Because the Jewish nation had forsaken the covenant of
the Lord, walked in its own path, and would not harken to
the Lord's voice - God proclaimed, through Jeremiah the
prophet, the judgments to come against Judah. Jeremiah
then turned to the Gentiles and prophesied the judgments
to come against their nations.
Jeremiah 48 tells us
that destructions are determined upon the Gentile nation
of Moab. Its cities were to be made desolate. Its armies
would be slaughtered and destroyed. Verse 11 tells us
- "Moab hath been at ease from his youth,
and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not
been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath
he gone into captivity: therefore his taste
remained in him, and his scent is not
One thing that you must declare concerning the Gospel
of Jesus Christ: it changes people. What you were before
you met Christ is not what you are after you have met
Him. "If any man be in Christ; he is a new
creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things
are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
There is something radically wrong with the person who
claims to know Jesus Christ and has not had any changes
in his lifewho still walks after and according to the
things of the flesh and minds the things of the flesh
because Jesus Christ will change your life. You
cannot be the same person after you have met Him if you
have truly experienced His power in your life.
One of the sad testimonies of the Church is that many
of the people who attend church, take the name of
Christian, and say their prayers faithfully have never
had the change in their lives that Christ effects in a
The basic difference between a Christian and a
non-Christian is that the non-Christian is ruled by his
flesh and by his fleshly desires. In talking about our
pre-Christ experience, Paul the Apostle said: "In
times past you walked according to the course of this
world, according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that now works among the children of
disobedience; among whom also we all had our manner of
life in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling
the desires of the flesh... (Eph. 2:2-3)
A person who hasn't met Jesus Christ is a person whose
life is dominated by his flesh and fleshly desires. A
person who has come to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is a
person who knows and acknowledges the supremacy of the
Holy Spirit and lives according to the Spirit. The Bible
tells us, "For as many as are led by the Spirit
of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14)
God's refining process is based on love! He won't let
us stay settled in the dregs of the flesh. He has
something better for us than the empty, fruitless life we
It's possible to call Jesus "Lord." It's
possible to have all the religious vernacular, go to
church, sit and listen to the messages, but never be
touched in the deeper area of your life. You may have the
head knowledge. You may have the spiritual jargon down
pat. But if it hasn't come into the area of your life
where it affects your willyour religion is vain.
If you're not being led by the Spirit of God, you're
not a son of God. You're still mastered and dominated by
your flesh and still living after the flesh. The Bible
declares that the mind of the flesh is sin and death, but
the mind of the Spirit is life, peace, and joy in the
Holy Ghost (Romans 8:6).
You can't go out all week sowing wild oats, then come
to church on Sunday and pray that they'll never grow.
"Oh, God, kill all the seeds I've sowed this week!
Don't let them grow." That can't happen. "Be
not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man
soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians
6:7). If you're living to the flesh and sowing to the
flesh, of the flesh you're going to reap corruption.
Jesus was crucified for making this declaration. He
asserted the supremacy of the spiritual over the
material. The people couldn't handle it, and they finally
put Him to death. Yet it's true. When Jesus Christ comes
into your life He changes you from the old flesh-ruled
life to the Spirit ruled life.
Jesus said, "If any man will come after Me,
let him deny himself" (Matthew 16:24). That's
the very first step. You've got to deny the old life, the
old flesh, the desires of the flesh. Deny
"himself" is the very first thing. Many people
have come to Him in practice. They're saying, "Lord,
Lord," but they're not obedient to the will of the
The second thing the Gospel of Jesus Christ does to a
person is purification. The Bible says that we are pure
even as He is pure (1 John 3:3). God is going to work in
your life to purify you. God wants to bring you into
This purifying work is explained in Jeremiah 48:11,
where he is describing the process by which wine is made.
Jeremiah said that Moab had been at ease from his youth,
had settled on his lees, and had never been poured from
vessel to vessel. This was his problem. Moab had never
When they were making wine, the people would pour the
juice into a vessel. They would allow it to set in that
vessel until it fermented. The sediment, known as lees or
dregs, would settle to the bottom of the vessel. Once the
dregs settled, they would carefully pour the wine out of
that vessel into another vessel, so that the settling
process might again take place. As the dregs sank to the
bottom, the wine makers would pour the liquid back into
another vessel. Back and forth from vessel to vessel,
each time being careful not to pour out the dregs. They
were coming to a pure, clear product of the vine. This
was their method of making excellent wine.
If the people didn't pour the wine from vessel to
vessel but allowed it to set too long in the collected
dregs, the fermented juice would begin to develop the
taste of the dregs. The wine would become bitter. Then it
would begin to get the smell of the dregs, a rotten
smell. It would also begin to take on the color of the
It's tragic when Christians get settled in the things
of the flesh, the flesh walk, the flesh life. At one time
in their Christian walks they were shocked that people
could do such evil things of the flesh. They'd say,
"I would never do that!" After a while, you
find them doing the same things and becoming settled in
This impurity actually begins to permeate your whole
life. Your life begins to be colored by the flesh.
