Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Way of Truth is the Extended River of Peace

Remember those in prison [the persecuted Christians] as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3
Many of us have great sorrow in our hearts over the events surrounding the death of Tom White. The God of grace, mercy, and love encourages us to:
1. stand firm in our belief of the Gospel until the end
2. exalt Christ in our hearts
3. live by the Spirit
4. fear God with trembling and awe: HE SURELY WILL MAINTAIN THE GLORY OF HIS NAME

Dear Father,
      Nearness to You is our good. We know no other Rock besides You. Please continue to remove our blindness and the hardness of heart towards the Truth. Thank You for extending the River of Peace to us. Thank You, Jesus, for being the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). As the Truth conforms the desires of our hearts to be in accordance with Your will, our immoral desires are removed and all of our desires come from Your heart. As Your will for all eternity is fulfilled all of our desires are fulfilled. In this manner we are walking in Your Truth, yes, in Your love. The Way of Your Truth is Your extended River of Peace.
In Jesus Christ's Name,

6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
   the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
   and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
   their young will lie down together,
   and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
   and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
   on all My holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the Knowledge of the LORD
   as the waters cover the sea. Is 11

     God's purpose is to encourage us in our pursuit of Him as we understand that the path of resistance that we daily face in the form of the temptations of the heart from the evil forces, the trials of living, and the persecution from the wicked world will be accompanied with a great peace because He works daily to conform us to the image of Christ. He is bringing us to a state of soul where we have so thoroughly believed the Truth that our heart's desires fall in perfect line with God's heart's desires: His will. Because every desire of God's heart will be fulfilled, as we grow in our resemblance of Him, we are granted our every heart's desire along with our King. In this manner we are contained in the Way of Truth and in the River of Peace that He has extended to us in love. 

12 The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that My word is fulfilled.” Jer 1

The Deceitful Path of Godlessness and the Torrent of Turmoil

     Since the devil was hurled down from heaven, he has been filled with fury and works with hatred against the will of God to sanctify and to redeem His people. His primary scheme is to make false promises associated with the "deceitful path of godlessness". He makes promises of peace in conjunction with his deceitful temptations thrown against our hearts. Our human hearts were the perfect target for his lies and temptations because "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jer 17:9)Apart from God's intervention, we could only reject the Truth, even the Truth of God's existence revealed from creation and the Truth of the Gospel. 

 27 “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. 28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the LORD its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips. Jer 7

     The evil forces have chosen to take those very created things meant for the enjoyment of mankind in the Presence of God and with them to create monuments and idols within their hearts. For mankind had been cast out from the indwelling Presence of God because they were conceived in sin. And though eternity was set on his heart, the wickedness that dwelt within led him to succumb to these lies. We had chosen to believe the lie. We choose to "love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth" (Ps 52:3). 

15 You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, 
   with the grave we have made an agreement. 
When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, 
   it cannot touch us, 
for we have made a lie our refuge 
   and falsehood our hiding place.”Is 28

     Though his heart had gone astray, his desire for peace had remained. Peace (שָׁלוֹם) is the state of contentment, soundness, safety, prosperity, and tranquility.  The evil forces have been working to cause us to seek the peace we desire through our worship of created things. Initially we have refused to repent and return to the source of true Peace: the Sovereign Lord. Walking in His ways of righteousness would have brought to us "peace like a river" (Is 48:18) and the delights of making Him our refuge would have brought us deep contentment. Our worship of Him would have brought us fulfillment and completeness. For the Creator had formed the souls of His children in such a way that they found their deepest satisfaction in the loss of the expending of energies and worship upon self and the directing of full worship and awe onto the Creator. When their mind and heart have been brought to focus entirely on God with no focus on the independent self, and all of their love is placed entirely on God and off the fallen nature and the world, then their souls find contentment and their hearts and minds dwell in peace that surpasses all understanding. 

