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“And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see My glory.” 

In context, verse 18 describes the actions and the imaginations of a group of people described in verse 17:  “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things—they will meet their end together,” declares the Lord.  Whoever this group of Israelites were that God was speaking to Isaiah about, you can tell that He was not pleased with them, for whatever they were practising, God found abominable.  Yet, look at what the Lord does in response to their actions and imaginations.  He said, “I … am about to come…” 

If a group of people who consecrate and purify themselves to worship false gods and do abominable things can provoke God to come, then what will a group who consecrate themselves to follow Jesus and to do all that He told them to practise provoke God to do by their actions and imaginations?  So then, exercising your imaginations as you become mindful of Him and allowing your thoughts to be taken captive by Him is the right thing to do.  For if imaginations of those who do things abominable to God can provoke Him to come, then surely the imaginations of those who have consecrated themselves and made a covenant with Him by sacrifice would likewise provoke the Lord “to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see My glory.”

The first group of Isaiah 66:17 would provoke Him to come in anger and fury, and the display of His glory would be for justice and vengeance for Himself.  But the latter group, those of you who would covenant with Him by sacrifice and consecrate yourselves to Him, would provoke Him to come not in anger or fury, but in joyful anticipation of the reunion and allow Him to display that which we missed out on at resurrection morning, the joy of the reunion of God and His glory at that reunion.

You see, the glory of God was seen by the Egyptians and the Hebrews when God parted the Red Sea and they walked across on dry ground.  However, for the Hebrews, the glory of God brought the joy of deliverance, but for the Egyptians, total annihilation of their chariots, which represented their strength and stronghold.

Our purpose is to bring Jesus back because He alone can solve the problems of this world.  As such, if you look at verse 18, it will be our actions and imaginations that will cause His return, not just our actions.  In the same way, it will be the actions and imaginations also of those who do abominable things and their imaginations to do even more abominable things that will also cause Him to want to return as well.

When the internet was invented, the inventors saw it as a way of transmitting information quickly and instantly, but they never imagined it as a way for paedophiles to indulge in their abomination.    Yet when the internet came into existence, these same people, the pornographers and paedophiles, by their imaginations, began to adapt and use the internet as a means by which they are able to indulge in their abomination more efficiently and effectively.  Likewise, preachers have used the internet to spread the Gospel.

Thus it is our actions and imaginations that cause God to say, “I …am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will see My glory.”  And Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in Heavenly glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”  How about that?  Isaiah 66:18 could well have been speaking of Matthew 25:31-32.  And the Lord said, “And I, because of their actions and imaginations, am about to come…”

Forget about those who are the descendants of the group described in Isaiah 66:17, those who practise what are abominations in the eyes of God, for it is not the opinion of men that matters to us, but God’s.  It is not what men call an abomination that matters, even if they are God fearing, Christ professing men; it is what God calls an abomination.  As it is written:  “The wicked will continue to be wicked,” that is what God has decreed.  So then, it is not our resisting of evil persons that will bring Jesus back, indeed the Lord’s command is:  “Do not resist an evil person.”  It is their actions and imaginations as well as our actions and imaginations that will cause Him to come.

It is not about people stopping sinning, it is about us practising what Jesus told us to practise.  The increasing bad news will not complete the requirements that will bring Jesus back, but the increased preaching of the Good News until every kingdom is reached is what will do it.  It is not the increasing acts of evil that will bring Jesus back, but the increase of acts of righteousness, first in secret and then openly, that are truly greater things than what Jesus has said and done are what will bring Jesus back.  So let us give God a good and pleasant reason for His words when He said, “And I, because of their actions and imaginations, am about to come…” other than the actions and the imaginations of those who do abominations.

The actions that will bring Him back you are well acquainted with, that is, the listening, the practising and the fellowshipping with Him, His words and His Spirit.  However, the actions on their own are insufficient, for God has said, “…because of their actions and imaginations…”  We owe it to the Lord so that He has a reason to come joyfully and with pleasant anticipation because of the imaginations of His consecrated ones, so that His words, “Gather to Me My consecrated ones, who made a covenant with Me by sacrifice,” can come to pass as He gathers His elect from the four ends of the Heavens to meet with the elect who are from the four ends of the Earth, meeting together in the clouds of glory as He arrives.  The wicked will continue their wickedness, and this is by God’s word, so that their actions and imaginations will go from bad to worse.  Bemoaning what they do and think is not what will solve the problems.  Condemning what they do and think is not what will solve the problems.  But if we can by our actions and imaginations go from goodness to goodness and from glory to glory, so that for every wicked action and imagination of their’s, they will encounter an opposite and stronger action and imagination that will bring the Lord back.

But what are those actions and imaginations of goodness and righteousness?  Are they as straight forward as we think?  That is, as the wicked preach unbelief and sin, we preach faith and repentance in God.  As the wicked kill and maim, we heal and raise the dead.  As the wicked cause hunger and poverty by their lack and greed, we cause the hungry to be fed and the naked to be clothed by our power and abundance.  To do the opposite of what the wicked are doing does not require imagination.  So then, as much as we practise in our actions the very word of Christ, which annuls the actions of the wicked, it is by our imaginations that we can exceed the actions and imaginations of the wicked.  For their imaginations are in vain, for that which they hope for and dream about will and can never be, no more than Satan’s hopes of raising his throne above the Almighty’s.  Their’s are truly vain imaginations. 

However, if our imaginations are not innovative or creative, then what we do and say from such imagination is predictable, and if they are predictable, they are preventable.  Right now, Satan has committed all his forces to preventing the arrival of Jesus Christ, so do you seriously think he wants to raise up the false prophet and the beast, the appearance of whom will bring the arrival of Jesus even closer?  See his cunning and learn from a most worthy opponent, no, he has the church, yes, the church, praying for world peace and doing everything possible to prevent the appearance of the false prophet and the beast.  The stabilisation of money as a means of trade means the mark of the beast will not be needed for buying and selling, so he has the church praying for stability of weather, governments and for prosperity that is dependant on Mammon.

It is only when you learn to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit that He can teach you and guide you into all truth, even the unpleasant ones.  Whereas, did Jesus our Lord ever say He came to bring peace?  Did He not say He brought a sword that sets “a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household”?  Peaceful loving families that do not listen to Jesus are not the answer to the world’s problems.  Powerful individuals who have given up father, mother, brothers, sisters, children, fields and houses for the sake of Jesus and His Gospel are, for they have understood what it is to receive the hundredfold and the eternal life properly.

Just as Satan by his imagination has deceived the world, so then, we by our imaginations must open the eyes of the world to see Jesus Christ arriving on clouds of glory.  So, do not be afraid to unleash your imaginations once your actions have caused you to have consecrated yourselves to God in covenant by sacrifice.  For He is coming to gather you all together as surely as He will gather all the nations and tongues together, and together we will all see His glory.  For us, as it was for the Hebrews, it will be the joy of deliverance.  For those who hate Him without reason, it will be as it was for the Egyptians, total annihilation. 

Imagine:  Total annihilation of every stronghold that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; total annihilation of every stronghold and deception of Satan; and total annihilation of every practice and imagination of men that are abominations in the eyes of God.  Yes, imagine and follow it through with action, just as Phinehas ran his spear through the Israelite and the Midianite.  Amen


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