Derek Prince - You Cannot Serve God Without Fear
We're beginning with new material, verse 25, which I'll read from the Greek and then we'll look at it. See to it that you do not refuse [or ignore or reject] the one who is speaking. For if those did not escape on earth who rejected the one who spoke... And the word means particularly "speak the Word of God". It's not an ordinary word, it's a word that means "to speak as God" or "speak as God's representative". It's a word to which we have no word that corresponds exactly in the English language. In secular Greek it was used of the answer given by an oracle. For instance, the famous oracle at Delphi. When the oracle came out with an answer, this was the word used. It's always used of a message that either does or purports to come from God. Then we go on in verse 25: ...much more shall not we who turn away from Him who speaks from heaven.
Now that's not good English. You can't say "much more shall not" so you say "much less shall we". But that's the difference between the two languages. Let me read that again because I rather interrupted myself. See to it [or take heed] that you do not reject the one who is speaking, for if they did not escape who rejected the one who speaks for God [or as God] on earth, much more shall we not escape who turn away from the one who speaks from heaven. So this is part of the total thrust of Hebrews, which is a series of solemn warnings. I don't know of any other book in the New Testament, maybe even in the Bible that contains more solemn warnings to the people of God than this book. We have looked at a whole series of passages, five passages of solemn warning. This is simply a summary. If they did not obtain mercy who rejected the covenant made on earth, much less can we expect mercy if we refuse the covenant that's made from heaven.
So the covenant from heaven offers us the greater blessings. But it also carries with it the possibility of the more severe judgment if we reject it. I think that's always true in life. The greater the good, the greater the penalty for rejecting the good. Now then, the writer goes on in the next two verses, 26 and 27, to speak about two shakings of the earth. The first one took place when the covenant of the Law was given on Mount Sinai, the whole mountain shook, there was an earthquake. But the second one is predicted, and has not yet taken place. It's predicted in Haggai. In this passage the writer quotes Haggai. I'll read then verses 26–27. Whose voice then shook the earth, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven".
And then the writer comments on the significance of the phrase "yet once more". This is an example of many in which we see how important it is to see the real nuances of meaning which are in the Scripture. He takes the word once and amplifies its meaning. This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of the things that are to be shaken as the things that are made, that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. So what the writer is saying is that phrase "yet once more" indicates something final. When that happens, that's it. It has not yet happened, but it's predicted in the prophet. Now let's look at our outline, and notice some of the points made. First of all, we need to turn to Exodus for a moment, if you wish to do so, and see in Exodus 19:18 the truth of what the writer of Hebrews says says that the Mount Sinai was shaken, there was an earthquake.
Exodus 19: 18: Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. So the whole mountain shook. God's prophetic word looks forward to a climax in which both earth and heaven will be shaken. This is predicted in Haggai 2:6: Haggai 2:6: "For thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.'" I'm going to shake everything. Once more, a little while, that's a little while by God's measurement of time. I feel it's tremendously important for all of us as believers to realize that the present earth and all that's in it, and all that we see is impermanent. It's one more reason for not being too deeply involved with the things of earth. They are impermanent.
I think there are many passages of Scripture, we will look at only a few tonight, which indicate that of all the cataclysms and upheavals that have hitherto taken place, the most tremendous are yet ahead. I could easily believe not very far ahead. That's a personal attitude. I don't know how it is with some of you but I feel so strongly that the way things are in the world at the present is not going to last much longer. I don't think it can, I think it's falling apart anyhow. We go away, Ruth and I, spend more than half the year outside the United States. When we come back there's sort of a culture shock. You have to get adjusted, everything is so superficial. Everything changes so fast; you don't come back to the same nation that you left six months previously. Everything is so unstable and really, who knows where to find stability in the temporal, material world? I don't believe it's there.
