Saturday, April 18, 2015

A SMOKE SIGNAL - The Guts of Inward Truth: INTEGRITY

It has been said, that upon the return of General Norman Schwarzkopf from Desert Shield in our war against Iraq  (AUG 2, 1990-FEB 28 1991), he had a news conference with our American media; in that conference it was asked of him, "What's the biggest problem in America today?"
His answer: "Lack of integrity."

The same question was asked of author Larry Abraham and he answered similarly: "Lack of justice."
(K-House ARMOR of GOD: Breastplate of Righteousness

Integrity is when truth is represented in a person who will exhibit truth in action as well as words. One dictionary defines it as follows: "adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty."

It's an accurate appraisal when it's said that our integrity as the American people is wearing away and deteriorating. Why is this? Quite simply because we have disrespected, downplayed, even denied the very notion of truth. It's in vogue today to say that truth is either relative ("That's YOUR truth") or that it simply doesn't exist ("Everything is relative and there is no such thing as absolute truth." I wonder if they think that that statement is 'absolutely true'?).

The truth of the matter is that you cannot have justice without truth, and you cannot have truth without justice. We have dealt with this matter before on The RED PILL Consortium in some commentary on ISAIAH 59 in The DEMISE of a CIVILIZATION.

We have also written a series, treating the idea of Truth on The TRUTH Under FIRE:
GOT TRUTH? Part 1 of 3.

Today I want to present a simple assertion regarding integrity, and specifically the integrity of the Christian. 
In 1 KINGS 2:3-4 it says:

3 And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
4 That the Lord may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.

The apostle John stated:

2 JOHN 1:4
4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

And again, he said,

3 JOHN 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

To "walk in truth" is simply to live a life of truthfulness, and truth specifically in the Person and power of JESUS CHRIST, Himself being the embodiment of Truth (JOHN 14:6). To do so brings obvious blessing to those walking in truth as mentioned in the passage above from 1 KINGS, as well as blessing to those who observe such people, as the aged apostle stated.
In a moment of self-examination can we say that we live truth to the same degree that we know truth? To the same degree that we study truth as found in the Word, and love truth as much as we live it out? To fail in answering yes to these questions means that we have some measure of hypocrisy at worst, or a confession of weakness on our part at best. And I will readily confess to my own hypocrisy and weakness, but with the underlying hope that the LORD God isn't finished with me yet! He still has "good work" to do in me according to PHIL. 1:6!

King David said in the PSALMS:

PSALM 51:5-7
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


Being wholly truthful about oneself is the true manifestation of meekness for the Christian, and meekness (as well as humbleness) is the very polar opposite of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is all about wearing a mask, cover ups, even deceits and conceits. Humbleness and meekness is about revealing the truth about oneself, not hiding my true self but exposing oneself for what we truly are (warts and all, but also that work that Christ is doing in us: To say that I am a sinner and a saint are both true) before God and others. Truth inwardly keeps us traveling accurately in life, holding the course without wavering or being unduly influenced by the tides of our time and the winds of change!

So as we live out each day, may we run an inventory of our souls and determine if we are living outwardly the truth that we profess to believe inwardly. Where we may find hypocrisy, let us ask God's forgiveness. Where we find an equity between belief and practice, let us thank God for His empowering Spirit of grace!

On a final note, let us receive the admonition that we hear from Phil Keagy:

Be On The Out, What You Are Inside

PSALM 15:1-3
Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

PSALM 25:4-6
4 Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

PSALM 33:4
4 For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.

EPHESIANS 4:15, 20-21
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

You may also be blessed with the study of The Belt of Truth in our Spiritual Warfare seies on The TRUTH Under FIRE!

May the LORD JESUS CHRIST bless us with His Spirit of Grace and Truth!

Monday, March 9, 2015

GREAT and MIGHTY THINGS WHICH YOU KNOW NOT

Throughout the Old Testament we read about Israel's unfaithfulness to the LORD and how He relentlessly, faithfully draws them back to Himself, where they enjoy the blessing of renewed zeal and love for YHWH, of the fruitfulness of the land, of peace among her national neighbors with Israel, and so much more.

Even in the times of harshest judgment, where death via casualties of war, famine, disease and the ruin of their beloved city of Jerusalem, and even the temple itself, the LORD always pronounces a message of hope: restoration to the land, and blessing from the LORD Who will rule over the nation, bringing peace and prosperity.

Take a look at the prophets in the Old Testament: I refer to such as the likes of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Joel and so on. Read the last chapters of each of these, and you will find such promises of hope. Here is such a blessed promise found in JEREMIAH:

JERE.29:10-14

10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

Or consider the last chapter of Hosea, Chapter 14!

