Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Monday, February 27, 2012

Glory is Found only through the Gate

Dear Father,
     Thank You that from the moment You began to impart Your Life to us, You have fought for us. Our hope is in You that You continue to deliver us from the vast armies that stand against us. Help us to understand that glory is found only through the Gate, Jesus Christ, and that no flesh may glory in Your Presence.
In Jesus Christ's Name,

Theme Song: How Long We have Sung our Songs

1 “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The Man who enters by the Gate is the Shepherd of His sheep. 9 I am the Gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. John 10

That No One May Boast Before Him

     As we enter through the Gate, Jesus Christ, the Father allows us to come to the Fountain of Life and the Feast of the Word of God. Here we experience the eternal Life in knowing Jesus Christ and having deep and sweet fellowship with Him. As we abide in Him, we are able to be in the world of turmoil and restlessness and still find rest. We will come in [to Him in Word and prayer through Christ] and go out amidst the "ferocious wolves", the roaming area of the "prowling lion who seeks to devour", the "battle against principalities and powers in the heavenly realms"... and not be harmed or come under the delusion of the prince of the power of the air. The great dragon has led the world astray, but for the sheep who know the Shepherd's Voice, their minds are ever at rest and peace because they are looking to their heavenly Father. Their hope is in Him all the day long and they have denied every pretension of their flesh that had opposed the rooted and established Gospel which continues to grow in the soil of their hearts. The Good Shepherd has gently sought out and found each one of His own and carried them in through the Gate. Yes, He Himself is the Gate and only by His grace they are able to enter. 

     There are evil forces, enemies of the cross of Christ, who tried to enter into the fellowship of the saints with their Bridegroom by some other way. They did not come through the Gate. They tried to enter by their own means. Some sought to establish a righteousness of their own through obedience to the Law. But we knno that no one is able to attain justification resulting in eternal Life through obedience to the Law. 

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” Gal 3:11

     Others tried to enter the Kingdom of God through the fading glory of the mortal flesh. They sought to establish a wisdom, credence, honor, nobility, or strength of their own apart from the faith that saves. 

21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. I Cor 1

     No one has ever been able to enter the sheep pen through any other way than the Gate. Everyone who tried has been cast away as a released arrow far from the place of refuge in the Eternal and Living God. For God was pleased to save His own through Himself. He Himself has gone out to gather His sheep. And He Himself is the only Gate and entrance into His Abode. He has laid down His Life for the sheep only to take It up again. The moment anyone tried to enter by his own righteous merit or the strength of his mortal flesh, he was cast away. For surely those who came before Jesus were thieves and robbers. 

1 May God arise, may His enemies be scattered; 
   may His foes flee before Him. 
2 As smoke is blown away by the wind, 
   may You blow them away; 
as wax melts before the fire, 
   may the wicked perish before God. 
3 But may the righteous be glad 
   and rejoice before God; 
   may they be happy and joyful. Ps 68

    Inside the Gate is the glorious victory of all the saints. They are set free from condemnation and the powerful delusions of the world. They are set free from their former lovelessness, "hating and being hated by all men". A great peace is given to them that triumphs over every trial. The sweetest fellowship is found with the Savior here. The Father chooses to reveal His glory as He sees His Son's righteousness covering the chosen ones. GLORY IS ONLY FOUND THROUGH THE GATE.

Weakness that Allows us to Be Brought To and Through the Gate

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before Him. 30 It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us Wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” I Cor 1

     As long as we had held onto those perceiving glories of the flesh and the standard of our own righteousness we could never come near to the Shepherd. In our own way we had tried to run from the Good Shepherd, even trying to enter the sheep pen in our own way. Yes, it was our pride, that very detestable thing hated by the Sovereign Lord, which drove us further and further from Him. Our pride has blinded our eyes and was the veil over our eyes that prevented us from seeing the Light of the glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ. There was absolutely nothing that was of worth in His eyes before He had redeemed us. There was no asset that we could cling to or set our hopes upon. Everything was fallen. Everything was devoted to destruction by the Omnipotent Ruler. 

