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The Holy Bible Is The Immutable Living Word Of The Eternal God.
Wake up and call on your God. It is later than you think.
Jonah 1:6 How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god!
Maybe He will take notice on us, and we will not perish.
It is such a simple message wake up or perish.
What about you ?
Are you sleep walking, sleep talking or even sleep living ?
These words were spoken to probably the greatest preacher apart
from Jesus Christ who has walked on planet earth, Jonah.
You can get some stature of his anointing when you consider that Lot
was referred to by Peter as righteous Lot.
2Peter 2:7 and if He delivered righteous Lot,
vexed with the filthy conduct of the wicked
But Lot was not able to bring Sodom to repentance on the contrary he was
told wake up and get out of that place because it was going to be destroyed
because of its wickedness which had ascended up to the heavens.
Jonah 1:1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah
the son of Amittai, saying,
2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it;
for their wickedness has come up before Me."
Not only had their wickedness come up to God but,
He was going to destroy the place
Jonah's anointed preaching was successful and Nineveh repented.
Jonah 3:10 And God saw what they did, how they were turned
from their evil way; and God's purpose was changed as to the evil
(destruction) which he said he would do to them, and he did it not.
There is a judgment day but it comes at the appointed time,
it does not just happen out of the blue. If we do not judge ourselves
then we leave God no other choice at all He has to judge us.
1Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves,
we should not be judged.
We really do need to appreciate that everything that
God does comes from love.
We cannot say as long as you speak about God's love for us
that is fine but if you speak about judgment and wrath,
I do not really want to know. It does not work that way.
To understand God is not only to understand His judgements,
but to agree with them.
Nineveh had been judged and at the same time,
it had been given a chance to repent.
The tool chosen for this job was Jonah.
There was something very special about Jonah and it was this,
he had been in the presence of the Lord.
Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish
from the presence of the LORD;
Jonah did not simply have a good intellectual grasp of the situation.
He knew without the shadow of a doubt about the reality of God,
because he had been in the presence of the Lord.
Jonah 4:2 And he prayed unto the LORD and said,
"I pray Thee, O LORD, was not this what I said
when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before
unto Tarshish; for I knew that Thou art a gracious God and
merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and repents of the evil.
It certainly does not seem as if Jonah was happy that the enemies
of his country would receive the mercy of God.
But we are not called to a Christianity of Convenience.
What we are called to do may not be convenient one little bit.
As a matter of fact doctrine is not our greatest problem,
but rather our prosperity.
You may not think so but consider
Revelation 3:13 He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches!'
14 "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write:
`These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the beginning of the creation of God:
15 I know your works, that you art neither cold nor hot;
I would you were cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,
I will spew thee out of My mouth.
17 Because you say, "I am rich and increased with goods
and have need of nothing," and know not that you are wretched
and miserable, and poor and blind and naked,
18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire,
that you may be rich, and white raiment, that you may be clothed
and that the shame of your nakedness may not appear,
and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
When you have been in the presence of the Lord,
your life just cannot be the same again.
Instead of running away from God we need to run to him.
We are told to run from evil not from God.
There is no hiding place
Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not
manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and open
unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Unfortunately it is mainly when we are in deep trouble that
we remember God at all. If He does intervene,
we do not even take the time to thank Him.
We then go back to our old routine until the next crisis.
If we do not seek God as we are told to do, when He is ready
He will get not only your attention but I assure you,
your undivided attention. There is one small problem and it is
that He might let you pay the penalty for disobeying and
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while He may be found,
call you upon him while He is near:
This verse suggests that there will be a time when it will not be easy
to find Him, He will not appear to be very near.
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, says the Lord GOD,
that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread,
nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
There is an almost unanimous opinion by most Church Leaders that we are
in the last days. We are being told that it will not be easy to hear the life
giving words of God because there is going to be a distinct lack of them.
You can focus all you want on things. Even the most casual hearing of
the news constantly tells you of people who one day had everything
and literally next day they had nothing. Many were hard working,
educated and qualified people who lived prudent careful lives.
