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Asleep

 
(Mat 26:41 KJV)  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
 
(Mark 13:33 KJV)  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
 

(Mat 7:20 KJV)  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

(Rev 3:1 KJV)  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5  He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

(Rev 3:14 KJV)  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  

(Rev 2:18 KJV)  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

In order to be able to be able to effectively pray for the members of the Body of Christ, to be able also to Minister to them, to also preach effectively to them, even to warn them too  we do now also need to understand the state of the various spiritual states of Christians and their churches today as well.  

I have warned you also many times, even too often now,  satanically inspired false preachers with a hidden agenda twist God's words, they do lead God's people astray and  they do put them to a drunken sleep as well so they are no longer effective for God.

As we know there are even today seven types of churches as listed in the Book of Revelations including the church of  Sardis, Laodiceans . 

The spiritual state of the churches, Christians  is also directly related to how they do deal with God and with Satan.

Satan's approach, opposition to the Church of Jesus Christ is simple, he ever seeks to destroy the effectiveness of Christians as lights in the world and Satan he does still tries to destroy their dependence on God, their relationship with God.

In opposing Christians, Satan seeks even to do  one of these two things: 1-  to put them to sleep; or 2 - to make them drunk. 

This sleep also still can be a spiritual sleep or a  sleep of physical death. The Bible refers to sleep as physical death too.

(1 Cor 15:51 KJV)  Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Lucifer's sin of rebellion against God led to the fall of angels and man and brought sickness, suffering and death to the whole universe. We all should recognize that with God resurrection, redemption spirutal and physcial Death continues today, even persons today that face an early death cause they are reaping the iniquities of their fathers who had hated God. 

(Heb 9:27 KJV)  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

(Heb 9:28 KJV)  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

(Exo 20:4 KJV)  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6  And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

(Exo 20:12 KJV)  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

(2 Chr 25:4 KJV)  But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.

 (1 John 5:16 KJV)  If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.  

 According to this text, there is a sin not unto death and a sin unto death. What is the sin unto death? Is it any specific sin? Who commits it and how often is it committed?

(2 Sam 6:7 KJV)  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

(1 Sam 25:36 KJV)  And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light. 37   But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.

(Dan 5:23 KJV)  But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: 24  Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. 25  And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 26  This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. 27  TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. 28  PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. 29  Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. 30  In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. 

(Acts 12:21 KJV)  And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. 22  And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.23  And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

As surely as men die naturally because of the curse of sin, there is a sin unto death. This is a sin that Christians also do commit. Beyond doubt, this sin it is the cause of premature physical death in the lives of many believers.

 We do now that even Moses committed this sin (Num 20:11 KJV)  And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.12  And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. (Deu 31:14 KJV)  And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die:  

(Acts 5:1 KJV)  But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,2  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it, at the apostles' feet. 3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. 6  And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. 7  And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. 9  Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. 10  Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. 11  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. 12  And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.

(1 Cor 11:25 KJV)  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. 27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

(Prov 29:1 KJV)  He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

I am still shocked AS TO how many professing Christians today still do wrongfully believe that God does not deal negatively with his own people even here on earth even though the New Testament clearly teaches otherwise.

(Rev 2:21  KJV)    And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 

Although  the cross, and our free will excercise of our personal repentance  forever stands between the Christian and  judgment, the believer has to be  made to see that God chastens and scourges even his own because he loves them. God still does give all people a chance to repent by his Holy Spirit.. when they refuse these chances they can die an early death, both Believers and unbelievers. 

(Rev 3:19 KJV)  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

(Psa 101:5 KJV)  Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

(James 2:13 KJV)  For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

"From a study of the scriptures it is clearly evident that the sin unto death is no one or specific sin. Potentially, any Christian could eventually commit the sin unto death. I fear it is committed more frequently than we realize.   Although we need to be careful lest we convey the idea that premature or untimely deaths among Christians are the result of the sin unto death, some indeed are. More than we dare realize or acknowledge, many Christians go to an early grave because that is the only way God can save them or stop them from hurting others."

(Prov 4:20 KJV)  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.21   Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

(Rom 2:9 KJV)  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10   But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

 Jesus said, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin." John 15:22.

 But the sin unto death still has nothing to do with salvation?  It is a very severe form of divine chastisement upon a child of God. Such judgment usually comes after repeated warnings and much effort to reconcile such a one?

  In process of time God will sovereignly visit judgment upon his people even here on earth when it is needed and there is no one else left to act.