 16 This is what the LORD says:
   “Stand at the crossroads and look;
   ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
   and you will find rest for your souls.
   But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 
17 I appointed watchmen over you and said,
   ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ 
   But you said, ‘We will not listen.’Jer 6

     The greatest man in the Kingdom of God, John the Baptist, has made his life's purpose: "He must become greater. I must become less" (John 30:3). He had risen to greatness among the children of God because he had come to achieve his state of inner contentment and peace by forsaking the fallen self and embracing the love, worship, admiration, and marveling of his God. But as we lived in turmoil, we had forsaken our "Spring of Living Water". Furthermore, we had exchanged our Glorious One for worthless idols: We had dug our own cisterns in our own attempts to attain peace. These cisterns were broken beyond repair and could not hold water, for the created things were never meant to be sources of peace and contentment (water) for our souls. They were created for our enjoyment as our souls drank from the "Spring of Living Water". But the created things were not the Living Water. They could not even hold Water as if the delights of God could be held in the worship of created things. We had been so deceived in our process of refusing to stand in awe of God, the "Spring of Living Water", that we channeled all of our efforts on behalf of inner peace into building our broken cisterns. Thus, we had committed two sins: 

1. We had rejected the "Spring of Living Water" by losing our awe of Him through rejecting the Truth about Him.
2. We have dug our own broken cisterns showing that we had believed the devil's deceitful promise that the worship of created things could bring us peace.
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods?
   (Yet they are not gods at all.)
But My people have exchanged their Glory
   for worthless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, O heavens,
   and shudder with great horror,”
            declares the LORD.
13 “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken Me,
   the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
   broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
19 Your wickedness will punish you; 
   your backsliding will rebuke you. 
Consider then and realize 
   how evil and bitter it is for you 
when you forsake the LORD your God 
   and have no awe of Me,” 
            declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. Jer 2

     The rejection of God was based entirely on our rejection of Truth and our acceptance of falsehood. Though no fault could be found in God and there have been an infinite number of revelations of His love towards mankind revealed in His creation and in His leading of His people, we did not consider these Truths. We did not consider the righteous perfection of God. We did not consider His "awesome works on behalf of man" (Ps 66:5) and "His love towards all He has made"  (Ps 145:17) and the "rain that He causes to fall on the righteous and unrighteous" (Matt 5:45). In the worst state, some had rejected the Truth of the saving Gospel: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness and salvation of all who repent and believe. 

5 This is what the LORD says:
   “What fault did your fathers find in Me,
   that they strayed so far from Me?
They followed worthless idols
   and became worthless themselves.
6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD,
   who brought us up out of Egypt
and led us through the barren wilderness,
   through a land of deserts and rifts,
a land of drought and darkness,
   a land where no one travels and no one lives?’
7 I brought you into a fertile land
   to eat its fruit and rich produce.
But you came and defiled My land
   and made My inheritance detestable.  Jer 2

     Their rejection of Truth was present even among those who professed to be religious leaders among the people: the priests and prophets. These leaders had themselves chosen to dig broken cisterns and were utilized by the devil to lead the people astray. Ravenous for peace, in one accord, they pursued the objects of their sinful desires. 

5 Friend deceives friend,
   and no one speaks the truth.
They have taught their tongues to lie;
   they weary themselves with sinning.
6 You live in the midst of deception;
   in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,”
            declares the LORD. Jer 9

     The prophets promise peace to the people even as they carried out their shameful deeds. They had rejected the Truth of righteousness to the degree that they were unable to feel shame or sorrow for their fallen state. 

8 The priests did not ask,
   ‘Where is the LORD?’
Those who deal with the law did not know Me;
   the leaders rebelled against Me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,
   following worthless idols.
 9 “Therefore I bring charges against you again,” Jer 2

14 They dress the wound of My people
   as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
   when there is no peace.
15 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?
   No, they have no shame at all;
   they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen;
   they will be brought down when I punish them,”
            says the LORD. Jer 6

     Among mankind, there were none who could receive the Words of warning from God. For they had chosen not to hear. Their hearts were corrupted so that God's Word was offensive to them. Though His Words were meant to be the delight of the soul of mankind, they were unable to find any pleasure in them.