In a moment a flood, a war, a bomb, made them homeless refugees.
We really have to realise that the things that we are embarrassed
to speak to God about He already knows all the details and
He knows what your next thought is going to be.
There are no secrets from Him.
It is in his presence that you will find healing from all the hurt and pain
that you have experienced and probably still
are experiencing from your youth.
You were disadvantaged and came from a dysfunctional family,
so have a great many people, but there is such a thing as a healing.
You have to let go of the past and move on.
Refuse to accept the preposterous lie that God has a huge universe
to worry about and therefore He is not interested in your little problems.
This is a great falsehood and contradicts the entirety of God's word.
Psalm 94:11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
Matthew 6:8 Be not you therefore like unto them,
for your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.
Your thoughts are known by God before you know them.
His concern even for sinners is illustrated by the story of Jonah.
He knew what the people of Nineveh were thinking and doing,
yet he loved them as He loves you and I.
The Father sent His one and only beloved Son to die for you personally.
To have been in the presence of the Lord marks Jonah
out as a very unique person in the Old Testament.
Very few were afforded that great privilege.
In spite of this there are some important points for us to notice.
Jonah paid in order to try to get away from the presence of the Lord
Jonah 1:3 And Jonah got up to go in flight to Tarshish,
away from the Lord; and he went down to Joppa,
and saw there a ship going to Tarshish: so he gave them the price
of the journey and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish,
away from the Lord.
I think that deep down he knew that there was no way to hide
from the presence of the Lord but none the less
he went below decks to have a sleep.
What is more he did sleep and very soundly at that.
What about you ?
Are you sleeping ?
What is taking up your time, your resources and your energy,
and preventing you from doing everything else
except what God has created and called you to do?
What is your pet project, ambition, and goal?
What is hindering you from carrying out your destiny?
It may well be making you feel good but is it what you should be doing ?
Never be presumptuous with God's mercy.
Presumption is not faith.
We have all been given additional time to turn around.
What are you doing with this time of grace?
It will not go on forever.
We have to help others to turn to God.
The blessings which you have been given are not simply to indulge yourself.
The Lord is soon going to send a great wind and
a mighty storm which will threaten to sink the ship.
Jonah 1: 4 And the Lord sent out a great wind on to the sea
and there was a violent storm in the sea,
so that the ship seemed in danger of being broken.
Where will you be then ?
Will you be still working to buy your ticket ?
Will you have already bought your ticket and just waiting
in queue for the arrival of the boat ?
Will you have already boarded the boat and will you be smugly
watching the shoreline disappear in the distance ?
Will you be asleep below deck ?
Interestingly it took a heathen man to wake up the man of God.
At that point the heathen captain was more in tune with what
was going on in the spirit world than Jonah.
Jonah 1:6 So the shipmaster came to him and said unto him,
"What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God,
if it so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not."
It was not only the captain but at that particular time,
the ordinary sailors also were more in touch with the serious dilemma
that they were facing than Jonah appeared to be.
Additionally they were all fully aware that survival
required outside intervention. Because of their background they may
have the details wrong but they certainly had the principle
Call on your God.
What a terrible tragedy it would be for us if we find that those that
we despise are in the kingdom and we are not.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that says unto Me, `Lord, Lord,'
shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that does the will of
My Father who is in Heaven.
Matthew 21:31 Which of those two did the will of his father?
" They said unto Him, "The first." Jesus said unto them,
"Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into
the Kingdom of God before you.
When everything was going wrong the sailors realised that there had
to be a reason for this situation and they sought to find the reason.
That is far better than we tend to do today.
The question was, what is the cause of this situation
that does not make sense?
They recognised that there was something peculiar about what was
happening. Sadly most of us are in a deep sleep whilst the storm is raging.
Jonah 1:7 And they said every one to his fellow,
"Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil
is upon us." So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
Five searching questions with two more to follow, making the perfect seven.
