Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Unity # 13: The Sweet Realization of the Desires of the Regenerate

Unity # 13: The Sweet Realization of the Desires of the Regenerate
Theme Song: Jesus, Thank You

Desire realized is sweet to the soul, but it is an abomination to fools to turn away from evil. (Prov 13:19)
Dear Father,
     I praise You for enlightening the eyes of our hearts to Your Truth. You enable us to know the Truth and Your Truth makes us free. You transform us by the renewing of our minds. Though we were cut-off from the land of Spiritual life and contained in the realm of the flesh, You have raised our spirits to life and transferred us to Your heavenly realm, that we may be seated with Christ. Thank You that every trial, temptation, and blessing, and every time of emptiness, sorrow, and grief was always about Christ. It was never about anything other than You. And though I felt that I had worshipped my idols rather than You, my Lord, You have and will remove these strongholds from our hearts and exalt Yourself far above these things. Though I had spoken of Your deep Truths without understanding them, You have forgiven my frivolity and opened the eyes of my hearts to comprehend what I spoke of before. Everything is driving us to Christ, that we may behold Your Son, and have Life. Yes, when You are lifted up, You will draw all men to Yourself. And all those who look to You alone as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world will be saved!
In Jesus Christ’s Name,

Dear Beloved,
     This past week, we were in Indiana with Anand and Prasanna, and God has blessed me with a new understanding of the Spiritual doctrine of regeneration. This doctrine is largely lost in present day “Christianity”. It is a simple doctrine that has been engrained in historical discipleship and true Christianity, and yet our church culture’s lack of knowledge of the Scriptures and our failure to seek Him with all of our heart has caused many among us to fail to understand the nature or implications of regeneration. My heart is full of Scriptures and encouragements to write concerning what I have learned, and I pray that I will start well with this letter in testifying to what I have learned.

     The Greek word for regeneration, paliggenesia, means a rebirth, Spiritual renovation, and restoration. Titus 3:5 tells us that Christ saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. Dear saints, we must understand what has taken place at the time of our conversion, if indeed we have been converted. For conversion is not a simple intellectual affirmation of the Gospel of Christ. Rather, it is complete death to the self and world and resurrection into the Kingdom of God. This is why we often tell one another that being born in a Christian family does not make us a Christian. For each of us was morally depraved and spiritually dead from the time of our conception until the time of conversion. All of our goodness was as filthy rags in the sight of God for we did not have in mind the glory of God and the exaltation of Christ. Our love was not deep, unconditional, faithful, and eternal. Our own self-righteousness was as a crushed reed, which would pierce into a man’s hand were he to land on it (Is 36:6). Because we were spiritually dead, we could not even respond to the Gospel. We could not hear, consider, understand, or believe because we had no life within ourselves. Furthermore, we were deceived into believing that we could be satisfied with something apart from God. Our stolen water was sweet and the bread that we ate in secret was pleasant (Prov 9:17). But afterwards our mouths would be filled with gravel under the vast judgments of God (Prov 20:17). In our spiritually famished state, that which was bitter in the sight of God was sweet to our taste (Prov 27:7). But God declared a woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, and who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Is 5:20). Our Spiritual blindness and inability to respond to the Gospel was inescapable. There was no way that any person could understand and believe the Gospel on their own accord of strength of will, mental strivings, or emotional zeal.

     Furthermore, prior to regeneration, when we were encountered by the Law of God, we are unable to obey it. In our minds we may have agreed with God’s Law, but in our prior sinful nature we were utterly incapable of obeying the righteous Law of God. DEAR SAINTS, PAUL DID NOT WRITE ROMANS 7 TO DESCRIBE A REGENERATED PERSON! In this chapter, Paul speaks of his inability to keep the Law of God while he still remained in darkness. He was not describing the wretchedness of Christians, for the life of true Christians, though they may temporarily succumb to their flesh, is not characterized by the law of sin and death described in Romans 7. Please read Romans 7 and praise God for releasing you from this state of being incapable of obeying the law of God. Yes, we have a flesh, where remnants of sin reside, but this is not the essence of the regenerated person. The flesh and the Spirit of God in the regenerated soul are in opposition, but the Spirit will gain the victory so that our lives are not characterized by rebellion and disobedience, but rather progressive submission and love. (Gal 5:16-24)

