WORKSHOP ON THE RAPTURE N°5
This teaching is the 5th part in a series of nine. Please read the other 8 parts.
4) What do we have to do in order to be ready for the Rapture?
To be ready for the rapture, we must flee from disobedience.
When we return to our study of 1Sam 15, it comes out from it clearly that the Lord abhors disobedience, which is nothing other than divination. Saul believed that God would praise him in his insubordination. His pride led him astray; he had risen to the rank of a god.
The more we advance, the more we understand that disobedience is really as the sin of divination because it all boils down to one word "disobedience". Since last week, all the elements that we identified as a problem revolve around disobedience. This passage of 1Sam 15 summarizes that very well. For in the attitude of Saul, we also find out that the word disobedience hid many other sins that had not been mentioned.
In the attitude of Saul, with what the sister has just explained to us, we also see greed, attachment to earthly things. As soon as he waged war and began devoting things to destruction as he had been told by the Lord, he saw fat animals and coveted them. So here we see his lust, his attachment to the things of the world. Instead of obeying the instructions that were clearly given to him by the Lord, he preferred to bring what he called "fat animals".
And when the heart begins to be attached to the things of the world, since we know that God is against this attachment, a reason is quickly found for justification. It is at this level that seduction intervenes. Since we do not know what to say to God and to the servant of God, we must quickly find a reason. That which Saul found was very stupid, "is to offer them as a sacrifice to the Lord your God." He thought that as soon as God will hear "a sacrifice to the Lord," He will be jubilant and say "these are people who think about me." He thought that as soon as Samuel will hear "to the Lord your God", he will rejoice in seeing how people like him, even to the point of loving the Lord his God, up to the point of even thinking of making a sacrifice to the Lord his God. This is how seduction intervenes, because it has to be there to cover lust, attachment to earthly things.
When the sister answered this question by saying that one must flee from disobedience, she is absolutely right. For the word disobedience envelops many other sins. We recently cited attachment to earthly things, lust, self-denial, tithes and offerings, women’s clothing and others. All this is summed up in one word: "disobedience". He who chooses not to give his tithes, before calling this theft, we note here that it is first of all disobedience. Since he has just chosen not to do what the Lord has recommended, he disobeys.
Whoever chooses to still attach himself to earthly things, jewellery, houses, or anything else, chooses not to put God's word into practice. Before calling this attachment, it is first of all disobedience.
She who chooses not to cover her hair, or to continue in her make-up, or to remain in her trousers or to run away from trousers and remain in her small dresses and small skirts, you can choose to call that seduction or whatever you want. But while waiting it is also disobedience. She just chose to disobey, not to do what God wants. So everything is really summed up in one word: "disobedience".
It is not therefore surprising to hear that people, because of disobedience, will go to Hell. For us, disobedience has never been a sin. When we talk of sin, we think only of witchcraft and adultery. To think that there is a sin which is called disobedience, this is an over statement. As we have just discovered, everything revolves in and around disobedience. When you choose not to put an aspect of God's word into practice, you have chosen to disobey. Rebellion, revolt, all this is simply called disobedience. We therefore understand why God can go as far as comparing disobedience to divination!
If the prophet Samuel was not firm, he could have also fallen into the trap of Saul’s deception. So when the Lord speaks of divination, it is really a word that is in its place. For when he says in verse 21, but the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal. Samuel could have been flattered and could have fallen into the trap of Saul, and ended up also being rejected by God. So these people also set traps for servants of God, and if they are not firm, they will fall into their traps, only to be rejected by God. So it is really divination!
This is really divination, for you have to be vigilant not to get caught in the trap of this kind of witchcraft. As the thing is being presented, it is really a trap that Saul set for Samuel. At first when Samuel came, he welcomed him saying "Blessed are you of the Lord!" He first put him at ease, and then he said: "I have obeyed the Lord." If you are not vigilant in this case, you can even shout hallelujah! And if you lack vigilance, he will lure you with his sorcery. He did not stop there. He continued to demonstrate to Samuel that it is rather for a good cause that he did not utterly destroyed everything, that it is to make a great sacrifice to the Lord his God.
He demonstrates to him how he loves his God, how he knows His value. He explains to him that this is why he spared beautiful animals to honour the Lord his God. The poor Samuel could have been wrapped by his sorcery and told Saul: "In this case you have reasoned well, because I was afraid that you will come back with all these fat cows in order to eat them; but as it is really to sacrifice to the Lord, may the Lord bless you". Here is how he could have fallen into the trap of that witchcraft.
