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Disowning Apostates (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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July 10, 2024 6:00 am

Disowning Apostates (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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July 10, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter of James 1:2-5


Every prayer in Jesus' name is a practice of seeking the victor over death, the one who indeed beat death and came back. That's Christianity. The one who conquered sin is the one we talk to. We don't have a séance to talk to the dead.

He's not dead. How many Christians will say to that, I believe it, and then go ask the world how to live? God says, oppose those who oppose God. Oppose those who oppose Yahweh.

Oppose those who oppose His word. Stand up to them. Don't fear them. If they ask you, well, what do you believe?

Tell them. And when they tell you what they believe and it's kooky, say, I don't believe that. And if they start giving you a hard time, I think it's fair to say, oh, so let's get this right. What you're saying is I have to do and believe what you tell me to do and believe.

Let's just get this straight. That's what you're telling me. When you say I have no right to disagree with you, you're insisting I follow you. And we say, I'm not doing that. And that's, you know, the Puritans ran from killing them for standing up to them. Anyway, Isaiah and his associates were being accused of conspiracy.

That's why the word in our English is here, concerning all that this people call a conspiracy. The people that aren't God's people were saying to Isaiah, oh, you're coming against the kingdom now. You're treasonous. You're not a patriot.

Jeremiah really suffered this. He said, well, you're an agent for Nebuchadnezzar. He said, I'm not an agent for Nebuchadnezzar.

I'm just telling you. You're going to Babylon. Build houses and gardens and, you know, do some pottery there because you're going to be stuck. You're not coming back. I mean, not for 70 years and it won't be all, most of you will be dead by then and the other bunch will be too old to make the trip. Your children will, some of your children will make it back.

Well, some of them did make it back, but not many. Anyway, they were trying to attack Isaiah and his character, calling him a treasonous and God was saying to the prophet, don't you be sidetracked by that. Let them call you sticks and stones, hurt, but you just stick close to me. And today, those who criminalize being a Christian, we have to stand up to them and tell them to their face, no, I disagree with you.

Do what you got to do, but I disagree with you. Verse 13, this is continuing, God speaking to him, the Lord of hosts, him you shall hallow, let him be your fear and let him be your dread. That's some serious stuff. You want to fear somebody, Isaiah? You better be fearing me. Maybe you've had a parent to tell you that.

You want to be afraid of somebody, you better be afraid what I'm going to do to you, never mind with your little buddies out there. My mom used to say, did you pick that up from your friends in the street? I want to look out the window, there's nobody in the street, mom. But I would have got smacked, but I didn't say anything. I'm not saying a word.

My mom never hit me because I never gave her a chance. I knew, I could tell until she's loading up. Look, when you hear that pump go click, click, you know it's coming. Don't force it. Some kids are dumb, man. It's like, boy, don't you, and they do it. The next thing you know, they're on the moon. How did I get here? So, anyhow, I know, you just, sometimes your kids can make you think evolution is true, but it's not, it's not.

Anyway, and then they grow up and they're like, boy, you're pretty smart because you were an idiot when you were like 14, 15 in teenage years. Anyhow, I was going to donate you to a Smithsonian. It's like, here, take this.

Anyhow, coming back to this. Verse 13, the Lord of hosts, him you shall hallow, let him be your fear. Well, Jesus taught us that a good way to open prayer was to calibrate our perspective, to get our doctrine in place. In this manner, therefore, pray our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. The absence of holiness is what?

What is the absence? It's unholiness. Esau was a decent enough man, as men go, far as we know, but as spiritual as a sack of weeds. Okay, a sack of hammers, wet mice, weeds.

We can add to this as we go on. Anyway, he just was not moved by spiritual things. He wasn't interested in them. Gadgets and all may have had his attention, hunting and stuff, but when it came to holy things, he just really wasn't there. And God points this out. What health is to the body, holiness is to the soul. And holiness for us is not purity on the level of God, but it is desire for God. It is a desire for his purity, according to his definitions, to be separated to him and by him.

So anyway, let him be your fear. What is called peer pressure is often temptation to sin in some form, even if it is just to pressure you to line up with their belief. And we have to learn to tell them no, and God is reinforcing the prophecy.

