Tuesday, June 11, 2019

On the day of divine visitation

We should know that today is the day of the Lord, and the whole day is for Him, and for the whole day, we are to worship Him, offer our praises to Him. So, as we come before the Lord on the Lord’s day, we are not in a hurry to go home.


In our church Deeper Life church many years ago, when we came to the presence of God, we really came, and not time Him. So, get adjusted, get renewed in your worship of God. One hour, one and a half, and two hours, the message is still on. All our time is for God.


TEXT: I PETER 2:11-12
- 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
- 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

As you live your life and interact with people, there is something you are looking at: the day of reckoning, judgment and visitation. You want to live a life that will give glory to God on the day of visitation. People may misrepresent or not understand you now because you are a Christian and a consecrated soul. So they condemn and judge you. They think you are eccentric and not doing the right thing because you are different from what you are used to. But this will not change or intimidate you because you are living and acting all because of the day of God’s visitation.

The people of the old and New Testament people did not realize, think of or focus on the day of visitation. (Jeremiah 51:18) The day of visitation, the day when God will visit to judge. There were errors and shortcomings in their lives, hence, on the day of visitation, when God shall appear to judge every man’s work, they shall perish. Because these people were ignorant of this day, they were vain in all their ways and full of iniquity.

Isaiah 10:1
- 1 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;
- 2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!
- 3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?
The people made unrighteous decrees and laws to hinder others. They are ignorant, thinking about only today. They also think that power to do everything resides with them. But the day of visitation and desolation will come speedily and all who have misused and squandered every opportunity to know the Lord will be judged.

Luke 19:41-44. Jesus came to this world and to the people of Israel. Again, that is a kind of visitation from heaven: visitation of grace and love, divine help, the manifestation of the goodness and power of God. The children of Israel missed it, we will not miss it in Jesus name!

You have been paying to God for a long time, all those prayers are in God’s bottle. He may decide on a particular service day, it could be a Sunday, Monday or a Thursday, and He remembers you as He remembered Zechariah. What if he missed the day of visitation? Maybe you have fasted and prayed and it is like nothing happened, but a day came when God intended to visit you. You will not miss the day of God’s visitation.

Note this: For each one on earth, there is a day of God’s visitation when God says, you have done enough on earth, come yonder. There are people who live their lives negligent of the day when God will call them home. They live haphazardly, carelessly, selfishly, thoughtlessly because they are ignorant of the day of God’s visitation.

The day of visitation is the day of Rapture when the dead in Christ and the living shall all rise up to meet the Lord in the air. Many people behave as if the rapture will never take place. They fall into this pitfall, they fall into that corruption in society, doing whatever they like. They are ignorant of the fact that the Rapture can take place anytime. In this text, we read Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they do not know the day of their visitation.

We must always know that we are strangers and pilgrims here. (Psalm 119:9,54,57,72,89) On the day of reckoning all the billions, whether you have it properly or by fraud will not matter. The words of God which teach us about holiness, and makes us conduct ourselves wisely would matter most.

The laws of God are permanent, constant while the decrees and laws of the world are changing. We are strangers here, walking and working by the laws of God. (vs 112,133).

Hebrews 11:13. God gave promises to the saints of old. Some of them were for earthly things: lands, houses, material things and possessions. There were also promises of spiritual things: salvation, forgiveness, sanctification, holiness, and qualification for heaven. There were also eternal blessings reserved for them in heaven. They set their affection on Heavenly, spiritual promises and blessings. If the Lord saw it that the earthly promises and blessings will aid and guide them towards the heavenly blessings, alright, but if they will hinder them from concentrating on the spiritual and eternal things, He will let them go, that is, He will not allow them to have them.

They saw the promises of the land afar off, and they knew that the Lord at His own time will give the land to their descendants, they were persuaded and confessed and confirmed that they were pilgrims on the earth. (Vs 14) They declared that they desire and seek another country. We as strangers and pilgrims will do the same. What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? What shall he give in exchange?

Heb. 13:12. Jesus suffered outside the gate, He suffered for our salvation as no tongue can tell. We need to pray that He helps us to live as strangers and pilgrims here on earth, and know the worth of the work that He has done for us.

Colossians 3:1-3. If you set your affections on anything or anyone on earth, it will act as a downward pull and when the picture of heaven is set before you, the zeal, joy, and desire to go forth and enter will not be there. The earthly things: the material things, the man or the woman, the work, or the job will act as a downward pull and the force of gravity on your life. So, set your affections on things in heaven, not on things on earth.

Think for a moment, what is it on the earth that is dear and precious to your heart that if God should choose to call you home today, you will say, “God, give me more time, I’m not ready to go yet, my affection is set on the things on earth”. That is dangerous. Set your affections on things in heaven, not on things on the world.

