(Go To Meeting)

Norbert Bohnert—October 20, 2023

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Today I want to speak about our Almighty God being strictly a God of purpose. Hopefully we can be encouraged to have a positive view of the situations that we are facing, each one of us personally, and know that God has an end in mind and that He will obtain that end.

Brethren, that should also flow on to us as we can be thankful that He is a God of purpose, because through Him and His Holy Spirit working with us, we can also be a people of purpose. That becomes so much more important now as we live in these stressful, dreadful times and seeing the world in utter chaos all around us.

Purpose is an essential spiritual anchor that we as humans need. As you have undoubtedly noticed, the anchors of normal human life are not holding the ship in place as the waters become more turbulent and agitate every day.

Some of this, of course, is due to deliberate human action where minds that are liberated from moral consciousness seek to build a new world order that will be free from the traditional anchors.

But at the same time, some of it is simply the result of totally flawed anchor systems, systems that when put to the test simply, simply fail.

People may think they have everything in place and then along comes the circumstances and that support system fails, and it happens way too often.

Deut. 31—there is a song recorded and it is a lengthy song. Moses spoke the words of the song to all of Israel and the song contains a great deal of information.

Deuteronomy 31:30: "And Moses spoke in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song until they were finished.

Deuteronomy 32 7: "Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you." Passing on of information!

Verse 9: "For the LORD'S portion is His people. Jacob is the lot of His inheritance."

Israel had begun with a great deal of purpose. When God brought them to Mount Sinai and talked to them, gave them His laws and gave them instructions and directions. They had a great deal of purpose to work with.

But as you read on with a particular song, that purpose clearly disappeared.

Verse 15: "But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked. You grew fat, thick, and satisfied. Then he forsook God Who made him and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation."

There is the underlying problem. They forsook God who had made them and God had created the purpose for them. God had relayed His purpose to them. So, they had a purpose to look forward to, but they turned away from that purpose, that Source!

Verse 16: "They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons, not to God: to gods whom they knew not, to new ones newly come up, whom your fathers did not fear" (vs 16-17).

That's part of the reason for what we are facing, what we do here today. Because in reality:

  • you understand this
  • you hear it
  • you read it
  • you see it

As we all do!

Modern day Israel is turning away from God more and more as you read on! It really is amazing and even very noticeable when I hear some of the news items and other various things that are occurring in our very own country, how little or nothing is referenced back to God!

I'm sure that you can relate to this, as well. We are at a point now where there is virtually no reference to God in the way society is living their lives, and totally depending on trying to solve their own problems without God in the picture.

This is important for us to apply to ourselves today. Let us seriously think about the things that we will be speaking about.

Verse 28: "For they are a nation without wisdom; neither is there any understanding in them. If they were wise, they would understand this; they would consider their latter end!" (vs 28-29)

I noticed something very interesting, and that is the word counsel—Hebrew is 'yaats'—also can mean purpose.' They are a nation void of purpose, meaning that there is an end to be obtained.

Israel has become a nation void of purpose and is not able to consider the end to be obtained. Israel lost their sense of purpose, the end that was to be obtained, because they turned away from the Source of their purpose, that being God!

This flows very well through today as far as an understanding is concerned. There is a loss of purpose, and people are losing sight of an attainable end down the road.

Purpose is the reason for which something is done, or to add a finer touch, the reason for something to exist. God created all that exists, and He created it with a purpose. Everything God ever did, He had a purpose for it! He has an end that is to be obtained!

If Israel had been mindful of the reasons why God was doing what He was doing with them, they would have considered the latter end with understanding and had the opportunity to modify their current behavior to fit in with the purpose and the end that God had in mind.

Loss of purpose leaves humans adrift in Satan's turbulent sea of life, and we can apply that personally to our own lives. We must also have a sound, stable purpose. God called us, and we are duty-bound to fulfill a purpose. We're seeing peoples—I refer to them as being peoples because it includes all nations—nations that have gone adrift, lacking a purpose for their lives, and seeking the end. They are not sure what they are doing.

