Transformed and Sanctified by the Word, Jesus Christ

The following excerpt is from “The Hour Has Come” by G. Ray Jordan. Published in 1948, this work of Jordan’s is an examination and commentary on Jesus Christ’s high priestly prayer in John 17. Again, it is as relevant for the believer today as when it was first written. As followers of Christ in these Last Days, we are living in a time of ever-expanding immorality, compromise, tolerance, and wickedness. It is increasingly more perilous for the Christian to live a separated life, however it is the Word of God which transformed us that will sanctify us.

“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” – John 17:6-19

Christ is thinking of a much nobler purpose and a far greater challenge when he insists those who are his devoted disciples cannot follow “the way of the world.” Here is something so spiritually superior it has to do with the divine difference. Jesus makes it quite plain when he declares that “the glory which thou gavest me I have given them.” These friends are to be one with him in spirit and purpose. They are not to be controlled by the social, moral, or ethical standards of society or of any merely human group. The spirit of heaven has touched them. These men are not perfect. But they have seen the stars, and never again can they be satisfied with things of the earth.

When the intimate friends of Jesus began to understand him, to love him and eagerly give themselves to him, something magnificent happened to them. Their faces were turned in a different direction; their hearts thrilled to a higher devotion. Their wills were given to a new objective; their desires were set toward a divine purpose. The customs of society never crushed them after that. They refuse to be slaves to the codes of any earthly kingdom. Their lives were literally transformed. Spiritually they were born again. Any description less vivid fails to tell the full story of what happened to them.

Saul of Tarsus was captivated by the strange Man who went to a cross rather than abandon his hopes and surrender his ideals for life. Saul could do nothing less than give him his heart. His mind, his will, and his emotions were all affected by the spirit of this man who had been crucified because he would not compromise. He saw the devotion Christ manifested as the hope of humanity. A new power came to him. He urged his comrades not to conform to the standards of those about them. They should never succumb to the sordid moral conditions of the cities in which they lived, nor conform to the low ethical ideas of the Mediterranean world.

But mere lack of conformity to popular customs is not sufficient. Christians are to be transformed. There to be changed by the spirit and power of God. This is a radical experience. Only God can bring it to pass. As we yield ourselves to him, we find a power greater than our own which works in and through us. Obviously this is a far cry from simply refusing to abide by certain social customs. Those who decide to become divinely different by offering their wills to the heavenly Father on the highway to real greatness, even to God-likeness.

Here’s a sweeping experience which affects all of life because it has to do with every possible personal and social adjustment. A Christian treats himself differently because he is transformed. He thinks of Christ’s way rather than the world’s for dealing with any situation which arises.

Words of Grace for Strength:

Transformation is change, an event, which for the Christian was accomplished by Christ’s finished work at Calvary. Transforming his life from one of sin and death, to one which has been redeemed and justified into holiness and life. A part of Transformation is the process of Sanctification. Sanctification is also change, initiated by Christ at Calvary, which is then followed through by the faith and actions of the believer in his desire for a growing, continual, obedient relationship with God. This is accomplished through the study and application of His Word to the believer’s life. Transformation is being placed in Christ, while Sanctification is the ongoing process of being separated or set apart in holiness to God so that the believer might become more Christ-like.

True disciples of Jesus Christ today can be identified by their desire for Transformation and Sanctification in much the same way as those who walked and talked with Jesus during His earthly ministry. It is all a function of will. Those who are true disciples of Jesus Christ have heeded the instruction of the Holy Spirit through the Word given to the Apostle Paul, as written in the book of Romans:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:1&2

The true disciple of Jesus Christ no longer operates under his own will, but has placed his will subservient to the Will of God. Because of this the disciple is no longer operating under his own power, but is dependent upon, and operating through, the power of God (Philippians 3:10, Ephesians 6:10 & 11). The power is there for any disciple to tap into by turning to God in wholehearted faith and obedience. If we do not choose to seek out and use that power, it is our fault alone if our lives are more difficult than need be.

We are living in troublesome times, terrible times. This world is full of corruption, deceit, hate, avarice, and lawlessness. Because of compromise, tolerance, and inclusiveness, society in every country is breaking down due to a lack of principles, morals, and rule of law. Wickedness prevails in most of the world as it spirals out of control under the influence of the prince of the power of this world, Satan himself.