10 To whom can I speak and give warning?
   Who will listen to Me?
Their ears are closed
   so they cannot hear.
The Word of the LORD is offensive to them;
   they find no pleasure in It. Jer 6

     The Word of God was not the delight of their hearts because the Words prophesied their destruction under the just wrath of God. Thus our hearts were closed off to peace. We had rejected the source of peace. We had spent ourselves pursuing what cannot bring peace. And we closed off any hope of returning to the " Spring of Living Water " by our heart's conditions which rendered the Word of God as the sentence of judgement, condemnation, death...The Words that were meant to bring Life and healing were to us Words of offense that caused displeasure. We had "clung to deceit", "refused to return", "rejected the Word of God" and "rejected Wisdom" (Jer 8: 5,9). 

     The result of our rejection of Truth and our pursuit of peace from falsehood was a state of turmoil. No one could love sincerity. No one could put the interests of others above their own. No one could be filled with completeness though the quantities of created things that they acquired accumulated in heaps that reached to the skies. Nations have risen up against nations. The love of most had grown cold. Families have turned against their own flesh and blood. Friends spoke deceitful words of envy. No one spoke openly of their affairs of life and the meditations of their hearts. Man was meant to live in unity with his neighbor, but the pursuit of idols has closed him off from the intended union between men. 

8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
   it speaks with deceit.
With his mouth each speaks cordially to his neighbor,
   but in his heart he sets a trap for him.
9 Should I not punish them for this?”
   declares the LORD.
“Should I not avenge myself
   on such a nation as this?”Jer 9

     Though they were united in their pursuit of what is not God, they dwelt in spiritual isolation and loneliness. They ran further and further from God and from one another. They could not pursue both God and mammom. They could not pursue true friendships with one another and mammon. This is why their love had grown cold.

4 The best of them is like a brier,
   the most upright worse than a thorn hedge.
The day of your watchmen has come,
   the day God visits you.
   Now is the time of their confusion.
5 Do not trust a neighbor;
   put no confidence in a friend.
Even with her who lies in your embrace
   be careful of your words.
6 For a son dishonors his father,
   a daughter rises up against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
   a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.Micah 7

     His wrath has been coming nearer and mankind clung heavily to his lie, to his false refuge. For even in the last days of the final Judgment of God, mankind will refuse to repent of their wickedness. The seven bowls of wrath poured out in the final judgement of God are: ugly and painful sores, the sea turning to blood, the rivers and springs turning to blood, the sun is given power to scorch people with fire (at this time men are seared with intense heat and curse the Name of God), darkness (at this time men gnaw their tongues in agony and curse the God of heaven because of their pains and sores), the water of the Euphrates dries up and three evil frog-like spirits gather God's enemies for the final war as they perform miraculous signs, and finally flashes of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder and the severe earthquake that splits the great city into three parts and collapses the cities of the nations, Babylon is given the cup of the wine of the fury of God's wrath, every island flees away and the mountains are no longer found, and 100-lb hailstones fall from the sky onto men...(see Rev 17). And yet, mankind refuses to believe the Truth and is condemned. They refuse to repent. They refuse to acknowledge their sin.

25 Do not run until your feet are bare 
   and your throat is dry. 
But you said, ‘It’s no use! 
   I love foreign gods, 
   and I must go after them.’
35 you say, ‘I am innocent; 
   He is not angry with me.’ 
But I will pass judgment on you 
   because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’  Jer 2

     They continue to harbor wicked thoughts even in the face of the awesome wrath of God. They do not consider His judgment. They put the Day of the fury of the wrath of God out of their sight. They put His Words of warning behind their backs. How thoroughly have they believed the lie! They have refused to claim Jesus as their peace. For only as His greatness reaches the ends of the earth as men fear Him would He Himself become their peace (Micah 5:4-5).

