Imagine the scenario when a nation or people are without God, His teachers and word. What would they have? How would they behave? What will be the direction of their life? Many points can be made and imagined when men are without God. What does it actually mean by people without God? Firstly, that they do not know Him. They cannot walk in righteousness so as to be His children. They do not have perfect blessings, riches and honor. They are under the bondage of sin or of the adversary. They strive to live by the works of the flesh; they rejoice in them. They make their living by them and satisfy themselves thinking all is well. Their mind works faster than their body. They regard what are not gods as God. All in all they are in chaos. They do not know the future that God holds for them. A reminiscent of this has occurred in the days past. And, the present churches are in need of learning from it.
“For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law” (2 Chron. 15:3). What a pity! Where did Israel topple from? They were a nation begotten from the promise of God to the fathers, a nation that overcame Egypt by the power of God in His servant; that walked on the dry land of the Red Sea; that received the commandments from a blazing mountain; that obtained priesthood for God’s mercy, and ended up losing Him. Great must be their sin! The life of the one that lost God becomes much more difficult than of the one who never knew Him. The latter always survived on his strength and will. He never sought to depend on the Almighty; neither did he receive precious things from Him. On the other hand, the former, who at one time knew God and ends up without Him, will not even be able to rediscover the strength and will of the flesh. For the wrath of God works upon him; he wanders in more ways than the foolish. He becomes fallible than the men of the world. Men overcome him in every matter; he is oppressed by them.
He who forsook the flesh and its capacities for those that come from God has known the power that conquers. He is victorious in all the things he does. He sees ways that overcome even the most formidable things. This aptitude must be present in the churches. Then, it will be inconceivable that they could lose God. They will not allow Satan to work on the freedom God has given them. Or else, it is possible they lose Him. Though they are the elect, Satan will win them. Hence, we read that Israel spent days without God. They would have done well had they realized this about the word of God: “To give prudence to the naive, to the youth knowledge and discretion” (Prov. 1:4).
The word of God is wisdom. It contains His law. His teaching priests must abide by it. Then, a nation, people or church will have God. All necessary things for them are folded in His word. It is well known that Christians walking according to the flesh are not the same as the children of God. The flesh leads them into a world of things that do not present the nature of God. They fail to replace their naivety with prudence that leads a person to make the right choice; they do not receive from the word the power to do righteous works. Christians ought to turn their hearts and minds to the word for directions. In this way they will have no opportunity to lose God. Remember the witness given in the word regarding the faithful. They did not think of the country they left. If they did, they would surely have had the opportunity to return. And, Paul elsewhere indelibly said that the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Not that we cannot willfully lose them, but that God has given us the power and blessings not to return to the flesh. If the churches have this understanding, they are prudent concerning God.
It is very difficult to walk uninhibitedly with God. Yet, if we indelibly desire for the strength and will of God to work in us, it becomes simple. This is because we no longer walk on our own initiative, but by the prudence that comes from the word. When we approach God with a resolute heart spending all our strength in His presence, He will not lose us. And so, joyously praising God, a godly man regarded His word as that which unfolds light and gives understanding to the simple. Whether you are old and naïve or young and needed to be established, the word of God is ever present with all wisdom to guide you. Do not search for man or his counsel; do not seek to depend on the capacities of the world and do not delight in the strength of your flesh. For when you do these things your days of desiring to be with God have long gone. Our aim must be life with God and for this the gospel was made available to us. “The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach” (Acts 1:1).
There is only one cause behind the churches to lose God. It is ignoring the acts and teachings of Jesus. Satan’s power is at work. To separate Christians from Jesus is his sole goal. Nothing should be more important to the churches than to have a firsthand knowledge of Jesus. Only then can they understand what He truly is able to accomplish in them. Theophilus was at great advantage by what he learned through Luke. To first know Jesus and then the advent of works in us in His name is apodictic. The acts the churches later did in His name are proof for it. Therefore, Jesus said that to believe in Him whom God sent is the work of God. Are you involved in any works other than believing Him? Leave them! For when your heart is not circumcised by the Spirit through faith for the joy of God, they are useless. It is for piercing our hearts that Jesus did works and taught the Kingdom of God.
Do not do or teach anything apart from fully knowing Jesus. Do not shipwreck your life. For many claiming to have known Jesus, the Chief Corner Stone, ignore His acts and teachings. They delight to infer from the teachings and the works of the apostles, prophets and teachers, but ignore their word that testifies about Jesus. These are the ones without God. They have not even begun to find Him that they might lose Him. The rational is this: had they sought Him, He would have let them find Him; but, they ignore Him, so He too will ignore them. And, how great is the number that ignores Him! Unless they repent He will either break them into pieces or flings them like dust. The acts and teachings of Jesus are the source for prudence. They enable men to walk in Him just as they did for the apostles, prophets and the churches. Then, men retell the saying, “but thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place” (2 Cor. 2:14).
This is the concrete knowledge of the people that are with God. He who is triumphing in Christ is with a resolute heart for God. God is often letting him find Him. Always have this in your mind: having an intimate relationship with Christ will compel God to let you find Him. Then, in all matters of your life there is only one outcome. It is triumph. That God is all-powerful and all-knowing should not come from our mouth, but must ascend from our hearts. It is the sign for salvation by grace. Grace will be revealed by the works He rewards us. The crucial point is this: unless God lets us find Him, our hearts are not circumcised to the point of repentance. Then, what are our works? They are without faith. And the churches too are not of Christ, who is the living God. “But Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently” (Heb. 7:24).
Priesthood is established that men may know God. Since Christ holds His priesthood forever, He continuously teaches the church. He is the law of God printed on our circumcised hearts through faith. Hence, God is able to put His laws into our minds and write them on our hearts. He is not like the priests that were prevented by death from continuing. He leads without disruption that we will not have the opportunity to return to the flesh. The primary reason for Israel to lose God is the priests that were of the flesh. With them there was always an opportunity to interfere with the will of God. Sin prevented them from working in the strength and will of God. They being in the flesh could not overcome sin. Their calling became revocable. So, there was always God’s severity upon them. Eventually, they were without God. In order to avoid such calamity the churches must first know the nature of the everlasting priesthood. It is by knowing the teachings and acts of Jesus. And He said, “but I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols” (Rev. 2:20).
Realize that as we fully know Jesus, our naivety disappears. Our knowledge of Him which is greater than the power of sin will bring upon us the work of His priesthood. There is nothing that can hinder us from receiving from Him. This keeps us with God. For not even the apostles, prophets and the early church received anything apart from knowing Him, whether it was word or deed. Those that do not wish to receive from Him end up losing God. They allow sin and its forms to live in them. The words of Jesus are a warning. Everyone that follows their mind in the name of God is with unrighteousness. Their works are not salted with grace. Beware of such people. They are without the knowledge of Jesus’ acts and teachings. For it is people like them that came “and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days’”” (Matt. 26:61).