You are dead to
- The affections of the world,
- Attractions of the world
- Slaveholders of the world. Some people are under the control of the slaveholders. They put a chain around their waist and feet, they put a padlock on their lips, they control what they say or do and where they go, what they see and virtually everything. They will not allow them to go far or see the glory and beauty of heaven. They will not allow them to care about their ministry or what God has called them to do. So getting to heaven will involve you being dead to the slaveholders.

I Peter 1:3-5
- 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
- 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
- 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
The greatest blessings, highest thing, reward, and joy are not now but reserved in heaven for us. We are strangers and pilgrims here and the joy, happiness, and zeal we have are that we have something higher and more beautiful reserved in heaven.

John 17:14-16. We are not of the world as Christ is not of the world. Jesus prayed that we will be where He is now. May our lives show that we are strangers and pilgrims in this world and may we set our affections on the heavenly country for which the Lord is preparing us. May God wean your hearts away from the imprisonment of the world in Jesus name.

Fleshly lust will wage war against the pilgrims as they pass by this world. When temptations come, they push them aside because they are not of this world.

* Strangers and pilgrims, ABSTAIN
* Those who set their minds and hearts on things above, ABSTAIN
* Those who are going towards heaven and wants to make their final abode, ABSTAIN
* Those who are following after the Lord Jesus Christ who wants His disciples to be with Him where He is, ABSTAIN from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. Fleshly lust and desires, inordinate affections,
* Concentration on the things that pull you by the flesh into degradation, ABSTAIN

I Peter 4:1-2
- 1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
- 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
God wants us to abstain from the lust of the flesh so that the day of visitation will not meet us unawares.

I John 2:15-17. If anyone loves the world, gives more attention to the world more than God, that is the love of the world. He who is in pursuit of the things of the world, to get and have the world, and will not pay a fraction of that time for God, such one loves the world. He that is willing to sacrifice his time and family for the things of the world but is not willing to do same for God, willing to put his children in a faraway place to be able to do other things but is not willing to put them aside for God, that person is of the world. But he that loves the Lord abides forever.

You need to make a deliberate effort to keep to the Lord and not allow the things of the world to pull you away. Let us look at these two texts below before we read II Timothy 4:10.

Colossians 4:14
Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you.

Philemon vs 23-24:
23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus;
24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellow-laborers.

Paul commended his companions and sent their greetings to the brethren. Note, one of them was Demas.

2 Timothy 4:10
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
Worldly lust attracted Demas, a fellow laborer of Apostle Paul. He could not overcome. We will overcome.

I Corinthians 10:6.
- Now, these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
- 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
- 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
- 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
- 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured and were destroyed of the destroyer.
- 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world have come.
- 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he falls.
- 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
- 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
Whatever blocks our view of heaven is an evil thing,
Whatever deadens our conscience that we are no more sensitive to the voice of the Spirit is an evil thing,
Whatever stops our journey on our way to heaven and we are no longer interested in the things of heaven, and all we are concerned about is the physical, earthly, material is evil,
Whatever takes our passion away from the things of God, and we are no more interested in it but are focused on this particular idol, it is an evil thing.

vs 14. There are people who are not into idolatry, idols of wood, iron, or the type Nebuchadnezzar raised up, but money has become an idol, they will give up Sunday worship service, their spiritual life, even the church (for always preaching against fraudulent practices), their convictions for money. Anything we can give up our convictions for is an idol. An idol you fear, love and bury yourself into. Little children, FLEE FROM IDOLATRY.

I Timothy 6:5
- Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
They measure godliness by how much of the things of the world they have. They measure spiritual progress by how much of the things of the world they have.
- 6 But godliness with contentment is a great gain.
- 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
- 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
- 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
- 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
There are some who are quick to say, the Bible did not say, money is the root of all evil. But what you do, your sleeping and waking thoughts, all your activities of the day are focused on money, planning and strategizing for money, how big, how much, when it will get to millions and billions, that is what you think about every time, your friendship and interactions are determined by how much money you have, your allegiance to anyone is determined by how much money they have, and your marriage is dependent on how much money that woman will help you to make, or how much money the man will shuffle to you, that is the love of money.

These things war against the soul and God wants us to shift our attention from the things on earth to the things of heaven. He wants us to abstain from fleshly lusts, desires, and affections which war against the soul.
Micah 2:10
- Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.

I Thessalonians 5:21-22
- 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
- 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Fornication is evil, abstain from all appearances of fornication.
Adultery is evil, abstain from all appearances of adultery.
You say, “I did not do anything!” Why did you stay inside a room with a lady all alone with the door closed? That is the appearance of evil.

You say, “I did not steal anything” Why did you scratch that thing on the receipt? You tried to change something! That is an appearance of fraud! Abstain from every appearance of fraud.

The way you dress, you say, “I am a Christian, and I am old enough in this church of ours to know how to dress decently”. I understand sister, but all these shine-shine on your clothes and shoes, by the time you put them together, they are more than the earrings you are not wearing. Abstain from all appearances of evil.

