|Minor Prophets: Major Messages|
The following summaries draw and expand on the outline given in “Summary Exposition of the Prophets and Psalms.”
The message of this chapter outlines what happens to a church (or individual) when it perverts the Word and turns aside the goods of spiritual knowledge. Those who intend to “turn aside” the Word do violence to the literal sense. Those who “turn aside” the Word are likened to an army that flees in the day of combat and capitulates because it does not use the Lord’s resources.
Adulterating the good of the literal sense will corrupt the church. The fatalities of adulteration are both the celestial (love) and spiritual (wisdom) that are within or available to the church. Adulteration of the things of the church is like a person who is in “possession of truth and yet is without truth.” Adulterating the good of the literal harms the sense of judgment for the church, or person, and ultimately, that church or person will perish.
A church cannot serve two masters. It cannot peacefully coexist with truths and falsities. To want to live with both and to seek a compromise will cause the church to be laid to waste. The church will perish, and the goods and truths of the Word will be taken away from it.
Compromise will pervert doctrine of the church. The “sensual scientifics” that result from such perversions will obfuscate external worship to give the appearance that all is well. Seemingly plausible reasons for the perversions were woven into the externals of worship. But when the Lord looked at the heart of things, He saw death and told the Israelites there was no “power” in their truths. The Lord exhorted them to turn back to Him before they became like people with “no teeth.”
Self intelligence will lay the Church to waste. The Lord, once again, exhorted the Israelites to return. If they continued in their ways, it would lead them into all ruin. He told them their worship was not acceptable. If they would turn back to the essentials, He would lead them to “acceptable” worship, and they would once again possess the good and truth. Otherwise, they would be deprived of every knowledge of truth and good.
Israel’s choices had made it the worst religious system among the nations. What made this so sad was that they possessed an “abundance [of] all things of the church.” To continue as they were would cause all spiritual things to perish, insomuch that “nothing would remain.” The Lord told them that they had no one to blame but themselves. “...they have acquired these things to themselves from self.”
The organized church was increasing from externals to externals. The course of their actions could lead but to one thing: corruption and breaches that would end with the destruction of internal or inmost things. Their decisions were against God and doctrine. The church with all things belonging to it would “perish.”
The Lord was not going to sit by and watch the church die. He revealed
to the Israelites that He was going to bring about a change. Here is the
promise made: a “new [element] of the church will arise.”
The old church would end, but with a remnant, the coming of the Lord and
the glorification of His Human would successfully establish a
The Last Judgment would be thorough. None of the
perpetrators of evil responsible for the demise of the church would escape
the Last Judgment. Prior churches had followed a similar path of spiritual
ruination. But this time, the new church would not degenerate as the
others had. The Lord announced to