Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Heart of Divinity

I am writing Sunday's letter today because I may not have time to write it this weekend. 

Dear Father,

I praise You that Your gift and Your call are irrevocable and as certain as the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Please forgive me for for all of my hidden sins and lead us in the way everlasting. Help me to clearly describe the Truths that you have taught me about the Heart of Divinity: Your Heart. Show us the means by which Your Law reveals Your Heart, how Your Word executes the contents of Your heart, and the part of Your Heart reflected by the mystery of Your choosing of the nation of Israel as Your people.

In Jesus Christ's Name,

Theme Song: Let Your Glory Fall

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.Rom 1 

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.Rom 11 

     God has taught me new Truths this week about the Heart of Divinity. I pray that He will help me to explain these Truths clearly and briefly. May the Holy Spirit work in your heart and mind to help you understand His heart. As we understand His heart, confusion will be swept away and His peace and Life will reside in our midst. The purpose of this letter is to show us how the Law and Word of God and God's choosing of the nation of Israel reveal the Heart of Divinity. 

      There are two aspects of the Divine Nature that will not be expounded on in the three sections of this letter, but I will mention them. The first is that Divinity is characterized by life. As Jesus claimed "I am the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE", He conveyed to the world that He was Divinity. Furthermore, He was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness (Rom 1:4). His resurrection from the dead occurred because His is Divinity and ascertains to us that He is Divnity. The second aspect is Divine forbearance (Greek word: anoche), or the tolerance and self-restraint of God with regard to His execution of justice against wickedness. For those who will believe in the Gospel, His forbearance allows them to survive up until the time of repentance. For those who will never believe in Him, His forbearance reveals the riches of His glory to those who receive His mercy. It is a mystery to me how His forbearance reveals His glory to us. I believe that He allows us to observe the grace of God shown to the wicked as well as to experience persecution from them so that on the Day when they are judged, we will acknowledge the extent of His good justice. 

 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory Rom 10

I. The Law and the Heart of Divinity

     The Heart of Divinity is characterized by righteousness. In His perfect righteousness, He is holy, that is, He is separated from the rest of us. He is far above us and remains unapproachable by those who are not holy. Because we separated from God because of our unholiness and our falling short of the glory of God, there would be no way for them to acknowledge the righteousness of God. There would be no way for us to know the Heart of God. We would be unaware of both the righteousness of God and the separation of ourselves from God (because of His holiness).

     But God did not intend to keep us unaware of His righteousness nor our separation from Himself. His intention was to reveal the contents of His heart to mankind. The revelation of the Divine heart to mankind reveals His glory to them. And His purpose from beginning to end was to uphold the glory of His Name among us.

     The means by which God would reveal His righteousness to mankind was to establish His Law among them. His Law was given to Moses in written form and written on the hearts of all mankind. In this manner, no human could escape the knowledge of the Law of God. The Law of God revealed the righteousness of God by imputing, or to put on account/attribute, our sin to us. The fact had been established at the time of our conception that we were separated from God because of our sin. The Law of God was put in place to hold us accountable to our sin and to let us acknowledge that sin is attributed to our own hearts. Through the Law we see our hearts and we behold the vast attribution of sin to them.

13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Rom 5

      It was not as if we were sinless until the Law came, but rather, because of the Law, the sin that dwelt in us would be regarded by us as utterly sinful (Rom 7:13). The Law is good and when the Law is upheld, the righteousness of God is revealed. For where the Law is fulfilled, the perfect love and justice of God are reflected. The Law is holy, righteous, and good and Its execution shows that the Divine heart is holy, righteous, and good (Rom 7:11). But we are not good. And the sin in us took its opportunity through the law to deceive and destroy us. It is a strange concept that in the presence of the Law of God, the sinful passions of our hearts are aroused and exemplified.

For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. Rom 7 

     The Law of God reveals the extent of our wickedness because there is another law in addition to the Law of God: the law of sin. The law of sin is the law that exists as a result of our innate wicked state in which we are incapable of doing anything good. In our original state, we can only sin. The law of sin is the command of our evil heart that we must sin. We were a slave to this law of sin because day and night our hearts cried out "We must sin!". This law of sin reigned supreme in our midst and revealed our slavery. We were slaves and prisoners to the law of sin that dwelt within our body (Rom 7:2). We worshiped the law that commanded us to sin. We could not do anything but fall prostrate to this law of sin in wholehearted devotion. Our entire hearts were enslaved to the worship of the law of sin, the law that "we must sin!". 