13 Look! He advances like the clouds,
   His chariots come like a whirlwind,
His horses are swifter than eagles.
   Woe to us! We are ruined!
14 O Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved.
   How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?Jer 4

His Extension of Peace

     Though we have all turned away from the Truth and we have rejected the "Spring of Living Water" from conception, His love for His children, chosen, called, predestined, justified, sanctified, and glorified before the world began, has persisted and prevails. His anger has forever turned away from them and He calls them to believe the Truth and so be saved from the impending judgement. His loving call to His own who hear His voice is to make peace with Him. "Though Your sins are as scarlet they shall be white as snow" (Is 1:18). He does not treat us as our sins deserve and thus He does not march against us in battle or set us all on fire, but instead He sends His Spirit to cause us to believe the Truth, make Him our refuge, yes, to make Him our peace: our contentment, our completeness, our deepest satisfaction, and inner delight. 

4 I am not angry.
If only there were briers and thorns confronting Me!
   I would march against them in battle;
   I would set them all on fire.
5 Or else let them come to Me for refuge;
   let them make peace with Me,
   yes, let them make peace with Me.”Is 27

     Now we have believed in His Words of Life, and we have been granted eternal Life in His Son, and we are called to trust in Christ's righteousness and resurrection power as we acknowledge the Truth. The continual belief in the Truth revealed in His Word prevents us from resorting to our former idolatry with broken cisterns: "the idolatrous commotion on the hills and mountains". 

22 “Return, faithless people;
   I will cure you of backsliding.”
   “Yes, we will come to you,
   for you are the LORD our God.
23 Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills
   and mountains is a deception;
surely in the LORD our God
   is the salvation of Israel. Jer 3


 12 For this is what the LORD says:
   “I will extend peace to her like a river,
   and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried on her arm
   and dandled on her knees.
13 As a mother comforts her child,
   so will I comfort you;
   and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
 14 When you see this, your heart will rejoice
   and you will flourish like grass;
the Hand of the LORD will be made known to His servants,
   but His fury will be shown to His foes. Is 66
 How the Belief of Truth Results in Peace

     Another fold of the manifold wisdom and mystery of God is the manner in which peace is brought forth when we believe in the Truth. As we have read, "they will neither harm nor destroy on all His holy mountain "  [PEACE] when the  "earth is filled with the Knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea" [TRUTH] (Is 11:9). Here we will go through the steps by which belief in the Truth results in our Peace. He Himself is our Truth and our Peace.

1. The Belief in Sin and Righteousness: Breaking up the Unplowed Ground

     The belief in the existence of righteousness is accompanied by the belief in the existence of sin. As simple as it would seem to believe in the presence of honesty, true unconditional love, justice, compassion, kindness, mercy...apart from Christ's sacrifice it would be a very painful belief. For along with the presence of such righteous elements is the existence of their opposing parties: deceit, hatred, injustice, cruelty, envy, mercilessness... Furthermore, along with the belief in a righteous and good God comes the necessary requirement for this perfect God to be just. He must punish all who break His law to any degree. For even those who stumble in one point are guilty of breaking the whole law (James 2:10). 

     We have often wondering why He calls us guilty if we had stumbled in only one point or why the harboring of a thought of lust or anger is equivalent to adultery and murder respectively. The reason is that the smallest inclination of an evil desire represents the rejection of God and the desire for independence from God. For the birth of sin accompanies a desire to hide from God and to be independent from Him: the blaspheme of the heart and the disbelief of the Truth. Thus the tiniest inclination of wickedness in the heart of man indicates a complete rejection of the Lordship and authority of God over his life. Though God in His mercy has often prevented it, a man left to himself with a thought of evil in himself, would be entirely given over to his wickedness. Without the Hand of God, sin can only grow and result in the massive crimes of the body and hands. As the song "Slow Fade" describes "The journey from your mind into your hands is shorter than you are thinking". 