Verse 45: "And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel. And he said to them, 'Set your hearts to all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to observe and to do, all the words of this Law. For it is no vain thing for you because it is your life. And by this word you shall prolong your days in the land where you go over Jordan, there to possess it'" (vs 45-47). This was their purpose!

This was the clarity that God had given them. It's not a futile thing; it's your life. That's what God said. They were losing that, or have lost that pretty much at this point of time when he was speaking.

Even at the level of obedience that God expected from them, the physical nation, the letter of the Law, it would have given them life. They would have kept God's purpose as their focus! Instead, we end up with a situation as we read in:

Jeremiah 4:22: "For My people are foolish; they have not known Me; they are stupid children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge."

As Hosea points out, 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,' making themselves a target for Satan's attitudes. Do we see that happening in our society today? If you take God out of the picture, this applies to us as individuals, each one of us on an individual basis!

But on a bigger scale as a nation, all of the purposes that God gives us allows Satan to totally fill that space.

We are now there! We are now there! We are there presently in this world, in this situation. We have created a vacuum. But when you take God out of the picture, that space is bound and filled totally with Satan's permanent attitude, affecting everyone.

Jeremiah 8:6: "I listened and heard, but they did not speak right; no man repented of his wickedness, saying, 'What have I done?' Everyone turned in their own courses, as the horse rushes into the battle. Yea, the stork in heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow watch the time of their migration; but My people do not know the judgment of the LORD" (vs 6-7).

It is a very, very sad situation! But it is very instructive to view an entire nation that rejected God's purpose for them and to see the end results as they occurred. They turned their backs on God! And Satan certainly filled and took the opportunity to fill that void with false gods and idols, and all of those useless anchors that don't work when you need them. They lacked perception, and arrogance dominated their minds!

What we see today in this world is a very dominant attitude. As God is left out of the picture, man is totally under the influence of Satan, he steps in to fill that void, that voided space. They become quite arrogant in their approach with everything they do and they say.

So, looking at what Israel did, nothing really has changed from the time of the Israelites to us today. They rejected the Word of God, which is prevalent here today, so that wisdom they did not have! None! No wisdom whatsoever! This is a time when our people, our nation, should be asking:

  • What have we done?
  • What have we done?

But, of course, that is not occurring. They are not asking that. Instead, everyone is turning to their own course, demonstrating a clear lack of purpose and no desire to seek one from the true Godly source.

Micah 7:2: "The good man has perished from the earth, and there is none upright among men, for they all lie in wait for blood; each one hunts his brother with a net."

That's very descriptive in one sense, but it's certainly appropriate to what is going on today. "…there is none upright among men, for they all lie in wait for blood…."

If one is arrogant, you are looking to yourself and not considering the needs of others and the situations that the others are in. So prevalent in this world today, and that is where we are today. That is what our society has come to and the trend that society has brought upon themselves.

Purpose is a quality of God! It's a part of Who He is.

Through His Holy Spirit, it's a quality that we can and we should also certainly have. When God purposes something, He will do it! We can have the utmost confidence in what God's purpose is and what God purposes.

For example, people are worried about the future of the country they live in. They were worried about what is occurring in their country and the effect of that, the current direction will have on them personally in their personal lives.

Uncertainty seems to be a way of the world today. But what is happening in the world is not an out of control free-fall, worry or fear, worry and fear will not prevent God's purpose!

In other words, God is completely in control in the picture no matter what degree of uncertainty people feel or anyone even within the Churches of God feels. God definitely has to be in the picture.

Jeremiah 4:28: "The earth shall mourn for this, and the heavens above shall be black because I have spoken, I have purposed it, and will not repent, nor will I turn back from it."

There are going to be some very difficult times, and with that, we're in uncertain times! Not only difficult, but uncertain times. All from a human perspective, of course.

God tells us that there will be some difficult times, and there are good reasons for that. Of course, as God deals with His people and the nations that have so arrogantly rejected Him. There are always reasons for things the way they happen as they do. There is an end to be obtained; it's God's end, not man's end. It may not be the way man would like things to go, for sure.

But God has an end in sight, in mind, and things will happen that move things toward that end, and we are beginning to see the effects of that.