16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?Rom 6

     But the Law of God came to reveal to us our transgressions and the more we knew and understood the Law of God, the greater our transgression were seen in our own minds. "The Law came in so that transgression would increase" (Rom 5:20). The purpose of God in sending us His Law was not because we were able to obey It or because He thought that we would obey It. The reason He sent us His Law was to reflect His hidden righteousness to the hearts of wicked mankind. For only in the presence of the righteous glory of God could sinners behold their wickedness. Where there is no righteousness displayed, there could be no definition of our unrighteousness set up in our understanding. His Law was given to those who remained under the Law because they were enslaved to the law of sin and required this Law to acknowledge their slavery. 

     His intent in giving us His Law was to show us the need for grace. For the Law would reveal the righteousness of God. When we contemplated His commands to love, to forgive, to worship Him, to be selfless, to lay down our lives, we would understand that God loves, God forgives, Christ humbled Himself to death on a cross...And when we understood this good character of God, we would understand that we were not good. We would understand that we had only hated, held charges against one another, worshiped ourselves, and hated God. Furthermore, when we could understand the goodness of God, it would be easier for our minds to fathom why He cannot stand to have us in His Presence and why His good wrath and judgments are carried out among mankind now and at the time of final judgement. The more we knew the righteousness of God, the more we would understand how good and right it is for God to be burning with wrath and anger against the wicked...against our own selves. 

19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for  through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.Rom 3

     In acknowledging the doom of our souls with the maintenance of His good justice, we would come to know grace. He would move us to the foot of the cross where we beheld His greatest sacrifice and love. As we died to our old selves, we died to the law of sin that commanded that "we must sin!". Furthermore, the righteousness of Christ was imputed onto us and we were treated as righteous in the Father's eyes. It was not as if the Father sees us now as wicked because of the sins we commit as Christians, but forgives us because we trust in Christ. Rather, He sees us as righteous because we truly are righteous. Our new hearts are pleasing in His sight for they have been sanctified and made holy through the blood of Christ. The Spirit has circumcised our hearts so that His Law is upheld within our being (Rom 2:29). We are no longer bound by the Law but rather establish the Law through our faith (Rom 3:31). For the manner in which the Law bound us is that It aroused the sinful passions of our wicked hearts. We were bound by the Law precisely because we were utterly incapable of keeping It. But now that our hearts are righteous through our faith in Christ, the Law can no longer reveal wickedness that does not remain in us. Our hearts have become holy just as God's heart is holy. 

 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.Rom 7

     So now that our hearts are holy and righteous, TRULY, then what does the Law do to us? God is holy and righteous and what do the Law do to God? The Law of God reveals the righteousness of the Divine heart. In the same way, for us who believe, the Law reveals the righteousness of our new hearts. When we read the Law of God we are reading descriptions of WHO WE TRULY ARE. And as we walk in the Spirit, we walk and speak from the overflow of the righteous hearts. We are set free from the law of sin and death. We no longer "must sin" but rather are able to uphold the law because of the righteousness that comes by faith. 

21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;Rom 3

     Now we are able to behold the righteousness of God by faith. Through the Spirit we can see the glorious love, grace, mercy, and justice of our God with clean and pure eyes. We no longer are filled with the fear of doom as we see the righteousness of God through the Law, but now the Law only exemplifies the new person through Its revelation of who we are in Christ. For when we truly believe that Christ's righteousness has been imputed to us, then when we read the Laws to love, to forgive, to be selfless...we believe that we are loving, we are forgiving, we are selfless...why?...because Christ is loving, Christ is forgiving, Christ is selfless and His righteousness is bestowed to us. By the Spirit, our faith in the imputing of Christ's righteousness to our souls allows us to walk in goodness and to not satisfy the desires of the sinful nature. 

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk innewness of life. Rom 6

     Such great power to walk in righteousness will be ours when we remember that the Divine Heart resides in us by the Spirit. Our prayers for the Spirit to move in our hearts are answered so powerfully by our loving Father through our Advocate, Jesus Christ. Great power will control us when we are consciously aware that our mortal bodies are host to the Holy Spirit. May we ever be conscious of His inhabiting of our inmost being. He has sanctified each part of our mortal bodies and His dwelling is never removed from us. How willing we should be to put to death the misdeeds of the body and to not let sin remain in our bodies. May we keep our homes clean as we contemplate this great power that dwells within us. Trust in the Spirit and pray for His outpouring. He is a Person and He will awaken your being as you acknowledge Him and please Him by your faith.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10  If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.Rom 8

II. The Word and the Heart of Divinity

45  The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the eviltreasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.Luke 6

     There is something very important about the words uttered from the mouth. For words are spoken out of the overflow of the heart. Before we had died to the law of sin and death, our hearts were wicked and our words were the overflow of our hearts. As the apostles James writes "But no one can tame the tongue, it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison" (James 3:8). Our tongues were a restless evil and were full of deadly poison. Why? Was there something wrong with our tongues? Our tongues were deadly and evil because our hearts were deadly and evil. Our tongues were the objects that delivered the overflow of our horrendous and wicked hearts. 
     Now that we are raised to walk in newness of Life in Christ, when we walk by the Spirit our words will be the overflow of our new hearts filled with the perfect imputed righteousness of Christ. 

