WORKSHOP ON THE RAPTURE N°6
This teaching is the 6th part in a series of nine. Please read the other 8 parts.
Verse 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.
We see here that despite the fact that the Lord had rejected Saul as king, Saul was not immediately deprived of any of his duties as King. He remained king. We see that the Lord did not reject Saul and put him to death or immediately removed him to install his successor. We see Saul continued to be king for years. He continued to fight Israel’s battles, God’s battles, even as God was no longer with him. Saul continued to exercise his kingship, even as he had already been rejected. Those who saw Saul not knowing what had happened between Samuel, God and him, still considered him as king. He was still seen as someone who had been placed there by God; someone who is there for God. This is really something that causes concern and creates fear.
Because we can be there, a pastor may be there, rejected by God but still continues to do the work of "a pastor", "of a child of God." Yet before God, he is disqualified, God does no longer acknowledge his status. That is why each of us must examine himself before God. Everyone should test himself as the Lord tells us in His word, to see whether he is still in the faith, whether he is still with God. 2Cor 13:5 "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you are disqualified." It is really a personal matter. Self-examination, self-assessment, brings out one’s self report.
This comes to confirm what we said in the teaching on discernment. We insisted on the fact that thousands of people take the title of pastor, evangelist, doctor, yet people already rejected by God, people like Sauls. But in the meantime, these people are there, they are still kings as Saul was, and they are there for years. God does not reject and strike them immediately; they remain there, carrying out duties as king and this for years. There are elements to be considered in relation to this situation with regard to us and to those who continue to see these people like kings. To serve a king like that one is dangerous, since he will also lead you away from the face of God. And I think you saw it in the case of Saul. He led those who were with him far from the face of God, fought God, and fought everything which belonged to God. I think if you have read the whole story of Saul, you understand how he went as far as killing the priests of God. He repeatedly tried to kill the priest of God, kill the king that God Himself had chosen to take his place. Those who were following him and still serving him, ended up with him doing this abominable work.
You remember when he came and wanted to kill the priests of God. He asked the first servant to strike them, the servant said no and he asked another to do so. So it's dangerous to serve such people. Here is the kind of problem that we can face at this level. But by the grace of God, this problem is solved for us with the discernment that God has given us. And this is precisely why God has given us discernment so that we can know or recognize those who are really kings, and those who are kings already rejected by God, because to find yourself serving a king who is already rejected by God is dangerous. For a day is coming when he will ask you to take your sword and put to death the priests of God. And you risk finding yourself trying to obey him, which is dangerous.
Therefore beloved, we retain that many born again Christians today, filled with gifts of all kinds, among them elders, deacons, apostles, prophets, teachers, leaders of different groups you know, are people already rejected by God. That is people who will never go to Heaven; but in the meantime they are still reigning as king and this for many years. On the other hand, we bear in mind that it is dangerous to follow these people because if we keep following them, then Hell awaits us. Fortunately for us that God gives us discernment to recognize them. Because if we do not recognize them, we will follow them; and if we follow them, they will ask us one day to take our sword to kill the prophets and the priests of God.
Beloved I believe that all these messages are drawing our attention. And as the brother spoke of self-examination, it is left for each and everyone to examine himself and make sure that he is still in the faith. And for what concerns us here, many of those who were in our midst and were driven out have gone and created their own "sound doctrine." And right now, according to them they are going to Heaven ahead of us. They are there sharing what they call their "sound doctrine" since they have remained with our teachings. They are still kings but already rejected by God. Unfortunately many people without discernment will get behind them and follow them. But what reassures us is that God in His faithfulness will not allow any of His true children to follow these people right up to the end. And even when you follow them for a while, God in His faithfulness shows you that you are serving a rejected king in order for you to pull yourself together. But in the meantime that is the situation beloved. It is seduction that rules the world and it is seduction that is all around us. It is left for us to ensure that we do not fall into this seduction.