     In His own time, our blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has chosen to bring our spirits to life and to breathe His Holy Spirit into us. He has given us a new birth through the living Word and Spirit (1 Pet 1:23). According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for us, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this we greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, we have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of our faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though we have not seen Him, we love Him, and though we do not see Him now, we believe in Him, and rejoice greatly with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of our faith the salvation of our souls! (1 Pet 1:3-9)

     When we are regenerated, we are crucified with Christ, we die to sin, we die to the law, we are released from the slavery to sin and death, we die to the realm of the flesh, and we are brought out of darkness. Furthermore, we are raised with Christ, we live for righteousness, we are set free to obey the Law of the Spirit, we become slaves to righteousness leading to holiness, we are brought into the Spiritual heavenly realms with Christ, and we are brought into the Light. Dear saint, you are raised with Christ and you are a new person, made to be like Christ in true righteousness and holiness. The old has gone, the new has come! (Gal 2:20, Rom 6-8, 1 Peter 2:24, Gal 2:19, Eph 2:6, Col 1:13, Eph 5:8, 2 Cor 5:17, Rom 8:2).

     The sinful nature is dead. The old self is dead. The body of sin is done away with. So why do we still sin or go astray as regenerate people for a time? Because we have a flesh, and there are misdeeds of the body which are present within this flesh. But we are not slaves to this sin. We are under no obligation to sin. We are released from our incapability of resisting sin.

     Furthermore, we have gained a new nature. We are good trees. And good trees WILL bear good fruit. Though there may be occasional bad fruit, a good tree is characterized by a consistent ongoing bearing of good fruit. If we have been regenerated, our bodies are the temples of the living God by the Holy Spirit, and we surely will bear good fruit, and continue to do so more and more until we see Him face to face. We have become of such a nature, that when we sin, we will so thoroughly disgust our unnatural acts, and the Spirit will so thoroughly resist the sin in our flesh, and God will remain so perfectly faithful to the glory of His Name, that we cannot continue in sin. Do we stumble at times? Yes, and as our maturity and discernment increases, we will see our falling short in greater detail, but because we are new beings in Christ, we will bear fruit to His glory. We will praise Him for upholding the glory of His Name and we will bow to the Vine for maintaining the beauty of His branches.

     At the time of conversion, our hearts of stone have been removed and hearts of flesh are placed within us (Ex 36:26). Our hearts desires have been changed. Our deep desire is now to know, behold, become like, bring glory to, love, and obey Christ. The righteousness and light of Christ which were formerly bitter to us have become sweet (Ex 15:25). We ourselves become sweet like the sweet Psalmist David (2 Sam 23:1). Our prayers rise up like sweet incense to the Father (Lev 16:12, Ps 141:2). He gives us the fear of the Lord, clean, and enduring forever. We now consider His judgments to be true and altogether righteous. There are more desirable to us than fine gold. They are sweeter than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. For we know that by them we are warned as his servants and in keeping them there is great reward. (Ps 19:9-11) His Words are sweet to our taste and sweeter than honey to our mouth (Ps 119:103) His sound wisdom and discretion are life to our souls, security to our steps, make us unafraid of our enemies, and make our sleep sweet (Prov 3:19-24). His wisdom is sweet and as we find it, we have a future and our hope will not be cut off (Prov 24:13-14). Our new hearts are wise and understanding, and thus our resulting sweet speech increases the persuasiveness of our message, the Gospel (Prov 16:21). Our pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones of one another and those who are yet to be brought into the fold (Prov 16:24). For our counsel is sweet to our friends (Prov 27:9). We thank our God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place (2 Cor 2:14).

