Today’s selected reading continues in the epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were found in Galatia. More specifically, today’s reading is found in verses eleven through twenty-four of the first chapter. When we come to this portion of the first chapter of the epistle of the apostle Paul unto the Galatian churches we find the apostle transitioning from his statement concerning those who had infiltrated the churches in Galatia and had begun to pervert the gospel. Within the first ten verses of this chapter we find the apostle Paul speaking unto the Galatians and how he was amazed that they had so quickly turned away from the gospel of Jesus Christ and of the kingdom of God, and had turned to another gospel. The words which the apostle Paul writes in this first chapter of the epistle to the Galatian churches is actually unique, for the apostle Paul had spoken unto this concern for the saints of God turning away from the gospel of Jesus Christ and turning unto another gospel. In fact, in the eleventh chapter of the second epistle written unto the saints which were at Corinth we find the apostle Paul writing unto them concerning another gospel which they had not preached, another spirit which they had not received and even another Jesus while they had not preached. It is absolutely critical that we recognize and understand the concept and reality the apostle Paul sought to set forth when writing unto the Corinthians in his second letter, for within that second letter the apostle Paul spoke of the very real possibility that the saints of God and disciples of Christ can in fact be persuaded to follow another Jesus whom they had not been told, receive another spirit which they had not received, and adhere to another gospel which had not been preached unto them.
When we come to the epistle of Galatians we find an epistle that was written not to an indivisible churches but rather a network of churches which were in a specific region of the known world of that day. The epistle of Galatians was written unto the churches which were at Galatia, and I can’t help but wonder how many churches were present within this particular region. While we don’t know exactly how many churches were present within the region of Galatia, we do know from the book of Acts and the writing of Luke that the apostle journeyed through this region—not once, but twice. If you read the New Testament book of Acts you will find the apostle Paul journeying through the region of Galatia establishing them in that which was ordained and appointed by the apostles and elders which were in Jerusalem. What’s more, is that as the apostle Paul and those with him traveled within and throughout that region, they did so to strengthen the churches and to establish them in the faith. The churches within this region experienced the apostolic ministry of the apostle Paul on two separate occasions, and undoubtedly while present among them the apostle Paul preached the gospel concerning Jesus Christ. What’s more, is that there is not a doubt in my mind that while the apostle Paul was present among the churches in the region of Galatia he preached concerning the Holy Spirit who was given on the day of Pentecost. I am utterly and completely convinced that the churches within this region did in fact hear, and not only hear, but also receive the gospel concerning Jesus the Christ, and concerning the kingdom of His Father. I believe with everything in me that the saints of God which were present within and among the churches in the region of Galatia did in fact hear the message of the gospel concerning Jesus the Christ and were confronted with the reality of who He was—how He was crucified, buried, raised from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of the Father.
In versus six through ten of the first chapter of this epistle written unto the churches within the region of Galatia we find the apostle Paul immediately beginning to address something incredibly dangerous within and among the churches—not only the churches which were within the region of Galatia, but also the churches which are present within this generation and throughout and across the globe. Consider if you will the words and language the apostle Paul uses in this set of verses to confront the dangerous reality of what was taking place among the churches within the region of Galatia: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God:? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-10). Consider also the words which the apostle wrote in the second epistle which was written unto the saints which were in Corinth: “Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye. Might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:1-4).
The reality expressed within these words were also expressed unto the elders of Ephesus when the apostle Paul would interact with them one more time: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grevious wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that bye the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:28-32). Even Jesus Christ Himself was concerned that after His departure unto the right hand of His Father who was in heaven, false teachers, false apostles, and false Christs would enter in among the disciples and followers. In the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew we find Jesus Himself warning the disciples concerning the tremendous dangers that would creep in among the saints in the Last Days. First and foremost, beginning with the fourth verse of this particular chapter we find Jesus speaking the following words unto the disciples: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:4-8). Again in the same chapter found within the gospel of Matthew we again find Jesus warning against the threat of deception and of turning away from the true and authentic Christ: “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (Matthew 24:23-28).
