Often times we mistake God’s longsuffering for His faithfulness.  Now that is worth repeating again, often times we mistake God’s longsuffering for His faithfulness.  Did you know there is a plum line of righteousness and truth we must walk correctly in to exist in God?  I wonder why we think we can do and say whatsoever we want to say and do and think we are existing in God?  Oh no my friend existing in God is far more than just going to church, paying our tithes and offerings, singing in the choir (or a special number on Sunday morning), or working around the church. Existing in God is an understanding and a knowing of how God operates and functions and this only comes to us by way of our daily submission and obedience to God’s word and His ways.  At the heart of this submission and obedience is our requirement (in God) for us to discipline (a nasty word to most Christians, and me too at times) our thought life, desires, and our selfish, self-seeking ways.  Alone, by our self effort, nor with religion (what most Christians use to make an approach to God) can we discipline ourselves enough to be able to walk with God, but only with the power of the Holy Spirit moving in our lives can we ever hope to be able to walk in the ways (exist) of God and come to know Him as He desires. Isaiah shares these words with us,  “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 17Judgment (translated instruction, discipline, and punishment in that order) also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet (leveling tool or instrument): and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.”  (Isaiah 28:16-17)  Of course Isaiah was prophesying of the coming of Jesus Christ the “foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation:,” but please notice the end of verse 16, “he that believeth shall not make haste.” The word “haste” (Strong’s #2363) is translated to make haste or hurry, here to quickly lay a foundation.  Now God does not build on man’s foundation, nor should we.  God always builds one stone at a time as the stone is fitly joined into the foundation and if the stone is not the right shape or size the builder (God) will fashion the stone until it can fit into the foundation. Verse 17 tells us what God will do if we in “haste” lay a foundation, “Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet:” Now please do not think this judgment from God is spiteful and vindictive, oh no God’s judgment for those who love God is meant to cleanse or wash and prune our lives. And those who do not love God, well God’s judgment is a reward (what we have earned) of punishment for our disobedience and waywardness. This not God’s intention, but make no mistake my friend God will keep us on the line only for so long, He will allow us to play fast and loose only so long then with a mighty heavy hand God will come to us personally or a nation (like America) and execute His holy righteous judgment. I really believe the church (for years) has presented God’s judgment wrong so that many could manipulate and control people. Did you know people will willfully give all they have and even lay their lives down for someone who says they have the power to withhold God’s judgment or they will pray for them and God will heal or bless them? I have seen this for years.  Oh no my friend God does not operate like this.  The heart of God’s judgment for man is for learning and without this “judgment” (instruction, discipline, and punishment) moving in our lives we will never be able to build correctly on the “sure foundation,” our foundation will always be unleveled, uneven, and not plum. Our lives will be a wreck every relationship we build will crumble like a house of cards. Everything we try will never come to completion and purpose in God, oh we may have some success (in man’s definition), but the end that God has planned and purposed will never manifest because it has been built on a foundation not of God.

We seen this divine spiritual principle in salvation and especially in the spiritual growth we are to have moving in our lives after we complete  kindergarten.  The writer of the Book of Hebrews shares  “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ (kindergarten), let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”  (Hebrews 6:1-2)  We are to go on “leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,” but most Christians camp out here in verses 1-2 all of their lives waiting for Jesus to come and take them to heaven, well that is not God’s idea. God has much more than salvation for us.  And for us to be able to walk in what God has (and expects) for us we must move on from the elementary things of the faith. Now we must not forget what Jesus did for us on Calvary (this must be an anchor that always grips our heart), but we must not allow the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” to be the central focus of our Christian life, there must be spiritual growth and development in our lives if we are to come into the stature and fullness (Ephesians 4:13) of Christ.  In John we read, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  (John 1:29)  Now do not believe (as some preachers teach) Jesus removed sin from the world, no He did not, because if He did then there would be no sin in the world.  All we have to do is take a honest look at our heart condition, ambitions, and motives or watch the news on TV or read the paper to see sin is alive and well in the world. But Jesus did something more important and even harder than taking “away the sin of the world,” He took upon Himself the sin FOR the world.  John 1:29, in the Greek says, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and says, “Behold the Lamb of God, the one taking up the sin of the world.”  The words, “one taking up the sin of the world” indicates that Jesus alone bore the entirety of sin as He took upon Himself (not removed them) the sin of the world and made a way for us to be free of sin, death, hell, and the grave.  It was such a completeness that it is written, “He was made to be sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Do you see the difference? Believe it or not John the Baptist did not see the difference. After serving as the fore runner for Christ, in prison, John (Jesus’ cousin) said, “ . . .  having heard in the prison the works of the Christ, sent by his disciples, 3 and said to him, Art thou the coming one? or are we to wait for another?”  (Matthew 11:2-3)  John was at the end of the line God had for him. We all have an end some sooner than others, some more painful than others, but all will come to the end of the line God has for us.  Again in Hebrews we read, “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.”  (Hebrews 12:1)  Please notice the writer of Hebrews encourages us to, “let us lay aside every weight and sin which easily besets us.” Every weight is not sin. There are two things moving here in Hebrews 12:1, weights; those things that are not sin, but cause us to get off track like our wrong motives, hard hearted heart condition, wrong ambitions, desires even our plans and dreams that are not God sponsored and of course our sin.  Now we know how to take care of sin in our lives, we have already talked about Christ taking upon Himself the sin of the world, but how do we take care of those weights that so easily beset us?  That too is easy, by us studying (not just reading) the word of God. When we read the Bible (God’s words) the words contained on the pages are Spirit and life to our mind and soul. And as we study the word of God (if we have the right heart condition) the Holy Spirit will be able to wash us of our negativity and wrong thinking and clean our heart of impurities. Jesus described this process in John 15.  Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”  (John 15:1-6)  Now the word “purgeth” (Strong’s #2508, to cleanse of filth impurity) in verse 2 is not a pruning or cutting away from the vine, but a washing or cleansing. If God cannot wash us of the dirt of this world and our selfishness and self-centered heart then God cannot use us.  The more we study (not read) the Bible and the more we allow the Holy Spirit free reign in our heart and mind the more we will be able to “lay aside every weight that easily besets us.”  Please notice verse 3, “Now ye are clean the word of God which I have spoken unto you.” And please do not miss the warning (take heed my brothers and sisters) here in verse 6, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” If we do not abide in Christ we are “cast forth” or picked/stripped from the vine because we have withered, we lack the power and strength to stay connected to the vine, and look “men” not God, but “men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” Many today in the church would say God would never do this, well my friend do not tell Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) or anyone else in the Bible where God’s judgment has fallen on them.  Take heed my brothers and sisters.  There is a cleansing and a washing in God so that we will be more fruitful, but so true also my friend there is a stripping/picking away, a gathering, and burning for those God brings to the end of their line and turns their back on God.  Please do not be deceived by the “once saved always saved” doctrine.  Yes, if we stay connected to the vine and live by every word that proceeds out from the mouth of God nothing will be able to remove us from God’s hand, but if we once were saved and walked with the Lord (the Bible is full of examples) then we turn our backs on God we will wither (no mechanism to receive strength from the vine), be gathered by men, and burned up. Make no mistake my friend God has a line for all to operate on and loves to bring us to the end, not to see us flop around or squirm, but to see us stand and withstand in His might enduring, in Christ, all that He and life throws against us.