WORSHIP God in righteousness alone! There is no rapture.
Acts of the Spirit #919 Gen. Deborah Green
P RAISE GOD. Welcome to the Acts of the Spirit radio broadcast. Oh, what a privilege it is to be serving the Living God, to come forth ever enlightened by Him. That is, ever directed, corrected, and instructed in His way, seeking to be pleasing unto Him, and not some other god.
Today, I’m going to be reading out of Malachi, chapter 3, reading from the Amplified version. And, you know, it does us good to apply this truth to our lives, for it is ever present, and it is something that we need to consider.
Now, it says here, “BEHOLD, I send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; the Messenger or Angel of the covenant, Whom you desire, behold, He shall come, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness. Then will the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in ancient years. Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against the false swearers, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and who turn aside the temporary resident from his right and fear not Me, says the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I do not change; that is why you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, How shall we return?”
So, what do we see? We see that God is giving unto the people an indictment through the prophet Malachi. He is letting them know they are doing those things that are wrong in the eyes of God. That is, because they are not living according to His desire/His dictates. That is, even the priests are not clean before Him, but, they are full of defilement. And He’s saying at the same time, “Who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears?”
SO OFTEN, PEOPLE THINK THEY’RE READY FOR SOME RAPTURE—THEY CAN’T WAIT TO BE RAPTURED. BUT, THE TRUTH OF IT IS, THERE IS NO RAPTURE AS THEY IMAGINE, AND, SECONDARILY, THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT READY FOR THE DAY OF HIS COMING. Because, you know, if we are ready for him, then we will be walking uprightly, day by day. That is, if we are ready to endure the day of His coming, then we will allow the fire to burn out the iniquity, the darkness, and the evil that lurks in the human heart, day by day; because it says, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness.”
You know, we are living in a time when many are offering unto the Lord, not in righteousness, but in evil and iniquity, in darkness, in covetousness, and in an offering whereby they think if they give God something, that He’s obligated to give them what they want. In other words, they have been seduced away from the truth by believing the lies of clever men, and by going in a way that God never ordained in taking up that which will prove to be the damnation of their soul. For, their offerings given unto God are not given by the motivation of love and desire to please Him, but rather, to get something from Him.
In other words, it’s like an exchange for hire, that is, they give to God this [something] and expect from God that [something]. But, you know, God is disgusted with such an approach because it is not the way that is pleasing unto the Lord.
It says that He’s going to, “purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness.” Now, if you really stop and consider what it is that he’s talking about here, you consider the pressure, you consider the heat, and the fire that gold and silver go through in order to be purified, and He says that’s how He’s going to purify the priests.
And, you know, we love to strut and boast—those of us born-again of His seed, born-again by the privilege of the New Testament timing in our lives, and we say that we’re kings and priests. But, we’d better watch it, because if we’re claiming that we’re priests, then we will be PURIFIED BY THE FIRE. That is, if we are claiming that we are, indeed priests, then we will be put to the TEST, we will be burned by His fire, and we will be refined by the same that we can indeed, offer unto Him the offerings of righteousness. That is, not offering unto Him hypocrisy and fakery, pretension, and that which is corrupt in His sight.
He says, “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against the false swearers, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages.” So, in other words, He’s saying that, ‘I will come against those who are practicers of witchcraft, those who are committing spiritual adultery, those who are bearing false witness in the sense that they are making vows and commitments that they do not keep.’ And it says, “And against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and who turn aside the temporary resident from his right and fear not Me, says the Lord of hosts.”
So, what it basically is saying here is that, ‘You think you get by with all of your cunning craftiness, with all of your deceit, but it is not true!—because the Lord God will hold you accountable for what you do in truth, and what it is that you do in falsehood.’ And, if you are simply putting on a vain religious show to be seen of men, while all the time committing those things that are wrong in the eyes of God, will not the same God judge you for the same? That is, will not He hold you accountable for your multiplied transgressions in His sight? And, will not He hold you accountable because you’ve done the things that are foolery, vanity, vexation, and the works of pride?
You know, God does not bow to the pride of man, but He demands, and He commands men to repent. That is, He desires that they would, indeed, be living for Him, that is, be pleasing unto Him. That they would, indeed, be willing to sacrifice in the sense that they give up their own lives in order to gain His life. That they would, indeed, be enduring the fire that He puts in their lives to bring them forth in order to offer unto Him offerings of righteousness.
Then it goes on and it says, “For I am the Lord and I do not change.” So, what is that saying? It’s saying that even now, if we hold the Word of God to be true, that God does not change. That is, that He will be always the God of standard, and when He desires a standard of His people, He will not be pleased in anything less than that.