Today I would like to look at JEREMIAH 33 and witness more of the same kind of declarations from the LORD Who alone is the Faithful One and Blessed Potentate of Israel to His beloved people! Let's start!

JEREMIAH 33:1-2

Moreover the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,

2 Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name;

Let's set this up with a little review of what's been happening:

The house of Israel has been sliding into apostasy; the house of Judah, while being faithful for a time, has likewise been turning away from the LORD and paying homage to foreign gods. The LORD already sent warning to the nation by way of Isaiah and his contemporaneous prophets of Hosea, Amos and Micah. All were soundly ignored.

Enter: Jeremiah, a relatively young man who didn't want to be a prophet (JERE. 1:6-8); the LORD assured him and so he spoke in the name of the LORD; even later when he determined he would not speak any more in the name of the LORD, he couldn't help it (JERE 20:9)!

And yet for all of his pronouncements, after all the persecution and afflictions the prophet endured, what was the fruit of his labors? How many converts did he make by the LORD his God?

None.

Yet, he remained faithful and obedient to the LORD despite his apparent failures to produce repentance in at least one heart that would turn away from their rebellion. The LORD regards faithfulness and obedience as supremely important and holds such servants in the highest esteem, especially in such discouraging circumstances that seem to yield no fruit or results for all of our labors. There is a lesson for us in that! 

Remain true to your calling child of God, saint of the Highest - regardless of any apparent lack of fruit! If you are sure of your calling, as was Jeremiah, then be diligent in the office He has placed you in! Keep not your eye on your surroundings and the lack of response by others, or the absence of any yield: keep your eye, and your heart fixed on the Throne of Heaven and the One Who sees your faithfulness - your reward is awaiting you in the glories of His Kingdom to come!

So, after so much rebellion against the Word of the LORD that Jeremiah proclaimed to the leaders of Israel, what was the result? Did they repent? Did they forsake their rebellion? No . . .
They threw the prophet into a dungeon; dark and lonely - Jeremiah no doubt felt utterly alone and forsaken! 

Babylon had already ravaged the nation, and one would think that this would cause Israel to grieve and repent, not so! They proceeded on with their obstinacy!

It seemed utterly hopeless. One could only imagine what was going through the mind of the prophet, when suddenly the Voice of the LORD spoke to him a second time:

It was the LORD Who made this situation of Jeremiah's imprisonment; He Himself was the maker of it, Who established it! Why would the LORD incarcerate His own prophet? 
Have you ever felt like the LORD has had you captured, isolated, alone - even when you attempted to seek out others, it seems that you were trapped inside a bubble and couldn't break out of it! 
I've known such times of isolation, and after so many years of having to re-learn this lesson, I've finally come to realize that at such times, the LORD's desire is to draw us near to Himself, to get close and personal with the Almighty for the purpose of His revelation of something awesome!

That was the case with Jeremiah as well; let's read on!

JERE. 33:3-5

3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
4 For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword;

5 They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city.

The LORD promises that if Jeremiah will call unto Him, He would reveal things never before seen by the prophet. Though Jerusalem and the houses of her kings were destroyed, though they fought valiantly to save their nation, their carcases were piled high all about! God's fury at the wickedness of Israel caused Him to turn away from His people and all their wickedness!

The situation was indeed grim! Would Israel ever again be restored after such ruin and devastation? Generations after this time, Nehemiah was similarly dismayed at the bleak destruction of his beloved Jerusalem and pondered the same question with no small anxiety in his heart.

Yet the LORD is GOD:

JERE 32:26-27

26 Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying,
27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Let us read on and consider what will be revealed if the prophet called upon the LORD . . .

JERE. 33:6-8

6 Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.
7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.

8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.

Where disease and incurable sickness were rampant in the land; the LORD promised health and cure - and even repeated Himself that He will cure His people. Further, in place of the spiritual deception and strife that was rank among the people given over to idolatry, the LORD promised He would bring an ABUNDANCE of truth and peace (PSALM 37:11; ISAIAH 65:16). The LORD revealed to Jeremiah that He will cleanse His people who have sinned against Him, and mentions twice that He will pardon and cleanse their iniquity and their transgressions!

You talk about the insurmountable heights, unfathomable depths, and the expansive breadths of the grace of God, this is it!! He declares that even in the midst of this forlorn and heartbreaking captivity, from which I am sure, none of the Jews had any hopes of escaping; He will bring the captivity of Judah as well as Israel back to the land, and that the LORD will build them (and so He did when He moved Cyrus to give the people leave and return to their homeland; he even gave them financial incentives to accomplish this!). Bless the LORD, O my soul for His incredible love for His people and His faithfulness to them - even in the midst of their own deplorable unfaithfulness to their Maker and Husband (ISAIAH 54:5)!

