Apple Tree Ministries

Are You Prepared

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Are You Prepared
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Updated: Feb 8, 2016
          There is a lot of talk these days about "survival".  Websites, organizations, books and materials of all kinds are offered that promise to help us be safe in the "coming crisis". Even governments, from the federal to the local promise to provide safety if we will just do as they say.  This is not an article about whether or not something is going to happen.  It is about what constitutes effective protection.  What can we really do to be protected if something terrible happens? 
          I suggest these words of Jesus point us to the True protection.  We all know that bad things happen to good people.  Even the best laid plans seem to fail more often than not.  First of all, Jesus tells us not to put all our emphasis on the material, physical existence.  "I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do....  Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."  (Luke 12:4-5)
          In addition to putting away fear by trusting in the care of our Heavenly Father, we are also told where our work of preparation should be focused.
     "Come, My people, enter into your chambers and shut your doors about you.  Hide yourself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over."  (Isaiah 26:20)
          Here the prophet Isaiah points down the ages to our time.  The "indignation" here mentioned is the time when God's mercy, so long rejected by mankind, is finally being withdrawn and His Righteous Indignation against sin is being revealed.
          But not just the judgments against sin is here spoken of, but the wrath of the devil spoken of in Revelation 12:17 is also included.  He knows his time is short, so he increases his attacks against those who are following God in an effort to wipe them off the earth. Also he has more control over those who are rejecting God's salvation. Because they have rejected God, Satan is free to exercise his destructive power over them more than ever and he seeks to destroy as many as he can lest they see their error and repent.
          So what is the protection God wants us to take advantage of?  What are the "chambers" we are to enter?  How can we hide ourselves in these days?  The word has the idea of an apartment, an inner chamber, a small room that can be closed off from the rest of the house. A safe room, but a spiritual one. 
          In John 10:9 Jesus tells us He is the door, the only door by which we can enter the (sheepfold) protection God provides. In Revelation 3:7 Jesus presents Himself as the One who opens or closes, and that there is a door He wants His people to go through. 
          Look at Revelation 11:15-19.  The seventh angel announces that the final events in the plan of salvation have arrived.   Verse 18 presents the time of "indignation" is here, and verse 19 tells us a new chamber has been opened in the heavenly temple.  When Jesus went back to heaven, he entered the temple to appear "now in the presence of God for us".(Hebrews 9:24) But in 1844 he entered a new, and final, phase of work.  The time of judgment began with Jesus and the Father entering the second part, the most holy part, of the temple. (Daniel 7:9-14) In this area special attention is called to the "ark of His testament".  This is where the 10 commandments are kept.  This is where the final work of atonement is done.  Jesus invites us to enter into this most holy place, this most holy experience, with Him!
          The invitation from Isaiah is meant for us.  It is God's invitation.  How do we enter into the Holiest with Jesus?  Proverbs 28:13: "He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins shall have mercy."
          Notice it is a two part process. 1). We must confess our sins.  This confession must be specific and personal. We must confess "in that thing" (Leviticus 5:5)  None of this "forgive me all my sins" stuff.  When you have confessed the specific sins you can think of, then ask forgiveness for the ones you can't, but also ask the Lord to bring them to mind if it is His will so that you can be sure you have not only confessed, but also forsaken.
          This brings us to the second part. 2). "...and forsakes...."  In the power of Christ we must forsake our sins.  This is why confession must be specific.  We cannot forsake something unless we consciously know what needs to be forsaken.  This is also why we must ask for God's help to know what our sins are.  We easily overlook our faults, shortcomings, and sins.  But both confession and forsaking must be done if we are to be hidden in God's protecting chamber and be ready for Jesus when He comes again. 
          Let us enter the compartment in the heavenly temple containing the holy law of God, and look deeply into its sacred depths.  Let us repeat the words of Jesus as found in Psalm 119:10 - "With my whole heart have I sought You.  O let me not wander from Your commandments."  Come into the heavenly chamber where Jesus is.  Close and bar every avenue the devil uses to try and gain entrance to your mind.  Show everyone you come in contact with that your attention is focused on God and heaven, and urge them to come along with you in obedience to Jesus.  By faith in God we receive power to obey His law, and this is the protection we need in these last days. Our last text says:  "whoever confesses and forsakes his sins shall have mercy."  The mercy of God, given to those who love and obey Him, will keep us safe no matter what happens to us here on this earth.