Isaiah 46:8: "Remember this, and show yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else, I am God, and there is none like Me" (vs 8-9).

It is good to cast our minds back to the purposes that God has outlined and what we are covering by this message today. We started with the example of Israel. There is a lot of good lessons to be learned from Israel and what they did. Remember how God worked with Israel. Remember the purpose that He had set up for them!

Now that is a lesson that each one of us individually are learning. We've known it, but through experiencing time, specific times that we're in. I think that we are forcibly driven home that into our mind, on an individual basis

  • being expanded in thought
  • being expanded in mind
  • what it means to have a true relationship with God

There are many things that we have talked about over the years, and we have read from Scriptures which are so familiar to us. But to be honest, I think now we are seeing a new level of understanding to many of these things. That's very important; that understanding, that level of understanding only comes from our constant closeness and building relationship with God.

Verse 10: "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things, which were not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand…'"

Replace that word counsel with 'purpose.'

"'…My counsel… [purpose] …shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure'; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My counsel… [purpose] …from a far country. Yea, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it" (vs 10-11).

What I'm trying to emphasize here and bring to the surface in our thinking is that this should give us an anchor. We need an anchor because times are getting tough. Times are going to become more difficult as time moves on, and that's going to apply to all of us. Uncertainty is not going to disappear; it's only going to increase as we move on in time. We need to have this clearly in our mind, that what God has spoken, what He has purposed, He will do! Questions asked, absolutely.

A great deal of confidence and faith needs to be established in our personal minds in that direction.

Psalm 33:8: "Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him."

"Let all the earth fear the LORD… [is that happening today?] …let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him."

There is a purpose that God has and will move world events in that direction.

Verse 9: "For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast."

Everything that God has said, that He has revealed to us in His Word, will happen. He will perform it. They will all come to pass. We see this emphasized:

Verse 10: "The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the people."

There is no way man can sidestep God and have things work out; it's just not going to happen.

Verse 11: "The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations."

Having said this, the earth is going to fear Him and all of the various events that lead up to that and cause that.

Verse 12: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, and the people He has chosen for His own inheritance."

I wanted to bring this down to the concept of "…His inheritance" and the way God will care for and look after. Part of His purpose is to care for the people that He has chosen! That is part of His purpose, to care for the people that He has chosen!

Paul tells us that in Him we have obtained an inheritance. You can begin to see the application here as far as the Church is concerned. The Church in general, just meaning of God's people today. While God has purposed to punish His wayward people and the nations of the earth. At the same time He has purpose to care and protect His people. That is what we have to look forward to. He does care and He protects His people.

John 15: "You yourselves did not choose Me, but I have personally chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go forth and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; so that whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He may give you."

We must remember, and it's important to remember, that God's calling is a personal calling that each one of us has received, or we would not be part of the Body of Christ. We could not have come into that relationship on our own without God the Father being involved in our lives.

He said, 'You did not choose Me, but I chose you.' God chose each one of us personally, and we are to take that calling and work with it.

  • there is a purpose God has set out for mankind
  • there is a purpose He has set out for us
  • there is a purpose statement, as Paul mentions and builds on the concept in:

Ephesians 1:4: "According as He has personally chosen us for Himself before the foundation of the world in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love"

  • we're building on that statement of Christ
  • we are building a relationship that we were called into

Verse 5: "Having predestinated us for sonship to Himself through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will… [God has a purpose in choosing individuals] …to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son; in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (vs 5-7).

That relationship aspect that we have through Jesus Christ, we are being told that we have been chosen; God the Father called us!

He chose us in Him and through the process of the application of Jesus Christ's sacrifice. We likewise, with that happening, have been drawn into a relationship with God that no one else on this earth at this moment has, except for a few people chosen by God the Father and brought to Christ!

Most of the world has no sense of purpose that relates to God in any way! One of the reasons the crux of this message today is we are responsible. We have the duty to also have purpose.

Verse 8: "Which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence; having made known to us the mystery of His own will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself" (vs 8-9).