     Do we fear that we have not been regenerated? Then may we look to Jesus, again and again for our salvation. He is our Redeemer and High Priest and He turns away no one who comes to Him. Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is our Lover among the idols of the world. In His shade we take great delight and sit down. His fruit is sweet to our taste. (SoS 2:3). His cheeks are like a bed of balsam, banks of sweet-scented herbs; His lips are lilies dripping with liquid myrrh (Sos 5:13). His mouth is full of sweetness and our Christ is wholly desirable. He is our beloved and friend. (Sos 5:16) We are beautiful to our Lord Christ as well for He has bestowed His mantle of beauty onto us (Is 61:3). He says to us, “O My dove, in the clefts of the rock [Jesus is our Rock], in the secret place of the steep pathway [the narrow path], let Me see your form [we are conformed into His Image], let Me hear your voice [our words are spoken by His own Spirit]; for your voice is sweet, and your form is lovely” (SoS 2:14).

     But our oppressors will be fed by God with their own flesh. They will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. And all flesh will know that He, our Lord, is our Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. (Is 49:26). Dear saints, because He is sweet to us, there are many persecutions, trials, testings, and refinement which we will undergo. He will rescue us. We are new in Christ and His purpose is to display His glory and beauty through us!

So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he *said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 11 And they *said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.” Rev 9

Excellent Messages:

The Nature of Conversion 52 min by Paul Washer
The Lost Doctrine 8 min by Paul Washer
Regeneration by the Spirit 59 min by Charles Leiter
I praise God for helping me understand regeneration more through this book (given from Anand in response to what Jonathan Edwards said about the error of using the terms "sinful nature" and "flesh" interchangeably), one of the best books I have ever read. In a regenerated person: his sinful nature is dead, he lives in the eternal realms, he is set free from the law of sin and death, he bears fruit according to his new nature, he still sins sometimes b/c of the flesh remnant where sin resides, but cannot continue in it because it is in discord with his new nature. When we obey God, we are being who we truly are ("if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation"). The presence of the indwelling Spirit so thoroughly resists sin in the flesh, that a true Christian cannot bear the misery of his "unnatural" and Spirit-grieving behavior and will repent...and continue to repent. The life of the progressively sanctified Christian is one of becoming who we already are on the basis of Christ's blood. This conformance to the image of Christ ("made to be like Him in true righteousness and holiness") throughout one's earthly life time will surely happen in every regenerated person. Praise God!

Love in Christ,

Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

The Man who Would take my Hand and Lead me to the Gallows

The Man who would take my Hand and Lead me to the Gallows (Excerpt from chapter 7 of "The Gospel and the Core of Purity")

     This section is about the man whom I would follow willingly. We know that regardless of the extent to which the God-given authorities in our lives fall short of God’s standard, we are called to obey and honor them in the Lord. So what I will elaborate on here does not convey that I would be free to unrighteously dishonor or disobey a God-given authority. Rather I include what follows to reveal to you an example of what you ought to value and consider as priceless in worth within a man whom you seek to marry. Each Christian woman may have a slightly varying perspective on the “perfect man of God” based on her understanding of Scriptures and knowledge of Christ, and here I will share mine with you. What is described here is a very meager description of a mighty vision I had of the perfect man of God.
     Before I begin, I must present the other question of whether I deserve such a man as I will describe. We know that we deserve nothing, but we have been raised up with Christ and are granted every Spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (Eph 1:3). So there is no telling what God could bless us with. Another aspect is that as suitable helpers, it is very possible that God will use us to increase our husband’s Godliness, and thus we are his aid in achieving the state of holy perfection. As Solomon said, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Prov 18:22)

1.     He must be Regenerated by the Word and Spirit of God and elected for eternal life.
    In a sense, this is my only requirement. The reason why this requirement surpasses my greatest dreams is because God makes glorious promises to all of His elected saints. He promises to do more than all that they ask or think according to His power that works in them, He promises to conform them into the Image of Christ, He promises to remain faithful to them and to enable them to stand firm in faith until the end, He promises to give them greater and greater revelations of His Word, His glory, and His love, He promises that nothing shall separate them from the love of Christ….thus any man who falls into the category of the regenerate would more than exceed my dreams. Why? Because Christ infinitely exceeds my dreams and He dwells and works in each of His regenerated people! Just as God’s plan for me is sovereign and loving, so it is for any regenerate man.