This reality of false Christ’s, false prophets, false apostles, false apostles, false teachers, and false gospels is expressed throughout the New Testament and is found in the writings of the apostle Paul unto Timothy, in the second epistle the apostle Peter wrote, as well as in the epistle which Jude wrote. In the first epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto his spiritual son Timothy we find the following words: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:1-3). In the third chapter of the second epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy we again find him speaking to this reality of deception that can and will infiltrate the churches of Jesus Christ in the Last Days. Beginning with the first verse of the third chapter we find the following words: “This know also, that in the Last Days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, every learning,. And never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-7).
When writing his second epistle, which is found in the New Testament we find the following words written by the apostle Peter concerning the Last Days: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift desaturation. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2 Peter 3:1-10).
In the epistle of Jude which is found in the New Testament—though it be only a single chapter in length—we find the following words which also speak to the tremendous dangerous of deception in the Last Days: “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for Reardon, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 8-23).
It is absolutely necessary that we understand each of these passages—though they be separate and removed from each other—for each of these passages brings us face to face with the very real danger that exists around false teachers, false apostles, false prophets, and false gospels. Within verses six through ten of the first chapter of the epistle which was written unto the churches within the region of Galatia the apostle Paul marvels that they were so soon removed from Him who had called them into the grace of Christ unto another gospel. The apostle Paul recognized that there were some among them who troubled them, and would seek to pervert the gospel of Christ, and sought to directly combat and challenge that reality among them. In fact, the apostle would go on to write and declare unto them that though they themselves, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto them than that which had been preached unto them, those who do so should be accursed. A second time the apostle Paul went on to write that if any man preach any other gospel unto them than the one which they received, that individual or those individuals are to be accursed. It is not wonder that when we come to the eleventh verse of the same chapter within this epistle we find the apostle speaking concerning the gospel which he himself preached among the Gentiles and among the churches within the province of Asia. Immediately after confronting the churches in Galatia for their turning aside to another gospel which was different than the gospel which he himself preached among them, the apostle Paul would them speak of the gospel which he himself preached among them, and the source and origin of that gospel. Before even getting into the gospel which the apostle Paul not only received, but also preached, it is absolutely imperative that I present you with the words of Jesus Christ Himself as are recorded in the New Testament gospel of John. In the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John we find very specific words spoken by Jesus concerning His sheep and the flock of God present within and upon the earth. Consider if you will the words which the apostle John records Jesus speaking, which are found in the tenth chapter of his gospel account:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entirety not by the door into the sheepfold, but Bri Beth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entirety in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep,he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which He spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and fin pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherds giveth his life for the sheep. But. He that is n hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and care that not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I receive of my Father” (john 10:1-18).
It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we pay close attention to what we read and what we find in this particular passage of Scripture, for there is something here that stands as the foundation—not only for the gospel of Jesus Christ, but also of the gospel which the apostle Paul preached. When you read the words which Jesus spoke as was recorded by the apostle John in the New Testament, you will find Him speaking of His sheep how they know His voice. There is within this particular passage of Scripture—not only the concept of the sheep hearing the voice of Christ, but also the sheep knowing the voice of Christ. If you continue reading in this particular chapter—specifically beginning with and from the twenty-fifth verse—you will find something which is absolutely remarkable concerning the sheep which Jesus spoke of. Consider if you will the words which Jesus spoke when the Jews gathered round about Him asking Him to declare unto them if He indeed be the Christ: “I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:25-30). Please pay close attention to this statement which Jesus made concerning His sheep hearing His voice and following Him, for it brings us face to face with the ultimate reality concerning the gospel—namely, hearing the voice of the shepherd. Perhaps the single greatest question that must be asked when considering the gospel which is being preached unto you is whether or not the voice of the shepherd is contained therein. Oh, there are a number of gospels which are being preached in this generation, yet not every gospel which is preached in this generation is the gospel concerning and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that there is a gospel which has within it the voice of the Shepherd, yet there are a number of gospels which may have the sound of the voice of the Shepherd, yet such gospels are nothing more than a cheap imitation of that which is real.