The LORD shall express His heart of joy for all that good that He plans for His people, Israel; a praise and an honor before all the nations who will tremble and reverence the LORD for all of His goodness and prosperity He shall extend to His people, according to His plans!

JERE. 33:10-13

10 Thus saith the Lord; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,
11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the Lord.
12 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.

13 In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the Lord.

Again and again the LORD reiterates that while there is doom, destruction, desolation, and dire circumstances in that day in which He visited Jeremiah, He has emphasized that joy, gladness, celebration, and prosperity would overflow in the land and that all will praise the LORD with offerings of such for His enduring mercy in returning the captivity to the land!

We understand that in the days of Daniel the prophet, God gave to His servant understanding that the captivity would soon be over; Nehemiah was granted permission by the Persian King he served to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem, and after those days Israel returned to the land and received from the LORD blessing.
Is this what is referred to here in Jeremiah? I believe in part, yes; but much more indeed. I believe this is a double reference to those days (and following) Nehemiah's mission in rebuilding the Holy City and also the days in which the Messiah of Israel will reign in Israel. Let's look at the following verses:

JERE. 33:14-17

14 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.

17 For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;

The LORD tells Jeremiah that the days are coming when His promises regarding Israel will be fulfilled. Can we know what days are being referred to? Absolutely! "the Branch of righteousness" is of course a reference to Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel (JERE. 23:5):

"Jeremiah reveals Christ as the Righteous Branch, the Lord our Righteousness, Who will pardon sinners from their sins (MATT 5:6; LUKE 23:47; ROMANS 5:18-19; I JOHN 2:1-2)". 

For more on this, have a look at: CHRIST - The CENTER of the OLD TESTAMENT 

The passage in our text speaks of the Righteous Branch will be a descendant of David ("a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel"), thus heir to the royal line, and that He shall execute justice and righteousness in the land; note that - not demonstrate these things in His perfect and holy life, but execute them as a political leader would enforce governmental policy - and this king would be the LORD Himself - "The Lord our righteousness".

Did Jesus act in any official and kingly office in this way? Did Jesus ever sit upon the throne of His father, David in Jerusalem? At the time of Jesus, the throne did not exist; there was no 'kingdom of Israel' - it was a rather insignificant (by pagan standards) province in the Roman Empire; the apostles asked the LORD if He would restore the kingdom to Israel (ACTS 1:6-7) and He simply replied that the time for such was in the Father's keeping.

Yet even though Jesus did not restore the kingdom of Israel at that time, He will! How do we know? Because it's spoken of every where in prophecy!  How resolute and determined in God in this restoration of Israel's kingdom and her subsequent blessing? Read the following verses!

JERE. 33:17-22

17 For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;
18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.
19 And the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, saying,
20 Thus saith the Lord; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;
21 Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.

22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.

Who can break the covenants of the day and the night by disturbing their season of cyclical recurrence? No one (except God, but would He?)! Neither can any break God's covenant with Israel and the LORD won't; we can see that in these and multitudes of passages throughout the Old AND New Testaments!
God tells us His covenant "with David and his son to reign upon his throne" cannot be broken any more than the cycles of our day and night! He will bless Israel to such a degree that their numbers could be compared to the stars of the heavens and the sand of the sea (beyond measure!)!!

JERE. 33:23-26

23 Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying,
24 Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the Lord hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.
25 Thus saith the Lord; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;

26 Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.

The nations round about Israel had thought that their God had forsaken them because of their abject bondage and misery there in Babylon (and Assyria just previously) - but He will correct that assessment by bringing them all back - He repeats Himself regarding His covenant with the day and night, as well as the appointment of ordinances in heaven and earth! That if these can be broken, then He would cast Jacob away and David His servant - and that no rulers from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would ever rule His people. But again, since nothing can break those covenants mentioned above, then there SHALL be a ruler over Israel - the Messiah of Israel!

These indeed are the great and mighty things that the LORD showed to Jeremiah! AND He has also shown them to us, in these last days prior to the RETURN of the KING: Jesus Christ, the MESSIAH of ISRAEL, who will soon reign upon the throne of His father, David! As despondent as Jeremiah got, as discouraged as we may get in these evil days of our own, let us hold fast the promise of GOD's WORD and express such confident hope and assured faith in the LORD's Word of Truth that declares this glorious news!!

