Strange Fire

ACTS - Published Nov/Dec 2014

  

Time is defined as every moment there has ever been or ever will be ---
 

However, when we as humans think about Time, we generally do not think about how long it has been around or of it running out. But it is my firm belief that it is High Time we consider our Time.
 

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." (Hebrews 5:12)
 

Milk is generally a diet for babies and babies are not likely to be able to render much assistance to those in need.
 

Think about it. Isn’t it true, that many of the so-called Christians of today haven’t really grown much since they were first Converted? They haven’t taken the Time to study The Word of God and they haven’t even taken out very much time to Pray.
 

Think about this analogy. Look at a person that you would consider as FAT. What would happen to the size of that person if, they ate food and drank water as often as many so-called Christians take time to Pray and Read the Bible?
 

The answer is very simple. The fat person would become skinny. In fact, there is a very good chance that the person might die if, their eating and drinking habits don’t change.
 

In like manner, a Christian that does not take the time to Pray and Read the Bible on a daily basis stands the chance of becoming a weakened Christian.

 

So many people today do not want to hear what, "Thus Saith The Lord" because it would mean that they would have to make some major adjustments in their life.
 

Most people don’t like to admit that they are wrong so, as long as things are running along fairly smooth; they are going to continue on with the Statuesque.
 

"For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2nd Corinthians 6)
 

Isn’t this good news? There is still Time for Souls to be Saved. Hallelujah!

Praise His wonderful name.
 

"And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." (Acts 24:24-25)
 

In like manner, people today hear the Word of God that Ministers preach; they even tremble but like Felix, they refuse to change. Some say, like Felix, when I’m ready, I’ll give my heart to the Lord and start living for Him. What happens if they wait too long?
 

Think about this, The devils believe that there is a God. They believe that Jesus is the Son of God. They even, fear and tremble. But the most important thing to realize is that the devils can not be saved.
 

The fact that a person believes that Jesus is the Son of God will not save them. A person has no chance of Salvation unless, they are drawn by the Holy Ghost to God through the Precious Blood of Jesus. Therefore, One needs to respond while the Spirit is calling or they could be forever lost.
 

Solomon said, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil." God wants you and I to come to the place where we hate evil. He wants us to be willing to turn from our sins and follow on to know and serve Him before it is for ever too late.
 

"But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;"  (1st Corinthians 7:29 - in part)
 

If the Time was short when Paul spoke and wrote these words; how much Time is left? The Heavenly Father is the only one that has the answer to this question.
 

One might ask, what does, “that both they that have wives be as though they had none” have to do with Time?
 

The answer is quite simple. The way that many so-called Christians conduct their lives; it’s hard to tell if they are truly a Born Again Christian or a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing.
 

Christians are supposed to be the Bride of Christ. Do our thoughts, words and deeds convey our loyalty to Jesus or do people question our Salvation?
 

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Ephesians 5:15-17)
 

Paul told the Ephesians they needed to pay attention to what kind of witness they were portraying. He told them, “you have Time, right now, to get back the opportunity to be a good witness. God wants His Children to depart from evil.
 

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (1st Peter 4:17)
 

"Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." (St. Mark 13:33)
 

Here we go again. We are being admonished to pay attention and pray. Pay attention to what, the Word of God. You see, we are being encouraged to study the Word because the Time of testing has come for the Believers.
 

One Scripture says, “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged, 1st Corinthians 11:31." The only way that we can judge ourselves is by the Word of God. It is the Word of God that will bring forth judgment.
(Revelation 20:12.)
 

It is my firm belief that judgement has already begun for the Church and those that are found lacking will fall away.
 

"And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?"
(St. Luke 12:54-56)
 

People become accustom to things that happen on a regular basis like the weather or their daily routine of life. But because they do not have a daily routine in studying the Word of God, they have no idea of what the Lord is getting ready to do.
 

"This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."  (2nd Corinthians 13:1)
 

Paul is so intent in getting the message of Truth to the Believers that he reminds them over and over of how to make sure they are walking in the Light of Jesus.
 

He told them to make sure they were observing the Truth and He instructed them on how to know the Truth. Jesus, Himself said, “Your law says that the witness of two men is true." God said. “The witness of one man was not enough to condemn a man."
 

Therefore, it is important to use the witness of two or three Bible writers to prove a subject as sound Doctrine. As an example, one might use the writings of Paul, Daniel and Peter to prove a subject. If you can find two or three witnesses that agree on a subject, you are not likely to find two that will disagree on the same subject. One thing a person needs to remember is that Paul is attributed to writing most of what is commonly referred to as the New Testament, Romans through Philemon.
 

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 

(2nd Timothy 4:3-4)
 

Here we go again. People say, “Don’t tell me what I am doing wrong. I don’t want to hear it. I am comfortable with my life and I don’t want any thing to change”. They are more interested in man made holidays like Easter, Halloween and Christmas than they are in observing the Word of Truth. But there is coming a Time when it will be forever too late.
 

"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
(James 4:14)
 

Think about it. Our life here on Earth is but a moment in Time. It is like a vapor that vanishes away with the wind and is no more. Therefore, we can not afford to waste any more Time.
 

"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time." (Colossians 4:5)
 

We as Born Again Believers in Jesus need to use much Wisdom when we are around sinners. "If any man lack Wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally." (James 1:5)
 

The sinners are the ones that are “without” and we must have the mind of Christ when dealing with sinners.
 

"And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them." (St. Luke 21:8)
 

Jesus told His disciples there would be ministers who would come preaching that Jesus is the Christ. But just because ministers preach Jesus doesn’t mean that people should just blindly follow them.
 

God’s children are admonished to study God’s Holy Word. In that way, they will be fully grounded, ancored in Jesus, unmovable, knowing the Truth.
 

"Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come." (St. Luke 14:16-20)
 

Jesus told His disciples people would come up with all kinds of excuses not to observe the Truth. What would be some of the excuses one might hear today.
 

Do you have some kind of excuse that you are using that hinders you from obeying the Truth?
 

I pray that all who have an ear to hear will hear the message of Truth and will take this Time to consider where they are in serving Jesus. That they will not, put off until tomorrow that which is needful but that they will answer the High Call to follow Jesus.
 

And saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."  (St. Mark 1:15)
 

We must put off the Old Man with his deeds and put on the New Man, Jesus Christ the Righteous and be changed from Glory to Glory that when He (Jesus) appears, we will be like Him.
 

"And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:"
(Revelation 10:4-6 - in part)
 

Time my friend is running out. Don’t get side tracked by setting you mind on what the Seven Thunders uttered or you might miss the Time for leaving.
 

Remember when Elijah was about to be taken up? Elijah said unto Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so."  (2nd Kings 2:9-10)
 

Most of the preachers that I have heard minister on this Scripture didn’t keep their eyes on Elijah, they focused on the chariot of fire and horses of fire, and missed Elijah going up in a Whirlwind.
 

Let’s not loose the vision of Jesus but let’s keep our eyes on Him. Let’s look diligently into His Holy Word and follow on to know and serve Him in Spirit and in Truth because there is coming a day when there will be Time no more and all who are not serving Him will be forever lost.
 

Isn’t it Good News to know that we still have Time to come into line with the Truth?
 

Praise God for His undying love!
 

Derwood Stewart 

House of Prayer Sabbath Ministries