      What I will say next is very important and may God help us understand: the Word of God is the overflow of the Divine heart. Just as our words are the overflow of our hearts, the Word of God is the overflow of His heart. This is why the Word of God brings Life to those who remain in Christ and death to those who are apart from Him. For the Divine Heart is overflowing with loving-kindness, tender compassion, and passionate pure Agape for His children, but in His good justice, His heart is BURNING with the fire of His anger and wrath against all that stands against His righteous purpose for His glory to be revealed. The love of God for Himself and those who are righteous in Christ and His hatred against wickedness and the wicked is the essence of the Divine Heart. The Word of God is the overflow of that love and hatred. 

     The contents of the Divine Heart bring Life or Death to mankind. His love brings Life and His hatred brings death. His Word is the Vehicle by which the life-bringing or life-destroying power of His heart is unleashed. When the Spirit and Word work, the power of the Divine heart is displayed. The contents of the Divine Heart are executed by the Word of God. If we desire Life, may we plead with God for His Spirit and Word to unleash the power of the love of the Divine Heart.

     How does the Word of God execute the final judgement described in Revelations 19?

13 He is clothed with arobe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen,white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15  From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “ KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”Rev 19

     In this passage, the final judgement of God is described where God will destroy His enemies with the Word of God. The Word of God will carry out the final judgement of God. How does the Word kill? We must understand the aspect of the hatred and wrath of the Divine Heart. The burning fire of the hatred and anger of God comprise the "cup of God's wrath" which Jesus has drunk for the sake of the elect and which will be finally poured out on and drunk by the wicked. The wrath and anger of God dispel or cast one out from the Presence of God. The cup of wrath separates the one on whom it is poured from the presence of God. What is death? Death is separation from the Presence of God in the Lake of Fire. Thus, the anger and wrath of God shown to someone will cast them as far away from His Presence as He deems necessary at the time of final judgement. 

Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.”Jer 7

     Again we ask, "How does the Word bring this death to the wicked?" We know that the Words of God are the overflow of His heart. Thus, the Word is the means by which His cup of wrath is POURED out or OVERFLOWN. His Word will execute the pouring out of the wrath and hatred of the Divine Heart. 

III. The Choosing of the Nation of Israel and the Heart of Divinity
     May God forgive me for never understanding the purpose of His heart in the choosing of the nation of Israel as His own people. Even now I still cannot understand it entirely, but I pray that He will help us all to understand this in the days to come. We have often neglected pondering on the purpose of God in choosing the nation of Israel for Himself. Some have even supposed that the ordinance no longer exists since now, in Christ, all who believe are part of the nation of Israel in a Spiritual sense. Yes, it is true that all who believe comprise the final people of God, the true Israel, but God's choosing of the nation of Israel in an earthly sense is still eternally upheld. There is a very important aspect of God's heart revealed in this working of God. I will write here what I have understood in the past week about the Divine Nature of God revealed in His choosing of the Israelite nation.

     God created Adam and Eve in His Image and they disobeyed Him in His perfect Garden of Eden. He provided animal skins as clothing to hide their shame as a way of showing them that one day a Deliver would come who would offer His blood to atone for their wickedness and His righteousness as their covering. The next generations of humans were increasingly wicked until the time of Noah. Noah and His family pleased God because of their faith in Him in the midst of their wicked generation. God choose Noah and destroyed the rest of mankind to show His mercy and love towards those who trusted in Him and His good wrath against wickedness. Then several generations later, God choose Abraham and Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. God rewarded him for his faith and promised that his offspring would give rise to a great nation and that all other nations would be blessed through him. After a long period of patience and faith, Issac was born and God's promises were shown though Issac. Though Issac was chosen to carry forth the promises of God towards Abraham, only one of Issac's two twin sons was chosen to carry the promise further yet. In the mysterious purposes of God's mercy and justice, He hated and hardened the heart of Esau but loved and purified the heart of Jacob. Jacob gave rise to 12 tribes. God revealed His glory to His people through His 10 plagues of judgment against Egypt and Pharoah. Israel turned away from God and asked for a kingship. Most of these kings turned away from God, nevertheless, some good kings reigned in righteousness and faith: David, Solomon, Josiah, Asa, Azariah, Hezekiah, Jehoshaphat, Jotham, Uzziah... Throughout the tumultous times of wicked kings, idolatry, and eventually captivity in the lands of their enemies, God carried His Seed through the generations and the line of Christ's ancestors was never wiped out.