For more on this, please watch this video:


WHY ISRAEL MATTERS TO BIBLICAL ISRAEL

For more on this subject, watch the classic DAVE HUNT of The BEREAN CALL Documentary:
ISRAEL, ISLAM and ARMAGEDDON!

MAY THE LORD BLESS AND KEEP YOU IN THE ALMIGHTY AND BLESSED NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!

Friday, March 6, 2015

JEWELS From the GOSPEL Of JOHN - JOHN 1:43-46 - FAITHFUL PHILIP WHO FOLLOWS

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints

JOHN 1:43-46
43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Peter and Andrew, James and John became a part of the LORD's entourage, His followers, brothers by familial association, and likely friends between these pair of brothers. Being fishermen of Galilee thy would at the very least be familiar with one another.
On the next day, the LORD goes into Galilee and finds Philip and invites him also to join Him as a member of His growing entourage and become a disciple of the Christ. Philip was a native of Bethsaida as were Andrew and Peter, and so it's possible that they all knew each other as well.

How often the LORD does a work among family and friends and associates - people we have known for some time, perhaps all of our lives, and when that work has begun, it brings about the eternal consequences of a saved soul. This is of course only the beginning, there is discipleship and the life long process of sanctification in growing in the grace and knowledge of our LORD Jesus Christ (2 PET. 3:18).
At such times the nature and dynamics of our family, friends and associates also changes - for the better! We find ourselves in harmony never before experienced, according to the Truth of God's Word and Spirit (JOHN 14:6; 16:13). We experience bonds that extend well beyond the blood of family, but based upon the blood of Christ.

How often have we met fellow saints, and begun to build a friendship there that eventually creates the bond of love (COL. 3:14) and fellowship in peace (COL. 3:15) so that we may become closer to them than even our own unsaved family members!

The LORD in His infinite wisdom and purpose often chooses people familiar with each other prior to their conversion, as a means of furthering the Gospel, using people who have already to some degree and level an established relationship. And yet there are times when He makes even the most ardent enemies, brethren of the church and any and all animosity dissolves without a trace. This is a marvel to behold in both cases!

Once the LORD finds us - and take note of that! It isn't Philip that finds Jesus, it's Jesus that finds Philip and once He does, He makes His offer and the man decides to follow Him! - we cannot keep this wondrous, joyous and profound discovery a secret! We are fairly bursting to share what we have discovered in the glorious Person of Jesus Christ! And Philip does exactly that! He then goes and finds Nathaniel his beloved friend, and tells him about Jesus!

Just as the LORD sought out Philip with the intent of invitation of participation in the kingdom of God, so too Philip sought out Nathaniel, in a holy imitation of Christ. We saints are all about that! Whatever Jesus does, we want to do! What ever He says, we will say! Remember when the disciples of John were led by the Baptist to follow the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, and as they followed, He turned and asked them "What do you seek?" and they lamely replied (perhaps for lack of any better answer) "Where are you staying?"
And the LORD replied, "Come and see."

When Philip finds Nathaniel and tells him about Jesus of Nazareth, the One that Moses in the Law and the prophets spoke about, it seems Nathaniel is a bit dubious.

"Can anything good come from Nazareth?"

And Philip replies similarly to the LORD Himself: "Come and see!"


Philip had a zeal and a desire to share Jesus with others, but it wasn't a "zeal without knowledge" (ROM. 10:2) - he knew about what Moses in the Law had to say about the Messiah, as well as the prophets. Yet he knew more than these besides: he had met Jesus personally and could attest to His person, witnessing to the truth that resided in this Man from Galilee (JOHN 14:6; EPH. 4:21).

We as Christians have all met Jesus - not physically of course, but by His Spirit (ROM. 8:2, 9) and this awesome encounter has left an indelible mark upon our hearts (2 COR. 3:3; 4:6; EPH. 3:17; COL. 3:16): a mark of love, adoration, devotion, worshipfulness and peace as well as joy. We attest to the truth as found in Jesus - and acknowledge that we have found no such truth anywhere else in all of our searching and discovery. 

We have found rest from our labors in searching for the meaning in life, our purpose, our fulfillment and satisfaction. As I have said so often before:

"In a world of empty sinful mirages, in the midst of barren, bleak and parched lost souls - there is an O.A.S.I.S. Only the Almighty Savior Immanuel Satisfies.

We sinners are subject to vanity, that is, emptiness - for that is what life is like apart from Christ our Life: it's nothing but empty and sinful mirages of things that will pass away along with this entire universe one day, things that cannot ever satisfy . . . or if they do, such satisfaction never lingers, but fades leaving us empty once again, or worse!