Let's look at some other Scriptures which speak about the impermanence of the heaven and the earth. First of all, we'll look in Psalm 102:26. Verse 25 speaks about the earth and the heavens. This is addressed to the Lord. "Of old Thou didst found the earth; and the heavens are the work of Thy hands". Speaking there about the earth and the heavens. Verse 26: "Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure; and all of them will wear out like a garment; like clothing Thou wilt change them, and they will be changed". Isn't that vivid? One day the Lord is just going to take off the heavens, drop it and something else is going to come and take its place. The only permanent thing is the Lord Himself and that which is associated with Him.
Verse 27: "But Thou art the same, and Thy years will not come to an end". Praise God for verse 28. "The children of Thy servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before Thee". So only those who have a personal relationship with the Lord have the promise of permanency. And then in Isaiah 51:6: Isaiah 51:6: "Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath; for the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die in like manner. But [thank God for the but] My salvation shall be forever, and My righteousness shall not wane". And then in the New Testament there are many clear warnings, we'll only look at a few.
Matthew 24:29. Jesus is here describing the events and the trends that will mark the impending close of this present age. That's the theme of Matthew 24. And if you ever want to study what they call eschatology, which is a long complicated theological word for the study of the events at the close of the age or will close the age, you should begin with Matthew 24. This is a kind of "spine" of all eschatological prophecy. And then all the other prophecies should be fitted in with the spine. Matthew 24:29: "But immediately after the tribulation of those days..." And Jesus has spoken about a tribulation that is so intense that that there never was anything like it before and there will never be anything like it again, it's unique. And we have not yet, as I understand it, seen that tribulation.
Then He says: "But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken". So there again is a clear prediction of the shaking of things on earth, and in the heavens. Then the next thing that follows, and it's important to see this: "...then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory".
So there are three successive phases that follow one another apparently rapidly. First of all, this great tribulation. Second, the shaking of the sky and the earth. And third, the visible appearing of the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. One other Scripture we'll look at in 2 Peter 3. in 2 Peter 3:7, first of all. Peter is contrasting what lies ahead with what happened in the flood in the time of Noah. And he says in verse 6: ...through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
You see, the earth itself is to go through a double baptism. A baptism of water, which it's already experienced, and a baptism of fire, which lies ahead. Then going on at verse 10: But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Without going into details, in the light of the original Greek, it's as clear a description of a kind of atomic fusion as would be possible in the language of those days. The words that are used are primarily scientific words.
Now Peter gives a personal application in verses 11 and 12. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness... In other words, don't fix your affection on things on the earth because they're not permanent. ...looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! That really is nuclear explosion. I'm not saying there's going to be a nuclear explosion; I'm saying it's as close as you can come, in the language of New Testament times, to describe something in the nature of a nuclear explosion. I don't believe this explosion will be triggered by man, I think this is God's nuclear activity that we're foreseeing.
Now returning to your note outline, my personal comment on this is, we need to learn that the visible, and material is impermanent. The invisible and spiritual is permanent. That's exact opposite of the way we think because our minds have been corrupted by man's fall. We do not see things as they really are. Our values are wrong. Look for a moment at a Scripture which continually comes to me these days, 2 Corinthians 4:17–18. 2 Corinthians 4:17–18. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison... You need to notice the contrast in that verse between momentary and eternal... while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen...
Notice affliction only does us good while we keep our eyes in the right direction. If we take our eyes off the unseen and the invisible, then we still endure affliction, but it does us no good. But affliction does us good if we're children of God and He permits it, while we are looking not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen. Then this comment: ...for the things which are seen are temporal [or temporary], but the things which are not seen are eternal. In other words, the real things are the things we don't see. The things that we see that we see with our eyes, that we touch with our hands, they're not truly real. They're impermanent, they're temporary.