You are somewhere shouting and pointing fingers. Someone asks you, “Brother, are you angry?” You answered, “No, I am not angry, children of God do not get angry”. And your eyes are red, and you are shouting and pointing fingers. That is an appearance of anger. Abstain from all appearances of evil.

You claim you are not angry but you had to break a plate because you do not like what is happening and you wanted to catch people’s attention? That is the appearance of evil.

If we are going to heaven, we are thoughtful, careful and spiritual. We are not carnal, we are not getting to the edge of the Christian life, almost falling over and manifesting appearances of sin. If we are children of God, gentleness, meekness, and love, mercy and goodness must characterize our lives. But the way we are angry and fighting against something are all appearances of evil. We are to abstain. May God grant us grace.

As pastors and church leaders, it is easy for some people to rubbish all that you have preached. You said something in a message last week or the previous month. Now teaching in the search the scriptures are taken today, and it seems like it is contradicting previous positions whereas, it is actually another side to the issue. Now you ask the congregation if there is any question from the teaching, and somebody rises up, holding the booklet and reading out of it and asking which position is correct and goes further to say that people are talking behind you that they do not like your mode of ministrations in the church.

Pastor, how do you respond to that? If you go into the Bible, dig something out and you begin to exchange words, and someone asks you if you are angry and you say “No, I am not angry”, that is an appearance of anger. Do not lose your soul because of him who does not know about heaven. Keep your cool, if you do not know what to answer, tell him we will take that to the General Superintendent. Or if you do not want to answer, having sensed that the person wants a fight, you simply answer, I do not have an answer for that and that is the end of the discussion. Peacefully and meekly go through other questions without anger. Abstain from every appearance of anger.

II Peter 2:17. Those who do not live right publicly or privately, who have forgotten that they need to abstain from all fleshly lusts, have reserved for them, blackness and darkness forever. Always remember that there is a reckoning day, a judgment day, a visitation day in everything you do. So give your hearts and strength in serving the Lord, and if anything will distract you from your heavenly journey, abstain from it, vs 18-20.

The Lord wants us to set our conversation, speech, conduct, lifestyle, character right (Psalm 50:5,23) You are a beloved child of God, and a stranger and pilgrim here on earth, so, you must order your conversations aright. You have to forsake the old way of speaking, the old characters and the old lifestyle (I Peter 1:14-16,18) You are redeemed from vain conversations.

I Peter 3:1-2. Wife, do not be bossy on your husband, he is the head of the home. Respect him, no matter what you have more than your him. Some wives are in subjection to their bosses at work, to their pastors in church more than they are to their husbands. Some are more in subjection to their sectional leaders in church than to their husbands at home. Some wives make laws in the family and want their husbands to bend to such. That is neither right nor scriptural. The chaste conversation of a believing wife will save the unbelieving husband, and vice versa.
vs 15-16. Do not harden, deaden or sear your conscience.

II Peter 3:11-14
- 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
- 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
- 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
- 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
God will give us the grace to be blameless.

I Peter 2:13-23
- 13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
Do not attack the president of the country, do not speak against him either in the newspaper or radio, television, internet, YouTube, Twitter. Do not speak against the governors or leaders of the state, have comportment and character that is subdued and Christianly.
- 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
- 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing (not by protests may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
It is the will of God that our character and comportment will be subdued under subjection and obedience. We will, by well-doing, not by rioting, silence the ignorance of foolish men.
- 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
- 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear of God. Honor the king.
Honor all men. Do not do anything to anyone that will show disrespect or dishonor. Honor all men inside and outside the church, in our community, everywhere.
Do not disrespect the leaders in the community, and leaders in the church. If we are to respect the leaders in the community and the governor in the state, how much more your pastor who is leading you in the way of life? Honor your pastor.
- 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle but also to the forward.
Servants, be subject to your Masters whether they treat you well or not. Some people only respond well to masters who do well and badly to those who are bad.
In the world, the servants from the gatemen to the cleaners want their directors/masters to be subject to them, whether they are good or bad. That is not right. The church must not also be like that.
- 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
- 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
- 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
- 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
- 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

The Lord has given us His word and showed in minutest details how we need to return to Him as Saviour, Shepherd, and Sanctifier and how we are to be submissive to the leaders He has given to us in the church, community, country, corporations, and offices where we are working.

We need the grace to do this and it is available today. After hearing the word of God, we need to go to the Lord to ask for the grace to be able to do all of these things. We need to spend quality time to pray so that when the trumpet sounds, we will be able to go with the Lord. When the saints go marching in, we will be among them. Amen.

Rise up and pour your hearts to the Lord. Ask for a change in your personal lives, family, and in the church at large, that the Lord will come with His surgical knives to take away all unrighteousness.

Rise up and talk to the Lord.

Say your own prayer as you are inspired by this message.


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