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The Ancient Paths

"Because My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up" Jeremiah 18:15

The Lord did not save us, then leave us to wander in darkness.  The Word of God is very clear in providing instructions, paths if you will, for God's people to walk.

Jeremiah, in the passage above, referred to the "ancient paths."  At the same time, God spoke through Jeremiah, saying, "My people have forgotten Me."  We can look at the same passage to find out why God's people have forgotten Him.  He said, "They have burned incense to vanity."  That word "vanity" is key.  The Lord goes on to say, "They (vanities) have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths."

In order to further assess what God is telling His people here, it is important to note what "burning incense to vanity" means.  If we look back throughout the Old Testament into what "burning incense" on the alter before God was about, we can clearly see that this was a form of worship, praise and adoration to the Lord.  Now we should define in our minds what "vanity" is, or what it means to us personally.  Vanity is vain attentions to ourselves, our own desires, the lust of the flesh, simply put, the desires of this world and this life, anything that detracts from the things of God and the will of God. 

In the world we live in today, many people would say, "That's fanaticism."  Were the early apostles fanatic?  If you want to call it that inappropriate word, you can.  I would rather, because I love the Lord and my heart altogether is for Him, call it "dedication, commitment, consecration to the Lord and the things of God," rather than to the things of this world. 

The Word of God tells us, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" 1 John 2:15.  Do you believe this scripture is "fanaticism?"  Call it what you will, but it is the Holy Word of God.  This is what it will take in order to escape the great tribulation period, which is set to come upon all the earth.  Those indulging in the world will not be ready when the Lord returns for the saints of God, before the tribulation period begins.  The Word of God says, "Wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come" 1 Thessalonians 1:10. 

Many Christians today would say the above passage is too extreme, too much to grasp.  Yet, God laid out these paths, "the ancient paths," for His people because He sees the future, we do not.  Christians may get by with a mild form of Christianity for this present time, but there is quickly coming a day when pretribulation events will demand commitment, wholeheartedness toward the Lord God, or they will not stand; they will fall into various temptations. 

The early apostles were "sold out" to God.  After Jesus died for our sins and ascended into heaven, great persecution came upon the earth.  The Romans tortured and killed Christians.  If the apostles had access to cars, movies, theaters, boats, and many of the sports events and distractions (vanities) of today, just how well could they have withstood trials and temptation while indulging in such things with most of their time, and giving the Lord only a couple of hours of formal church participation once a week, or even a couple of times a week? 

It is clear from the scriptures that the apostles of the early church were dedicated and consecrated to working for God; they were following God with their whole heart.  Even the church members were dedicated to meeting the needs of the apostles and working to help one another spiritually and financially.  They were not self-indulgent. 

There is soon coming a day when the number of the unemployed will be as prevalent as those who are fortunate enough to have a job.  Food prices will be such that people can afford little else, which will all lead to a One World Government, a New World Order, a single monetary system spoken of in Revelation 13:16-18.

No man knows the "day and hour" (Matthew 24:36) that the Lord will return for His people, those who are watching and waiting - not those distracted with vanities, who give little time to the Lord or the things of the Lord.  I don't say that these who are so distracted are not actually saved, but if there are those so spiritually cold that there is little time for the Lord or seeking after God and His will for their lives, there is no doubt these would have little or no strength to withstand "the fiery darts of the wicked" (Ephesians 6:16) in these last days.

Jesus said, "Watch, therefore, and pray always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of man" Luke 21:36.

If you are attending a church where the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is nonexistent and where there is as much focus, or more, on social gatherings and play, as there is worship and prayer, find a full-gospel, Holy Spirit filled church to gather in, where the saints of God pray fervently, uplift one another in the Word and dwell in the presence of the Lord in adoration and worship, waiting for the manifestation and power of the Holy Spirit.

Now is the hour to linger in the presence of the Lord, to be filled with the Holy Ghost, to be strong in the Lord and to seek the lost, leaving off the vanities of this world.  Be strengthened now, people of God, for we are headed for pretribulation trials and temptations and if we are to make it, we must walk "the ancient paths" in holiness.  Are you on the "ancient paths" today?

"Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" Hebrews 12:14

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