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone;14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1

     Thus, the truth of the presence of [nothing but] sin within us and the truth of the righteous justice [that must be present] in the perfect God states clearly that we are doomed. The acknowledgement of this truth is the breaking up the unplowed ground and is the first event in the journey in Truth and in Peace. This process is often painful and there is a Godly sorrow that accompanies this breaking of if dirt were being tossed aimlessly around. And yet this event is necessary and continues to be necessary for repentance and salvation and the ongoing maintenance of the broken and contrite heart that God desires. In this manner, the belief in morality results in the impending need for the Gospel and for the blood of Christ to make peace between mankind and the Father. Those who cannot accept the presence of sin deny their wickedness and view themselves as righteous. They put their trust in their own righteousness and even claim to dwell within the temple of the Lord.

3 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!” 5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, 7then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever. 8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless. Jer 7

     Those who deny a righteousness from God or the existence of God Himself seek to avoid His righteous justice which deems them condemned.

1 “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,
   look around and consider,
   search through her squares.
If you can find but one person
   who deals honestly and seeks the truth,
   I will forgive this city.
2 Although they say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives,’
   still they are swearing falsely.”
 3 O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth?
   You struck them, but they felt no pain;
   you crushed them, but they refused correction.
They made their faces harder than stone
   and refused to repent. Jer 5

     For us who have believed the Gospel unto salvation, we are reconciled to God in Christ who took the wrath of the Father on our behalf. We are forever clothed in Christ's righteousness and the separation between the holy God and sinful mankind no longer applies to us. We have been bought at a price to be His holy and righteous children.

2. The Belief in the Truth of the Final Victory of God

15 See, the LORD is coming with fire,
   and His chariots are like a whirlwind;
He will bring down his anger with fury,
   and His rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For with fire and with His sword
   the LORD will execute judgment upon all men,
   and many will be those slain by the LORD. Is 66

     The devil knows very well that his time is short to work against the purpose of God on earth for he knows that the time of the end draws near. But it would appear that he has not been convinced that our Lord will be resoundingly victorious over him. His movements in the last days described in Revelations leading up to Armageddon suggest that he is not convinced that he has been crushed under the heel of Jesus. Those who are led by Satan walk in these footsteps, refusing to repent, as they believe the lie that God perhaps may not be exalted and victorious in the end. They are like the servant who buried the mina with the knowledge that his master was "a hard man who took out what He did not put in and sowed where He did not reap" (Luke 19:21). The wicked have no desire for the final victory of God and the reign of righteousness because their deeds were evil and they were unwilling to repent. Furthermore they disdained God's justice that condemned them.

12 They have lied about the LORD;
   they said, “He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us;
   we will never see sword or famine.
13 The prophets are but wind
   and the Word is not in them;
   so let what they say be done to them.”
 30 “A horrible and shocking thing
   has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy lies,
   the priests rule by their own authority,
and My people love it this way. 
   But what will you do in the end?Jer 5

     They refused to give glory to God because of their pride and arrogance. They hoped for light, but God has warned them that He is bringing darkness, the stumbling of their feet, and captivity. 

15 Hear and pay attention,
   do not be arrogant,
   for the LORD has spoken.
16 Give glory to the LORD your God
   before He brings the darkness,
before your feet stumble
   on the darkening hills.
You hope for light,
   but He will turn it to thick darkness
   and change it to deep gloom.
17 But if you do not listen,
   I will weep in secret
   because of your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly,
   overflowing with tears,
   because the LORD’s flock will be taken captive. Jer 13

     But for those who have been on the "side of Truth" the Words of Jesus are heard and taken to heart (John 18:37). Even as temptations come to the children of God, their belief in the final victory of God over sin, death, and Satan through the resurrection of Jesus Christ allows them to persist in their acts of goodness. The result is that they experience the effect of righteousness, peace, as they live within the Law of the Spirit.

