Weekly Devotional 8-6-18 Two Peoples called as Priest; Part 2
Last week we considered that Israel had been chosen by God to be His priesthood to the rest of mankind. We considered that not being faithful they were set aside for a time. We also considered that God did not leave Himself without witness. He called unto Himself another people, the church. The church was to take up the mantle and be priest to all of humanity. Both Israel and the church were called to be a holy people, set aside to righteousness, purity of heart, mind and practice. As mentioned, Israel failed becoming more like the nations around them, worshipping imagined Gods rather than true God. It seems that the church is going in this same direction. More and more, the church is replacing true God with an imagined God. This is certainly true of the professing church, but alarmingly it is also becoming true of the possessing church. Like Israel, many of the church have lost their perception of the holiness God, liking Him to man. The church, however, must never measure God by man. God alone stands in perfection and true Holiness. In truth He is the measurement of these attributes. It is He who called Israel as priest, and it is He who has called the church to priesthood.
As a priest, all who truly are of the kingdom of God, are to represent Him as He is and not some distorted consideration of Him. Our mightiest influence is felt when we are different from the world. Our power lies in being different. Our influence will rise with the degree of our separateness from the world. It will diminish in effectiveness when that difference diminishes. We must strive to be different than the world.
The Apostle Paul had set his son in the faith, Timothy, as pastor over the church of Ephesus giving him this consultation; “1But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.8Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. 10But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra-what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them” (2nd Timothy 3:1-14 NKJB).
Paul’s caution to Timothy is our Lord’s caution to us. There will be many of the professing Church who for various reasons will turn away from truth interjecting things that profit them but does not profit the true church or the kingdom of God. Unwittingly, many of the possessing church are being drawn into this darkness. Perhaps we of the processing church should seriously apply the words of Jesus found in a letter He had directed the apostle John to deliver to churches of his day; and by extension to the entire church throughout these many centuries. In this letter Jesus focused on certain issues highlighted by issues found in a church located in a city called Sardis. Consider; “1And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’” (Revelation 2:3-6 NKJB).
Perhaps we should protect the integrity of the church along with our own integrity by taking seriously Paul’s introduction and caution to the churches of Galatia. Consider: “1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), 2and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 6I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:1-9 NKJB). Should we take Paul’s Holy Spirit inspired words seriously and apply them to ourselves? Certainly.
Lord, help us to remain faithful to you, and no matter the cost, help us to be faithful in your church.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man