2.     He must not fear men, neither their ridicule nor their admiration, but rather He must live for the honor of His heavenly Father.
     One of the most undesirable traits in a man is his fear of the opinions/regard of other people such that his obedience and boldness for Christ is subdued because of it. And yet there is an exceeding glory that I see in a man who speaks according to the Word of God, who does not flinch with the prospect of his earthly reputation or financial status falling in his obedience to Christ. He must be baptized with the purpose of God and driven by a relentless zeal for God’s honor above his own. This world is not his home and he dwells here as an alien, stranger, and soldier intent on pleasing his commanding Officer (2 Tim 2:4). He administers justice in all situations: the mercy, grace, and Truth of Christ to all. He does not pervert God’s righteousness to seek the favor of rulers. His upright way may be abominable to the wicked, but because he trusts in the Lord, he will be exalted. (Prov 29:25-27)

18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. John 7

3.     He must love God and others in a way that causes him to crucify his flesh and lay down his life.
     His love comes from the love of his Father poured into his heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5). His love is unfailing, forgiving, gracious, selfless, strong, and is manifested in ardent labor on behalf of the people of God and the spread of the Gospel among the lost. He must be willing to open up our home to the needy, the orphans, and the widows. He must not cling to money, but extend a generous hand to all. He must love children and love to teach them the Word of God. He must see the souls of others and let the manifestations of his love penetrate deep into the spiritual needs of the people of God. He must be like me in that he cannot walk through a street of lost people without feeling deep sorrow over the lost and asking God for love and boldness to proclaim the Gospel. His love must not be superficial or worldly, but it must be founded upon Truth. His love may lead to open rebuke and hidden prayer on behalf of those whom he loves.

12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15

4.     He must love the Truth above all else.
     His knowledge of the Truth has set him free and thus he loves the Truth of God’s Word. His love for the Truth, written on his heart, is so strong that he fiercely opposes every pretext that opposes it. His wise discernment and understanding of the core doctrines causes him to identify and gently rebuke sources of error and heresy. He must understand moral depravity, atonement, justification, regeneration, progressive sanctification, and predestination (I do believe that some true believers do not yet understand predestination, but my husband should. He must also understand how God’s grace and kindness leads us to repent [he should have personally experienced this]. He must understand the absolute necessity to pursue love above all else. His desire for the Truth must prevail over his desire to “be right” or to be contained in the comfort of the flesh. When I am wrong and when the Truth would make me go through sorrow, he must still lead me in it. He must command me to take up my cross and follow Christ.  He will proclaim God’s Word to me to wash me from a guilty conscience. He will remind me of my eternal inheritance through the throne of grace.

5.     He must pray.
     He must pray extensively, passionately, and secretly, with me, with our family, and corporately and have a deep personal relationship with Christ. He must understand the cross. He needs to have experienced something of the depth of his own sin and the Father’s grace shown through Christ at the cross.

"He who prays much, studies much, loves much, forgives much and works much, does much for God and humanity."-E.M. Bounds

6.     His power, strength, wisdom, and message are of a Spiritual rather than earthly nature.
    He does not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom in his proclamation of the testimony of God. He determines to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified. He is with the people of God in weakness, fear, and much trembling [before God, not man]. His message and preaching are not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that the faith inspired in his listeners will not rest on man’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Cor 2:1-5) He knows that he is what he is by the grace of God. God’s grace to him does not prove vain, but he labors even more than all of them, yet not him, but the grace of God with him (1 Cor 15). He has no qualms about my intellect, but seeks to lead me with Spiritual wisdom, love, and Truth. He is willing to discuss Scripture and doctrine with me for long periods of time.