Now that takes a tremendous revolution in the mind of every descendant of Adam to recognize that. because the essence of Adam's fall was transferring his confidence from the unseen to the seen. If you read the description of the temptation of Eve, when Eve saw that the tree had certain characteristics she discarded her faith in the word of God, which she knew well, and put her faith in what she saw. That's the essence of the fall. The essence of redemption is reversing the process. Renouncing ultimate faith in the seen and placing ultimate faith in the unseen word of God. Now there's not one person here tonight for whom that is not a revolution. I believe it's a revolution that's only possible by the grace of God. But it will only work when we keep our hearts and minds anchored in Scripture. We cannot afford to let this world make too deep an impact on us because if we do we'll lose our sense of proportion.
That doesn't mean we're not in the world, we have to live a realistic life, we have to take note of the things that are going on in the world; but we cannot afford to allow ourselves ever to let that take precedence over the unseen things. And remember, faith is in the realm of the unseen things. Faith comes by hearing. If you don't spend time with the unseen you will not have much faith. If you don't have much faith you won't have much blessing because faith is the channel of blessing. I also want to comment on something else which is just another step further. Remember the universe is primarily spiritual, only secondarily material. That's the opposite of the way we think.
You can look at the Scripture there, I don't think we'll turn to them. Genesis 1:1. In the beginning God... That's where it all started. God is not material, He's spiritual. Psalm 33:6. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. The initial creative impulse was the unseen word of God, and the unseen Spirit of God. Not material things but spiritual things. And John 4:24. "God is a spirit". Or "God is spirit". So remember that. The material, visible, temporal things are secondary. The invisible, eternal, spiritual things are primary. And as I said, I say again, that takes a tremendous mental adjustment in any of us. It's contrary to our Adamic nature.
Going back to the text of Hebrews we notice that the next verse is the tenth "let us" passage. That's verse 28. We've seen already nine and the tenth is the one we're looking at now and the "let us" is show gratitude or have grace. I just point that out to you. We look at the two closing verses of this chapter, verses 28 and 29. I'll read them first from the Greek, then we'll look at the commentary. Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us literally have grace... And that's the King James translation. But in Greek, to "have grace" is the standard phrase for to say thank you or to be thankful. And I think I've pointed it out, I can't remember where I said this. In most of the Romance languages, that's French, Italian, Spanish and others, that still exists. For instance, those of you that know Italian, the word for thank you is grazie, which is directly from the word grace.
I cannot pronounce the Spanish word for thank you but you all know it's similar. And the French word is ?gras? which is exactly the English word. grâce á Dieu is "thanks to God". But let me tell you this, it takes grace to be thankful. Did you know that? When I was in East Africa, and many of you know I have an adopted African daughter, I discovered in the language of her tribe they don't have a word for "thank you". How can you imagine not being able to say thank you? And then I realized it's really only where the Bible has come that people have learned to say "thank you". It's part of the grace of God. Now we'll continue with the translation. ...let us have grace [let us show gratitude], by which [or through which] we may serve [or worship, the word includes both meanings] God in a way that pleases Him with reverence and fear. Most of the modern translations, when it comes to having fear of God they change the word and most of them use "awe," which is all right, but the fact remains God needs to be feared.
Let's be frank about it. Most of us, if we were brought face to face with God, even if we were soundly saved, our first reaction would be fear. I have a study on the fear of the Lord, which I thank God I gave. If you have never investigated that, I suggest you take a concordance and see what it has to say about the fear of the Lord. I do not know of any single attribute of the spiritual life which carries greater blessings with it than the fear of the Lord. I received salvation through the testimony of a godly couple who invited me to their home in 1941 after I had been to a service. I thank God for them because if they hadn't invited me I probably never would have met the Lord. In many ways they were an example to me but this man had the idea that once you become a Christian there's no more room for fear. Not even fear of the Lord.
And when I went back to their home later after World War II, we discussed this. It was difficult for me to stand against him because he was something like a spiritual father to me, but I said, "No, that's not true". Without going into details, his latter end was somewhat tragic. I'm sure he's with the Lord, but he didn't end his life in the kind of victory that was possible. I really believe it was because of his unfortunate idea he had that you could dispense with the fear of the Lord. Believe me, you cannot. You cannot serve God acceptably without reverence and fear. If you want to say "awe," that's all right, except that it doesn't exactly make the same impact. I remember he asked me, "What is the fear of the Lord"? I didn't have an answer ready but I just impromptu said this. "It's like standing on a very, very high cliff and looking down hundreds of feet at a rocky beach and the surf. You know you're not going to throw yourself over, but you know what would happen to you if you did throw yourself over".