7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal Life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the Truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Rom 2

    Along with the final victory of God that will be consummated in the End, there is a belief in the Truth of the fulfillment of the will of God with regard to the present day events. Even as we look to the events of the past recorded in Scripture from the creation of the world, the events of the Old Testament which pointed to the coming Messiah, the completed death and resurrection of Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the establishment of the church, and the Spiritual events in our own souls and those around us, we know that the Sovereign will of God will surely come to pass. In spite of the remaining disbelief that we are tempted with daily we know that involved in God's victory is His certain refinement of our souls so that we may truly believe in Him and in Christ's righteous covering over us.

7 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says:
   “See, I will refine and test them,
   for what else can I do
   because of the sin of My people? Jer 9

     Though we have often heeded and believed in the lies of the devil, our God's victory involves the teaching of His power and might to us so that we may know that HIS NAME IS THE LORD.

19 O LORD, my strength and my fortress,
   my refuge in time of distress,
to You the nations will come
   from the ends of the earth and say,
“Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods,
   worthless idols that did them no good.
20 Do men make their own gods?
   Yes, but they are not gods!”
 21 “Therefore I will teach them—
   this time I will teach them
   My power and might.
Then they will know
   that My name is the LORD. Jer 16

     As we came to Christ, our deeds were exposed in His Light and we saw that every inclination and desire that we had was contrary to the will of God. Even now we are commanded to put to death the sinful nature with its evil desires and to "live by the Spirit" so that we will not "gratify the desires of the flesh" (Gal 5:16). In this way, those who want to live a Godly life are persecuted not only by the world around them but by the sinful nature within them. We essentially are persecuted by our own flesh. As Paul states there is an "inward burning" in the struggle with sin (2 Cor 11:29) and Hebrews mentions "sin that so easily entangles" (Heb 12:1). Because of the constant contradiction between the flesh and the new man it would have been impossible for us to find peace even after believing in Him if it were not for the circumcising work of the Spirit. The Spirit's work is to remove from us the heart of stone and to implant within us a heart of flesh (Ex 11:19). His work is to "inspire us to fear the Lord so that we will never turn away from Him" (Jer 32:40). As we are conformed to the image of Christ, He brings our will, our desires, and our motives in perfect alignment with the Father. We are no longer "ask and do not receive because we ask with evil motives so that we may spend what we receive on our pleasure" (James 4:3) and we no longer believe simply "on account of miracles" (John 14:11). But our heart's desire is that we may see the Righteous King glorified, that He may be exalted, that Jesus Christ be lifted up as the Lord of the Universe, that HE MAY REIGN IN OUR HEARTS. For we remember that as we lose our earthly selves and wholeheartedly love and worship Him with everything we have, our heart, soul, mind, and strength, our souls drink REAL water. He has finally become to us the "Spring of Living Water". He is our Portion: all which is given to us and is able to sustain and fill us.

10 But the LORD is the true God;
   He is the living God, the eternal King.
When He is angry, the earth trembles;
   the nations cannot endure His wrath.
 11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”
 12 But God made the earth by His power;
   He founded the world by His wisdom
   and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.
13 When He thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
   He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
   and brings out the wind from His storehouses.
 14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
   every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
His images are a fraud;
   they have no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
   when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
   for He is the Maker of all things,
including Israel, the tribe of His inheritance—
   the LORD Almighty is His name.Jer 10

     The state of true peace comes when we are finally able to rejoice in doing good, when our hearts are inclined to following the path of righteousness, and when we exult in obeying our Lord. The state of true peace comes when we no longer possess a double mind and seek to be friends with the world, but when we have cut off every prostitution of our heart and when we find our sole delight in following His command to love one another as the Father has loved us. Yes, our persecutions and trials continue to work against us, but our souls are being set free as He causes us to drink deeply in Jesus who is our righteousness.