Don't you give in to them. You're under a lot of pressure right now, Isaiah. All these people around you, accusing you of all these things, saying your prophecies won't come true, talking bad about your family, your kids aren't no representation of what God's going to do.

And God is strengthening the prophet. He says, let God be your dread. The world's opinion of God is of no value to me. There's nothing in it that's worth my time.

It's like, oh, tell me what you think about it. Unless I'm in the act of evangelism. Tell me what you believe again. All right, anyway, I don't need the world to approve my faith. And that's what James was trying to say in James chapter 4. If you're friends with the world, you're going to be an enemy with God.

You don't have to listen to them. You came out of that. Your confession of Christ was an admission that that was upside down, and you were going to hell. And whenever you think about your conversion, you think about how close you came to Sulphurville. That close to hell you were. Some of you have had near-death experiences before you were Christians. And you got saved.

And you said, well, I'm sure glad that the bell did not toll for me then. Romans 12, Paul says, and do not be conformed to this world. And they were living in the seat of debauchery in Rome. 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. That's your role, Christian. It takes faith and doctrine to stand against them. Not just faith, because the Jehovah Witnesses have their brand of faith, which is not God's. And they can stand against the world. Their doctrine is wrong. And so it takes more than just faith to stand.

You have to know the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and we have it. Verse 14. He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He will be as a sanctuary.

This is to those who dread and fear the Lord more than the world for sure. God's friendship is my sanctuary. The word sanctuary, it seems like today it's only used of places where you leave the birds alone.

It's a bird sanctuary. What do you call it when the people assemble before God's word? Some people call it an auditorium. That's what I got in elementary school. That's when you put the white shirt on once a week.

You got to go to the auditorium. It wasn't a sanctuary. We need to, you know, say, hey, there's a difference.

There's a reason why these words exist. God is my sanctuary, and He has ordained the assembly. James chapter 2. And the scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness, and he was called the friend of God. God's friendship is my sanctuary. Isaiah was a friend of God.

The prophets, the apostles, and the Christians. In contrast to those who find sanctuary in God, he says, but a stone of stumbling, and of course this is to those who don't believe in Yahweh, and a rock of offense to both houses of Israel. Well, the stone of stumbling applied to their rejection of Christ when he came, of course. Here, what he is saying, that the things I say, they get tripped up on that. It offends them.

The rock of offense. They're bothered by. That's why they persecuted Isaiah and Jeremiah. That's why they said, you know, it's a conspiracy.

You're working for the other side. Peter tells us that their rejection of God's word was because of disobedience to scripture. So, 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 7 and 8. Therefore, you who believe, he is precious.

But to those who are disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief's cornerstone, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense. Peter's quoting this section of scripture. He's making a distinction, those who find Christ precious and those who don't. And that's what God is doing here. Those who find Yahweh precious and those who don't. He continues, they stumble, being disobedient to the word to which they also were appointed.

The Jews were appointed to the law of Moses and the prophets. They stumbled because they didn't like it. They got bored with it. There were better altars up in Damascus.

The craftsmanship was just out of this world. Yeah, it was straight out of hell. And you fell for it, Ahaz, where he probably is at this moment. He says both houses of Israel. So, the prophet is addressing the northern and southern kingdom.

These are the people that were called to be God's people. And then he says as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Well, Jerusalem was never intended to be a trap and a snare. It was supposed to be the city where the people of God would come and assemble before the presence of God. And to this day, in some way, Jerusalem is a trap and a snare to people. Not because of God, not because of the scripture, but because of them. You know, many of the Jews, they rather listen to the rabbinical writings than the writings of Moses. And many Christians just, you know, they just have enough of Jesus to be saved is what they're in their heads and they don't care about the rest of the Bible. It seems just very emotional. It's sad.

But not everybody, of course. I think there is a resurgence of interest in God's word. I think it's slowly happening. I don't know how far it's going to go. I say that because I have a software with commentaries on it and it shows how many people have highlighted a particular passage. Well, 10 years ago, there weren't many underlines showing this.