You know, we have a lot of ministries in this wicked generation, and a lot of people following the same, who are doing wasted works. That is, they are laboring feverishly to build up their religious castle, their religious pride, and all the time it is works of VANITY. For, they are laboring in vain because it is not the Lord who builds the house.
You know, the Lord never, ever intended that we would labor in vain, but, He has intended that we would labor for Him. That is, that we would be thankful to be bringing forth our works in righteousness, in truth, and bringing forth that which is pleasing unto the Lord. It is the Lord who has intended that we would be uplifted and guided, directed and corrected, in the way that He does offer and provide. And, that we would be a people well-pleasing unto Him because we are walking in His way.
Now, stop and consider: if you are doing those things that are not pleasing unto the Lord, yet, you smack in your own religiosity, what is it that you do? You simply are offering offerings that are not acceptable unto the Master. Now, God does not want us to labor in vain, He does not want us to follow after the modes of the world. But rather, He wants us to be conformed unto Him, and to go through the fire that we can, indeed, be refined and offer unto Him the offerings of righteousness. He wants us to realize that He does not change, and, therefore, WE MUST CHANGE to be pleasing unto Him.
You know, we are living in a time when far too many of those who claim that they are God’s people have built according to falsehood. That is, they have done the things that are pleasing to men, they have followed after the standard of the world, they have done those things that are inappropriate in the eyes of God. And, all the while, they have gone on, and on, and on in their own head-strong ways, thinking somehow they get by. But, the truth of it is, we do not get by on God, and when we will sow unto the iniquity, the darkness of the world, when we will sow unto that which is vile and corrupt in the eyes of God, OUR WORKS ARE NOT SEEKING TO BE PLEASING HIM. But, rather, we are seeking for the approval, the applause of man, and it is all in vain.
Now, the Lord has told us very plainly that we are not meant to appropriate unto ourselves those things that are evil in His sight. And, we are not meant to be offering unto Him false offerings, but, rather, we are meant to be giving Him the offerings of RIGHTEOUSNESS. In order to do that, we must be willing to repent, even this day.
Prayer of Repentance:
DEAR JESUS, we come before you and we ask you to forgive us for the hypocrisy, the pride, the religiosity, and the pretension that we have been guilty of. Dear God, we ask you to forgive us that we have not labored in righteousness, seeking to give unto you the offerings that you require. But, instead, dear God, we have offered unto fools that which is meant for you. And, dear God, we have made great acclaim of famous men and women, following after vain persons rather than following you.
Dear God, we have transgressed again, and again, and again—violating our own conscience, to build in order to please men, rather than you. And, dear God, we have bowed down to the systems of men that are vanity and vexation, stupidity and darkness, rather than bowing to you, the most high God.
Dear God, we realize today that your fire would burn out the iniquity and the corruption that lurks within us, and we ask for the same. That is, we are praying even now, that as you cover us in your mercy and your forgiveness, that you likewise forgive us of the whoredom that we have been guilty of.
Dear God, we confess it unto you, and we mean it from the depths of our being, that it is you who does desire us to be true unto you, that it is you that we are meant to please, obey, and follow after, for you are the King of kings, and, it is you who will guide us always in the truth, the light, and the strength that you, alone, can bring, for you are the Master of our souls.
Dear God, we are confessing this day that it is you who is blessedness and truth, that it is you who is light and mercy, and it is you we are meant to please. Dear God, we are confessing this day that WE ARE NOT MEANT TO FOLLOW AFTER ANY OTHER SOURCE, any other God, then claim we are pleasing you. But, dear God, even now, we realize that only through pleasing you are we kept in your way. Not walking in a way of whoredom, a way of transgression, then claiming you are blessing the same.
Oh, dear God, we confess unto you this day that it takes your light to separate the precious from the vile—because there are so many hypocrites, pretenders, mockers and scoffers parroting their words of deception unto the multitudes that we have been deceived.
But, this day, dear God, we are crying out for truth, for light upon the path. And, we are crying out to be guided in the way that you offer and provide. DEAR GOD, LET US BE A PEOPLE WHO ARE FAITHFUL AND TRUE, A PEOPLE WHO WILL WALK IN YOU, EVER KEEPING YOUR WAY. Let us be thankful that it is you who does guide us in that which is blessedness and truth always. Let us be thankful to be kept, directed, and guided by you—the Maker, and the keeper of our souls.
And, we pray, dear God, this day, that you deliver us. We command every demon of hypocrisy, pretension, man-pleasing, the desire to be acclaimed for fame, the desire to walk according to our own lust and ambition, we command every one of those demonic powers to depart from our lives. And, we thank you that it is you, Jesus, who forgives us and guides us forth in the way that you require. That we can, indeed, be giving unto you the offerings of righteousness.