“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so persistently harasses us, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners against Himself, that you not become weary and faint in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him. For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and whips every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not discipline? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days disciplined us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised by it. Therefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be turned aside, but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:1-13 VW-Edition
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 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. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:1-13 KJV
This article/chapter is useful for all people to read, both before and during the Tribulation. Having spent years in different churches, oftentimes Baptist, but not always, as a youth I went to a Nazarene, Assembly of God and missionary churches.
In all of my years attending churches, rarely would a pastor, youth pastor or Sunday school teacher make mention of chastisement, usually never. When it was mentioned, it would be in passing, I never –once- heard an actually sermon or message preached on these things, an important doctrine indeed! The only place I have managed to find sermons with substance was from pastor Buddy Smith of Australia!
There is much to be said, while this is being written specifically as a chapter in a book, from the mindset of explaining how they were left behind when the Rapture happened and why they thought they were Saved, but obviously were not, looking at the evidence based off of the opening passage as an avenue, this is also useful to others who might happen unto it beforehand.
The reason is, these same people can examine themselves (2 Cor. 13:5) to ensure they are in the faith, rather than simply have a man who has taken the title of pastor proclaim them Saved, telling them not to worry about these doubts that they are having or rather allowing them to go on living as they so choose, rather than bearing true fruit for Christ, becoming holy.
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also become holy in all conduct, because it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” 1st Peter 1:13-16 VW-Edition
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1st Peter 1:13-16 KJV
In order to properly portray what has occurred, we must take a look back at biblical examples of chastisement. A true Believer that strays away from holiness and righteousness, sinning in some sort of regard will eventually find themselves under the chastening hand of Almighty God. The Bible provides examples of those who truly followed God and sinned, causing the rod of God to correct them.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4 VW-Edition
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4 KJV
We are both guided by God with His will and His correction, as we walk with Christ. Those who are truly Saved and find themselves outside of the narrow gate (Matt. 7:13-14) will find this correction more frequently that those who ‘exercise’ themselves (1 Tim. 4:7), putting on the new man daily (Eph. 4:24; 2 Cor. 4:16), as is intended.
For there is none who do not sin and there is forgiveness of those sins through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from every sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” 1st John 1:6-10 VW-Edition
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1st John 1:6-10 KJV
First let’s take a look at king David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22). This was a man who wholeheartedly followed Jehovah, who most often did not turn to the left or the right (Joshua 1:7), but rather focused on following God, doing His will, with his trust put into Him, who Created him.
“And it happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
2 And it happened at night time, that David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very pleasant in appearance.
3 And David sent and inquired after the woman. And someone said, Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her. And when she was sanctified from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.
5 And the woman conceived; and sent and reported to David, and said, I am with child.
6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 And when Uriah came to him, David asked after Joab’s welfare, and the people’s welfare, and the progress of the war.
8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to your house and wash your feet. So Uriah departed from the king’s house, and a portion of food from the king followed him.
9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.
10 So when they reported to David, saying, Uriah did not go down to his house, David said to Uriah, Did you not come from a journey? Why have you not gone down to your house?
11 And Uriah said to David, The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped on the face of the land. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.
12 And David said to Uriah, Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will send you away. So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next.
13 And when David summoned him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.
14 In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set Uriah in the forefront of the strongest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.
16 So it was, while Joab besieged the city, that he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew there were valiant men.
17 And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab. And some of the people of the servants of David fell; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
18 And Joab sent and reported to David all the things concerning the war,
19 and charged the messenger, saying, When you have finished speaking of the matters of the war to the king,
20 if it happens that the king’s wrath arises, and he says to you: Why did you approach so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall?
21 Who struck Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast a piece of millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go near the wall? then you shall say, Your servant Uriah the Hittite has died also.
22 So the messenger went, and came and reported to David all that Joab had sent by him.
23 And the messenger said to David, The men prevailed against us and came out to us in the field; then we were upon them as far as the entrance of the gate.
24 And the archers shot from the wall at your servants; and some of the king’s servants died, and your servant Uriah the Hittite has also died.
25 And David said to the messenger, Thus you shall say to Joab: Do not let this thing cause your eye to quiver, for the sword devours one as well as another. Strengthen the battle against the city, and overthrow it. And encourage him.
