically embarrassed to the point of being grieved. So, she tried to “take away his sackcloth” (symbolically, his “conviction” before the Lord) and re-clothe him with the garments of this world … but he REFUSED! So she sent her messenger, Hatach, to Mordecai to find out what would compel him to do such a thing (for, as an isolated queen, she had not yet heard of Haman’s command).
“So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king’s gate. And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.” (Esther 4:6-7)
Here’s where the plot thickens:
“Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.” (Esther 4:8)
As favorable of a queen as Esther was, and as devoted as she was to her Jewish roots, she did not like the idea of placing her “queenship” in jeopardy by approaching the king on such a matter. In today’s vernacular, “she might lose her job”!
Catching on here?
So, Esther sent Hatach to Mordecai again with the following reply:
“All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.” (Esther 4:11)
When Mordecai heard these words of Esther, he immediately discerned the subtlety of Esther’s motives. Knowing the danger that the Jewish nation was in (which all discerning Christians are aware of presently), he basically rebuked Esther for her guile:
“Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for SUCH A TIME AS THIS?” (Esther 4:13)
Presently, most Christians in America are woefully unaware that they are being called upon by the Lord to stand and become living witnesses for such a time as this! They’re afraid they may lose their jobs, their friends, their reputation or even the acceptance of their own family members. So, they dwell carelessly in this nation of entertainment and materialism.
But the Holy Ghost is going to allow a great “wake-up call” to interrupt the thinking of millions of Christians world-wide. Thankfully, Esther was close enough to her God that she not only accepted Mordecai’s “wake-up call”, but EMBRACED it!
“Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,” (Esther 4:15)
“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and IF I PERISH, I PERSISH.” (Esther 4:16)
Ahhh … if only the Laodicean church of today would take on such a heart-felt conviction! We would not be so powerless and ineffective in our witness to all nations.
NOW is “such a time as this” to put away the pleasures and cares of this life and become vessels unto honor, meet and prepared for the master’s use! For the days are fast approaching that we will be called upon to be living witnesses of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
If your house is built upon the sand of Laodicean doctrines, when the winds and floods of persecution beat against you, your house will immediately fall into the abyss of confusion, disillusionment and despair!
But if your house is built upon the rock of hearing the Word of God and being prepared by it, then your house will stand, not on its own strength, but on the power of the Holy Ghost which built it!
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