ROMANS 8:20-21
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

May we, like Philip as well as Andrew, lead the blind, the lost, the parched, the disenfranchised, the wounded, the lonely - all of these souls in bondage to the corruption of sin and vanity - to the one and only OASIS where there is Life Eternal and all that this Life entails (JOHN 1:4; 10:10; 11:25) and deliver them from the power of the enemy who would desire their temporal as well as eternal destruction (LUKE 1:69-71, 74-75; ACTS 26:18; ROM. 5:21; COL. 1:13; 2 TIM. 1:10; 2:26 and 1 JOHN 5:12).

May the LORD bless and keep you saints in His grace, truth, love and peace . . . and JOY! The next devotional in these JEWELS from the GOSPEL of JOHN, will be based on JOHN 1:47-51 entitled 'No-nonsense Nate'.

Some time ago I received this message from a fellow saint:

"Recently the LORD has been speaking to my heart about these issues (and only three days ago, as of this writing, I received an email from a Sister Saint who was enquiring about the intention of my writing and the nature of my articles) He has encouraged me to start focusing a bit more on the edification of the saints with biblical exhortation and messages that can bolster and strengthen Christians in days of such debilitating despondency (which seem to increase with no turning back). It's far too easy to become imbalanced and be all about exposing lies and deception, relating conditions of dilapidation but neglect the edifying truth of God's Word with the intent on blessing GOD's children!

"It is in such days as these when messages of this kind are needful, more so now than ever!"

So I pray that this will bring even more edification and blessing to you!
Revisiting the O.A.S.I.S.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

JEWELS from the GOSPEL of JOHN - JOHN 1:40-42 - SAND and STONE

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.

JOHN 1:40-42


40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.


Previously we had seen John the Baptist proclaim this One, Jesus of Nazareth - a cousin of His as the MESSIAH of ISRAEL: The "Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world".

This prompted two of the Baptist's disciples to follow Jesus - one of which was Andrew of Bethsaida, the brother of Simon Peter. After spending an entire day with Jesus, Andrew realized that John the Baptist was absolutely correct.

Andrew went and found his brother Peter (Simon) and told him so, and he brought his brother to see Jesus! We see Andrew doing this all the time, bringing people to Jesus and this is the best and most necessary act that any Christian can do for the lost: to bring people to Jesus Who alone can save and transform their lives.


We may pray for our lost loves ones - and these are effective! See JAMES 5:16b. We may present the biblical Gospel to them, and this is an imperative mandate given to us by our LORD (MARK 16:15). We can employ apologetics and prove the veracity of Scripture as the very Word of God and the great hope of the precious truth we carry in our leather cases as well as in our hearts (1 PETER 3:15) - but ultimately, only the LORD Jesus Christ can give a new heart to those whose hearts are corrupted by the ravages of sin (EZ. 11:19; 36:26; ROM. 10:13; JER. 17:9; ROM. 3:10, 23).


Simon Peter came along with his brother to see this One, no doubt with no small amount of curiosity, perhaps even a bit of skepticism regarding this supposed Messiah; after all, Messiahs didn't appear on the scene on a daily basis. Yet the fisherman came nonetheless which displays an open-mindedness and a seeking heart that would find the truth, residing in this Man from Galilee.


Upon seeing Peter, the LORD declared: "You are Simon, the son of Jonas - but you shall be called Cephas, meaning 'a stone'."


Peter was already known for his tumultuous, impetuous nature - almost as stormy as the sea of Galilee whenever those waters grew angry with monstrous waves, and with dark brooding clouds above. He seemed to be a man given to moods, as changeable and shifting as the desert sands.


Yet the LORD declared him to be Cephas - a stone: something solid and sure.


All of us are unstable in our ways: given to what we deems as truth and righteousness one moment, only to stumble and fall in a moment of weakness, spreading deceit and self-interest. Paul knew of this instability in the human nature as well:


ROMANS 7:14-20

14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Yet in the marvelous transformation of the Spirit's work in every born again believer, who has repented of their sin and received Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, we are brought from a place of spiritual instability and flaws aplenty in our character to that state of being where the LORD is our Rock, and we are those "living stones" (1 PET. 2:5) built solidly, securely upon Him, and find that place of rest and security in the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.


We saw such miraculous transformation in the very life of Peter himself; the sort of man he was before and after Pentecost, when the Spirit indwelled and empowered him as a vessel of Christ and His glory! So may we expect such transformation as we yield to the LORD.