26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband had died, she mourned for her husband.
27 And when her mourning was passed, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done caused the eyes of Jehovah to quiver.” 2nd Samuel 11 VW-Edition
“And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king.
9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.
10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?
11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.
12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.
13 And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war;
19 And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,
20 And if so be that the king’s wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall?
21 Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
22 So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for.
23 And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate.
24 And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king’s servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
25 Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.
26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” 2nd Samuel 11 KJV
There is a lot to go over here. Uriah the Hittite was one of David’s mighty men (1 Chr. 11:41), so was personally known by him.
I’ve heard it said that the first problem with this ordeal was that David was at home when the battles were going on, something that generally wasn’t done (2 Sam. 11:1). So why he stayed at home, rather that going out to battle is not specifically stated, but that laid the ground work for the opportunistic time (Luke 4:13).
David, on his rooftop, saw Bathsheba and with one thing leading to another, adultery is committed and Bathsheba is found to be with child. Now this is a problem, sin has been committed and Uriah her husband is called back and David tries to get him to go back home, to his wife Bathsheba.
Uriah will not return, he is more focused on patriotic duties of Israel, so David eventually gets him drunk, trying to get him to return to his house and his wife. The sin has already been committed, but David is focused on trying to cover up his sin, so that what has happened with Bathsheba conceiving might be hidden from it’s true origin.
…“recognize that your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23b VW-Edition
… “and be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23b KJV
There is no hiding from God who sees all things (Prov. 15:3).
This is often how sin works. I heard a pastor once say that sin takes you further than you ever expected to go. This is a true saying.
If a Believer or even a non-believer, were to reflect on sinful choices or a sinful lifestyle, looking back, they would be wise to learn that the situation they find themselves in, who they are, wrapped with sin, those decisions took them further than their original intent.
When a thief is robbing businesses at gunpoint, did they start off take a thing or two off the shelf, shoplifting years before? When a gangbanger is pulling the trigger, what was the original intent when they joined the gang? When someone is entrapped by drugs (2 Tim. 2:26), did they start off ‘partying’ a little bit, in order to find themselves ‘one of those people’ on the streets?
The list of examples could go on and on, but we must reflect upon our own lives, our very existence, before a holy God (Isaiah 6:5). Thus we can look at the example of David, to see how sin takes one further than one intended to go.
The problem was that Bathsheba conceived, this created a dilemma that could not be covered up. For Uriah would know that the child was not his, so if there was no covering that up, then what was David to do?
Well he should have stopped right there. He was unsuccessful at covering up his sin, so he should have dealt with the consequences of his sin, whatever they might be. For the continue on in sin, to continue on doing what is wrong before God Almighty is only going to further the situation and cause many more problems in his life.
So David does what is wrong (1 Kings 15:5) and sends to Joab to put Uriah in a part of the battle where he will die, even causing those fighting next to him, to withdrawal from him, to ensure he is killed in battle. Already adultery had been committed, but now it is also murder. For David intentionally allowed Uriah to be killed in battle, the blood was on his hands.
Much more could be looked at regarding this whole ordeal, but the primary focus is on God’s response to the Believer, the chastisement that assuredly must come. For while God will allow justice to come to both Believers and non-believers alike, through the system of mankind, nonetheless, if someone is truly Saved, they must absolutely be chastised or else they are false believers, they are illegitimate, they are unsaved (Heb. 12:8). For a Believer will NOT get away with a sinful lifestyle.
So God’s response comes:
“And Jehovah sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor.
2 The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds.
3 But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him.
4 And a traveler came to the rich man, who spared to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.
5 And David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, As Jehovah lives, the man who has done this is a son of death!
6 And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he has done this thing and because he had no pity.
7 And Nathan said to David, You are the man! Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.
8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you this and that!
9 Why have you despised the Word of Jehovah, to do evil in His eyes? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon.
10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.
11 Thus says Jehovah: Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the eyes of the sun.
12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.
13 And David said to Nathan, I have sinned against Jehovah. And Nathan said to David, Jehovah also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
14 However, because of this matter in which you have caused contempt, for Jehovah to be spurned by His enemies, the child also who is born to you shall die the death.