Then said they unto him,
1. "Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us
2. What is your occupation?
3. And from whence come you?
4. What is your country?
5. And of what people are you?"
Although Jonah had run from the presence of the Lord,
he was no coward, neither was he ashamed of his God.
Oh that we could all be like him.
Jonah 1: 9 And he said unto them, "I am a Hebrew;
and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven,
who has made the sea and the dry land."
Would we really be prepared to say I am a Christian,
and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven,
who has made the sea and the dry land."
Or would we be ashamed and embarrassed.
Now follows the other two questions making up the seven
Jonah 1:10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him,
6. "Why hast thou done this?"
For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD,
because he had told them.
11 Then said they unto him,
7. "What shall we do unto you, that the sea may be calm unto us?"
For the sea grew more and more tempestuous.
I like those sailors, they were great characters.
Contrast them with the sailors that Paul had to deal with in
Acts 27:29 Then, fearing lest we should be driven upon rocks,
they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.
30 And as the shipmen were about to flee from the ship,
and had let down the boat into the sea under the pretext that
they would cast anchors out of the prow,
First of all they accepted Jonah's statement about his God
of heaven who made the sea and land, they knew that Jonah was
for real and what he was telling them was for real.
They were not arguing technicalities.
The wind was coming out of heaven,
The sea was in great turmoil trying to destroy them because of the wind.
The land is where they needed to be.
They did not jump to a decision on the action
that they were going to take to solve the problem.
They accepted that Jonah was a man who worshipped this great God,
and they therefore wanted him to tell them what they should do
to resolve this predicament.
The sea was getting rougher by the minute.
Be honest, do you think that would happen today ?
I think not.
The more you understand what is going on the easier it becomes
to see that many of those that we despise can have a far
better attitude than we have.
Jonah's reply is also interesting, not only he did not say ok I will jump,
but he also confirmed that the heathen had evaluated
the cause of the tempest accurately and that by throwing him
over board the sea would become calm.
Jonah 1:12 And he said unto them,
"Take me up and cast me forth into the sea.
So shall the sea be calm unto you,
for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you."
He needed the help of the heathen to throw him over the side.
I do not think that he had any idea what was going to happen after that.
The sailors were in no hurry to just send Jonah to his certain death,
they tried to seek an alternative solution.
Jonah 1:13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to get them back to the land;
but they could not:
for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them.
God had other ideas as He always does.
His ways are not our ways.
You may not like what you are asked to do.
It is true that you have a choice.
It is the best idea to do what God tells you even
if you do not understand it.
The fish that picked up Jonah had been prepared to be of the right size,
at the right place, at the right time.
It could not even be a few seconds late,
otherwise Jonah would have died.
With God there is always an appointed time and everything
happens at its appointed time, not a moment before or later.
Jonah is cast overboard so that the ship could survive,
and he is swallowed alive by the fish.
What about you will you have to be cast overboard
for the ship to survive ? Or will you have to spend time in the
belly of the fish before you wake up?
It appears as if it took Jonah 3 days to come to his senses
with the weeds wrapped around his head. Three is resurrection time.
Are the cares of this world wrapped around your head
and messing your mind up? How many days will it take you
to untangle the weeds and blow them away?
And what a huge problem those three days are causing some today.
They get bogged down as to how these days are counted as
they feel of course that it is a most critical factor.
Some feel that if you cannot count it accurately
that it will affect their salvation.
Aren't the three days the sign of Jonah?
You need to consider that the Jews do count part periods
as whole periods. So if on the 31st of December a Jewish king
started to rule and say a couple of weeks later he went to war
the Jews would say in the second year of the king's reign he went to war.
The reality is that he had only been reigning for two weeks and a day.
I thought I would mention that, but that is not the critical factor at all
Luke 11:29 And when the people were gathered thick together,
He began to say, "This is an evil generation.
They seek a sign, and there shall no sign be given it,
but the sign of Jonah the prophet.
What was the sign of Jonah ?
The sign of resurrection.