 Heb. 10:30 says, "For we know him that hath said. Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people."

  Heb. 12:6-8 which says, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."

 Luke 12:47-48 says, "And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

(Gal 6:7 KJV)  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

 "Even the wicked reap certain temporal blessings when they respect and observe divine principles. And God can judge them severely when their affront becomes a challenge to the Almighty. The principle of sowing and reaping applies to the righteous and the wicked and covers time and eternity. "

I Thess. 5:6 exhorts believers concerning both conditions: "Therefore let us not sleep, as do others: but let us watch and be sober."

 (2 Tim 2:10 KJV)  Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11  It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

(Rev 12:11 KJV)  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

The Bible is full of explicit indications that true blood-bought believers, possessing eternal life, bound for heaven who can still be spiritually asleep in this world.

In Matthew 25:5, Jesus indicated that when the time of the bridegroom's coming approached, the wise and the foolish virgins would all be sleeping: wise virgins, having oil in their vessels, but asleep. These are true believers. In Matthew 13:25 in the parable of the wheat and tares we see that the enemy was able to sow his seed in with the wheat because "men slept."

To be asleep can also mean to  be at ease, careless, unaware of anything of a spiritual nature.

All kinds of things can take place around a sleeping person yet he knows nothing that is going on in the real world. The only thing on his mind is the shadowy unreal world of dreams. The sleeping Christain is unaware of things happening around him in the spiritual realm, which is the only real eternal realm. His mind is occupied by this material temporal world and its affairs.

Paul wrote to the Romans (13:11): "And that knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep;...." and today we must "know the time." We have already touched some on this but I Thess. 5:7 says, "For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night." The phrase "in the night" stands out here.

Isaiah spoke of the time when "darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people" (Isaiah 60:2). This darkness is more than an absence of light. It is the result of an intelligent conspiracy to destroy man. It is demon power which blinds and deludes lost men. Though there is light in the world for believers, this darkness exists in the minds of the children of destruction. It is the darkness of a man unable to see a blazing light because he is blind. II Cor. 4:4.

(2 Tim 2:26 KJV)  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

(2 Tim 3:1 KJV)  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

 Satan  he knows not the precise time but he  is very aware that his time is short.

"Rev. 12:12 speaks of a time when the devil will "come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Obviously from this scripture we see that the devil is able to know that the end is near and that this knowledge causes him to redouble his efforts to destroy men and oppose the work of God in the earth.

 Paul says in Ephesians 3:10 that the manifold wisdom of God is made known to the principalities and powers by the Church.  It is no accident that there is a great increase in satanic activity in our day. God has spoken many times to his people to warn them of the lateness of the hour. Satan too has learned that his time is short. Therefore he is mounting a last all-out offensive in his work of evil. An all powerful God is permitting him to also deceive those who will not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved. II Thess. 2:10.

 Whole GROUPS OF PEOPLE  are enslaved by ALSO SOME OF THE false religious systems that originated with one person who loved not the truth that he might be saved even the Jehovah's Witness, Mormons. (Rom 1:21 KJV)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 

This demonic darkness is the prevailing condition of our world today. And it exerts a terrific force upon ALL OF THE believers.

All of us have experienced the difficulty of staying awake at a time of the night when we are normally asleep. Through habit our bodies and minds cry out for sleep. We yawn; our eyes grow heavy. Only a most determined effort will keep us awake. It is like that in this hour. Though we are redeemed and possess eternal life, so long as we are yet in these bodies we will also possess the fallen adamic nature with which we were born. Though we are not compelled to obey it, the influence is there. Our old nature responds to the influence of our sin-darkened world like our bodies respond to the habitual time for sleep. Only a sober effort to combat this influence will prevent sleep from overtaking us.

Satan is using his  freedom in the world to bear upon the spirits of believers to cause them to quit fighting and to go to sleep. He will do anything to cause them to become preoccupied with natural things to the neglect of eternal matters.

"Great spiritual battles can rage around some Christians that yet they are unaware. The effects may stir them slightly but they just turn over and go back to sleep. They are useless to God in matters of the Kingdom and may even become unwitting tools of the enemy.

They dreamily serve a Christ of history or a Christ who will one day come, but they cannot,  do not hear Christ speaking today as they are all involved in the affairs of this life both secular and religious. And Satan knows how to appeal to these people too to keep them involved and busy."

(Jer 51:58 KJV)    and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.