Know then that in terms of divination, this act is one. That's the problem with people who are not willing to put God's word into practice; they are always a danger for us. If we are not firm, we will eventually end up following them, behaving like them or doing a little bit of what they want, or falling into their traps. This is why, when we stand firm, it always creates war between us. It is high time you understood beloved, you pastors or simple faithful, that without firmness, people with hardened hearts can turn us away from the way very easily. And talking about this, the day we will go back to study 1Kings 13, you will see how people who have a bit of seduction in the heart, can cause you to depart from the path, and really cause you to stumble. It is for this reason, since we are talking about the rapture, that in order to really prepare for the rapture, we must run away from, among others, all those who are not willing to put God's word into practice. And that is why we put away from our midst sorcerers.
I promised to give you, in the coming days, an account of the work we are doing in the assemblies, by putting people out. Why do we do this? This is because the Lord has shown us very clearly that one of the things that can make us miss the rapture is the fact of surrounding ourselves with agents of satan, deceivers, sorcerers, people who are there to make us murmur, to make us compromise ourselves; people who are there to cause you to depart from the right path. If you continue to surround yourself with those people, you will be surprised in the next few days. This is why, as we purify our lives, we also separate ourselves from those who voluntarily choose not to put God's word into practice.
It is because of disobedience, rebellion that Satan had fallen. Divination and rebellion are really from satan. We also noted that it is voluntarily that Saul chose to disobey God. 1Sam 15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.
He disobeyed God freely, he even spared the Kenites. He knew very well what he was doing, and he understood very well the mission that the Lord had assigned to him. But he voluntarily chose to disobey. 1Sam 15:6 2Then Saul said to the Kenites, "Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt."
Still talking of divination, the words of Saul were real incantations to Samuel, because if he had fallen into his trap, he would have ended up being rejected also by God. Verse 32 Then Samuel said, "Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites." Agag came to him confidently, thinking, "Surely the bitterness of death is past." Agag thought that Saul’s incantations had acted on the man of God. That is why he could go towards him cheerfully. But Samuel in his firmness, in his integrity, had not forgotten the mission that the Lord had assigned to him. And as he had a heart destined to obey his God, he did not allow himself to be led astray by the incantations of Saul. So that's why he put Agag to death before the Lord. Verse 33 But Samuel said, "As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women." And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal. Beloved, let’s really pray for servants of God, that God should give them the grace to withstand the thousands of incantations made against them day and night, because one grain of compromise can cost them a lot.
Question: Why does the Lord require that even animals be utterly destroyed?
Answer: First of all because He wants it like that, but we can also explain better than that. When the Lord finds a nation abominable, or when a nation becomes abominable in the eyes of the Lord and chooses defilement, everything is defiled before God: men, women, animals and even plants. That is why God will destroy everything in the next few days.
When we go through the word of the Lord, God tells us that He will create new heavens and a new earth. There is an element that surprises us here. Why will God go as far as creating new heavens? Because everything is defiled before the Lord, too soiled that He will prefer to re- create everything. God is therefore going to destroy the earth because once everything is defiled, it is defiled. He will even create new heavens! When we examine the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, we understand it better. When we examine the case of Noah, as you have noticed, God destroyed everything, everything right up to insects. So the notion of defilement in the sight of God is a very strong notion that we do not often come to understand. Before asking why God decided to destroy animals, we even have to ask about little children, infants. What has an infant got to do with defilement?
You understand that our way of seeing defilement is different from God's way of seeing the same defilement. Even if the simple answer for us is to say that God wants it that way, we understand still that when God sees defilement, He has seen it; no matter what is embedded in the defilement, everything becomes defiled in the eyes of God: men, women, old, young, animals, everything. And it is explained or proved by the case of Sodom and Gomorrah. We are told that the men had all become homosexuals, in short, they were in abomination. Do you believe that animals had also become homosexuals? Some may be but not all; Whereas God destroyed everything, consumed everything with fire. It shows us how God judges purity and how He judges impurity.
This leads us to understand that we have always had an image of God which is not a good one. Because we make every effort to bring God to us, forgetting that we need to do everything to go towards God, in His degree of purity, in His degree of justice, in His degree of strictness. And it is because we make efforts to understand God in our own way that we disobey Him very easily. That's why everyone does what he does and says, "In any case God will understand, for He knows that I am already putting in enough efforts." Nobody today wants to do exactly what God expects of him because we still do not understand Him very well. That is why it is in Hell that people begin to understand that God was really what He said He was, or at least, that God is what He said He was. While we are still on earth, since each person has a more or less veiled notion of Hell, at times we believe that it is true, at times we believed that it is not true, at times we say, even if it is true, those who are there are those who have sinned too much.