When reading the latter half of the first chapter within the epistle written unto the churches which were in the region of Galatia you will find the apostle Paul speaking of the gospel which they heard him preach in their midst. The more I read the words of the apostle Paul in the latter half of this particular chapter the more I am convinced that it is not so much a defense of the gospel which he preached among them, but rather a powerful description of the source and origin of that gospel. I do not believe for one minute the apostle Paul sought to defend the gospel he preached among the Gentiles, but rather to declare unto them how that gospel was received. Beginning with the eleventh verse of the first chapter we find additional commentary on what this reality and concept of hearing the voice of the Shepherd actually looks like, for when writing to the Galatians concerning the gospel which he preached unto them, the apostle Paul describes how he came to receive that gospel. “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: and profited in the Jews religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: but they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me” (Galatians 1:11-24).
When speaking of and writing concerning the gospel which he preached among the Gentiles and among the churches, the apostle Paul emphatically declared that such a gospel was not after man. Furthermore, the apostle Paul went on to write and declare that the gospel he preached was not received of men, nor was he taught it by men, but it was received by the revelation of Jesus Christ. In fact, the apostle Paul would go on to describe how when it pleased God that he should preach the gospel concerning Jesus Christ, he did not immediately confer with flesh and blood. What’s more, is the apostle Paul did not immediately go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before him. Instead, the apostle went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. After three years the apostle Paul went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. It is this reality concerning the apostle Paul going into the desert and region of Arabia, for when the apostle Paul understood that he was ordained and appointed to preach the gospel concerning Jesus Christ among the heathen, he did not seek to confer with flesh and blood. Instead of conferring among flesh and blood we find the apostle doing that which might seem uncommon, and perhaps even insane. Instead of traveling to Jerusalem and speaking with the apostles who had gone before him, the apostle Paul chose instead to go into the desert of Arabia and there in the desert he would receive revelation from Jesus Christ Himself. ALONE WITH THE SHEPHERD IN THE WILDERNESS! ALONE WITH THE SHEPHERD IN THE DESERT! It is true that the sheep hear and know the voice of the Shepherd, and there is not a doubt in my mind that when the apostle Paul journeyed into the desert of Arabia he did so to hear, listen to, and discern the voice of the Shepherd. When the apostle Paul knew the will of Jesus the Christ that he should preach the gospel among the heathen, he recognized the tremendous need to get alone with the one who had appeared to him on the road to Damascus. In order to truly understand the full significance of what we read within the first chapter of this epistle, we must first journey back to the ninth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts, for it is there we find the account of the appearance of Jesus before the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus.
THE APPEARANCE OF JESUS ON THE ROAD! THE REVELATION OF JESUS IN THE DESERT! It’s worth noting that it was on the road to Damascus the apostle Paul encountered the appearance of Jesus, yet it was in the desert of Arabia the apostle Paul encountered the revelation of Jesus. Beginning with the first verse of the ninth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we find the following words concerning the encounter of Saul on the road to Damascus: “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, who art thou, Lord? And the LORd said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, or Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth. And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him, said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as though calmest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of of God” (Acts 9:3-20).
I find it absolutely necessary to include the account of Saul in Damascus, for before we find Saul alone with Jesus in the desert, we first find Saul alone with himself in Damascus. It is important and necessary that we recognize and understand this, for before the apostle Paul was alone with the Shepherd in the desert, he was first alone with himself for three days in Damascus. You might ask how I can make such a statement as Saul being along with himself in Damascus, yet Luke clearly records that when Saul rose from his feet after the encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus he opened his eyes only to discover that he was blind. Luke also goes on to record that for three full days Saul was blind and was unable to see because of the encounter he experienced on the road to Damascus. Luke also records that during those three days of blindness Saul neither ate nor drank, but instead spent that time praying unto Jesus who had appeared to him. Please don’t miss or lose sight of the significance of this reality, for I am convinced that just as it is necessary to be alone with Jesus in the desert, so it is also necessary to be alone with ourselves in Damascus. There is plenty of talk concerning the need to be alone with Jesus in the desert, and in the midst of that being alone with Jesus we receive revelation from Jesus concerning Himself which should be preached and proclaimed among those we encounter. While it is absolutely critical and necessary we allow ourselves to get alone with Jesus in the desert in order that we might receive revelation—revelation not from man, but from Christ Himself—it is also necessary that we get alone with ourselves in Damascus. In all reality, I am convinced and I would dare say there are a number of men and women who are absolutely and completely uncomfortable with themselves in the silence. There are men and women among us right now who are absolutely uncomfortable, and perhaps even fearful of being alone with themselves in Damascus. I am convinced that the sole reason one would be afraid to be alone with themselves in Damascus is because they are in all reality afraid of themselves. There are men and women who right now are completely unwilling to be alone with themselves because they are afraid of themselves—they are absolutely terrified and petrified of who they are, and perhaps even who they have become.