The place of the heart goes from tumult to tranquility, from strife to serenity, from perdition to peace where we worship the LORD in His glory and grace as the Living Temple of the Spirit. Compare this condition with what we all knew once to reside in ourselves before Christ! The uncertainty of the winds and hardships of life, blowing us about hither and thither to where, we knew not, left us groping for answers, for peace, for solutions to our dilemmas.


We left behind us the purposeless existence of blowing sand, to those plans that God has ordained for us (EPH. 2:10) and He places us intently in that position He has reserved for us in His kingdom, just as any mason sets a brick in the wall. There is fulfillment in knowing the will of God, and by His Spirit of grace, following His will. There is no other peace like "the peace of God". 


PHILIPPIANS 4:6-8

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.


May we as the saints of God yield to His craftsmanship as He carves His likeness into us, His living stones, so that we resemble all the more our LORD Jesus Christ, and know the certainty of His truth in a world full of lies, and the ever present Spirit Who will flow magnificently, powerfully through us as we surrender ourselves moment by moment - not to do our will, but His, for His glorious purpose He intends for us, His church! 


ROMANS 8:28 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

EPHESIANS 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:


EPHESIANS 1:11 

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

PSALM 18:2 

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

ROMANS 9:33 

As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The NEW WORLD ORDER As Found In REVELATION 13

The very term, 'New World Order' has been thrown around so much the past couple of decades that it's beginning to lose its meaning. Most will associate this phrase with 'conspiracy theorists' - a rather misleading term because its suggestive of the idea that any conspiracy remains at best theoretical, therefore unproven, and thus presumably untrue.

This phrase was introduced mainly by Alice A. Bailey of the Theosophical Society:

"Bailey taught a form of universal spirituality that transcended denominational identification, believing that, "Every class of human beings is a group of brothers. Catholics, Jews, Gentiles, occidentals and orientals are all the sons of God." She stated that all religions originate from the same spiritual source, and that humanity will eventually come to realize this, and as they do so, the result will be the emergence of a universal world religion and a 'new world order'." 

We have watched Rick Warren team up with Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of England in promoting and engaging in what's known as The THREE LEGGED STOOL PLAN - which involves government, economics and religion as a cohesive force for the betterment of our global village:

"It seems apparent that neither Rick Warren nor Tony Blair understand that their Peace Plan goals are fulfilling Bible prophecy, which speaks of a peace that is not from God but will deceive many. By appearances, the majority of the people who were attending the forum last week appeared mesmerized and awe-struck by what was being said. Do they not realize that a three legged stool (the joining together of government, business (or economy), and religion) plan will be a plan by man and not by God (see Roger Oakland's book FAITH UNDONE)?"

Essentially what Mr. Warren and Mr. Blair are promoting is the same sort of thing that Alice Bailey (and others) envisioned: A New World Order that would unite the world's religions, governments and economies. And are we actually seeing this?

Obviously! One need not do a lot of research to find all sorts of para-national organizations that deal with money: everything from the World Bank to the World Trade Organization as well as economic entities that span multi-national interests like NAFTA and The Trilateral Commission, not to mention the few dozens of international central banks that control the world's money supply. One can instantly convert one currency to another by EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) and deal with commerce on a global level.

Global government (or governance) is spoken about commonly today; one can even find curricula at universities that examine the concepts and constructs that would involve such an enterprise. Then of course we have such political bodies like the European Union as well as other Unions that are either already formed or forming up. Then we have the formidable G20 and other types of organizations of substantial power.

Then we have a call for globalized religion where various religious authorities are seeking common ground, common cause, if not common beliefs that will unify all of the major faiths - Christianity (primarily the Roman Catholic Church in combination with Protestant churches that are migrating back to Rome) moderate Islam, Hinduism, and liberal Judaism. The Emerging Church is bringing under the umbrella of Christendom the various evangelical, once biblical independent churches and denominations and even dialoguing with leaders of other religions, 'seeking common ground' upon which to work together and "bring heaven to earth". Add to that an inclusivism into the kingdom of God of people who are welcomed "without explicit faith in Jesus".

I believe an integral part of this unified relious order will be mysticism based upon meditative disciplines and practices - yoga, T.M. as well as centering and contemplative prayer that will achieve altered states of consciousness - the very condition that will allow demonic influence and possession; indeed, this will be the global glue of the one world religious order where all religions will find common ground and gravitate towards pantheism and occult convictions.

Far from being 'a conspiracy theory' this one world order, new world order, global governance, Three Legged Stool Plan, what have you - is part and parcel of what the Bible foretold in prophecy for thousands of years! Let's have a look at what the Bible states; we won't read anything into the text, we'll just examine what it clearly indicates and compare it with the above mentioned observations and assertions.

