Is God real to you? Is He a vital presence in your life, or just some abstract concept that makes no difference? Are you applying the vital scriptural tools that can draw you closer to Him?
In a world starved of truth, are you feeding on Christ daily?
Normally—as most of you readers know—I do not get into any direct religious appeal or “sermonizing” in these articles for our Tomorrow’s World magazine. For in this Work we simply want to “tell it like it is”—to give you the real facts and let you make any decision about what kind of action you should take. But, whatever I write, I try to help all our subscribers understand certain aspects of life or prophetic events personally affecting them.
So, because prophetic events are speeding up, and the “pride of power” of the British-descended and American people really is being “broken” in an obvious way (Leviticus 26:19), it comes to me that I am responsible to put before you readers at least the very basic things you must do to survive the soon-coming trials and tests. For Jesus Christ stated regarding the coming Great Tribulation: “For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be” (Mark 13:19).
No! You do not need to rush out and “join our church” to be saved!
But your very Creator says over and over in His inspired word that at such a time as this, anyone who truly wants the help, the guidance and the divine protection of Almighty God must at the very least begin to sincerely “seek God,” cry out to God and sincerely and earnestly let Him know that you do want the help and guidance of the One who gives you life and breath! Is that too much to ask?
When instructing the Israelites about what to do as they returned from their Babylonian captivity, God stated: “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive” (Jeremiah 29:10–14). God inspired King David to declare: “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!” (Psalm 119:2). Please notice that last phrase: “with the whole heart.” Many professing Christians half-heartedly seek God. They do a little Bible study, have an occasional prayer session with God and “hope” that that might be enough to give them some special guidance.
However, when Daniel—one of the greatest prophets of all time—was struck with the realization of the special time in which he was living, he sought God with all his heart: “Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, ‘O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments’” (Daniel 9:3–5).
So Daniel “set his face” to seek God for His guidance and His mercy. And God greatly honored this. For God sent a mighty angel to instruct and encourage Daniel. The angel said: “‘O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.’ While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, ‘Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia’” (Daniel 10:11–13).
Daniel was made to realize that there was a “spirit war” being waged between God’s faithful angels and the demonic spirits—the “fallen angels” who influenced and guided the pagan nations around Israel. But God encouraged Daniel and let him know that “from the first day” that Daniel began to truly “seek” God through fervent prayer, fasting and confessing his sins, God heard. And now Daniel was given real understanding of the tumultuous events beginning to take place all around him. He was used by God to warn his people. He was powerfully used by God to give us, today, some of the most specific and powerful prophecies in the entire Bible!
Will you join Daniel and many other great servants of the true God in genuinely “seeking” your Creator and His will for your life?
As the above examples clearly show, Almighty God honors those who seek Him with all their hearts (Jeremiah 29:13). He honors those who seek Him through fervent prayer, fasting and repentance (Daniel 9:3–4). Another vital “key” for us today is the extreme importance of genuine Bible study. For those ancient prophets whom we have cited in the above examples were often in close contact with God in a personal way and genuinely “knew” Him in a way very few today do. In our era, most people have never really known the true God. For Satan the Devil has truly “deceived the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). He has been allowed to “blind” most of the world to the will of the true God (2 Corinthians 4:3–4). Therefore, since we are in this situation today, we must get real. You and I need to genuinely “study” the word of God. For it is the inspired revelation from our Creator. It reveals how God thinks, how He is, and what He will do in various situations. Without this understanding, it is difficult for us to fervently “seek” the true God in the way the ancient prophets did. For most human beings are truly “cut off” from God. They have only known a false God, a false Christ and a false gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3–4).
Please notice what Jesus Christ Himself said: “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me” (John 6:56–57). He then went on to say: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (v. 63). So God’s inspired word—the Holy Bible—helps us understand God’s will, and gives us life eternal in God’s Kingdom, if we will obey it.
That is why Jesus indicated that we should “feed” on Him and genuinely study His words which “are spirit and they are life.”
So I urge all of you subscribers to “blow the dust off your Bibles,” and begin to actually study the Bible in a way you have probably never done before. One good plan would be to start out reading through the entire New Testament from the beginning. Start with the book of Matthew, and see how Jesus Christ in His “Sermon on the Mount” (chapters 5–7) “exalted” God’s law (Isaiah 42:21)—or “magnified” it (KJV)—by explaining how human beings are to live. As you genuinely study through Matthew, you will begin to understand “the mind of God” as set forth directly by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Learn to slowly and carefully read two or three chapters, at least, in each of your times of study. Mark the key passages that are of most importance, and then go back and review them at the end of your study. Then review, in your next study session, the three chapters you have gone over before by noting quickly the key areas you have marked, then proceed through the next three or four chapters and think about what you are reading—asking God for genuine understanding.