(Hab 2:13 KJV)  Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? 14   For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

In many parts of the world today, believers are systematically persecuted. They suffer the loss of possessions; of opportunities to prosper in this world; they are imprisoned and tortured; many are even losing their lives for Christ. But Satan's opposition to the Church in the western world is much more subtle -- and much more effective. Here he poses as a friend, a benefactor. He offers religious liberty, opportunity, comfort and ease. Without a doubt the Church is purer and stronger spiritually where it is openly opposed. Christians have far less difficulty staying awake when there is a lion roaring at the door. But let the gentle breezes blow and the bank account grow and the snores of sleeping Christians will almost surely follow.

With opportunities for indulging the appetites of "Adam" within us abounding it is easy for spiritual realities to seem a bit foggy and unreal. We give mental assent to the doctrines of heaven, the Kingdom of God, angels and devils, spiritual warfare and the soon return of the Lord, but they seem dream-like beside our day-to-day interests in this world.

The Spirit of God cries, "Awake, repent, be sober, fight!" We start a bit in our slumber. Then Adam soothes us back to sleep: "Fight?! Fight what? You never had it so good. You're respected and liked by your friends. Just last week you got a raise. You're active in the church. Don't rock the boat. Look at brother so-and-so: he's not all upset and fanatical and he's a fine Christian, respected by all. Relax. Things are fine." And our minds are flooded with thoughts of the various activities that fill our lives and we slumber once more. "

THE SPIRIT OF SLEEP

"Here the  whole atmosphere is pervaded with a spirit that is causing men to fall into a deep sleep. It is like a deadly gas and Adam is right at home in such an atmosphere. This spirit of sleep is a cover, however, for the greatest satanic onslaught against men the world has ever seen. Great battles are taking place. Eternal issues are at stake. Lives are being enslaved and destroyed.

Is it any wonder that God's word is: "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion." Amos 6:1.

What will God have to do to arouse us? Must persecution come before we awake?

"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." This passage in Joel 2 goes on to describe the destructive forces loose in this time. God's people are warned to turn wholeheartedly to the Lord. Blessings and restoration are promised. The passage ends with the promise that Zion would be a place of deliverance and salvation. God will have such a people. Will we be among them?"

THE SPIRIT OF  DRUNKENNESS

 (Hab 2:15 KJV)  Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! 16  Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.17  For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

According to I Thess. 5:6-8, the possibility of falling sleep in the endtime was not Paul's only concern: he also issued a clear warning against drunkenness. 

(Eph 5:18 KJV)  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

 Note as in the case of sleep above, this drunkenness was either literal or  spiritual in nature

(1 Sam 25:36 KJV)  And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light. 37   But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.

(Dan 5:23 KJV)  But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: 24  Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. 25  And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 26  This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. 27  TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. 28  PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. 29  Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. 30  In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. 

"Of course natural drunkenness is also intended to be a picture of the spiritual condition that concerned Paul. A man who is drunk is robbed of all self-control. His judgment is perverted. His behavior is embarrassing and inappropriate to those around who are sober. Though awake, he cannot properly assess or relate to the realities of life around him. He becomes useless in any meaningful undertaking. He may even become a source of danger to others. His influence for good is gone. Not only may his condition be thus described, but the instrument of his stupor is powerfully addicting. He cannot live without it. Psychologically as well he comes to need the fantasy world that alcohol helps him create.

(Isa 28:1 KJV)  Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! 2  Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. 3  The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: 4  And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.

Drunkenness of the spirit is like all of this and far worse. Isaiah 28 gives us a clear picture. Verses 1-4 graphically portray the delusion of religion without God: proud spiritual leaders in religious trappings impressive to the natural man, presiding over the ease and prosperity of drunken multitudes blissfully unaware of impending doom. This is a perfect picture of most religion including most of professing Christianity.

Some professed followers of Christ even have a form of godliness but there is no power. II Tim. 3-5. Not only is there a lack of power, but if God's power were suddenly to be manifested, no effort would be spared to suppress it. Consider the reaction of the good orthodox, bible-believing religious folk of Jesus' day. That is what is meant by "denying the power thereof." "

There are sadly believers and Christian Churches today who are self satisfied, drunk with their own false self appraisal self worth, they see no reasons for themselves to repent, for they rather consider themselves as having reached a spiritual pinnacle, they are clearly spiritual even above all of the other believers.. their false pride comes before their fall.

(Rev 3:17   KJV)   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.   )

"Religious man does not merely lack light; he hates and despises light and seeks at all costs to suppress and destroy it. 