Your life begins to smell of the things of the
flesh. Your life begins to just taste of the
things of the flesh. Rather than bringing spiritual
refreshment, all you're talking about is the latest
chatter of what's happening here, what's happening there,
this new movie, that new fashion. Your mind is caught up
in the things of the flesh. In reality, you become no
more than a heathen. Jesus said that you shouldn't be
taking thought about what to eat, what to drink, or what
to wear. "For," He said, "after
all these things do the Gentiles (the heathen) seek"
If your life gets caught up in that tripwhat shall
we eat, what shall we wear, what new thing to buy, always
interested in the adornment of your body, buying clothes
and keeping up with fashions, or always in the eating and
drinking crowd, seeking to delight yourself in the fancy
foods, a gourmetyour no better off than the heathen.
These things occupy their minds. They live after the
It's tragic when Christians settle down in these kinds
of dregs so much that their lives are colored by it. You
can't have a spiritual conversation with them. They're so
interested in some new thing they purchased last week
"Wait till you see it!" It's all a flesh trip.
Settling in the dregs of the flesh, they are colored,
they are scented, they are tasting of the things of the
flesh. It is a flesh life, not the life of the Spirit.
God wants to purify us. God wants to clean out those
dregs. God has something better for you than that empty,
fruitless life of the flesh. You need to experience the
purifying effect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
It's tragic that many people who have spent their
entire lives in church or under its influence, attending
very regularly, are still spiritually "babes in
Christ." Paul calls them "carnal" (1
Corinthians 3:1-4). They've never developed in their
spiritual walk. They've been at ease. They've settled
into the dregs. They haven't been poured from vessel to
Unless we're poured from vessel to vessel, our lives
begin to "smell" of the things which we have
The third thing the Gospel of Jesus Christ does is
deliverance. The power of Jesus Christ can set you free
from the power of the flesh.
Some of you today have become slaves to your fleshly
desires. It's amazing what a strong grip and hold it can
get on your life. The very first time you tried it, it
was just for a kick. You were just searching for a little
We have many people in our church who are alcoholics.
How little did they realize the power it would get on
their lives, the grip it would hold over them. Thank God
they know. They know better than to take again that first
drink. They've experienced the delivering power of Jesus
Christ. Having been delivered from the entanglements of
the world, don't be so foolish as to go back again with
that yoke of bondage.
We have many drug addicts. Maybe the first time they
took a pill was to ease the appetite a bit. Maybe it was
to alleviate some pain or to calm their nerves. But the
drug began to get a hold of them until, finally, they
came under the power of that substance, unable to free
themselves. They found themselves bound in that drug. How
little did so many realize, when they took that first
fix, the hell it was leading them into.
They know now. Thank God for the power of Jesus Christ
to deliver us from the bondage of corruption in which we
found ourselves through our own folly and foolishness.
The power of Jesus Christ can and does deliver man from
the bondage of sin and death.
Today, maybe you find yourself entangled in a
situation where you never thought you'd be. Maybe today
you find yourself caught up in an adulterous situation.
It started off so innocently, just as a little
flirtation. Now, you're all involved. You never intended
to be, but you opened the door to the flesh, and it took
over. Now that situation is mastering your life.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ can set you free. He can
deliver you. Maybe you're hooked on drugs, or maybe you
can't stop drinking. You've come to the place where you
need that shot when you get home in the evening. Then,
worse, you need it when you get up in the morning. Maybe
you have been bound by some desire or lust that has
overwhelmed you and made you its victim.
Moab was in this sad condition, because it had been at
ease. Moab never had any problem, never was in captivity,
never knew what it was all about. It grew up rather
sheltered and protected. It settled into this condition
as a result of no waves, no stirring. Moab had never been
poured from vessel to vessel.
But, you know, God loves you. If you come to that
place in your Christian experience where you start to
relax and settle down into the dregs of the flesh, God's
love won't allow you to get by with it. God will upset
your position. Maybe someone who is very dear to us,
someone we've come to rely upon, is suddenly taken away.
"Oh God, why is he gone? What are you doing
Lord?" He's pouring you from vessel to vessel.
Maybe the boss suddenly says, "Hey, we're going
to transfer you to Spokane."
"Spokane? I don't know anyone in Spokane! All my
friends are here. My children are in school here." A
total uprootingnew friends, new associates, new
environment, new schools. "What are you doing
God?" He's causing you to trust and rely on Him.
God is going to strip you of whatever has created your
ease. Maybe it's your retirement, maybe it's your
possessions, maybe it's your bank account. You've settled
at ease in these things, your lees. But God doesn't want
you to be dominated by your flesh. God will deliver you
from the bondage of corruption.
God uses disturbances. They are the tools of God to
bring us to Himself, to take away our trust and our
reliance in other things. He doesn't want us to have job
security, social security or security in man, government,
bank accounts, or ourselves. He wants us to find our
total security in Him. And so He pours us from vessel to
"For the mind of the flesh is death, but the
mind of the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6)
Maybe this knowledge has disturbed some of you. Praise
the Lord! You see, He wants to shake you up from that
little smugness and ease in the flesh that you've fallen
into, the trap of trying to find the answer in the things
of the flesh.
We've been created for His pleasure (Revelation 4:11).
He can't enjoy us when we smell of the flesh. He can't
enjoy us when we taste of the flesh. It is only as we
walk in the Spirit, as we live in the Spirit, as we move
in the Spirit, that we become what God would have us to
be; a pure product that He can enjoy.