The word prudence could be 'understanding.' When the Father calls somebody, He has a purpose for that individual, that person, and what He purposes He will do. We need to take that on an individual basis and think on that in our relationship with God.

Verse 10: "That in the Divine plan for the fulfilling of the times, He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth…. [that's a future relationship situation] …Yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose, Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will" (vs 10-11).

God has purposed each one of us. He has purposed something for each one of us, and what He has purposed He will do. We need to be confident of that, brethren. We need that confidence.

Verse 12: "That we might be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in the Christ; in Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise" (vs 12-13).

We are promised an inheritance, and that is what God has purposed for us.

Verse 14: "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory."

So no matter what happens in the world as God deals with the world, you might sense a degree of uncertainty. Sometimes in our lives, we will probably get situations where we wonder if God is with us. That's fairly human to get to that point; we must remember that we are still human and we have that nasty carnal nature about us. Put that aside! We should now be building that confidence in God, because He has chosen you and me and has a purpose for each one of us. What He has purposed, we know He will do!

That doesn't mean we don't have to do our part, and we have no part to play. We must understand that. We are responsible. We have a duty, and we must fulfill that purpose if we are to achieve that overall reward at the end!.

But whatever happens in the world to the world, all of these things are going to come upon it. God will work out His purpose through those whom He has chosen. That should give us a very, very strong view of the world that we live in today that is not derived from the actual occurrences is a guarantee of our inheritance!

Titus 2:11: "For the grace of God, which brings salvation for all men, has appeared; teaching us that, having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live moderately and righteously and Godly in this present world" (vs 11-12).

That instruction is for us, and we're given everything we need to live that kind of life through the power of the God's Holy Spirit. It's a power of sound mind! It's a power of wisdom that we can see world events through the eyes of God. While you're doing all of this God is with us; we must remember that!

Verse 13: "Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our Savior and great God Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, so that He might redeem us from all lawlessness, and might purify for Himself a unique people, zealous of good works" (vs 13-14).

God has a purpose in calling each one of us, and I maybe emphasize this a lot, but it's so important for us to realize that. We will ultimately see that purpose to the end, if we are faithful according to the instructions that we have been given in Scriptures.

Hebrews 6:17: "In this way God, desiring more abundantly to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His own purpose, confirmed it by an oath…. [we've identified who that is] …so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us."

So, what he has said will be true. We'll be faithful, brethren, digging deeply into our relationship with God, taking every single day as a building block in building that relationship as we deal with life around us.

Verse 19: "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and steadfast, and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil."

That's why the word anchor was used before, and we need an anchor. As the forces of society swirl around us, brethren, we need an anchor.

Verse 20: "Where Jesus has entered for us as a forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec."

Brethren, God's promises are immutable, unchangeable. His purpose will not deviate. An underlying premise that shapes our world is that men must take control of their own destiny. Self-determination is what I would call it, determining or deciding for ourselves what part God plays in our destiny.

The world is playing that for all its worth. Divine moral laws have been replaced by self-determination. As I say, God is being backed out of the picture. He's been backed out, so any concept of Law or Divine order goes as well. We're down to self-determination, which is one of the Scriptures we read earlier, indicating that very clearly.

This self-determination will continue to increase, until a political or religious authority figure emerges and declares to have authority to determine moral law. An individual is going to come onto the world scene at some point and claim the authority to be able to determine moral law.

When he does, it will have nothing to do with Divine moral law! Very different! This is an individual that Daniel tells us about in Dan. 7. He shall intend to change times and laws.

We are entering into a time, and again all I can say is that we're becoming more evident of it occurring each week. There are many trends that are developing. The speed in which we go into is not known to us exactly. But we are entering into a time when every force of Satan can muster against God and God's people will be employed.

What we're talking about, is important in terms of preparing for some very, very difficult times that are ahead.

2-Thessalonians 2:7: "For the mystery of lawlessness is already working; only there is One Who is restraining at the present time until it arises out of the midst."

Within the New Testament Church, it certainly was. You could call it possibly Gnosticism. You could call it Greek philosophy, entangled in Gnosticism. There are a number of ways you could describe it. That was at work in Paul's day in the Church to nullify the Law of God!