Now, it seems to be a lot. I'm thinking there's either an interest in the Bible teachers to actually dig into what the Bible is saying or they're doing like some of the other ones did. They just want to know what a verse is saying so they can say what they want to say, take the Bible and spin it. I like to think it's positive that there's going to be a movement of the Spirit of God.

What Christian would not want to see that? But none of us have the right to call it unless God gives it to us. So we'll see what happens. Anyway, test the spirits, brothers and sisters, to see if these things are so. Don't be gullible.

Just because you want it to be so does not give you the right to insist that it is. Jonathan Edwards wrote about revivals. He says here's some, I'm not going to say them now, maybe I'll get to them in Acts, but when he was saying here's some sign that the revival that they call it, a movement of the Holy Spirit I prefer, is genuine. And one of the things he listed in there, aside from the love for God, the love for people, is love for God's word.

And that's true. If there's a movement of God in the people, there's a lot of songs that are wonderful. Yeah, but what about the scripture? Well, he read a passage.

What about you? You have a love for God's word? That's what some hippies, you know, and all the problems that they had, and still have, there was a great hunger for learning the God's word. And then there was another element that decided, no, they wanted the emotions more. They wanted more of the tongues and other things like that. And they diminished the word of God. And they're the same group that gave us the barking in the spirit stuff.

Remember that goofy stuff? Could you see Paul rolling around on the floor barking in the spirit? Peter would have knocked him out. It just wouldn't have happened. Paul said, I ain't giving him that shot.

No way. Anyway, okay. So, coming back to this, we're almost done. Verse 16, bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And so there is a remnant. They're students of Isaiah. They were to guard and preserve his words. And they succeeded or else we wouldn't have them. Verse 17, and I will wait on Yahweh, who hides his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.

Interesting. He refers to them as the house of Jacob because currently they were behaving like Jacob, not like Israel. And he makes this distinction of patient faith versus impatient unbelief. You know, they don't have time for God. Saul epitomized that. He couldn't wait for Samuel, so he made the offering, and that was a disaster. Saul never did anything that was like, boy, that was actually pretty good.

He couldn't say that about Saul. Always up to something he was. Anyway, verse 18, here am I and the children whom Yahweh has given me. We are for signs and wonders in Israel for Yahweh of hosts who dwells in Mount Zion. So here the prophet clearly says that the two children, the two sons, were his. God called the prophet's family to play a role in the prophet's ministry.

That still happens to this day. Two positions. I would not want to be a pastor's child. Just looking at it from the perspective of without anointing, without calling, without the protection and presence of God, just the raw things. Man, you know, it could be a rough ride in many churches.

Other churches can make it more comfortable by just not causing problems like that. Had Isaiah overemphasized his family, what would have happened? What would have happened if Isaiah started, look at my family, we're prophets, you know, what would have happened? They would have been a distraction. God would have decreased and they would have increased. The eyes would have been turned to them and not to Yahweh, in Yahweh's name.

The reality is they would have departed. And so we don't read of them again. We don't read about them later on, you know, and his son, Shash-Bash, doesn't become the great prophet in Israel. God knows what he's doing and that is no slight on the kids.

It doesn't mean they were bad or anything like that. They could have had very healthy ministries for all we know. So he says we are for signs and wonders in Israel from Yahweh of hosts and that means the nation could not blame God. Now verse 19, and when they say to you, they, the ones that are apostates, seek those who are mediums and wizards who whisper and mutter, should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? I mean, why can't, why didn't the prophets put in the back of this?

Are you kidding me? When they get to some verses like this. I mean, who does this? Well, everybody was doing it. These types feel darkness is all the light they need. And they're very comfortable with it. But these people were supposed to be God's people and God forbade this way back in the days of Mo, Leviticus chapter 20.

A man or a woman who is a medium, not in size, I mean I'm a medium and in most things, not a mediocre, anyway, coming back. A man or a woman who is a medium, who has a familiar spirit, who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death. They shall stone them with stones.

Their blood shall be upon them. Nothing, what does that mean? Everybody knows what that means. Mark Twain, the blast streamer said, it's the things in the Bible I do understand that I have a problem with. Not the things that he doesn't.

That's one of them that he would understand. Now mediums, these are channelers, these are people trying to get in touch with the spiritual realm. Talking to the dead, worshipping their dead ancestors. If the dead were so smart, why'd they die?