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5

7.     His physical attractiveness comes from his wisdom and humility.
     As I have been progressively sanctified, no longer did I regard those physical attributes which the world considers to be handsome. Rather, the mark of humility and wisdom in the countenance, body language, frame, and gait of a man became the signals of physical attractiveness.

 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam. Ecc 8

8.     He must be like a father to me in his Godly commands and loving leading, and yet he will also be like a son to me, receiving motherly tenderness, comfort, and love.
     I have desired fatherly characteristics in my husband and yet, I have longed to be like a mother to him showing him tender affection and comfort. He must instruct me and snatch me out of the flames (Jude 1:23) when I go astray as a father would. He should be compassionate and loving when I am filled with gloom over the sad state of the church (my common reason for gloom). Yet, he must be willing to receive motherly affection, gentleness, endearment, and tender care from me (1 Thess 2:7-8).

33 Answering them, He *said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?”34 Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He *said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3
9.     He must desire to redeem his remaining days with wisdom and the Spirit’s filling.
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit Eph 5

10.  He must not fear persecution and death, but he must be willing and expectant for the persecution which awaits us.

     He must be the man who is so confident in the grace of His Redeemer who saved him on the merit of His own blood that he is not afraid to die. Furthermore, he is willing and eager to be counted worthy to suffer for the sake of Christ. He will exhort me unto this end. He will command me to carry my cross and follow Christ. He would stand between the fire and our family and yet he will take my hand and lead me to the gallows if Christ would so choose for us to die for His sake.

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Tim 3:12

With or without such a man, I will follow Christ, my truest Lover, Lord, Savior, and King.

An Ode to Strict Parents

Priceless Authorities (excerpt from Chapter 7 of "The Gospel and the Core of Purity")

     God has created man in His own image; male and female He created them (Gen 1:27). He is characterized by the Triune nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let us focus on the characteristics of the heavenly Father. Our heavenly Father exercises sovereign and loving authority over His children. His discipline is painful and yet it yields a peaceful harvest of righteousness for His children who are trained by it. As we submit to the Father of our spirits, we are able to live. (Heb 12:5-12) He rescues us from every evil attack. He delivers us out of each temptation through His discipline and restoration. He commands us to remain in His Word and to persevere in His true Doctrine. All of His commands to His children are given in love. All of His judgments and discipline are for the good of His children, to keep them in the faith and in the narrow path that leads to eternal Life. If we truly understood the consequences of sin both here in this world and in the age to come for those who reject Christ, we would worship Him with infinite gratefulness for His authority. When God’s judgments come on the world, the people of the earth learn righteousness (Is 26:9). When we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined by Him so that we are not condemned with the world (1 Cor 11:32).

    In short, a thorough understanding of the heart of our heavenly Father towards us in His discipline and the reasons for and results of His discipline would reveal His glorious love. We would cling to Him and never let go! So, let us consider those authorities whom He has placed in our lives to guard us against impurity. I want to share with you my deepest gratefulness and respect for the God-given authorities in my life. Sadly, I have not always respected and honored the presence of the discipline of the authorities in my life. But now, having been trained in righteousness by it, I would not take away a single word or act of discipline that I have received from my God-given authorities. Though my authorities have not been perfect in their administration of discipline in that at times it was given in anger and irritation, I would not erase any of it from my past.  Rather the sum of my prior discipline is engrained in my mind as priceless strings of pearls used by God is His tender refinement of my character.