I believe that when Saul was alone with himself in Damascus he was forced to confront who he was and who he had become. It is in the silence and solitude of being alone with ourselves where we are truly able to see without a veil, and without smoke and mirrors who we are and who we have become. There is not a doubt in my mind that during those three days in Damascus while being unable to see, Saul was confronted with the man he was and the man he had become. Undoubtedly, while growing up, Saul never thought or imagined he would become the man he was at that moment in time, and yet Saul was forced to face himself. What do you do when you cannot see outward? What do you do when you cannot see anything around or before you? I am convinced that when you cannot see anything around and before you, and when you cannot outward, the only place to look is inward. It was during those three days when Saul could not see outwardly, he was forced to look within and see inwardly. If we are being honest with ourselves this reality of looking inward and seeing what is inside is absolutely terrifying and frightening—perhaps because we don’t look who we are and who we have become. Saul was forced to see who he had become, and was forced to deal with his persecution of the church, and even his consent to the murder of Stephen in Jerusalem. Oh, as I am sitting here right now, I am convinced that as surely and as certainly as there is a great need for us to get alone with Jesus in order that we might see Him clearly, there is also a great need for us to get alone with ourselves in order that we might see who we are and who we have become. The question you and I must ask is what we will do and how we will respond when it may be our desire to be alone with Jesus in the desert, and yet that which Jesus truly desires for us is to be alone with ourselves in Damascus. There are times within our lives when before Jesus can reveal Himself to us in Arabia, He must first appear to us on the road to Damascus, and then bring us to the place where we are alone with ourselves in Damascus. I am convinced that there are many who are unready and unprepared to see who Jesus truly is in Arabia and receive revelation from Jesus the Christ because they are unwilling to first confront themselves and see who they truly are in Damascus.
I am finding myself recognizing that right now I have great need to get along with myself in Damascus, and perhaps even to be prevented from seeing beyond and around me in order that I might be forced to look inward. BEFORE YOU CAN LOOK UPWARD YOU FIRST NEED TO LOOK INWARD! There are countless men and women who have every desire within themselves to look and see upward, and yet that which our Lord desires is that we first look inward and that we first see that which is inside ourselves. It was true the apostle received revelation from Jesus Christ while He was alone with Him in the desert of Arabia, yet before He was alone with Jesus in Arabia he was alone with himself in Damascus where he was forced to deal with the man he had become. I would dare say that until we are willing to deal with who we have become, we might not be properly positioned to see who Jesus Christ truly is. ARE YOU WILLING TO SEE WHO YOU HAVE BECOME IN ORDER THAT YOU MIGHT SEE WHO HE IS? Are you willing to recognize, understand and even accept the fact that before you can see who He truly is, you must first see who you are and who you have become. It is my prayer right now that we would not only see who we are and who we have become and be willing to be alone with ourselves, but that by doing so we would be prepared and made ready to be alone with Jesus in order that we might see who He truly is. Until we are willing to see ourselves as we truly are we are unable to see Christ as He truly is. Oh that we would allow ourselves to get alone with ourselves and that we would quit running from who we are, who we have become, and perhaps what we have done with and in our lives. It is in the willingness to get alone with ourselves and see who we are and what we have become, and are willing to deal with it that the scales will fall from our eyes and our sight will be restored. Only when we are willing to look inward and see who we truly are and what we have become can the scales fall from our eyes and we be able to see who we have become. Then and only then will we be able to be properly positioned to see who Jesus truly is and receive revelation from the voice of the Shepherd.