     Therefore, He was pleased to reveal His glorious Gospel in light of our weaknesses. For only in our weaknesses were we able to possess the broken and contrite spirit which are of great worth in the sight of God. He was pleased to reveal His glory in our dishonor. He was pleased to reveal His righteousness to cover our self-righteousness [wickedness]. He was pleased to reveal His salvation in our futility. He was pleased to reveal His deliverance and comfort in our distress. He was pleased to reveal His power and victory through those battles that seemed horrifyingly impossible for us to win. In this manner, He is able to shine through those very cracks present within His people. For surely we are as jars of clay which hold Him, the Treasure and the true Light of the world. 

4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the Light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the Image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the Face of Christ. 2 Cor 4

All of Us are Like Burning Sticks Snatched from the Flames

1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
 3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
   Then He said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”
 5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the Angel of the LORD stood by. Zech 3

     God gives us the account of His ordained high priest of the time: Joshua. He had been given his rights to priesthood through his ancestral rights. Perhaps he seemed morally righteous to the whole Israelite assembly and even among the other Levites. He was chosen by God to be the one who offered the sacrifice in the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. This Day was ordained to point to Jesus Christ who has entered the Most Holy Place in the true heavenly tabernacle where by His own blood He makes atonement for His people once and for all. 

     Even Joshua, the temporary high priest, was accused by Satan before God. Even he was called a "burning stick snatched from the flames". God in His renowned marvelous grace removed Joshua's filthy garment and put on him a clean garment, the righteous robe of Christ, and a clean turban. The removal of Joshua's sin was a blessing to the whole Israelite community. For after God renewed him, Joshua was able to serve in his role as the high priest. 

 6 The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: 7 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in My ways and keep My requirements, then you will govern My house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
 8 “‘Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. Zech 3

     Even the greatest among men (as if there were anything great in themselves) could only be presented to those who stood near with honor and God's bestowed nobility when God Himself had removed his sin. No one may stand before God or men forgiven except through the gracious act of God. Regardless of our moral ranking in the world, each one was as a burning stick snatched from the flames. No one, even if the glory of their flesh was astounding, was anything different than a burning stick snatched from the flames. The Good Shepherd has and continues to snatch them from the flames that they may be saved and serve the Living God. 

     As they are saved through the imputed righteousness of Christ, they are fit for service in His Kingdom. Their sin has been removed in a single day. There was no time for them to perfect themselves even if they tried to move their hearts to do it. He Himself is the righteous Branch who had purposed and brought about their salvation. He allows the weakest and the lowliest among men to stand before Him and serve Him. Certainly they may stand before any man. And as the righteous are presented to the people of the world, His righteousness alone will shine through their fading and mortal flesh. The only glory that will ever come to them and be seen in them is the glory of their King. For this had been the only true glory that exists, the only glory which pervades, the only glory that remains, the only only glory that satisfies, the only glory that reigns forever...

Dying and Living with Him

He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4 For to be sure, He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you. 2 Cor 13

     Dear Bride, the Bridegroom calls us to die with Him. No, He does not call us to be forsaken by the heavenly Father as He had been on that day of the cross. He does not call us to experience the death that separates us from God. He rather calls us to die to the flesh. And it is only our own former blindness that causes us to view this death as a sacrifice or an act that brings sorrow. For if we could see with full Spiritual vision, we would know the fate of the flesh and would willingly "put to death the misdeeds of the body that we may live". The Shepherd has infinity ways of inspiring us to crucify the flesh and we know that He is employing some of them in our lives now. The Father will surely discipline us. For "when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world". 

     Before He gave us His Spirit, we had wanted to be perfect in our flesh. We sought to build our kingdoms with our earthly tents, or the flesh. We did not realize that the flesh was only a tent from which no kingdom could be derived. But with the hope of heaven comes the eternal Glory when "that which is imperfect will be done away with" and only the true glory of God in the face of Christ will remain as exceedingly glorious. 


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