Verse 7: "For the mystery of lawlessness is already working; only there is One Who is restraining at the present time until it arises out of the midst. And then the lawless one will be revealed (whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and will destroy with the brightness of His coming); even the one whose coming is according to the inner working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders" (vs 7-9).

Satan is filling that space, backing God out. Satan will fill it, that void. These events are ahead of us. We know brethren, they will happen.

Verse 10: "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are perishing because they did not receive the love of the Truth, so that they might be saved."

There is the concept of Truth that I said we would come to.

  • the love of the Truth is our anchor
  • the Truth is what God says

What God says He will do. It's an anchor. It is something to hold on to.

Verse 11: "And for this cause God will send upon them a powerful deception that will cause them to believe the lie, so that all may be judged who did not believe the Truth, but who took pleasure in unrighteousness" (vs 11-12).

Self-determination is only going to grow stronger and stronger. It is something that you and I defiantly have to resist. Our anchor must be belief and the love of the Truth, or a love of that belief that God has set out here for us.

We began by looking back at the example of Israel. I could clearly identify the Church all the way through that. Spiritual Israel just fitted perfectly.

Now let's look forward from this point. It's a time when God's people will certainly need to be anchored. We are going to have to deal with two systems that are anti-God. If you think God is being backed out of the picture now, just wait!

will completely be backed out of the picture when these systems get up in operation!

Verse 4: "The one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is an object of worship; so that he comes into the Temple of God and sits down as God, proclaiming that he himself is God.

This is where we need the anchor, because this man comes with the working of the power of Satan. It's an incredible power. It's a power that human beings will be in awe of when this man starts to do some of the things. This religious aspect is portrayed by a woman in Rev. 17.

Revelations 17:3: "Then he carried me away in the spirit to a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, full of names of blasphemy. And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and was adorned with gold and pearls and precious stones; and she had a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominations and the filthiness of her fornication; and across her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (vs 3-5).

The mystery of lawlessness that was at work in Paul's time could have been described by Paul as 'Mystery Babylon the Great.' It's a religious system of anti-God. Go to Gen. 10 and you can track through that. The originator of this particular system, of course, under Satan's influence and help, was anti-God.

So this religious system is against God. It's a system that's going to come into force more and more prevalently, and we are seeing it slowly develop as we go on in time. The beast that she sits on represents a political power.

In Rev. 13 you get this beast, and you have all the elements of the kingdoms of this world that Daniel talks about built into it. It's a political power. These two work together for a while. It's not a wonderful combination, apparently, but they do work together for a while, each supporting each other.

The Babylonian-based religion works with an Assyrian political system. I'm just putting this in terms of what the Bible identifies. Assyria is going to be used by God again. We'll look at this in a moment.

In Gen. 10 we see Nimrod and Assyria work together, the father of the Assyrians. They work together even though they were not of the same racial tribe. One was from Ham and one was from Shem. But they seem to overlap, and they work together because Nimrod built Nineveh in Assyria. Micah refers to Assyria as the land of Nimrod. So, these two systems have this cooperative approach to each other. Both of them in their mutant form coming on into the future, brethren, are used to accomplish God's purpose. These two systems are used to accomplish God's purpose!

They represent Satan's last efforts to totally separate man from God. Or if I can put it in these terms, to separate man from a Biblically-based religion. It will be a religion, but it will not be Biblically-based.

Satan is working to remove man from a Biblically-based religion, because you know that's what Satan does. It destroys! It doesn't build a Godly family. He will work very hard. When this is all going on, we, all of us, all of those at that time will need to be securely anchored! I can't emphasize that enough! We must be anchored!

Revelations 14:9: "And a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives the mark in his forehead or in his hand, he shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath; and he shall be tormented in fire and brimstone in the sight of the Holy angels, and of the Lamb'" (vs 9-10).

Brethren, can you realize the pressure to conform to the beast and the image of the beast, to conform to this man who is acting as God and who is changing seasons, times, and laws, and requiring the people to live according to those which are disengaged totally from the Word of God, disengaged from the Truth? Can you imagine? The pressure to do that is so intense!