Jonah was resurrected having been buried in the depths
of the sea for three days just as Christ would be buried
for 3 days and rise again.
The whole idea is to minimise the fact that death has been overcome.
We do not have to fear death.
Whilst we are focusing on counting time we miss the point and
anyone who preaches about the resurrection can expect
almost automatic and immediate persecution as it marks the
new life which shows the destruction of the death itself and Satan.
We leave the greatest strong hold of the enemy standing
'The fear of death'
We are called to eat from the tree of life.
But we do not have to fear death because as Christ was raised from
the dead just like Jonah was raised from his watery grave.
We will also be resurrected in the future but we can also start
to experience resurrection life now as a born again Christian.
We do not have to spend our time either asleep, or dead.
Let us all hurry up and wake up.
Jonah as we read had been in the presence of the Lord
but our position is far greater.
The eternal God by his Spirit dwells in each
and every born again Christian.
Now to whom much is given much is required.
That is a sobering thought.
When you have been in the presence of the Lord it cannot be hidden.
Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spoke unto Moses face to face,
as a man speaks unto his friend.
And he returned again into the camp; but his servant Joshua,
the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
Exodus 34:29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from
Mount Sinai with the two tablets of testimony in Moses' hand,
when he came down from the mount, that Moses knew not that
the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.
Exodus 34:30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel
saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone,
and they were afraid to come nigh him.
If by being in the presence of the Lord your skin shines like a light,
what should we be like if God is living in us ?
If you believe and accept that the Holy Spirit is in us
Where are you going to buy a ticket to run to?
Which boat are you going to jump on ?
Where are you going to sleep ?
Are you going to hide in the deep ?
Is God going to have to use the non Christians
to shake you to wake you up?
Or will your sleep be so sweet
that you will have to be cast into the deep?
Frangipani said that the way God checks out his temple
is by going through it tossing lighted matches.
The end result is that all the inferior building materials are consumed
and only the silver and gold remain.
Recently we have been seeing people being killed
in all sorts of circumstances.
Shootings, bombings, ethnic cleansing, millions of people affected,
multiple massive tornados.
The storm clouds are gathering, the wind is starting to howl surely
this is not the time to sleep but rather to wake up and call on our God.
When we realise our true position in Christ we will be motivated to lead
others to Christ.
Our calling requires that we first of all worship God at the altar.
How do we do that ?
We do that by starting the morning with prayer and ending
the day with prayer.
This is not a matter of a set period of time but
a communication with your Father
in heaven. And then during the day a little word with Him here and there.
Words of thanks and appreciation.
The incense represents our prayers.
By prayer I certainly do not mean our gimme list.
It is not a matter of what we want God to do for us,
rather what does He wants us to do.
There is a separate message on Prayer.
He is not our servant.
We sometimes forget that we are his servants.
Of course bible study, but study to show yourself approved to God
not of men because you are paying attention to what God is telling you.
This will grow on you.
When you have done this and you have,
desire or seek to have a genuine love for people you can then minister
in the outer court, bringing people to Christ.
He will direct people to you all you need to do is to respond.
There is absolutely no reason for God's glory not to shine
through us as it did with Moses.
Seek to be in God's presence.
Seek to recognise the Holy Spirit in you.
Seek to be in God's will.
If you are in God's will, you will not be deceived.
You do not have to fall into the depths of the ocean to be
snatched by a large fish whilst you unscramble the mess in your mind.
If you are in God's presence and in his will,
You will command the storm to be still and at peace.
You will invite others to step out,
even walking on water if necessary
so that they can have in dwelling in them the eternal rivers
of living water which are so desperately needed.
Then we will all not only be in the presence of God
but we will also have Him dwelling in us.
Unless you are at one with God and living in His love
you will not survive it is as simple as that.
Psalm 91: 1 He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
my God, in Him will I trust."
The only way out of this dilemma is Jesus Christ.
He is the only way of escape.
Praise the Lord.
Come soon Lord Jesus.
(Bible Explanations, Messages of Life, Hope & Encouragement)