[SW058] 09/01/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
Here is the Lord’s heart to you for today:
Hold fast! Do not let go of Me OR My commandments. Obey Me.
And the Lord said to me, “Plumb these Scriptures!”
First, from the Old Testament (OT):
Deuteronomy 11:22 “For if you are careful to . . . love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him, 23 then the LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you.
Joshua 22:5 [The Lord said this through Joshua to the Reubenites and Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh who crossed the Jordan before the rest of Israel, in battle array, to help them possess the land] 5 Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
The Hebrew word for “hold fast” is dabaq (1692),
which means to cling to,
cleave to, adhere strongly to, like glue,
become attached to,
to be joined together with!
If Israel kept the commandment to love the Lord,
to walk in all His ways,
and hold fast to Him, joined together with Him, and serve Him
they would have victory over enemies far greater than them.
As long as they held fast to Him,
they had victory over their enemies.
But then they adopted the ways of the world around them,
and began to worship those “gods” instead of the one true God.
They did not hold fast.
They went astray with their hearts.
Their hearts were hardened.
They were no longer victors.
a few went into exile (first Assyria, then Babylon)
and fewer still returned to the land from Babylon,
after the 70 years of captivity that Jeremiah prophesied from the Lord.
Not long after, those few who returned to the land
began to observe the ways of the people around them,
even right after Jerusalem had been rebuilt!
(Look at the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah)
God the Father was silent for 400 years.
Then He sent His Son, Jesus Christ,
to bear the sins of mankind on a cross so their past sins were forgiven,
and to rise again to give “whosoever will believe in Him”
changed hearts that are joined together with His heart
and life eternal with Him.
It’s used of marriage in the OT,
and indeed, we are to be married to God, in a most holy sense,
devoted to Him, clinging to Him,
knowing Him with a holy kind of intimacy.
His desire for holy intimacy with mankind has not changed.
(see Jesus’ prayer to His Father in John 17:22-23!)
YHWH calls Himself the Husband of Israel in the OT.
Christ is our Bridegroom and we are His bride in the NT (New Testament).
God has not changed! I praise Him that out of His love come His promises,
that bring us victory against Satan,
and victory over our own inherent sinfulness and hardness of hearts,
new hearts to replace our wandering hearts,
so we may possess the land He now promises,
heaven itself, and a foretaste of heaven in our souls here on earth!
He causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)!
And He’ll never command you to do anything without giving you the way to do it!
Second, from the New Testament (NT):
Hebrews 3:12-15 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, 15 while it is said, “ TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME.”
Hold fast until the end.
The Greek word here is katecho (2722), to bind ourselves to, to possess, to retain.
It’s the same idea as “being joined together with” in the Old Testament.
An evil unbelieving heart? Among the brethren? One that falls away?
The human heart remains the same as it was in Israel’s day.
Many Christians have adopted the ways of the world
and worship the world system’s “gods” instead of the one true God.
When I come again, Jesus says, “Will I find faith on the earth?” (see Luke 18:8)
What can you do to prevent your heart from going the way of the world?
What can you do to become one in whom Jesus finds faith, when He returns?
What I’m proclaiming in this message today.
I am a watchman on the wall
and this is what He has showed me for this time.
The Lord wants me to stimulate you (Hebrews 10:23)
which means to provoke you so you don’t provoke God,
to deliberately annoy you!
I am to encourage you, to exhort you so your hearts won’t be hardened
by the deceitfulness of your own sin nature.
I am to encourage you
to be a partaker of Christ,
a partaker of Christ’s own nature.
IF you become a partaker of Christ’s nature
your sin nature, your wandering and rebellion
will be put to death
and you will live for God alone.
THEN you will be able to hold fast,
you will bind yourself to,
possess and retain,
the beginning of your assurance
[the idea is that our faith is the support that sets under us — our Rock!]
until the end . . .
Holding fast is a characteristic of a partaker of Christ’s nature.
2 Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
He said to the Christians to whom he wrote, “Some of you have not yet become partakers of the divine nature,
but by God’s precious and magnificent promises
you are able to become partakers, and in doing so,
you will escape this world’s corruption
which is driven by coveting, desire,
self-centeredness, self-interest, selfishness.