We will start off by looking at passages found in Revelation and the book of Daniel . . .

REVELATION 13:1-2
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.


2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

John the apostle was given a vision by God and he saw a beast rise up out of the sea. The description of this beast strongly resembles the beast that was seen previously by the prophet Daniel hundreds of years earlier in his book, in Chapter 7:

DANIEL 7:7-8
7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.


8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

And a bit later in this chapter we read these verses:

17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;

20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.


21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

Prophecy in Scripture are often given in visions; these are bizarre, seemingly inexplicable sights. It's what has exasperated readers of the Bible and given cause for critics to scoff at the Word of God, claiming that these visions are nonsensical images that could be interpreted to mean anything, to which people could attribute subjective significances.

However it's important to realize that any vision given in Scripture, any image seen by prophet or apostle is either explained later by the recipient of the vision, or elsewhere in the Bible. Most of the visions in Revelation for example are explained predominantly by passages found in the Old Testament.


According to vs. 17 in the passage from Daniel, these "beasts" are kings or 'melek' in Hebrew; this word can also mean 'kingdom' depending on the context and thus 'king' and 'kingdom' are virtually interchangeable. In referring to the one, the other can be strongly implicated.
Note that in vs.19 this fourth beast had aspects of iron and brass (which correlates to the vision given to Nebuchadnezzar in ch. 2 of Daniel, where he received a vision from God in a dream regarding a statue consisting of different metals. Two of those metals were brass (the nails of the fourth beast) and iron (the teeth of the fourth beast), which in the statue were the thighs of brass and legs (and feet, which were also mixed with clay) of iron.

In the vision of Daniel 9, the four beasts consisted of a lion, a leopard and a bear - and then the fourth "great and terrible beast". It's interesting to note that even in the fourth beast (according to the passage of Revelation 13) it had aspects of the leopard (in resemblance) and the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion, suggesting that this fourth beast is in some way an amalgam of the previous beasts/kingdoms.

Also note the use of 'horns' in these passages; in Scripture, horns are symbolic of power and, or authority (PS. 75:10; 92:10), as well as the denotative meaning of a leader, typically a king (DAN. 7:24; 8:20). Further, we understand that these horns are actually men who themselves are kings - these are not merely political entities such as kingdoms, but living breathing people. The "little horn" is indeed a man, specifically one that arises in the midst of ten other kings. This man is one who wars against the saints and prevails against them. We understand from Revelation 13 that this king is the Beast, the anti-Christ to whom the Dragon (Satan) gives great authority and power (REV. 13:7).

When Daniel granted (by God's enabling grace bestowed to the prophet) King Nebuchadnezzar understanding of his dream, he explained that the vision of the statue consisting of four different metals (gold, silver, brass and iron) were four kingdoms. Here is the entire passage of DANIEL 2:31-45 that explains that King Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold. It then stands to reason that if the head is representative of a king and his kingdom, then the other metals of silver, brass and iron represented other kings and their kingdoms. Note that each metal decreases in its value the further down the statue we see, but is also stronger and denser than the previous metals further up. 
While the previous kingdoms were more opulent and glorious, possessing greater financial power, the latter kingdoms were more resilient and stronger. We see that this bears out in history. For a brief summary of these metals and the kingdoms that they represent watch this brief video
For a more detailed examination of these prophecies, watch this presentation by Chuck Missler (Koinonia House) who exposites Chapter Two of Daniel (note: this author does not necessarily endorse everything that Dr. Missler teaches).

In REV 13:2 we read that the Dragon (a.k.a. Satan who is the "god [ruler] of this world (system)"; see REV. 12:9; 2 COR. 4:4) gives his power, and his seat and great authority to the Beast. Since Satan is in fact the world ruler, the Beast will inherit this authority and rule not merely part of this world but the entirety of this globe. A global government under the authority of the Beast.

We understand from REV. 13:4-6,12,15 that the One World Religious system will be realized:

REV. 13:4-6
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Since the ruling power will be the Beast, and he is worshipped, we may rightly conclude that everyone on the planet (with the exception of those whose loyalty will be to Jesus Christ, who will be beheaded for their allegiance) will be a part of this global, one world religion.

Scripture speaks elsewhere of this grand deception based upon the doctrines of Satan's domain in such passages as 1 TIM. 4:1-2; 2 TIM. 3:5 and will specifically focus on the Beast himself, the son of perdition: 2 THESS. 2:3-4. This world religion is Babylon reborn, and explicitly detailed in REVELATION 17 and REVELATION 18..