15 And Nathan departed to his house. And Jehovah struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and it became sick.
16 David therefore besought God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.
17 And the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them.
18 And on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child had died. For they said, Behold, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child has died? He may do some harm!
19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child had died. Therefore David said to his servants, Has the child died? And they said, He has died.
20 So David rose up from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of Jehovah and prostrated himself. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate.
21 Then his servants said to him, What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child had died, you arose and ate food.
22 And he said, While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I thought, Who knows whether Jehovah will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
23 But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. And she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now Jehovah loved him,
25 and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of Jehovah.” 2nd Samuel 12:1-25 VW-Edition
“And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
5 And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:
6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.
9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.
16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.
17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?
19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.
20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.
22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.
25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord.” 2nd Samuel 12:1-25
Now as a tidbit, in verse 23 of 2nd Samuel 12, we can clearly see where David states ‘I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me’, in regards to his and Bathsheba’s child that had died, as part of the divine chastisement from God Almighty. In this, we can be assured, that the children of Believers who have not yet hit what is called the age of accountability, are at home with the Lord, waiting to be reunited with those who truly are Saved.
David also called for God’s mercy, fasting and weeping, for perhaps God’s mercy would be bestowed upon the baby and the baby might live. While not the focus of this, note that David and Bathsheba had another child, named Solomon, who would go on to become the king of Israel, after his father’s death. In this, the Lord did have mercy, for the next king, of David’s loins, came from the very wife that he had taken through an adulterous relationship, which is also part of Jesus’s lineage (Matt. 1:6).
This is one thing to consider about chastisement, when it is over, when whatever God has proclaimed to place a Believer back on the right track and ensure that they have learned to avoid turning from despising the Word of Jehovah, His mercy envelopes us, His tender care restores our relationship with Him, as we continue on.
“He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness because of His great name.” Psalms 23:3 VW-Edition
“He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalms 23:3 KJV
“And so it was.” 2nd Kings 15:12b VW-Edition
“And so it came to pass.” 2nd Kings 15:12b KJV
If God speaks something, in the case regarding David, this was the judgment (chastisement) bestowed upon David for his sins, then it will come to pass. Reading throughout the Old Testament regarding many different situations, as well as Israel in general, one should eventually be able to come to a firm conclusion that when God says something, it will CERTAINLY come to pass.
“Do not be led astray, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7 VW-Edition
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7 KJV
“Jehovah of Hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so it shall come to pass; and as I have purposed, so it shall stand;”… Isaiah 14:24 VW-Edition
“The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:”… Isaiah 14:24 KJV
This is also true during the Tribulation, the things prophesied to happen, an individual CAN BE ASSURED will come to pass, not as man might state, but as the Word of God states in a proper translation of the Bible.
So Nathan proclaimed what God had spoken and all of these things were fulfilled, David was chastised.
‘sword shall never depart from your house’ – fulfilled in battles mentioned afterwards in 1st Chronicles and the remainder of 2nd Samuel.
‘raise up evil from your own house’ – fulfilled in 2nd Samuel chapters 15-19
‘he shall lie with your wives in the eyes of the sun’ – fulfilled in 2nd Samuel 16:21-22
‘the child also who is born to you shall die the death’ – fulfilled in the above chapter of 2nd Samuel
And so it was, as Jehovah had spoken, through Nathan the prophet, that all of these things came to pass. David sets an example to all Believers, that sin will be dealt with and Hebrews chapter 12, the opening passage of the Bible, stipulates that.
If time allowed, we could also look at the numbering of all the people by David (1Chron. 21 & 22), something that God forbid (Num. 1:49; 1 Chron. 21:6). In the end, we still see God’s mercy, after chastising, as the ‘threshing floor’ becomes the very location where king Solomon will build the Temple (1 Chron. 22:1; 2 Chron. 3:1).
However, it is understood that the naysayers will instantly retort that these are Old Testament stories and do not apply to Christians today. Well, Hebrews chapter 12 speaks of Believers in the New Testament Church, those who truly are Saved, those who have repented before God and by faith believed into Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Acts 20:21).