That's the best sort of simple everyday description I can give of what the fear of the Lord is. If I have any fear in the blessing of the Lord, and I thank God for that which I do have, I think one of the main causes is I have sought to cultivate the fear of the Lord in my life. Let's look at the outline now. Jesus grants us a place in His kingdom, which is unshakable. Let's look at the Scripture reference there, Luke 22:29–30. We'll begin at verse 28: "You are those that have stood by Me in My trials..." Sometimes when I look out on my students after three years I feel slightly like saying the same to you. I wish I could go on and say the rest. "...and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel".
So Jesus offers to those who follow Him a place of honor in His kingdom. He isn't going to be the only one with a throne. The twelve apostles are going to have their thrones, each one. They're going to have the privilege of judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Now returning to our outline. This kingdom is spiritual but not amorphous. Do you know what the word amorphous is? It's a pity, because it's a good word. The Greek word for "form," visible form, is ?morphe? and the prefix a just means it's the opposite. So amorphous is "without form". I'm sure those of you who've got any background in science, which I don't have, know there's a science of morphology, which is the study of form.
Now what I'm saying is that the kingdom of God is spiritual, it's invisible to the human eye, but it's not amorphous. I think there's a lot of people that have a problem with that. It's not just a kind of vague mist. I mean, when you pass out of this life into eternity, I just hope there's something more waiting for us than this. That's my sincere hope and it's my confidence, too. Then I point out that God Himself has a specific form. John 5:37. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees and religious leaders. He says this: "And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form". So God has a voice that can be heard, and I heard the voice of God once in my life. I heard God speak audibly. God has a form that can be seen, not with these natural eyes, but it can be seen. There would be no meaning to the statement "You haven't seen His form" if it couldn't be seen. Jesus said by implication, "I have seen His form and I have heard His voice".
Now going on with the outline. I hope I haven't confused you by that, but, in a sense, if I have, it may do you good in the long run. See, I have to say I feel sorry for people who think about heaven as a kind of mist. It's much more real than earth, that's what I said before. The unseen, the spiritual, the eternal are the real things. These things are going to pass away. Those aren't. This kingdom is based on righteousness accompanied by peace and joy supplied by the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17: ...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The order is important. Righteousness has to come first. Without righteousness there is no peace and there is no joy.
The Bible says there is no peace to the wicked. True righteousness is found only where God reigns. As long as you are not under the reign of God you're a rebel, there is no righteousness. You may be very religious, you may keep the Golden Rule, you may do all sorts of good things, but you are still a rebel until you're under the rule of God. Only in the kingdom of God are you under the rule of God. So only in the kingdom of God can you have true righteousness because apart from that you're a rebel. You may be a religious rebel, you may be a respectable rebel, but you're a rebel. You're refusing the government of the Creator and King of the universe. At this present time the kingdom of God is here.
Jesus said in His day, "The kingdom of God is among you". But it's not yet manifested in a form that can be apprehended by the sense of unbelievers. One day I believe it will. But it's still here. Everywhere that Jesus is truly Lord, there the kingdom of God is. And there is righteousness and joy and peace. If by any chance you're lacking in joy and peace, let me suggest you check on righteousness. I meet many Christians who are pursuing joy and peace. I tell them, "You're really wasting a lot of effort. Concentrate on righteousness, and the rest will follow". This kingdom is the central theme of the gospel. We'll look at some Scriptures. This is very important; it's a fact which has been long overlooked by most Christians. The gospel, or "the good news," is the good news of the kingdom. In other words, it's the good news that one day God is going to reign. It's the good news that God is willing to reign now over those who believe in Jesus and submit their lives to Him.
