At the end of Part 4, I noted that there was one church in the Revelation received by John on the Isle of Patmos that was called the Faithful Church. A remnant, if you would, with whom Jesus was pleased and promised them He would keep them from the hour of trial that was going to be unleashed upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth. I am sure you and I would love to be counted among that remnant in this hour of great trial.
We have asked and answered several questions in parts 1 – 4 of this series and I ended yesterday’s blog recognizing that the very important next question we needed to ask ourselves is, “What does God require of you and me (the Body of Christ) in this hour?” As I begin to answer this question, I want to take us back to 1 Chronicles 21 as I promised I would do.
What does God Require?
There is scriptural precedent regarding times of God’s judgment and the response required to cause God’s hand to be stayed. I am going to share some relevant passages for our meditation and revelation of what was and is required. The bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God’s character does not change. What was required then is the same requirement now.
So David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” (1 Chron. 21:8)
Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. And David said to God, “Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, O Lord my God, be against me and my father’s house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.” Therefore, the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David that David should go and erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. ………………………….Then David said to Ornan, “Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar on it to the Lord. You shall grant it to me at the full price, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.” But Ornan said to David, “Take it to yourself, and let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes. Look, I also give you the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing implements for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering; I give it all.” 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 nothing.” So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place. And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the Lord; and He answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burn offering. So the Lord commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath. (1 Chron. 21:16-27)
And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” (Num. 21:5-8)
So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.” (Joshua 7:10-13)
When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. (2 Chron. 7:13-15)
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure ………………………. Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath be kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. (Psa. 2:5. 10-12)
Remember therefore from where you are fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent. (Rev. 2:5)
Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. (Rev. 2:16)
And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. (Rev. 2:21-23)
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. (Rev. 3:3)
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Rev. 3:18-19)
And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. (Rev. 16:9)
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Rev. 18:4-5)
I am sure you see a pattern running through these scriptures. Tomorrow we compare notes. For now, I leave us to meditate and reflect.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 3:22)