The (spiritual) wine that keeps man in such a stupified condition is still the spirit of Satan expressed in their false religious doctrines and ideas. This wine fixes him up with a delusion that all is well when it is not. The delusion exists in the minds of men who embrace religious falsehoods.

And not only do they drink in the falsehood itself - that would be bad enough - but the authors of that falsehood come in to live as well - demon spirits long schooled in the art of deception. Demons have learned their craft over thousands of years of leading men astray. Thus does Babylon become "the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit and the cage of every hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Rev. 18:2.

How does this delusion gain such a stranglehold on the world as a whole? The answer is simple -- it is man's rejection of truth. II Thess. 2:11-12 says, "and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

THE WRATH OF GOD

(Rom 1:18 KJV)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
 
(Rom 1:21 KJV)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
 
(Rom 1:22 KJV)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
 
Rom. 1:18-32 shows the connection between the wrath of God and the state of delusion. "Wrath" involves turning man over to the darkness he loves to reap its fearful consequences.

Jeremiah 51 is a remarkable parallel to Rev. 17 and 18. In verse 7 we read, "Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand that made all the earth drunken." We clearly see that although the devil brings this delusive wine, the Lord sends it as the first step in judgment and destruction.

Note that in both Jeremiah and Revelation the cup is golden. One must never judge a cup's contents by its outward appearance. That is true both of the devil's cup and the Lord's. Jesus' description of the religious leaders of his day included these words: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but they are full of extortion and excess." Matt. 23:25.

Isaiah 29:9-13 presents a clear picture of spiritual drunkenness: "Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 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. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. 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, their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:"

This condition of drunkenness that prevails so completely as the end approaches affects real Christians in varying degrees as well as the lost. Why else would Paul exhort believers to "be sober"?

Isaiah 28:5-8 portrays vividly the effect that this wine has wherever it prevails. Verses 7-8 read, "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink,they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean."

God has always had his remnant in the earth. "

Even so it is today that a remnant of God's saints are scattered through the systems of men where these drunkeness and sleeping conditions prevail. They refuse to take this bad wine.

(Jer 35:5 KJV)  And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. 6  But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: 7  Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers. 8  Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; 9  Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: 10  But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

(Jer 35:13 KJV)  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD. 14  The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father's commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me. 15  I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me. 16  Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me: 17  Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered. 18  And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you: 19  Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.

"Paul warns us against being spoiled by philosophy and vain deceit as a result of exposure to the traditions of men ((Col 2:8 KJV)  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  10  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:  ).

I'm afraid that there have been many real believers who have been confused, abused, scattered and who could certainly be characterized as having been out of the way. Like Lot who pitched his tent toward Sodom and barely escaped with his life they are in no position to be profitable to God in his Kingdom.

(2 Th 2:15 KJV)  Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

"Out of the way." That's a serious condition, specially in the light of the time. Only through a steady diet of God's anointed truth can we escape the stupor and vomit brought on by the wine. And God's anointed truth itself will have no effect on one who doesn't see his need and desire it from the heart. One might as well lecture a drunk on the virtues of sobriety.

A CRITICAL POINT

Now a critical point: escaping the wine always involves leaving the place where it prevails. The word is clear: "Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev. 18:4.

I am more persuaded than ever that God has abandoned most of professing Christianity and that escape is imperative for His little remnant. It matters not that religious people gather in the name of Christ, sing "Amazing Grace" and preach many sound biblical doctrines. If God's power and life are not there, God is not there. Those places exist to bind up bundles of tares for the fire (Matthew 13:40). It is no place for a true born-again believer -- especially now in the end of the age.

It is the hour when God's little remnant must seek Him with all their hearts to be led to where they can be delivered. The Lord's cup may not appear to be golden, but it contains the pure water of life.

It is night. The world  ( and some Christians) are  asleep, or drunk, or both but others are not. Passive indifferent Christians in this hour are in trouble and don't even know it. Consider the warning in Matt. 24:48-51 against carelessness and the time of Christ's coming. Indifferent Christians may prove not to be Christians at all. Half of the sleeping virgins had no oil. They were unaware of their lack until it was too late. We will see an accelerated process in the days ahead of separation involving apparent believers being overcome by wine or sleep.

As Paul said in I Thess. 5:5-11, "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."

And DON'T FORGET There is still also the great final judgment even for all of  the unforgiven, unrepentant wicked persons who refused God's way, Christ's Salvation.

 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Rev. 21:1-8.

http://pbulow.tripod.com/asleep.html

God Bless you.
 
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