See, without God reigning, the earth is doomed to chaos, misery, frustration. The only solution to earth's problems is the establishment of God's kingdom. The good news is God is willing to take the job over. If I'd been God I'd have thought twice about it. Maybe He thought twice! Anyhow, thank God He came up with the decision. Mark 1:14–15. And after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God... Notice the gospel of God. THE gospel of God. ...saying, and this is the Gospel: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand..." That's the good news. God is ready to set up His kingdom. "...repent and believe in the gospel".
I personally believe that at that time the kingdom of God wasn't near. Had the Jewish nation met the requirements, repented and believed, the kingdom of God would have been established. I believe the kingdom of God has been near ever since but is not going to be established till people meet the conditions. I don't believe the kingdom of God is remote and distant. I believe that if the church woke up, and did its job and repented, the kingdom of God could be here in a matter of decades. The people who are holding back the kingdom of God are not the unbelieving world, they're God's people. In the passage we read in 2 Peter it says "looking for and hastening the coming of the kingdom of God".
How do we hasten it? By obedience, by doing the things that are required to bring the kingdom in. Let's look at Matthew 4:23. Matthew 4:23. And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. You see, where God reigns there's no further room for sickness. There'll be no sickness in heaven. God has banished sickness from His presence forever. It's never going to get back into God's presence. And you'll find almost everywhere in the New Testament it speaks about proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom it's attested by healings and miracles and the driving out of demons.
Let's look on in Matthew a little bit, Matthew 6:10. This is part of what we call The Lord's Prayer. Verse 9 is the introduction. "'Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.'" That's reverence. That's approaching God with the right attitude, and acknowledging who He is. Then the next part of the prayer is identifying with God's purpose. We have no right to pray unless we're identified with God's purpose. So: "'Thy kingdom come...'" That's the first thing we have to pray. We have to set aside our own whims and desires and ambitions and fancies and get identified with what God is busy with. Thy kingdom come. Then: "'Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.'"
That's the purpose of the coming of God's kingdom, that God's will may be done on earth just as it is in heaven. I personally believe where a believer is truly surrendered to Jesus Christ in His Lordship, the will of God is being done on earth at that juncture just as perfectly as it's done in heaven. It's not an impossibility. But bear in mind what is the thrust of God's purposes. And then Matthew 6:33. These are directions for disciples. "But seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you". There's a question of priorities.
What's priority number one in your life? Jesus says it should be the kingdom of God. If you'll make that your priority number one, God'll take care of the needs in your life. I'm not going to ask for a personal response, but I think every one of you here needs to ask yourself, Is the kingdom of God priority number one in my life? If not, a) you're disobedient, or b) you're missing out on something, because that's the way to live and have life. And if you are truly identified with what you know to be God's purposes in the earth, it's not difficult to believe that God will take care of you. After all, He is in control. I honestly believe the securest way to conduct your life is to seek first the kingdom of God. I don't take this as just nice religious language, it's very practical advice. If you want to do it, then pray God will show you what's involved in your life, and situation in doing that.
Then Matthew 24:14 speaking about the close of the age, the things that will lead up to the close. Jesus was asked at the beginning of that chapter, "What shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the age"? Here He answers. Mathew 24: 14: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come". Notice right at the end the gospel message is still the same. It's "this gospel of the kingdom". We have to tell the world the kingdom of God is at hand. I believe that's possibly priority number one for the church at this time. Go out and tell people "the kingdom of God is right at hand".
Then there's another Scripture, Colossians 1:13–14: For He [God] delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. When we are redeemed and our sins are forgiven, we belong in the kingdom of God. As long as our sins are not forgiven we cannot be in the kingdom of God. God delivered us from the tyranny of darkness. That word domain suggests tyranny, dominion, domination. "He transferred us": moved us across. "Translated us," the King James says, "into the kingdom of the Son of His love". In Psalm 103 it says: God's kingdom rules over all. So that's where we belong. In the kingdom that rules over all. Not in the future but right now in the present. Going back to the outline we have been reminded by the writer of Hebrews that we are privileged to share in the kingdom of God. We are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, unlike all the kingdoms of this world which can be shaken and most of which are being shaken.