He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.Prov 13:24

     I have not always been grateful for the discipline of my parents, but I have come to thank God frequently for it, because I understand in some measure the protection of my soul by my heavenly Father through my earthly parents’ discipline. Throughout my later childhood and early adulthood, I became best friends with my parents. Though periodically we had conflicts over my sin, generally my parents and I were united in our understanding and pursuit of righteousness. When the desires of the parents and children are for Christ’s righteousness, there will be less conflict since the goals and purposes of both are aligned. During the times of conflict, often I considered my parents’ authority to be harsh. I even conveyed to them that I felt hated as a child. Yes, I do regret having felt this way, and God has broken my heart over my former attitudes. I have seen my parents train me in the way I should go, and seen myself resort to their Godly teachings as I grew older (Prov 22:6).

     My parents are considered far more authoritative than many others around us. Their authority and discipline have been spoken of by others as judgmental, legalistic, and graceless. And here, I wish to convey that Anand and I, of all people, have seen the extent of my parents discipline, as harsh as it may have been at times, and we confer that we value all of it as priceless. God has used each piece of it, even the imperfect pieces, to train and mold us, to reveal the extent of our moral depravity apart from Christ, and to lead us to the cross. My parents did not grow weary in doing good, but persevered. As God progressively sanctified Anand and I, they are receiving the harvest of their efforts (Gal 6:9). Did they make mistakes? Yes, and they would admit that. But their harvest of righteousness far exceeds that which would have resulted had they neglected their responsibility as parents. Was their discipline painful? Yes, Anand underwent much Godly sorrow for his life as a result of his father’s dissatisfaction with certain parts of his life. And I went through many crying episodes in the shower as a teenager telling God “everybody hates me…” Even in early adulthood, God has used my parents’ reproof and discipline to humble me when I was on the verge of having a lofty heart, and to shatter my pride over what ought not to be taken pride in. I have come to a point in my heart where, when my parents rebuke me, it still hurts for the time, but deep down I know that God is going to humble me and cause me to repent. He is going to refine my character and make me more like Christ. And thus, I have come to thank God for my parents, and even to long for their rebuke. When we are wise in Christ, we will love those who reprove us. When we are given instruction, we will become wiser still. When we are taught our learning is increased. (Prov 9:8-9) The kind reproof of the righteous is oil on our head; our head should not refuse it (Ps 141:5).

    Currently I have a general routine that I go through when I am rebuked by my parents: When I first hear it, it stings, and I may say some words out-loud to defend myself and feel worse after speaking such. Then I withdraw and acknowledge the depravity of my flesh. The Spirit grants me humility and repentance. Then I plead with God to give me a new heart and spirit and to help me become like Christ. Then I confess my sin to my parents. It is a repetitive process that happens every now and then. I am amazed to see how God is changing me. These days, this process is short-circuited, and the Spirit’s conviction is there at the time of rebuke so that I am granted repentance more quickly. I pray that God will make me more humble and receptive to rebuke and discipline.

    My deep respect is given to every Godly parent, especially fathers, who are strict with their children. Yes, they make mistakes, but God will reward their faithfulness and their keeping good trust with what has been entrusted to them.

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
26 It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man that he should bear
The yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone and be silent
Since He has laid it on him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust,
Perhaps there is hope.
30 Let him give his cheek to the smiter,
Let him be filled with reproach.
31 For the Lord will not reject forever,
32 For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness.
33 For He does not afflict willingly
Or grieve the sons of men. Lam 3


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Unity # 12 and Dad's Note on Giving

Unity # 12: The Called, Chosen, and Faithful are with the King of kings
Theme Song: Whom Shall I Fear
Dear Father,
     I praise You for the joy of Your Spirit which is our strength. The revelation of Your coming judgment brings us unceasing anguish for the lost. We lift up our hands and cry out for Your children who faint at the head of every street. Fill us with Your Word and Spirit. You command us to rejoice in You always. Please increase our underlying zeal for Your glory so that every evil deed will be overridden. You will surely rescue us from every evil deed and bring us safely to Your heavenly Kingdom.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,