As we already said from the beginning, we should judge ourselves in order not to be judged. Do not wait until the Lord reveals to His Apostle or to His servants that our hearts are not right. Let us straighten our hearts before God and He will welcome us.
Let's come back to this passage of 1Chro 21:24 "Then King David said to Ornan, "No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing."
In the small nine-minute video that we put at your disposal on the rapture page, there is a striking element in that testimony. It is that of the Palestinian pastor who criticized pastors in France amongst others the fact that they did not know the price of Salvation or the price of the Gospel. He told them that the Gospel did not cost them anything. Because he said, when something is costly to you, you give weight to that thing. What does the Gospel cost to you? If it's nothing, then you can understand why you advance in your own way. But when the Gospel costs you something, you take it a little more serious.
And to come back to the notion of sacrifice, of what we want to present to God, let it be your heart, your talents, your property, as long as you are not willing to submit to God something that cost you something, then you have not yet understood who this God really is. When you see people who understand who God is, who know God, their way of life with God is different from the way you see others live with God. You see people who it is when they have free time that they think about God. There are the crumbs of what they have that they give to God.
We recently went back to Malachi where the Lord was talking in terms of robbing Him. There is another passage of Malachi that we did not read the last time. For we read the passage of Malachi 3 where the Lord was speaking of tithes and offerings, saying that people were robbing God. When you go through Malachi, you see another thing that the Lord reproached his people for. It was the fact of always wanting to offer to God sacrifices that cost them nothing, wretched beasts. This means that on the one hand while some refused to give, on the other hand others gave what cost them nothing. And God also had to rebuke them. Meanwhile when we go to 1Chronicles 21 that we have just read, we see that those who know God know how to give to God and what to give Him. They give to God what costs them something.
With this you can understand why in the sound doctrine or in the New Testament the Lord did not emphasized much on tithes and offerings. Because He believes that we, of the New Covenant, are enlightened. He believes that we have understood what our forefathers did not understand. And that having understood we will give freely and abundantly. But it is surprising that even the people of the New Covenant do not understand that when you give to God it is for your own good; and that you have to give while being happy, to give with joy and to give what costs you something.
So we see that if this teaching was really assimilated, the Lord would not have rebuked us anymore for tithes and offerings, because we will not only give tithes but more than tithes. Yet we do not give even the "poor" tithe. There are those who give only wretched animals to God. Once they have finished all of their expenses and it remains a few coins, they say, why not throw it in the offering box of God. That's the kind of person that God has rejected. Because if you know that God is your God and not the God of the apostle, it is not your leftovers that you will give Him. It is not when you finished doing what you want to do that you think of Him. Whoever sees God as his God, knows that it is God who has given him life, the breath of life. He knows that it is this God who gives him health every day to do whatever he is doing, who renews his strength every day to do whatever he is doing, that it is God who blesses him for him to get what he gets every time. And for that we should first think about this God and not the reverse, and not when we finish doing everything we have to do.
Beloved, in this passage of 1Chro 21:24, we see the state of heart of someone who knows the God he serves. And there he makes it clear, for I will not take for the Lord what belongs to you, or offer a burnt offering which does not cost me anything. Because he knows that that God is everything to him, He is his God, He is his Lord, He is his Master, He is his Guide, all for him, his Shield, his Shepherd, He is everything to him and he owes everything to that God. It is that God who gives us the breath of life, health, physical strength, intellectual strength, wisdom, intelligence, protection to do every day what we do. And if despite all this, it is when we finish doing whatever we have to do that we think of appeasing God with crumbs, it means that we have never known that God. Those who truly know God know how to honour Him. And since the continuation of our study will certainly bring us back here, since we will talk among others of first love, you will understand that when you reach your first love, you will know first of all the place of God in your heart.
So what to do to be ready for the rapture? The question has been well answered; it is left for everyone to make good use of the response.
