Monday, December 7, 2015

The Day of the Lord

This is from the Missing Cross to Purity:

Selections from the Works of Francis Howgill

Where the Day of the Lord Appears,
How it Comes,
and How it is Looked For .

The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display,
Nor will people say, Look! Here ! or, See, there! For behold,
the kingdom of God is within you and among you
.Luke 17:20-21 
Those who gaze abroad [looking for a visible, outward appearance] cannot see the Lord’s appearance, or his day. He that does not know where it consists, does not know how to look for it, any more than did the Jews, who were scripture experts and learned men, knew where the Kingdom of God consisted. And the literal believers, whose faith is founded on the letter [Bible/Scriptures], and on what is visible, know no more where the Kingdom of God is to be found. This day of the Lord, which is eternal brightness, appears in the heart; and the dawning and breaking forth of it is to be waited for there; and as it is witnessed, it manifests evil, and brings it to light, and declares against what is contrary to its own nature. Christ, the Covenant of light, the Gift of God, who is sent and anointed of God, to preach and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, proclaims it in the heart; for He comes not to bring peace, but a sword, and his sword is the sword of the Spirit. It is what divides, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart, and discovers its desperate wickedness. In earthly hearts where He finds no faith, He kindles a fire and executes his vengeance; and his day to those without faith is a day of great perplexity. Their spirits come to be wounded; their hearts become faint, and sorrow fills them, and trouble is known; and in this state He finds all who are unconverted; without faith; without hope; and therefore He takes away peace. Many have talked of the day of the Lord; but when it appears, they will not be able to stand it; but will rather run to anything, [the refuge of continued darkness] than see the Lord of life appear to execute vengeance upon his enemies.
They who have not yet seen this day of the Lords vengeance in themselves, have never seen the day of salvation. The prophet cried out:  "Who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appears?" And many have been eye-witnesses of the dreadful day-of the Lord, which has appeared in them, wherein all peace has been hidden from their eyes; and all who ever came to see that day of joy and gladness, first knew the terror and the terrible day of the Lord in themselves. Therefore said the apostle: "We, knowing the terror of the Lord, persuade men." Now this day of the Lord comes not with observation, "Lo here, or there;" thus the Pharisees looked that the kingdom of heaven should come, when Christ told them it "as within them." I say, if ever any do behold the bright shining forth of Eternal Life, they must wait in what is of God, through which He will manifest his day and power in them; and as they keep their attention to what manifests evil unto them, and shows them good, they will see how it appears; even as the lightning shines from the east unto the west, so is the coming of the day of the Lord; and the eye which is spiritual sees it. The power and the glory of the Lord, are seen in the day which is pure and spiritual in the heart; and the eye which is pure discovers when it comes, where it comes, and how it comes; while it is hidden from the vultures eye, and is hidden from the eyes which cannot cease from sin.
Now the day of the Lord comes not where the carnal mind might imagine, nor when man wills; neither according to the carnal desire of the carnal heart; neither according to the evil eye that looks out, can it be seen.
And as the day of the Lord is a mystery, the Spirit of the Lord is the only discoverer of it; for none can know the things of God, but by the Spirit of God. The day of the Lord; even his bright shining forth in the heart of man, is one of the glorious things of God, which only the Spirit of God gives the knowledge of to man, and in man. The further men draw from the Light, the darker their hearts become; and their understandings being closed up, they cannot behold the Lord, neither his glory, which is revealed only by God's Holy Spirit; which Spirit is near man, though he sees it not.

Francis Howgill (1618-1669)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Relationships That Will End in Disaster

Oswald Chambers, 1874-1917

This is from the blog Craig T. Owens:

Relationships That Will End In Disaster

"Most of the suffering in human life comes because we refuse to be disillusioned. For instance, if I love a human being, and do not love God, I demand of that man or woman an infinite satisfaction which they cannot give. I demand of them every perfection and every rectitude, and when I do not get it, I become cruel and vindictive and jealous.

"Think of the average married life after, say, five or ten years; too often it sinks down into the most commonplace drudgery. The reason is that the husband and wife have not known God rightly, they have not gone through the transfiguration of love, nor endured through the discipline of disillusionment into satisfaction in God, and consequently they have begun to endure one another instead of having one another for enjoyment in God. 

"The human heart must have satisfaction, but there is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching of this of the human heart, and that is our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why He is apparently so severe in regard to every human relationship. He says if we are going to be His disciples, occasion may arise when we must hate both father and mother, and every closest tie there is. Our Lord has no illusions about men, and He knows that every relationship in life that is not based on loyalty to Him will end in disaster."

       --The Place Of Help by Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers is exactly right: Unless a relationship is not first founded on complete devotion to God will be headed for disaster.

You cannot change another person; only God can. You cannot find ultimate satisfaction in another person, because you were designed to find your ultimate satisfaction in God alone. Intimate human relationships do have some value—

  • They are meant to be nourished by God love.
  • They are meant to reflect God’s love.
  • They are meant to draw others into God’s love.
If your closest human relationships aren’t doing those three things, your closest human relationships are headed for dissatisfaction and disaster.

Contrary to Common Sense

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Speaking the Truth

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1821-1881

“Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.”

--Fyodor Dostoyevsky

A Prophet's Eyes
Wearing a Rough Garment