The true disciple of Jesus Christ recognizes this, and in obedience to the Will of God, takes up the “whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:13) to be able to make a stand for Jesus Christ in these Last Days. The promise of victory for the true disciple of Jesus Christ is found in the passage above (John 17:6-19), and that our Savior not only has given us into the hand of His Father, but has asked His Father to protect us from the evil one (Satan) and to sanctify us through His Truth. Jesus identifies the Word as Truth. John 1:1-3 identifies Jesus as the Word. It follows then, that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are sanctified by God through Jesus Christ. Make sure to note that in the prayer of John 17 Jesus asks that we be kept from the evil one, not necessarily taken out of the world when faced with evil. We are meant to fight for the cause of Christ, and our Lord made sure we are equipped to do battle, if we just take up the armor and tap into the power. As always the provision of the Lord is abundant beyond comprehension.

We are living in the Last Days, and as it is the Lord who appoints the times and seasons,we as disciples should be acutely aware of both the time and season. So, as we live in these Last Days, we must do so in the Will of God, by the power of God, and we should do so remembering the words of the Apostle Paul to Titus.

Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

EvenSoCome

Don’t Blame God

Jesus was talking about the end of the age when He said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21). “Great tribulation” speaks of planet earth’s darkest hour. The Bible calls it, “a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zeph. 1:15). The Bible says people will “go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth” (Isa. 2:19). Yes, Jesus intends to violently shake this earth and, in addition to Jesus, at least two Old Testament prophets said there has never been a time like it (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1).

Some think this awful time will be Satan’s doing, but the Bible says it will be the Lord’s doing (Isa. 24:1; 26:21). The prophet Joel, the apostle Paul and others called it the Day of the Lord (Joel 1:15; I Thess. 5:2). John the Revelator called it the wrath of the Lamb (Rev. 6:15-17). He also called it the wrath of God (Rev. 11:17-18; 14:7, 19; 16:1). So no less than Jesus and His Father are going to send judgment upon this earth that will be worse than WWI, WWII or anything the world has ever seen. And as bad as it will be, the world will deserve every last bit of it.

The usual sins of adultery, fornication, violence, unbelief, heresies, etc. are enough to justify the Tribulation Period, but I want to limit this to just one sin that deserves and will bring down the terrible wrath of God: the world’s satanic hatred of Israel. God does not want to send the Tribulation Period (Ezek. 33:11), but make no mistake He will. This is not to say that Israel hasn’t sinned because Israel has sinned, but it is to say that the vast majority of those on earth, including many church leaders, have listened to the Devil and given their heart to the radical Islamic terrorists.

Hamas is a recognized terrorist organization that extols the actions of Adolph Hitler and his gas chambers. Its charter calls for the obliteration and replacement of Israel. It supports suicide bombings of innocent women and children on busses, in restaurants, in shopping centers and on the streets. It kidnaps and murders Israeli citizens, soldiers, non-soldiers, adults and teenage students. It threatens reporters and collaborates with Iran, the barbaric Islamic State (ISIS), al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and others; some of which crucify, behead and shoot Christians or bury them alive. It maintains its control in the Gaza Strip by oppression, threats, torture and murder. It arms itself through smuggling, subterfuge and the misappropriation of money that was given to worthy causes. It agrees to ceasefires and breaks them. It indiscriminately fires rockets at civilians in towns where nurseries, kindergartens, schools, synagogues, hospitals and churches are located in a desperate attempt to kill anyone they can.

During this present war with Hamas, Israel captured a pile of terrorist documents, training manuals and computers. The IDF found instructions on the benefits of using human shields and civilian locations when firing rockets and missiles at Israel. They found tunnels with holding rooms to detain Israeli citizens. They found plans to kidnap Israeli women and children and to start a war on Sept. 24, 2014. And this list could go on and on, but the point is that many world leaders, university and seminary professors, church leaders, pastors and Hollywood celebrities can’t see a smidgen of wrong in what these corrupt, lying, kidnapping, murderers do.

On the other hand, Israel went out of its way to protect Palestinians. Before they attacked Hamas positions in Gaza they dropped leaflets that warned the Palestinians to leave. Hamas urged the Palestinians to ignore Israel’s warnings. Then, Israel dropped more leaflets. Israel texted people and she set up an automated phone system to robocall residents of Gaza urging them to leave. Israel dropped bombs that gave the Palestinians several seconds warning before they exploded and more.

So a diabolical terrorist group called Hamas is on one side using innocent women and children as human shields and doing everything it can to boost the death toll of innocent people. And Israel is on the other side trying to defend and protect its own innocent people and, at the same time, trying to avoid killing innocent Palestinians that are caught in the crossfire.