     If we had no King, each of us would do what was right in our own eyes, going after futile things which cannot profit or deliver. (Jud 21:25), and yet this self-rightness leads to destruction in the end (Prov 14:12). In desiring another king, our wickedness is great and we reject the only King of kings (1 Sam 8:7, 12:17). As we repent, God tells us not to fear. Though we have committed great evil in desiring another king, we must not turn aside from following the Lord, but must serve Him with all of our heart. The Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great Name, because the Lord has been pleased to make us a people for Himself. We must fear Him and serve Him in truth with all of our hearts, as we consider His great salvation. (1 Sam 12:19-24)

     The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed (Ps 2:2). The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers are gathered together against the Lord and His Christ (Acts 4:26). But God tells us to wait for Him. For a day is coming when He will rise up as a witness. His decision is to gather nations, assemble kingdoms, and to pour on them His indignation and all of His burning anger, for all the earth will be devoured by the fire of His zeal (Zeph 3:8). He is the King forever and ever; nations have perished from His land (Ps 10:16) Who will not fear the King of the Nations, for this fear is due Him. Among the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like Him (Jer 10:7). He is the true and living God and everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes and the nations cannot endure His indignation. (Jer 10:10) At the end, the Kingdom will be handed over to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule, authority, and power (1 Cor 15:24). He will be King over the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only One, and His Name the only One (Zech 14:9).

     God has installed His King on Zion, His holy mountain (Ps 2:6). The gates lift their heads and the ancient doors are lifted up so that the King of glory may come in! This King of glory is the Lord, strong and mighty in battle. (Ps 24:7-8) This King saves us and answers us in the day we call and sits as King at the flood (Ps 20:9, Ps 29:10). His throne is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of His Kingdom (Ps 45:6). The Lord Most High is to be feared and praised as the great King over all the earth (Ps 47:2,6). He is our King of old who works deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth (Ps 74:12). The bird has found a house and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even in the Lord of Host’s altars (Ps 84:3). With trumpets and the sound of the horn we must shout joyfully before the King, the Lord, for His strength loves justice, He has established equity, and He has executed justice and righteousness (Ps 98:6, Ps 99:4). His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and His dominion endures through all generations (Ps 145:13). In the Light of His face is Life, and His face is like a cloud with the spring rain (Prov 15:15). When we are skilled in doing His work of believing Him, we will stand before our King (Prov 22:29). He gives stability to the land by justice, judges the poor with truth, His wrath is like the roaring of a lion, but His favor is like dew on the grass (Prov 29:4, 14, Prov 19:12). He sits on the throne of justice and disperses all evil with His eyes, which are as blazing fire (Prov 20:8). In His wisdom He winnows the wicked and drives the threshing wheel over them Prov 20:26).

     Our eyes will see our King in His beauty and we will behold His far-distant eternal heavenly dwelling (Is 33:17). He is our judge, lawgiver, Holy One, Creator, the First and the Last, Redeemer, and Savior (Is 33:22, 43:15, 44:6). Dominion, glory, and His Kingdom are given to Him so that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language may serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which does not pass away. His Kingdom will never be destroyed (Dan 7:14).

     With a mighty hand, an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, He will be King over His people (Ez 20:33). Because He is among us, we must not provoke Him with graven images and foreign idols (Jer 8:19). For when our eyes have seen the King, the Lord of host, we would cry out “Woe is me, for I am ruined!” (Is 6:5) Through His great salvation He has taken away His judgments against us and cleared away our enemies. He has given us His glory and His garments of salvation (Ps 45:13). He desires His righteous beauty that He Himself has given to us. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son (Col 1:13). Jesus Christ is the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. He loved us and released us from our sins by His blood (Rev 1:5). Because He is our Lord, we bow down to Him. (Ps 45:11) Because He is with us, we will fear disaster no more. (Zeph 3:15) May we rejoice and shout in triumph because our King has come to us, just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey (Zech 9:9). A child has been born to us, and the government rests on His shoulders; His Name is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace. On the throne of David and over His Kingdom, He established and upholds it with justice and righteousness forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. (Is 9:6-7)

     Our only desire is for His Kingdom to come, His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and for our deliverance from evil because His is the Kingdom and power and glory forever (Matt 6:10,13). Soon the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father for He has given them the keys of His heavenly Kingdom; whatever we bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever we loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven (Matt 13:43, 16:19).