Verse 11: "'And the smoke of their torment ascends into the ages of eternity; and those who worship the beast and his image, and all who receive the mark of his name, have no rest day and night.' Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (vs 11-12).

These verses express the intense pressure that will be upon mankind, and also upon the true people of God. Absolutely! Yes, many of us in this audience will be older and possibly our physical lives have ended. But:

  • What about our families?
  • What about the ones who have children?

You can't work to support them, or even eat. The pressure to succumb to this mark of the beast will be enormous! We must realize that now. We must be anchored to resist that!

It will be explained in such a way that the world in general will accept it and go for it. The true brethren, those saints fighting for their lives, will need to be anchored down. Here is the patience of the saints that he speaks of. We don't have to fear this.

We must trust God and what He purposes He will do. We must know that. We must be confident of that. He has purposed you and I for a special calling, a special inheritance.

It's true, brethren, and it's there for us. It will happen, but we have to play our part. We will fulfill that purpose with God's help, God's Holy Spirit working within us.

That's what we must focus on, brethren, as things get tough. Things get tough around us. They're only going to get tougher. We are going to be surrounded totally by this. There will likely be days that we have our doubts! Let's be honest with ourselves about that! There will be days in the future when we, unfortunately, will question whether God is with us or not, because of the circumstances that we are facing, that we are confronting.

This is so important that we have this deep in our mind: that no matter what is happening it is according to God's purpose! God is there. God is in the total picture. He's purposed us to have an inheritance. He's not going to back away from that.

Isaiah 10:5: "Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger! And the staff in their hand is My fury. I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath. I will command him to take the plunder, and to strip off the spoil, and to trample them like mud in the streets" (vs 5-6).

That is God's purpose for Assyria in dealing with His people. Let's move on to something that is incredibly important from focusing on Assyria.

Isaiah 14:24: "The LORD 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; that I will break Assyria in My land, and upon My mountains, and trample him under foot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden shall be taken off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon all the earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations, for the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who shall reverse it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?'" (vs 24-27).

There's going to be some very difficult times that will be occurring at the rod of God's anger. The Assyrians unleashed the political power, but God says there was a purpose in that. After that, I will deal with Assyria and My people will have the yoke removed from them. I will reestablish them in the land and so on and so forth.

But getting to the point I want to make, this is going to be a very difficult time, very difficult period of time. But it is reality and we can't put that aside. It's a reality that's coming toward us.

In our own minds, in our own thoughts, in our daily thinking, we need to clearly appreciate what is being said here. The purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth will stand! God will take and be in charge.

God will be in everything, whatever is happening. It doesn't happen apart from Him. He's able to take care of those who have that inheritance.

Zechariah 10:6—Is this written for the house of Judah? "And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will return to save them; for I have mercy upon them. And they shall be as though I had not cast them off; for I am the LORD their God, and I will answer them. And Ephraim shall be like a mighty one, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine. And their children shall see and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD. I will signal for them and gather them; for I have redeemed them. And they shall increase as they formerly increased" (vs 6-8).

  • Is this written for the house of Judah and the house of Joseph today?
  • Are those two houses going to read this and say it' all going to be okay at the end?

They don't know who they are! This, brethren, is written for us! This to give us the encouragement of what God is working through, part of His purpose.

Even though he's going to use Assyria in a very ugly way, as far as mankind is concerned, it's to bring about something good. It's to bring man into a relationship where they are prepared to see that God has a purpose for mankind, that God has a purpose for each single human being that walks on this earth.

That purpose will be brought to fruition. That purpose will stand. We can read this and know difficult times will come. But it's to produce something good on the other side of it! It's given to us, each one of us, that we can have assurance and certainty in our lives.

We don't look to man's vain effort of self-determination, because in self-determination is fear and doubt. The uncertainty just breeds this fear and work and constant doubting.

Proverbs 19:21: "There are many purposes in a man's heart; nevertheless, the counsel of the LORD shall stand."

This is a statement of fact. That should be part of our belief system. It should be a part of our faith. It should be a part of our confidence, our assurance of what will happen in the future.