It is also vital to learn the importance of Christian meditation. This is not simply “emptying your mind” as some of the eastern religions proclaim. It is, rather, the focusing of your mind on a single theme—turning it over and over in your mind to gain understanding. So your theme should be trying to truly understand what God is saying through His inspired word. You should, therefore, take time after each study period and perhaps again later in the day to carefully meditate on what you have read, asking God over and over to give you genuine understanding, knowledge and the willingness to do His will as revealed in His inspired word.
Then, after you have studied and meditated, you will have far more understanding of how to pray and of the nature of the real God to whom you are praying. Read the examples of Christ’s prayers, and how He prayed to God—and of how the prophet Daniel prayed to God, and of how King David prayed to God—and read the inspiring examples throughout the entire book of Psalms. As you follow their example, you will be able to “pour out your heart” to your Creator in a meaningful way—and in a way He will hear and answer.
Learn to start each day with prayer before you leave your home. For going out of the door in the morning without praying is almost like going out “naked.” For you are—in a sense—spiritually naked if you leave your home and have not prayed to the Creator for His help, His guidance, His protection, His leading. Please think about it that way!
Learn to talk to God fervently for, as I have indicated before, God does not appreciate “half-hearted” prayers. Remember the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, “who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear” (Hebrews 5:7). Jesus set us the supreme example of how we ought to genuinely “seek God” with all our hearts!
Along with genuine study of the Bible on a regular basis, regular meditation, and fervent prayer each morning and throughout the day, another vital key in seeking God is the practice of fasting. Throughout the Bible, we find that God’s true servants would abstain from both food and water for at least a day or two when faced with a genuine crisis.
Note how Moses, the “man of God,” sought God and explained that when he went up to Him to receive the Ten Commandments, “then I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water” (Deuteronomy 9:9).
One of the greatest “women of God” revealed in the Bible, Queen Esther, instructed her Uncle Mordecai at a time when the Persian King was set to destroy the Jews: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16).
Therefore, no doubt hundreds or even thousands of her fellow Jews began fervently fasting and seeking God on behalf of their people and of Queen Esther. The whole situation was then turned around in a remarkable way! Read the “rest of the story” in the book of Esther!
When the Apostle Paul was struck down and blinded when he was on the way to Damascus to persecute the Christians, he knew what to do. For the Bible reveals that, as he began to repent and seek God, “he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank” (Acts 9:9). So this man who became one of the greatest apostles of all time began to “seek God” by fasting, cutting himself off from food and water for a period of time in order to humble himself, in order to focus his entire being on God and His will through prayer and fasting.
Also, it is good to remember that—especially in our modern time of so many physical weaknesses and ailments—it is wise to be careful in fasting more than one day. Jesus Christ could fast for 40 days, but we should not just “assume” that we can duplicate His example in this regard. Certainly, if you have any serious medical condition, you should heed the advice of a respected medical professional before going on any kind of “unusual” fast beyond what God commands of His people (e.g. the Day of Atonement).
Nevertheless, fasting is a vital “tool” in genuinely seeking God and trying to draw close to our Creator. As you can see, this tool was used over and over by the true servants of God down through history. Certainly, exercising the “tools” of Bible study, meditation, prayer and fasting is vital.
Beyond all of this, Scripture clearly reveals in many places this principle: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). Jesus Christ Himself declared: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). So above and beyond simply drinking in of God’s mind and will through using the “tools” outlined above, each of us must learn to be doers of God’s word. We must learn to obey our Creator as Jesus Christ said so many times. And we must so surrender to God that Jesus Christ literally lives within us the same faithful, obedient life that He lived on this earth 1,900 years ago! As the Apostle Paul was inspired to state: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, KJV). So we must learn to keep holy the days Christ kept holy. We must live the same pattern of life that He lived. We must literally obey the Ten Commandments as He did—since He will be literally living His life within us through the Holy Spirit (John 15:10).
If you are truly interested in imitating Christ, I urge you to write to the Regional Office nearest you (listed on page 4 of this magazine) for our very inspiring and thorough booklet, The Ten Commandments. It will be sent absolutely free and postpaid. It will spell out how Christ is to live His life in you and me. You will find it most helpful. Order it today, or read it online at TomorrowsWorld.org.
May God help all of you dear subscribers learn to truly “seek” God during the most upsetting, traumatic and difficult years just ahead. Then you will begin to see what you really ought to be doing. Then, God will undoubtedly open your mind to understand His will—if you truly seek Him with all your heart, mind and soul and are willing to actually do what He says in His inspired word. May God help you to take action! As the Apostle Peter was inspired to tell us: “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10–11).