Actually the New Testament does offer some examples of both chastisement and Church discipline regarding actual Believers who go astray from following Christ wholeheartedly, indulging in sin.
“This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having thrust away, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may be taught not to blaspheme.” 1st Timothy 1:18-20 VW-Edition
“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” 1st Timothy 1:18-20 KJV
“Everywhere it is heard that there is sexual perversion among you, and such sexual perversion as is not even named among the Gentiles; that a man has his father’s wife. And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be removed out from among your midst. For indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, I have already judged him who has so done this deed, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1st Corinthians 5:1-5 VW-Edition
“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1st Corinthians 5:1-5 KJV
There is some mystery to specifically how this works, but in context, there are some sins, where the sinning Believer is unrepentant. God is not blasphemed, we as Believers are ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20) and therefore, with our citizenship in Heaven (Phil. 3:20), do not have a license to sin, but rather to serve our master, Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1).
“Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the Law through the body of Christ, that you may become Another’s; to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sin which were through the Law were at work in our members to bear fruit unto death. But now we have been loosed from the Law, having died to that in which we were held, so that we should serve in the newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? Let it not be! On the contrary, I would not have understood sin except through the Law. For I would not have known lust unless the Law had said, You shall not covet. But sin, taking occasion through the commandment, produced in me every lust. For apart from the Law sin is dead. I was alive once apart from the Law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was unto life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. Therefore the Law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Has then that which is good become death to me? Let it not be! But sin, that it might appear to be sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I do not wish to do, that I do; moreover, what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I do not wish to do, I agree with the Law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I doing it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to desire is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I wish to do, I do not do; but the evil I do not wish to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I do not wish to do, it is no longer I doing it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one desiring to do good. For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God; through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:4-25 VW-Edition
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:4-25 KJV
Furthermore consider the following Bible verse:
“For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many have been put to death.” 1st Corinthians 11:30 VW-Edition
“For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” 1st Corinthians 11:30 KJV
This is in regards to taking the Lord’s Supper improperly. Now a good preacher will add this warning to the members of the Church, prior to taking the Lord’s Supper. A wise person adhering this advice, would examine themselves prior (1 Cor. 11:28) and if their heart testified that they were not proper to partake of the Lord’s Supper, than they would avoid it, even though there would likely be eyes of other members of the congregation, including the pastor, who might look down on them or wonder what was wrong with them. Some might even assume they have done some sort of horrible thing or perhaps they were not even Saved.
Yet, understand that the Bible is true and for those living during the Tribulation, many of which will die (unsaved) and the Believers who will be martyred (Rev. 20:4), not all of the things prophesied to occur during this seven year time period (Dan. 9:27) are going to be verified by the inhabitants of the earth (Rev. 8:13), as they will not survive, though you can be rest assured they will happen according to how God has spoken they will happen, even though the full revelation of those mysteries won’t be known beforehand.
Likewise, it should be understood that just as the Flood happened (Gen. 6-8), just as God Created the heavens and the earth in six literal 24 hour days (Gen. 1), so-too the Bible is just as accurate when it comes to these things.
So how come we don’t see people sick and dying from improperly taking the Lord’s Supper? Does it apply to only Believers or unbelievers as well? My assumption would be both, whether they are truly Saved or not, there is no * in the context suggesting otherwise.
Does your church not have people who have died? Are there not prayer requests for illnesses and diseases needing to be healed, even from the congregation? This is the way chastisement works and some will not recognize it, though their hearts testify God’s Truth regarding certain circumstances, other times they might just scuff it off, such an idea of ‘I did this and then this happened’ as mere circumstances, not a direct relationship. One reason, they simply don’t believe God.
Now during the Tribulation time period, everyone who comes across this book and reads it will not have been truly Saved prior to the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation. So, while God’s system of justice, both divine and governmental based, may have certainly affected them in their lives, it was justice, not chastisement.
Let’s continue on, before finalizing the point to be made in this writing, an important point answering the questions to those who thought they were Saved and now question that, wondering if the Rapture happened and if they were left behind. Yet, understand, this must be addressed, because otherwise if the person goes on to assume that they were/are still saved, thus they see no need for Salvation, further this would require their minds to wrap around whatever ‘the lie’ might be regarding the reason for the missing persons around the globe, therefore denying the pretribulation Rapture that would have occurred. This is important.