Being ready is to put the Lord before all things, flee from disobedience, separate from those who despise the living God...
5) What is first love, how to remain in the first love, how does one know that he has lost his first love?
The first question that should be asked is whether we have once had this first love, because we first need to have once had it in order to be able to describe it.
First love is that passionate love for God, that love which helps us to put God first. In one’s first love, one does not stop testifying about the Lord, doing things for the Lord. One is inexhaustible; one wants to make his entourage see Jesus in him, know that he has changed. We want everyone to know. We feel the First love only when we have gone through a real repentance. It pushes us to sing to the Lord without ceasing, to talk about Him all day long.
The first love is when we put God in His place, where we want to do what pleases the Lord. We love Him with all that is in us. We are ready to do everything, to give everything to the Lord. This is the time when we love the Lord with all our heart, with all our strength.
Mat 22:37 "Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind."
The challenge is to maintain this heart like that, maintain this love, this flame until the Lord comes and takes us away. To be raptured, the Lord must find us with the same heart, the same love, the same flame.
First love can be compared to the love that fiancés have for one another. When you know your fiancé for the first time, you are very attentive; you always want to do what pleases him. It is never as a matter of routine that you passionately love Him every day. The Lord is our greatest Fiancé and we must love him unconditionally. First love is the one we felt when we came to know Him.
Psalm 8:3-4 "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?"
In the first love, there is this element of gratitude to God. For we ask ourselves: Who am I that the Lord thinks of me? This recognition encourages us to love God more and appreciate each of His goodness toward us.
In the first love, we are ready to do anything for the Lord, ready to obey the Lord without thinking of the consequences, ready to obey promptly and unconditionally.
This is the moment of our lives where obedience to God is complete, total. In this phase of our Christian life, we do not expect a revelation to obey God. We obey whenever the Lord commands us to do something for Him. We do not put any condition to obey God, when God speaks, we obey.
This is the time in our lives where all our desire is to please our God. At this point, the zeal that we have for the things of God is immense. We do not need someone to shout at us to do anything before we do it. This is a time where all we are doing is to please God, to be acceptable in His eyes, to obey Him and seek to be a blessing to the brethren, to serve the people of God.
It is therefore to maintain this moment that is the entire problem. Since satan will not be happy to see that our zeal for God is total, that our love for God is unconditional, and that our obedience to God is total. Satan and his agents are fighting us day and night to extinguish this flame in us. We must do everything to keep our first love, because it is only in this first love, that the Lord will find us ready.
What then to do to maintain or to return to the first love for those who have already lost it?
Some examples of people who once experienced their first love but were unable to preserve it.
The case of Saul: 1Sam 10:9 "So it was, when Saul had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day."
Saul also had his first love but failed to maintain it. We can truly start in the first love but end up badly, hence the difficulty of maintaining the first love. The first love is the fact of receiving a new heart. And this new heart allows us to see things in a new way, to have a genuine love for the Lord. Saul also experienced this first love, even as it was only of a short term.
1Sam 11:6-11 "Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused. 7So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, "Whoever does not go out with Saul and Samuel to battle, so it shall be done to his oxen." And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out with one consent. 8When he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. 9And they said to the messengers who came, "Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: 'Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help.' " Then the messengers came and reported it to the men of Jabesh, and they were glad. 10Therefore the men of Jabesh said, "Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do with us whatever seems good to you." 11So it was, on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together."
Saul had received this first love, had even manifested it, but as time went on things became catastrophic.
How then to remain in the first love?
In addition to Saul, there is the case of the people of Israel. We saw the love they had for the Lord from the beginning and what happened later.
Exodus 39:42-43 "The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them."
This passage shows us the manifestation of the first love of the people of Israel. They did everything that the Lord had recommended; they did exactly as the Lord had recommended to the point of receiving the blessings of God's servant. These people had the first love, but did not know how to remain in it.
Grace be with you all who have Jesus Christ as Master!
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