Hold fast! Become a partaker of Christ’s nature!
Hebrews 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house — whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
We are Christ’s very house, the place where He dwells,
and we are actually also OF His house,
members of His Family,
and we will remain so until the end.
IF we hold fast.
[katecho bind yourself to,
possess, retain, cling to,
be joined together with (just like in the OT).
To what? To our confidence
[3954, our outspokenness, frankness, bluntness, assurance]
firm, steadfast, unalterable
until the end.
And to the boast of our hope (1679),
our anticipation with pleasure and our expectation
our faith that we are Christ’s.
IF we hold fast, THEN it is evident that we are His house.
The Lord has asked me to be very bold,
very outspoken, very frank, very blunt
and to boast in my hope in Him.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
I’ve already spoken that the day is drawing near,
in my last message, “Because of the Time.”
Again, the Lord wants me to stimulate you
which means to provoke you!
to love (that is, to have God’s actual love fill your heart),
and good deeds — that is, “God” deeds,
for even the secular world does good deeds,
but for those filled with God’s love,
God works through them, doing what only He can do!
Saving, healing, setting free, filling!
I am to encourage you, to exhort you
to beseech you fervently, to urge you strongly
to have your heart filled with God’s love, with His Spirit,
so you are able to do what Jesus did on this earth and greater (John 14:12)!
THAT’S HOW YOU HOLD FAST. BE FILLED WITH HIS LOVE, WITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT!
In Revelation 2:13, Jesus told the church at Smyrna that they hold fast to His name,
that is, He says they abide by all that His name implies.
They could not hold fast except by being filled with His love
filled with His Holy Spirit.
In Revelation 2:24-26, Jesus said there were some in the church at Thyatira
that had not fallen into the trap of false teachers,
and to those, He said, “Hold fast until I come.”
In Revelation 3:11, Jesus told the church at Philadelphia that He was coming quickly,
and commanded them to hold fast to what they had,
so that no one would take their crown.
HOLD FAST, COMMANDS THE LORD TO HIS CHURCHES, TO EVERY BELIEVER!
Do you keep the commandment to love the Lord
to walk in all His ways,
to hold fast to Him,
to cleave to Him,
to be joined together with Him
as a wife is to her Husband,
as a bride is to her Bridegroom?
Are you married to Him?
Or do you have an evil, unbelieving heart
that has adopted the ways of the world
and worships what it worships
rather than the one true God?
Can you truly say that you have become a partaker of the divine nature,
that the nature of Jesus Christ has replaced your sinful nature?
Or is your sinful nature still alive and well,
coveting and desiring what this world desires,
self-interested, self-centered, and selfish?
Are you His house?
The place where He dwells,
A member of His family?
Have you been filled with His Holy Spirit?
I asked these questions of my own heart, and now I ask them of your heart,
because while it is still TODAY,
God wants you to know your spiritual condition,
so you may cry out to Him
to fill you with His Spirit so you will hold fast.
God wants you to make you able to hold fast.
But you’ll never do it in your own strength.
Your rebellious nature must die
and be replaced by Christ’s nature,
so you to gain His strength.
Great is His faithfulness! And this is said by Jeremiah, who saw false prophets lead his people To no longer hold fast in the Lord, but to worship other gods:
Lamentations 2:14 The visions of your prophets
were false and worthless;
they did not expose your sin
to ward off your captivity.
The oracles they gave you
were false and misleading.
GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS! Hebrews 10:23, “. . . for He who promised is faithful;”
IF YOU HAVE FOLLOWED FALSE PROPHETS,
AND ARE NO LONGER HOLDING FAST
RETURN TO HIM.
HIS GRACE IS HERE FOR YOU TODAY.
TURN BACK TO JESUS CHRIST!
ASK HIM TO FORGIVE YOU. HE WILL!
THEN ASK TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT,
SO YOU ARE ONE WITH HIM,
JOINED WITH HIM, LIKE GLUE!
HE WILL GIVE YOU THE POWER TO HOLD FAST
SO YOU NEVER LET GO AGAIN!