The world of economics and finance will also be under the total control of the Beast, thus the one world economy is represented in REV. 13:16-18:

REVELATION 13:16-18
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.


18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Note that this mark is received IN (not on) the right hand or forehead; there has been a lot of documentation of bio-chips and similar kinds of RFID tech, as well as some genetic level markers that have been suggested as a means of identification, personal history, commerce, etc. What will actually be employed by the Beast and his world system yet remains to be seen, but such an idea is entirely plausible and completely attainable with today's technology what with our super-computers that operate around the globe and micro-miniaturization of bio-tech. It's important to realize that any who receives this "mark of the beast" is pledging their allegiance to the virtual 'son of Satan' as this mark is directly related to his name or the numerical equivalent of his name which adds up to 666:

REVELATION 14:9-10
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,


10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.

So from the pages of Scripture, we can see that what is described there is just what we are seeing in today's world, under the heading of a 'new world order' or 'global governance'. The stage is being set for the Beast, the one who will claim to lead us to the Luminous One, in whose light the world will find a (satanic) salvation, but in reality, it will seal the fate of billions who will follow Satan and his kingdom of darkness into the holy judgment of God and eternal perdition.

POST NOTE

It's morbidly fascinating to note that the Plan of those working behind the scenes in the (formerly) secret society of the ILLUMINATI are coming to the fore in this day, in which the common man is being welcomed to engage in building this one world order.




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

JEWELS from the GOSPEL of JOHN - JN. 1:35-39 - The LEADER That Is The LAMB

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.

JOHN 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;

36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

John the Baptist identifies Jesus for the second time (the first in vs. 29, the day before) as the LAMB of GOD, presenting the very familiar idea of the sacrificial lamb upon the altar of sacrifice, yet this was a man, the God-Man and no mere Levitically approved animal to be slaughtered in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Scripture speaks abundantly of the Messiah of Israel Who would die for the sins of the people. Jesus proclaimed Himself as the Messiah (JOHN 4:25) and if one does a careful study of the Messianic Scriptures in the Old Testament, they clearly present the Messiah as both man and God. 

The disciples at this point are unaware of course, that this Man that John points out to them is God Incarnate, walking in their midst; but they know that this is the One that John has been preaching about, the One that the Baptist anticipated would come, the One that he was preparing the way for (ISAIAH 40:3). So these two follow Jesus and that is the wisest course of action that any human being can take - to follow Him. Yet are we not, as sinners, powerless to walk as He walked (1 JOHN 2:6)? These would soon learn that to follow Jesus in Truth, in the Spirit of Truth, would require the Spirit of grace - One and the same Spirit (JOHN 1:17) - indwelling them and empowering them to truly walk after Jesus in the spiritual sense of the word.

They merely ask Him where He is dwelling, perhaps at a loss of words for what to say. The LORD of Glory, whose glory they beheld as He lived His holy life before them (JOHN 1:14) responded with an invitation "Come and see" and yet as the LORD God, YHWH He could have easily declared:

Isaiah 57:15 
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

At this time of year we ponder the glory and wonder of the blessed event of the First Advent of the MESSIAH, the CHRIST, the LORD Jesus; what a mystery it is, beyond the human mind's capacity to comprehend that He Who inhabits eternity - that realm of reality that exists outside of the created continuum of space/time - stepped into this capsule of temporal existence and took on flesh and blood. Fully God and fully man - the GOD Man, the blessed bridge that would span the gap between the HOLY God and sinful man.
He took on this body, born of a virgin and thus without the taint of sin attributed to mankind, for He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, and showed us the Father (by presenting Himself Who is One with the Father), and the way to Him (JOHN 14:6,9). 

That way would be known to the contrite and humble spirit, and such would be revived by the indwelling Spirit of Christ, Who would not only dwell in the high and holy place of eternity but also in the hearts of His disciples: temples all, of the Holy Spirit (1 COR. 6:19).

We as saints no longer have to go and find where Jesus dwells and fellowship with Him there; we have His Spirit dwelling within us and so fellowship is just a whispered prayer of worship away, and to partake of the Bread of Life, we break such together with our LORD as we commune in the Scripture, both corporately in the church and singly in our devotional times. 

We follow Him, our LEADER, our LORD, the LAMB of GOD in the way that He leads us - in knowing our nature that in its sinful state still requires mortification (putting to death); and in knowing Him, the Author of Life and partaking of His life in renewing our minds (ROM. 12:1-2) to become more like our LORD Jesus and walk with Him - in the way everlasting!

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:


24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

The next installment in this series will examine JOHN 1:41-42, entitled The SAND and STONE.