If the world’s leaders, university and seminary professors, church leaders, pastors and Hollywood celebrities had a sense of decency, integrity or shame one would think they would readily condemn Hamas and loudly praise Israel. But no, these self-righteous bigots and hypocrites can’t find even one kind word for Israel; they do everything they can to ignore, excuse and explain away the evil doings of Hamas; and to side against, criticize and condemn Israel for trying to fight a war with one hand tied behind her back.

It is my belief that Matthew 24 is about Israel. In verse 9, Jesus said, Israel “will be hated of all nations.” The world’s hatred of Israel is on display today. In Obad. 1:15, God said, “the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.”

I take no joy in saying this, but when the Tribulation Period is near (and that could be now) those who hate Israel are going to reap what they sow. God made an everlasting covenant to give all of the Promised Land to Israel (Gen. 17:7-8). He has the right to do that. He has the power to make it stick. His holy nature requires Him to make it stick.

The bottom line: God is not like men. He is just and it will do no good to blame Him for the Tribulation Period. It will only happen because the obvious wickedness of this world deserves His judgment.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com

Goodbye Lady Liberty

Following his famous sermon on Pentecost, the church “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). And it wasn’t long until Peter preached another famous sermon (Acts 3:12-26). He addressed the men of Israel and eventually said, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21). These are tough words, but I believe Peter told these Jews that God will send a time of refreshing to Israel, then God will send Jesus back, and then Jesus will begin the time of restoration (restore Israel’s position among the nations; restore morality, peace, justice, righteousness, etc. on earth). It intrigues me that God in His foreknowledge knows when the times of refreshing and time of restitution are.

But consider that God gave all of the Promised Land to Abraham and His descendents (the Jews); that God told Abraham that His descendants would live in another land and serve them (live in Egypt and be slaves there) for 400 years; and the reason why they couldn’t have the Promised Land right away was because the iniquity of the Amorites who lived in the Promised Land was not yet full (Gen. 15:12-16). God loves everyone, including the Amorites, so He would not allow the Jews to occupy the Promised Land for another 400 years because the sin of the Amorites was not yet great enough for them to be destroyed. But when the 400 years came and went and the Amorites had reached God’s limit on defiling the land, He would cast them out (Lev. 18:24-28; I Kings 21:25-26).

And consider that God told Judah that He had called upon the people to repent many times, but they did not listen so He was going to use Babylon to destroy Judah, capture many Jews in the north part of the country and make them serve Babylon for 70 years (Jer. 25:1-11). Then, He added that because of Babylon’s sin He would destroy Babylon 70 years later (Jer. 25:12). Before it happened God revealed Judah’s fall and the time of Babylon’s fall (70 years after Judah’s fall). But it did not stop there. God identified several other nations that would drink the “wine cup of this fury” (be destroyed) at that time (Jer. 25:15-26).

Among other things, a cup is a unit of measurement. David’s cup was filled with joy (Psa. 23:5). The believer’s cup is filled with salvation (Psa. 116:13; Jn. 7:37-39). Jesus’ cup was filled with the wrath of God toward the sins of the world (Matt. 26:39). The coming one-world religion’s cup will be filled with abominations and filthiness (Rev. 17:4).

The “wine cup of this fury” contained the wrath of God toward the sins of those nations. Instead of pouring His wrath upon these nations as they sinned, God poured His wrath into a cup. As time passed, the level of His wrath in the cup slowly rose until the “wine cup of this fury” was full. God didn’t punish them every time they sinned, but He was aware of their sins. And their sins caused His wrath to build until His cup was full and He destroyed them.

This process is ongoing, but it can be interrupted and God’s wrath can even be removed from the “cup” by humility, prayer and turning to Him (II Chron. 7:14). Absent that, and I don’t believe it is going to happen in the United States, the cup that contains America’s sins will continue to fill until there is no more room. Then, the Bible teaches that God will remove a leader (Dan. 2:21), or He will destroy a nation (Dan. 5:25-28), or He will give a nation the basest of men (a terrible leader) to rule over it (Dan. 4:17).

God does not change (Heb. 13:8) and it seems that the United States now has the basest of men for a leader (lying, spying, breaking the law, abortion, homosexuality, etc.). This is a clear indication that the cup of God’s wrath is full. It explains why our President’s lying staff, our cover-it-up Senate, our really angry (but never do anything about it) House and the predominantly silent Main Stream Media are allowing the destruction of America’s Biblical foundations. Goodbye Lady Liberty. Your “cup” is full and it grieves some of us to ponder your future.