Everyone tries to judge in his own way. It is only when you find yourself in Hell, yet having done much that you realize that God is what He said He was. Or at least, that He is what His word used to describe, but that you found difficult to understand. As you have discovered yourselves, the teachings on Hell have scared us too much. Because according to this testimony, we found out that there was in Hell, people who according to us were not supposed to be there because, having at least done a lot, or a good part of what God expected of them. We tell ourselves that God was at least supposed to understand and take into account the fact that these people have somehow done a lot. Whereas we find out that God has not taken into consideration any of what we thought. And we see that these people are indeed in Hell.
They are not there to come out later, that is the most terrible thing. Therefore the notion of defilement according to God is too different from the way we understand defilement. Why is it that God can choose to utterly destroy all, men, women...? This is simply because when it is soiled in His eyes, it is soiled!
Still coming back to the word disobedience, we really see that it conceals many other sins. And still speaking of the case of Saul, we see that pride really took hold of him. When Samuel rebuked him for the first time, he did not seize the opportunity to repent but rather wanted Samuel to honour him. He had opened a door that satan exploited to destroy him. Pride destroyed him. God resists the proud! Let us make sure that the Spirit of God does not depart from us as was the case with Saul. The Lord who is just and who knows how to answer our prayers gives to each according to the desire of his heart.
In 1Sam 15:15 "Saul answered, "They have brought them from the Amalekites... They have brought them..." Who do the "They" stand for? God sent him to do some work, he voluntarily chooses to disobey, and as soon as he is caught, he says, they have brought them... He behaves as if he is not the one who brought those things, or as if he is not the one who ordered that things should be done in that way. He prefers to say: They have brought them... You see that even if we were to justify Saul speaking of ignorance or of a little bit of blindness, we would simply not be able to. Because what comes in the first place is seduction, the desire and the choice to disobey that animated him in everything he did. And those who disobey know they are disobeying. This is why the Lord speaks in terms of rebellion.
Know beloved that disobedience which is done in ignorance does not enter into the framework of what God calls divination. That is why we saw the case of Saul (Paul) that God tolerated. While the case of premeditated disobedience, as you can see with arguments well prepared to lie to cover up disobedience is really serious. They have brought them… He was the one who brought Agag and the fat animals, but when he was asked, he said: They have brought them… As if he did not even know who did it. It's really complicated. As we have noted, these are a number of elements that show that Saul was not ignorant. In verse 30, he dares to ask Samuel to honour him before the elders of his people and before Israel.
Look at how he trivializes the fault he has committed. Whereas he has just committed a serious offense in the eyes of God, he chose not to make it a fault. The proof is that at any time he justified himself: "I did it; I really did what the Lord commanded me to do." I just brought this to make a sacrifice to the Lord your God. So I do not see why God would take it to be a fault. Samuel said, "You have made a mistake," he said, "No, God should not exaggerate, He is becoming a bit more capricious. I tell you that it is for His good that I came back with these animals and you insist on saying..., you find faults everywhere, can’t you make an effort to understand that it is for Him that I came back with these animals?"
This is how when people remain in their pride, they reason God. Beloved let us understand that God knows everything and we know nothing. And when we believe to be logical and God illogical, let’s forget our logic and simply submit to God. In any case, it is not He who wants to enter into our heaven, it is we who want to enter into His Heaven. It is left for everyone to choose!
Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children."
1Sam 15:23 "Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king."
Meditating on these verses, we saw that we like meditating on the first part of the verse which says: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, as if knowledge was hidden from us. And when we come back to 1Sam 15, we see that it is we who choose to reject the knowledge of God's word, because the Lord does not hide His word from us. In 1Sam 15, the Lord revealed to Saul exactly what he expected of him. So Saul was not in ignorance. He chose to reject the word of the Lord, and that is why the Lord also rejected him as king. And in Hosea 4:6 the Lord says: Because you have rejected knowledge... It is clear from this passage that we die for lack of knowledge, because we choose to reject knowledge, and not because the Lord has chosen to hide it from us. Beloved, it is for us to seek to know the Lord. God's revelations are at our disposal, the Lord has blessed us with too many teachings, a lot of knowledge. So if we reject the knowledge that the Lord is giving us, then Hell awaits us.
Grace be with you all who have Jesus Christ as Master!
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