 7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
   whose confidence is in Him.
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
   that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
   its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
   and never fails to bear fruit.”
 Jer 17

     For who can prevent us from being right with God? Who can kill the soul? Who can break the union that we have with our God? They may kill our bodies, they may inflict horrible physical wounds and slander us, but how can they prevent us from having clean and righteous hearts? How could they prevent us from praising and worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth? He is bringing us to conformity with His Son and His Words overtake our minds and our hearts. We then ask every request in accordance to His will. As we know His will in the Spirit, we believe that we have already received what we have asked. In this way we are granted all of the desires of our hearts and our JOY IS COMPLETE!

2 “The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me;
   His Word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke,
   the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over men in righteousness,
   when he rules in the fear of God,
4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise
   on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
   that brings the grass from the earth.’
 5 “Is not my house right with God?
   Has He not made with me an everlasting covenant,
   arranged and secured in every part?
Will He not bring to fruition my salvation
   and grant me my every desire? 2 Sam 23

23 In that day you will no longer ask Me anything. I tell you the truth, My Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16

     He is bringing us to a place where His "commands are no longer burdensome"  because we who are born of God have overcome the world (I John 5:3-4). His commands to speak truthfully, to be just, and to love our neighbors become the very beats of our hearts. He is removing our lack of appetite and thirst for Him and the ignorance of heart as to the nourishment and pleasure of His Living Water and Bread of Life. There surely is a state, dear saint, that He is bringing us to where our "hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled" (Matt 5:6).

16 These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; 17 do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the LORD.
 18 Again the Word of the LORD Almighty came to me. 19 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.”Zech 8

     He grants us His own desires and purposes to bring glory to His own Name. He knows how to uphold the glory of His own Name among His people and He surely will do this. He never lets dishonor come to His glorious Throne.

19 Have you rejected Judah completely?
   Do you despise Zion?
Why have you afflicted us
   so that we cannot be healed?
We hoped for peace
   but no good has come,
for a time of healing
   but there is only terror.
20 O LORD, we acknowledge our wickedness
   and the guilt of our fathers;
   we have indeed sinned against you.
21 For the sake of Your name do not despise us;
   do not dishonor Your glorious throne.
Remember Your covenant with us
   and do not break it.
22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
   Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is You, O LORD our God.
   Therefore our hope is in You,
   for You are the one who does all this. Jer 14

3.The Belief in the Love of God for His People

     As the children of God are taught to drink from the "Spring of Living Water"  the disunity among them disappears. For everything that brought division came from the digging of the broken cisterns that could hold no water. Every bit of strife came from the formerly insatiable desire for peace and the belief that the created things could bring this peace. But as the saints are taught to drink from the extended river of Peace through believing in His Truth, they find that there is more than enough Water for all of the people of God. The love of God for them is incomprehensibly great. The drinking of this Water results in increased love for the people of God and increasing disdain for the worship of the digging of the broken cisterns. The boast of the righteous becomes the knowledge of their God and their love for one another causes them to labor so that they all might know Him.

1 The elder,
   To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the Truth—and not I only, but also all who know the Truth— 2 because of the Truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:
 3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in Truth and love.2 John 1

     Their High Priest is Jesus Christ, the Teacher of Knowledge and true Instruction. Their awe of God increases. There reverence for Him cultivates greater peace.

5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to Him; this called for reverence and He revered me and stood in awe of My name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.
 7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from His mouth men should seek instruction—because He is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. Mal 2

     Our path towards an increased belief in Truth by His sanctifying work through the Word and the Spirit will face increasing resistance from the outside evil forces. But as our will is aligned with His, we will always receive exactly what we have truly desired: His glorification, righteousness, and love. Our deepest desires for Him will be constantly fulfilled because HE IS OUR PEACE.

4. The Belief in the Need to Proclaim the Truth

18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Cor 5

Excellent Seminar:
Tell Them Because Eternity is Forever (Paul Ridgeway)
presented at New Life Church 4/28/12

8 Whenever I speak, I cry out
   proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the LORD has brought me
   insult and reproach all day long.
9 But if I say, “I will not mention Him
   or speak any more in His name,”
His word is in my heart like a fire,
   a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
   indeed, I cannot. Jer 20

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