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do (Psa. 11:3)? See Psa. 11:4-7. What will happen to the wicked (verse 6)? Drink from the cup of salvation before it is too late.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymondduck@bellsouth.net

A Clear and Present Danger

On April 3, 2014, Brendan Eich resigned his position as CEO of Mozilla Corporation because a group of intolerant gays was complaining about a $1,000 donation he made in support of a 2008 proposition to ban gay marriage in California. The proposition passed with 52% of the vote and it was in line with the views expressed by Barack Obama, Joseph Biden and Hillary Clinton at that time. The proposition was also in line with the laws of the thirteen original states of the U.S., the long-held views of the vast majority of U.S. citizens, and more importantly, what the Bible teaches on the issue (Lev. 18:21-22; 20:13). It was an effort to stick to America’s roots, to restore Bible morality, and to avoid the eventual judgment of God on our nation.

The problem in Sodom was due more to the widespread acceptance of homosexuality than it was to the existence of homosexuality. The Bible says, “the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them” (Gen. 19:4-5). The old, the young and all the people from every quarter clearly approved of the homosexual lifestyle. Pres. Obama is like this, He is obsessed with the idea of spreading homosexuality all over the world even to the point of using our diplomats to do it.

Unfortunately, Pres. Obama’s pushing of homosexuality and the widespread acceptance of it is just one symptom of America’s rejection of the Word of God. Since the Roe vs. Wade ruling in 1973, U.S. doctors have killed about 55 million unwanted babies. These innocent and defenseless babies have been denied life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Their tiny bodies have been thrown in the garbage and tossed out or incinerated with the clinical trash. In the U.S., Planned Parenthood doctors by themselves killed more than 300,000 babies in 2013 and Pres. Obama stood before the group and said, “God bless you” (Ex. 20:13; 21:22-25; Prov. 6:16-17; Jer. 32:35).

Gambling is condemned in the Bible under the subjects of covetousness, greed, materialism and the love of money (Ex. 20:17; Prov. 15:27; Eph. 4:19; I Tim. 6:10). It was once considered foolishness, preying on the poor, a rip off; and a criminal activity associated with prostitution, political corruption and the mafia. But America has rejected these Bible-based teachings. Some even estimate that as much as one-third of our money flows through the gambling industry. Sadly, large segments of this once sinful, illegal activity are being run as lotteries by state governments that say they need the revenue.

Drug abuse is listed as one of six major sins that will be prominent during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 9:20-21). Those who use drugs will refuse to repent and they will ultimately wind up in the Lake of Fire. Cocaine use has already become a national tragedy. The Federal Government has not legalized marijuana use, but two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized it for recreational purposes; about a dozen other states are discussing legalizing it for recreational purposes; many more states have legalized it for medicinal use; Pres. Obama has admitted that he used it; he has made light of it by comparing it to taking a drink of alcohol; Attorney Gen. Holder has decided not to use federal laws to prosecute it in Colorado and Washington, and he has come out in favor of lighter prison sentences for non-violent drug dealers. This is another case of the U.S. ignoring what the Bible says and the lives of multitudes are being ruined (many for eternity).

Political corruption is a disgrace to any nation (Prov. 14:34; 29:2) and the acceptance of it is a sure sign that the people have no regard for the Commandments of God (Ex. 20:1-17). A usurper who uses aliases, a stolen Social Security number, a forged birth certificate, a forged Selective Service card; who hid his school records and his travel records; who habitually lies, deceives, and promotes abominations to God sits in the White House with the approval of a major political party, most of the mainstream media and many church goers. His unrighteousness and the widespread acceptance of sin is a clear indication of the spiritual darkness that now hovers over America.

Anti-Semitism is one of our greatest sins and the fact that it is rampant in the church makes it even worse. God has placed Scriptures, seminaries and true believers all over the U.S. and there is no excuse for hatred of the Jews in the church. It is not that the church doesn’t have the will of God. It is that so many church members have chosen to be willingly ignorant, reject or ignore what it says. Many blindly place denominational doctrine before the Word of God. It is clear that God made an everlasting covenant to give all the land of Canaan to Israel for an everlasting possession (Gen. 17:7-8); that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Rom. 11:29); that God has not cast away Israel (Rom. 11:1-2); that all Israel will be saved (Rom. 11:26-28); that the Jews are God’s people even in the latter days and latter years (Ezek. 38:8, 16); that the Jews will still be God’s people when the Battle of Armageddon takes place (Joel 3:2); that Israel will be under the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-37; Heb. 8:8) and more; and yet, many in the church choose to ignore what the Bible says and their hatred of Israel is causing them to lead the vast majority of humanity astray. They have the will of God (John 3:19), but they prefer to replace it with their own false doctrine and thereby they are without excuse.

I don’t know where it is, but God has a red line and the ink won’t disappear unless there is repentance in the church.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymondduck@bellsouth.net