I love this brother’s insights, and am posting this with permission.
True exhortation flows from the lives of those who see the dimness and feel the apathy of the hour in which we live. A slumber has settled upon His Church, but even in that there are those who are beginning to sense the coming incursion of darkness; a virulent uprising against all who are of the light. They who slumber in this deceptive indifference, if not addressed, will culminate in an inability to “stand in the evil day” which is upon us.
Exhortation is shunned and detested by those whom drowsiness is overtaking, even as those who are on the verge of sleep hate the sound of anything that keeps them awake. It is an irritation and a thing to be avoided.
The prayer of the Night Watchman is priestly and borne by those who know their own weakness. There is a comprehension of the necessity to be clothed in the life and power of Christ to stand in this evil Day.
“Consider and hear me, O Lord my God:
lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death”
There is a slumber which is unto death. A pervasive and powerful contagion of this deadly slumber has fallen upon His Church. The lamps of the unwise are failing and the residue of the oil of the Spirit is lacking within the hearts of many. It is a poverty of spirit resulting from a heart that does not know its own state.
The Church OF the Laodiceans knew not they were blind; the Church of Sardis said they were alive, yet in God’s estimation they were dead. It is the presumptuous who become careless in thinking that because we are of His Church, we need not be diligent. It is upon people who have known Him that this deception falls:
“For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered”
“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men…”
Whenever and wherever there are people who know little of repentance and humility it is because they know Him not. Repentance is the atmosphere of those who have touched the glory of the Almighty. No flesh can remain unbowed in the majestic presence of God. Those who speak lightly of this hour are indeed blind to the intensity and the ramifications of all which is about to transpire.
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:
but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”
Those who “endure unto the end” will be those who have been willing to be despised of all men (including God’s own people) for the sake of His name. Those who in the time of a false comfort have “sounded the alarm” to call God’s people to walk in righteousness and to warn them of the coming storm.
“Because you kept my command to endure, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, which is to come on the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. I am coming quickly! Hold firmly that which you have, so that no one takes your crown”
Let us hold fast in this hour, our lamps burning by the oil of His Spirit, standing in the midnight watch for His coming.
This is God’s Word to His Watchmen of this hour:
“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion,
and sound an alarm in my holy mountain:
let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:
for the day of the Lord cometh,
for it is nigh at hand”!
Those who despise the ministry of exhortation do so at their own peril for the Day of the Lord is upon us. The Alarm is to be sounded! Let the true ministers of the Lord weep between the porch and the altar for the people of God.
“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord,
weep between the porch and the altar,
and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord”
It is the hireling and false shepherds who speak of peace and safety in this hour of great danger. It is the voice of the enemy who speaks pleasant things in the day of preparation. Those who slumber and are not prepared will fall with devastation and judgment. Many who should be warning God’s people of this hour have instead become blind and dumb.
“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber”
Like dogs unable to bark, they cannot sound the alarm for they are blind and spiritually ignorant of the Day which is upon us; they love the comfort of slumber. They speak of “smooth things” because that is what the people want to hear. Their comforting and soothing words falsely assure them of their standing in God while lulling them to sleep.
“But take heed to yourselves, for fear that your hearts become over-full of the pleasures of food and wine, and the cares of this life, and that day may come on you suddenly, and take you as in a net: for so it will come on all those who are living on the face of all the earth”
“I beseech you, brethren,
suffer the word of exhortation.”