Let’s take a look at another passage of the Bible where Peter shows an example of God’s holiness.
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and placed it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you put this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God. Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, Tell me whether you sold the land for so much? She said, Yes, for so much. Then Peter said to her, How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out. Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.” Acts 5:1-11 VW-Edition
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 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. 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? 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. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. 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. 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. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.” Acts 5:1-11 KJV
Now this was in a time of apostolic signs and wonders (Acts 5:12), but both Ananias and Sapphira (husband and wife) were charged with testing the Spirit of the Lord.
This was a sin committed directly against God, one that should cause anyone who would ever think to do such a thing to be very fearful and withhold from doing anything like that.
“For if we sin willfully after we have received the full true knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour those who oppose. Anyone who rejected Moses’ Law dies without mercy before two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled on the Son of God, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of Grace? For we know Him who has said, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. And again, The Lord will judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:26-31 VW-Edition
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 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. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV
Now, this is written for those who explicitly are not part of the grand delusion that God allows on certain individuals, whom hearts He knows (2 Thes. 2:11), there is nothing written for them, there is no need, I can not help them, nor direct them, no one can, they are doomed to Hell for all of eternity, they are Judged by their Creator.
Yet, if you so have the heart and mind, the assumption is that you are not one of those individuals, are not of those in the following ‘they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved’ (2 Thes. 2:10). In other words, they fully understood the Gospel, they truly believed it, but they REFUSED the love of the truth and did not yield to God.
If a Believer sins, while he sins against God, does he do so with the intent purposely against God? If so, he would do well to take heed to the above listed verses, the Bible is not a joke, serving God is serious, He is holy.
Chastisement wasn’t limited to David alone, there are many examples, some more obvious than others, regarding people spoken about in the Old Testament. We are going to look at a few more brief examples.
“And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, Take the staff; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it shall produce water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their cattle. And Moses took the staff from before Jehovah as He had commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, Hear now, you rebels! Shall we bring water for you out of this rock? And Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their cattle drank. And Jehovah spoke to Moses and Aaron, Because you did not believe Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given to them. These were the waters of Meribah, because the children of Israel strove with Jehovah, and He was sanctified among them.” Numbers 20:7-13 VW-Edition
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 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. 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. This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.” Numbers 20:7-13 KJV
Moses was judged by God for ‘shall we bring water for you out of this rock’ and he did not give glory to God, but in his angry against a rebellious people, he hit the rock. Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land afterwards.
“Then I besought Jehovah at that time, saying: O Lord Jehovah, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in the heavens or on earth who can do according to Your works and Your might? I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon. But Jehovah was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. And Jehovah said to me: Enough from you! Speak no more to Me of this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift up your eyes toward the west, the north, the south, and the east; behold it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan.” Deuteronomy 3:23-27 VW-Edition
“And I besought the Lord at that time, saying, O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.” Deuteronomy 3:23-27 KJV
This is one of those examples where some of God’s promises to Believers are contingent. Moses was to take Israel home (Exod. 3:8), but due to his sin against God, he was unable to. However, in this was still yet another example of God’s mercy, where God allowed Moses to go to the top of Pisgah and behold the land with his eyes.
Consider that Moses was God’s friend (Exod. 33:11) and even he was not exempt from the holy and righteous characteristics of God Almighty.