     Now the Deliverer has come and salvation has come to all of the people of God. Yet, Jesus came to His own people and His own people did not receive Him. Most of the Jews, especially the religious leaders, rejected the Seed of God through Whom salvation was to come into the world. All day long God held out His Hands to a disobedient  and obstinate people (Rom 10:21). They still did not receive Him. Yet God must uphold the glory of His Name in the sight of the nations. And even during the Old Testament times, God allowed foreigners and aliens to join His people. Foreigners who bound themselves to God to love Him in His eternal Covenant, Law, and Promises were taken into His house (Is 56:6). To capture the hearts of His people He choose to make them jealous by nations that He had not chosen and which had no understanding of the Nature of God (Rom 10:19).

20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 21 The inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will also go.” 22 So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of theLord.’ 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”Zech 8

     He allowed Himself to be found by those who did not seek Him and He manifested Himself to those who did not ask for Him (Rom 10:20). He called the Gentiles who were not His people as His people and sons of the Living God (Rom 9:25-26). He revealed His glory to His people through calling the Gentiles, who had not known His Commandments or been called as His chosen people. He was revealing that He truly is the King of the world and that His Laws are filled with His splendor and righteousness. The fact that people from other nations would leave behind their lives and cultural religions to serve this God shows that He is the True and Living God and He is worthy of all worship and praise. He is so worthy that people who know nothing about Him and who had no former connection to Him would leave behind everything to follow Him. 

12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!Rom 11

     God choose to harden the hearts of the Israelite people until the full number of chosen Gentiles come to faith (Rom 11:25). And it is, in fact, because of the sin of His people, that riches are brought to the other nations through Christ. His intent in giving us salvation was not only for our sakes, but to draw the hearts of His own disobedient people back to Himself through our obedience. We are shown mercy because of their disobedience and because of the mercy shown to us, mercy will be shown to them. For when they see our obedience through faith, their hearts will be turned to God at the time of the end and it is only the mercy of God that allows their hearts to turn back. God will pour on them a Spirit of grace and supplication and they will look on the One whom they have pierced and mourn (Zech 12:10).

30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.Rom 11

     Romans 11 describes that branches were cut off of the natural tree which represents the nation of Israel so that we, the Gentiles, may be grafted in. We ought to tremble in fear and reverence because God has grafted us in if we continue in His kindness. He is able and He will graft in His chosen people. Not all of the physical nation of Israel will be saved, but God, in His Divine Nature, always preserves a remnant within His people who believe. 

22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?Rom 11

     The true adoption as sons, glory, covenants, giving of the Law and the temples services and promises belongs to the nation of Israel. They are and always will be the nation of Israel, God's chosen people. God has desired so greatly to be honored and glorified among His people that if we truly understood the depth of this desire in the Divine Heart, as His children, we would be like Paul who wished that he were accursed and separated from Christ for the sake of these chosen people (Rom 9:3-5). God's Foundation is in the holy mountains and He loves the gates of Zion. Glorious things are said the City of God. God will mention the Gentiles among those who know Him and He will treat them as though they were born in Israel and they will sing "All my springs of joy are in you" (Ps 87).

     The fact that He choose us to be His own though we were not part of the chosen nation of Israel reveals His mercy and His grace which draw the souls of all mankind to Himself. It reveals His impartiality, for all people, Jews and Gentiles, will be judged according to their eternal standing. Jesus longed to gather the people of Jerusualem in His arms but they were unwilling (Luke 13:34). The Divine Heart overflows with love for His people. May our hearts dwell with His in our desire for His chosen people to turn to Him in repentance and faith. He loves them so very much. In His grace, has loved us, the Gentiles, along with them. 

22 Thus says the Lord God,“Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nationsAnd set up My standard to the peoples;And they will bring your sons in their bosom,And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.“ Kings will be your guardians,And their princesses your nurses.They will bow down to you with their faces to the earthAnd lick the dust of your feet;And you will know that I am the Lord;Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame. Is 49

There is much more in this mystery of God's choosing of the Nation of Israel, especially with regard to God's reconciling of them to the Gentiles in Christ by putting to death their hostility. Please talk to me if you have insight into anything about Israel because my heart longs to understand this more.

Excellent Sermon: Anand sent this to me when I told him that my soul was exhausted this week. This sermon was given by Spurgeon and is read by a meek elderly woman. Spurgeon explains the Person of the Holy Spirit in a very simple way. If you listen to it with faith, the Spirit will move in your heart so powerfully. I feel that it has restored some of my first love for God by reminding me that the Spirit is so near to me and as I acknowledge His Presence and pray for Him to move, He will always answer and grant me my request.

My Letter To James Holmes: I was not sure how to get my letter to James. Yesterday I emailed a host of sheriffs, officers, and prison ministry coordinators to see if they could give it to him. After a series of email re-routings a lieutenant gave me an address and instructions to mail the original copy to him. So now it is in the mail and I pray that it gets into his hands and that the Spirit will work in him.

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