Within the words of the prophets, we find God’s plan foretold. If people are deaf to His words, they don’t hear what He is saying. Their ears have to be open to His voice and His ideas in order to understand.
It would be a few hundred years before these words would come to pass, but they would come to pass. That’s the way it is with God’s Word. It will all come to pass – eventually.
The Lord is introducing the concept of the gospel being sent to all nations. “The sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the Lord to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord and be His servants … even them I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer….For My house shall be called a house of many nations…I will gather to Him others besides those who are gathered to Him.” (56:6-8).
These words are there for the Pharisees to read and understand many generations in the future. However, their ears were closed to God’s truth. They wanted to keep themselves as a special people, and so they did – with pride and arrogance against all others. Not God’s plan.
This should be a lesson for all of us. We have all assumed certain things and been taught certain things, but those things might not be from God.
Now He is not going to bring us revelation which can’t be found in the word, but if we read His word with fresh eyes, asking for Him to teach us, we will see the truth – even if it hasn’t been taught us. Sometimes we may wrestle with what we see, knowing that we have been taught differently. That’s okay. In fact, it’s good for us to ponder to make sure that we are seeing correctly.
I’ll give you an example in my own life. I was brought up in church, studying the Word, and listening to teaching. Never did anyone bring up the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I knew nothing about it.
There came a time, however, when I was seeking God in a desperate way, and I received it. I started babbling in other tongues. (It was so strange to me that at first I was afraid I was losing my mind). But I wasn’t losing it; I was gaining it!
Now there are many churches which teach that this experience is no longer available to us, but it’s too late for those people to tell me that. I have received so much from having my “prayer language,” that no one could ever talk me out of it.
It’s right there in the Word, but tradition and erroneous teaching have kept many from receiving God’s best.
There are two special privileges which go with this gift. First, when you pray in the spirit, you “edify yourself.”(I Corinthians 14:4) In other words, you gain knowledge and wisdom from the Holy Spirit who is praying through you. The second privilege is that when you don’t know how to pray as you ought, He prays for you – and God’s perfect will is being prayed out in your life or in the lives of those for whom you are praying. (Romans 8:26-27).
It’s a powerful gift, which totally changed my life. Yet traditions of men have kept many from receiving it.
In the same way, there may be traditions which you have become accustomed to and you think they are true. When you encounter something in the Bible which says something different, don’t gloss over it. Let the Lord begin to teach you.
God’s Word is true! Let that be your starting point, and you will have many understandings opened to you.
II Thessalonians 2
The Thessalonians were listening to some of the wrong voices of the day. There were some who were saying that the Day of the Lord had already come. Obviously, many were afraid that they had missed out on God’s plan.
Paul makes it clear, however, that the Day of the Lord was for the future.
First there would be a great falling away from God’s truth – and that the son of perdition would arise. (The antichrist).
He would oppose the things of God and exalt himself to be God – even taking the seat in the temple of God as an imposter. Paul goes on to say that the spirit of this one is already working.
I think that we can certainly see that antichrist spirit working today. There has been a great falling away. Many have denied Jesus and many have tried to substitute their own ideas for what the Word says.
It’s really important for us to stay faithful to God’s plan – and not our own.
May we be preserved blameless spirit, soul, and body until the coming of our Lord.