     To enter His Kingdom, we must be born of Water [His Word, 1 Pet 1:23, Eph 5:26] and His Spirit (John 3:5) and be converted and become like children (Matt 18:3). To those of His Kingdom, He will call us as blessed of the Father and tell us to inherit the Kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world (Matt 24:34).When we seek His Kingdom firstly, all that we need to serve and honor Him will be added to us (Luke 12:31). The extent to which we love His other people, even the least of them, we are doing unto our King Matt 25:40). We ought not to be afraid, we who are of His flock, because the Father has chosen gladly to give us His Kingdom (Luke 12:31). The Kingdom of God is not built in tangible ways that can be physically observed. For flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable (1 Cor 15:50). The Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17). The Kingdom of God is in our midst, within the hearts of His people (Luke 17:21). This Kingdom does not consist in words but in power (1 Cor 4:20). Christ was born into the world as a King to testify to the Truth. Everyone who is of the Truth hears His voice. (John 18:37)

     We must strengthen the souls of one another, encourage each other to continue in the faith, and tell one another that through many tribulations we must enter His Kingdom (Acts 14:22). These persecutions are a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that we will be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which indeed we are suffering (2 Thess 1:5). We ought to walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls us into His own Kingdom and glory (1 Thess 2:12). For the salvation, power, and Kingdom of God and the authority of Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night (Rev 12:10).
Indeed, He rescues us from every evil deed, and brings us safely to His heavenly Kingdom, to Him be the glory forever and ever (2 Tim 4:18). He has made us to be a Kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Rev 1:6)

     We know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God. We should not be deceived; neither fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, the covetous, drunkards, revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10). We know with certainty that no immoral, impure, covetous, or idolatrous person has an inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God (Eph 5:5).

     To the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim 1:17) The throne of the Son of God is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His Kingdom (Heb 1:8). The song of the Lamb says, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are His ways, King of the nations !” (Rev 15:3). Though His enemies wage war against the Lamb, the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lord and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called, chosen, and faithful (Rev 17:14). He will be our everlasting Light. The nations will walk by His Light and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into His Kingdom. For on His robe and thigh He has a Name written, “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Rev 19:16)

Love in Christ,

May God bless us to be changed from within by the Gospel resulting in generosity towards the cause of the spread of the Gospel and the helping of widows, orphans, and the poor. 

By Moses David:
Could 1 Timothy 6:9-11 apply to organizations or churches?

1 Timothy 6:9-11 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

Unity and Giving are not necessarily good things if the underlying reasons are to be like the rest of the world, self gratification and making a name for ourselves, which will lead to IDOLATRY!

Exodus 32:1-4 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

 1)When they try to make a name for themselves
2)When they try to reach heaven by their own plans
3)When their unity is based on programs rather than upon God
4)When growing becomes more important than God's plan
5)When programs takes precedence over the Great Commission
6)When communication is not enabled by God's Holy Spirit

"One of the greatest crimes of this generation of Christians is its neglect of the gospel, and it is from this neglect that all our other maladies spring forth. The lost world is not so much "gospel hardened" as it is "gospel ignorant," because many of those who proclaim the gospel are also ignorant of its most basic truths. Absent from too many pulpits at home and on the mission
 field are the essential themes which make up the very core of the gospel: justice of God, the radical depravity of man, the blood atonement, the nature of true conversion, and the biblical basis of assurance. In many cases, the gospel message has been reduced to a few creedal statements, conversion has become a mere human decision, and assurance of salvation is pronounced over anyone who prays the sinners prayer. This is a great crime" - Paul Washer

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