Then the writer tells us there near the bottom, our appropriate response is to be thankful or to show gratitude. Then, in that closing verse, which I've just translated, he states two requirements for serving in this kingdom. Reverence and awe or fear. We discussed the significance of fear in relationship to the Lord. Then he gives a reason why we should serve God with reverence and fear. The reason is that our God is a consuming fire. We're not dealing with a little statue in a church. We're not dealing with a theological concept. We're not even dealing with a doctrine. We're dealing with a very powerful and just and terrible person, the person of God. My comment there, the fire of God's being will consume all hypocrisy and carnality. Let's look at just two verses referred to there. Isaiah 33:14, a very remarkable verse. I read it a good many years ago, and was gripped by it and I never cease to be impressed by this particular verse.
Isaiah 33: 14: We'll not go into the background, it'll take too long. "Sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling has seized the godless". Then we have quoted the words of these people who are shocked, they've made a sudden discovery. The discovery is that our God is a consuming fire. This is what they say. "Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning"? It's indicative I think that there are a lot of people who have taken God for granted. They have a kind of buddy-buddy relationship with the Lord and they don't realize that they're dealing with fire. Apparently at a certain point in God's dealings, these people are going to be terribly shocked. They're going to say, "Who among us can dwell with perpetual burning, with the consuming fire"? We need to take that warning to heed ourselves. Then in the New Testament in Matthew 3:11–12. These are part of the words with which John the Baptist introduced the ministry of Jesus.
Mathew 3: 11-12: "As for me, I baptize you in water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire". Notice the element of fire there. Personally I don't see that as two distinct baptisms. Some people have taught that, one baptism with the Holy Spirit and another with fire. I see that as the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a baptism in fire because when the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost He came in the form of tongues of fire. You notice the contrast with Jesus. He came as a dove. There was no fire needed. But with the church He came first of all in tongues of fire. One thing that tongues of fire does is purify our tongues. And most tongues of God's people are in urgent need of purification. Then he goes on in verse 12: "His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor..."
This is a picture of a man threshing grain that has been gathered. They still have threshing floors in Israel today. We used to live right back to back with a threshing floor in the city of Ramallah years back. The way they do it, I'm sure you know it, is this, the grain is piled up. They have these fans These... I think fan is the best word and they pick up the grain, and toss it in the air, beat it and the wind carries the chaff away, but the heavy grain falls back in its place. And ultimately in this way the grain is cleansed of its chaff. So John the Baptist says that's what Jesus is going to be like. He's going to come to His threshing floor and He's going to start to throw up the grain and the wind will carry the chaff away but the grain will remain purged on the floor. Maybe there are some of you right now, you're being tossed up and down. The wind is blowing on you. Bear in mind, it's the Lord at work and He's getting rid of the chaff.
Now, as I understand it, I'm no expert on agriculture. Chaff is an inevitable accompaniment of grain. You can't have grain without chaff. So chaff is not sin, but it's the carnal nature, it's the husk in which the grain is contained. So one of the processes of the Lord in dealing with His people is to retain the grain but just get rid of the husk, the carnal nature. In a parable in Matthew 13 Jesus speaks about the tares or the weeds. They are not grain, but they're a counterfeit and they are thrown complete into the oven of God's wrath and judgment. But the grain, which is what God is after, that's dealt with with the winnowing fan so that the grain is retained but the chaff is dealt with. And all that is included in the presentation of Jesus as the baptizer in the Holy Spirit. When He comes as the baptizer, those are some of the things He's going to be doing. I'm sure many of you here have already come to realize that. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not always to make life easy, but it's to accomplish God's purposes in our lives.