  • we are privy to God's counsel
  • we are privy to his purpose

There is no need for any of us to try and take matters into our own hands. We must have confidence and trust and faith in God.

Acts 5:38: "And now I say to you, withdraw from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be from men, it will be overthrown;."

Whatever plans, concepts, ideas that man in a self-determined way has apart from God, they will fail. We can be confident of that; they will fail and they will not last.

Verse 39: "And now I say to you, withdraw from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be from men, it will be overthrown;" but if it be from God, you do not have the power to overthrow it. Take heed, lest you be found to be fighting even against God.'

A very good principle to keep in mind. If it is of man, it ultimately will come to nothing; nothing will come of it. It may not appear so right at this point of time. They may seem to get away with it as David and Psalms may clear over and over again.

The evil, the wicked seem to be prospering. If we are trying to do the right thing and look at our situation, as David said, we can feel that same way, very easily.

We are seeing a lot of things around us occurring at this time. They are all of man, and they will fail, they will come to nothing.

Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Brethren, as negative as this message may be for some of us, all things work together for good. We must realize and understand that totally. Sometimes there are good things and sometimes there are bad things.

There are trials and there are difficulties which we'll all experience. There are the hard things of life. But God, Who has purposed you and I to be part of His Family, will turn it around to your good!

  • you will grow stronger, I will grow stronger
  • you will develop more character, I will develop more character
  • you will be more like Christ, just as I am also going to be more like Christ
  • you'll be more like Christ as a result of whatever the experience that we go through

That is a promise!

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. All the things that work together for good can be good or they can be that. But God has a way to make all of our life experiences work together to develop our spiritual growth and development.

  • we need to know that
  • we need to sincerely know that
  • we need to believe that

2-Timothy 1:8: "Therefore, you should not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner; but jointly suffer with me for the sake of the Gospel, according to the power of God."

There is a man who had some bad life experiences. Paul went through in doing the job and the work that he had had to do. Yet, he says:

Verse 9: "Who has saved us and called us with a Holy calling—not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the ages of time."

The hand that Isaiah says is stretched out over all the nations to accomplish His purpose is exactly the same hand that is working in our lives.

That hand that is going to be stretched out over the whole earth, that same power, that same might is the hand of our life. You have been called according to His own purpose.

As we read back in Isa., it says, 'I have spoken it. I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it. I will do it.' God's Law, God's Spirit in our closeness to God will keep the clarity of God's purpose in our minds. We will keep the latter in mind as an anchor.

Isaiah 11:2: "And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD."

God's Spirit is very much an important factor in us keeping God's purpose in mind. The Spirit of Purpose, God's Holy Spirit, will keep that clarity. It will keep that anchor in place for us! Satan is going to do everything he can to make us throw off that anchor, become worried, become fearful and uncertain, and maybe strip out and take matters in our own hands for things that are going on around us. We must have that anchor!

All things work together for good if we trust and believe, if we stay faithful to God's Truth, because God is a God of purpose!

Through His Spirit He will impart that quality in each one of us IFwe seek it and if we want it. Hold tight to that purpose, to God's purpose, and keep our eyes on the latter end, because God's purpose will stand!

Will our purpose stand? Fulfilling our purpose through the calling that God is giving us in letting God's purpose stand!

Scriptural References:

  • Deuteronomy 31:30
  • Deuteronomy 32:7-8, 15-17, 28-29, 45-47
  • Jeremiah 4:22
  • Jeremiah 8:6-7
  • Micah 7:2
  • Jeremiah 4:28
  • Isaiah 46:8-11
  • Psalm 33:8-12
  • John 15:16
  • Ephesians 1:4-14
  • Titus 2:11-14
  • Hebrews 6:17-20
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:4
  • Revelations 17:3-5
  • Revelations 14:9-12
  • Isaiah 10:5-6
  • Isaiah 14:24-27
  • Zechariah 10:6-8
  • Proverbs 19:21
  • Acts 5:38-39
  • Romans 8:28
  • 2 Timothy 1:8-9
  • Isaiah 11:2

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 10
  • Revelation 13

Transcribed: 11/3/23

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