Also consider Israel:
“You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an image of stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am Jehovah your God. You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am Jehovah. If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and do them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last till the time of sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid; I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword shall not go through your land. You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you. For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and establish My covenant with you. You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new. I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. I am Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright. But if you do not obey Me, and do not do all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not do all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause pining away of soul. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be smitten by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sins. I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit. And if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring upon you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate. And if by these things you do not let yourselves be corrected by Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword against you that shall execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. And when I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied. And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. And I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you. And I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell your soothing aromas. I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in the land of your enemies; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it. And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a driven leaf shall cause them to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no one is pursuing. They shall stumble over one another, as it were before a sword, when no one is pursuing; and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall consume you. And those of you who are left shall rot away in their iniquity in the lands of their enemies; also in their fathers’ iniquities, which are with them, they shall rot away. But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt; then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; and I will remember the land. The land also shall be forsaken by them, and shall be satisfied with its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they shall accept their guilt, because they had despised My judgments and because their soul had abhorred My statutes. Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am Jehovah their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the eyes of the nations, that I might be their God: I am Jehovah. These are the statutes and judgments and laws which Jehovah has set between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.” Leviticus 26
“Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright. But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied. And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them. If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the Lord. These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the Lord made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.” Leviticus 26 KJV
Studying of the Old Testament and what happened to Israel will not only verify God’s promises of both blessing and a curse, but rather that God’s Word is true and can be counted on literally. In fact, a student of history regarding Israel would be able to see that as well as Israel is a peculiar people (1 Pet. 2:9).
One final example, showing God’s holiness and considering the standards of the churches throughout the world, as well as those who profess and name Christ, yet walk as the world walks.
“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered strange fire before Jehovah, which He had not commanded them. And fire went out from Jehovah and consumed them, and they died before Jehovah. And Moses said to Aaron, This is what Jehovah has spoken, saying: By those who come near Me I will be honored as holy, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron kept still.” Leviticus 10:1-3 VW-Edition
“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.” Leviticus 10:1-3 KJV
Just as Ananias and Sapphira died before Peter, so too, Aaron, the priest, had his sons consumed by the fire from Jehovah. God also warned the Church as well, regarding lukewarm behavior.
“And to 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: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing; and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked; I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:14-21 VW-Edition
“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; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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: 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:14-21 KJV
God knows the hearts of the individuals that made up these churches (written from a stance of readers during the Tribulation) and they were warned to repent. He knows those who are truly His (John 10:27), but most were just in attendance, going along with the flow of things, even persecuting those who were truly Saved amongst them.
There was a line in the sand, so to say, and that line in the sand was when Christ judged at His appearing (2 Tim. 4:1), when the door was opened (Rev. 4:1). That is why, even though you thought you were Saved, you were not Saved, but were left behind.
If you proclaimed to be a Christian, whether you went to church regularly or not, but lived by and large like the world, without really concerned about the things of God, then you were deceived. Now the deception should be worn off, you should be able to understand that you didn’t truly repent towards God and by faith believe into Jesus Christ as your Savior, who died on the Cross for your sins, but rather you simply believed, not truly having any actual change of mind regarding your sinful state and God’s holiness, no longer wishing to do those things (Eph. 4:17-20).
You didn’t forsake the things of this world (1 John 2:15-17), but rather wanted to add ‘christianity’ to your checklist, without actually dying to self and living for the Lord (Gal. 2:20).
The examples of chastisement were given, so that perhaps a reader could reflect upon their lives and what they know about themselves, even if no one else knows, and whether or not they believe they were chastised for that. Truth be told, if you were left behind, you were not chastised for going contrary to God’s Word.
If you were able to consider yourself Saved, but viewed things inappropriate on websites, then how did you get away with it? If you consider yourself Saved, but partied with your family and/or friends at gatherings, then how did you get away with it? If you consider yourself Saved and committed adultery, were a thief, a drunkard, a drug user, a foul-mouthed person, a liar, sexual perverse or numerous other sins (add yours here), then how did you get away with it?
“Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But sexual perversion and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no prostitute, unclean person, nor covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one beguile you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.” Ephesians 5:1-7 VW-Edition
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” Ephesians 5:1-7 KJV
“And He said to me, It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending. I will give of the fountain of the Water of Life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, prostitutes, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:6-8 VW-Edition
“And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 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.” Revelation 21:6-8 KJV
There is not time here and volumes of books would have to be written to explain these things. If Way of Life literature (David Cloud) (www.wayoflife.org) is still available, these writings explain much of what has happened regarding the apostasy throughout the last Church age.
This chapter was written to specific allow one to do the following:
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know, yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you; unless indeed you are ones failing the test?” 2nd Corinthians 13:5 VW-Edition
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2nd Corinthians 13:5 KJV
“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1st John 2:3-6 VW-Edition
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” 1st John 2:3-6 KJV