I mean it's a fair question, right? Every seance is a practice of those who are seeking information by those who were defeated by life. I mean life already killed you, why am I asking you for help? You've succumbed to the curse.

I'm going where you are. And as far as the death, not necessarily the zip code. Where do people get the idea that somehow death qualifies the dead to advise the living? See this is baseless. There's no, where do you get this from?

Well that woke professor told me, oh there you go, same source, hell. Death, all death is a demonstration of failure, all of it. For Christ had demonstrated our failure, not his. It demonstrated his victory.

But he is the exception of course. So in contrast to what these people were doing in seeking the dead for advice, every prayer in Jesus name is a practice of seeking the victor over death. The one who indeed beat death and came back. That's Christianity. The one who conquered sin is the one we talk to. We don't have a seance to talk to the dead.

He's not dead. 2 Peter chapter 1, his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life. How many Christians will say to that I believe it and then go ask the world how to live? That bothers me because it used to be Christians would go to the scripture to find out what is right and what is wrong and try to do it.

That is not so much nowadays. Anyway it says to the knowledge of him who called us by glory and virtue. The Greek gods were nothing virtuous about Zeus and all the rest of them.

They were immoral. Anyway verse 20, to the law and to the testimony if they do not seek according to this word it is because there is no light in them. So the prophet says they're seeking dead people.

That doesn't make any sense. They should be seeking the scriptures. That makes perfect sense and if they don't seek the scriptures they're in darkness.

They have no advice for you. It goes back to Colossians and the philosophy and the traditions of men. So I want to read that again because it is that wonderful of a verse. To the law and to the testimony. That is to your, you could say to the Old Testament to the New Testament. There's no New Testament yet but I'm applying it to Christianity and properly so. To the law and to the testimony if they do not speak according to this word it is because there is no light in them.

So he dismisses the baseless endeavors of those who contacting the dead. Jeremiah has to deal with this. Jeremiah 8 and 9. The wise men are ashamed. They are dismayed and taken. Behold they have rejected the word of Yahweh so what wisdom do they have? So Jeremiah said why are you listening to these guys? They're not smart.

And these were high level government officials. This was the cream of the crop as men go and Jeremiah is saying why are you listening to them? They're not, they're contradicting your scripture. Jeremiah 6 16. Thus says Yahweh stand in the ways and see and ask for the old paths where the good way is and walk in it.

Then you will find rest for your souls. And then he tells us what they said back to him. But they said we will not walk in it.

Defiant little rascals aren't they? He's saying why don't you just trust Moses? Why don't you just listen to the prophets?

And they said no. Well, they persecuted him for standing up to them because Jeremiah never caved. Anyway, no one has ever failed adhering to God's word.

It's never happened. They may have been killed but they may have been persecuted but they've never failed. You don't fail by adhering to God's word.

You succeed, you triumph no matter what the outcome is. Verse 21. They will pass through it hard pressed and hungry and it shall happen when they are hungry that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God and look upward. Verse 22. Then they will look to the earth and see trouble and darkness, gloom and anguish and they will be driven into darkness.

I mean, you really don't need any commentary. They're going to be angry with God for being God. You have no right to be God. You have to do it my way.

And if I say it's more loving to do it this way, then you need to say it's more loving to do it this way. The fact is that God can prove himself to some people and they will further resent him for it. This is Pharaoh. Moses was saying, OK, I'll tell you what, I'm going to make those frogs come all over the place.

Your house and your kitchen, everywhere. And when you do it, you'll know it was God. And he did it. And Pharaoh just hardened his heart. He said, I'm not going to cave in.

He is not going to rule me. This is spiritual darkness and it is irrational. We're not called to understand it. We're called to preach against it. And we do that by simply sharing what God says. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio today. Cross Reference Radio is a ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. If you'd like to learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit our website,

You'll find a number of teachings from Pastor Rick available there. We also encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of new editions of Cross Reference Radio. Just search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. You can also follow the links at We're glad we were able to spend time with you today. Tune in next time to continue learning from the book of Isaiah with Pastor Rick right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-07-10 08:54:00 / 2024-07-10 09:03:35 / 10

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