You Are My Portion O Lord - Psalm 119h - Heth

Saturday, May 23. 2009
Psalm 119

57 You are my portion, O LORD;
— I have promised to obey Your words.

58
I have sought your face
with all my heart;
— be gracious to me

according to your promise.
59
I have considered my ways and
I have turned my steps

toward your statutes.
60
I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
61
Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.
62
At midnight I will arise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.
63
I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
64
The earth is filled with your love, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

"I am His, and He is mine." Song of Solomon

You are my portion O LORD is perhaps the central and most important theme of Psalm 119. Without the indwelling Spirit of the living God, the declarations, sentiments and prayers of Psalm 119 are unutterable by any mortal man. I don't think it an accident that this same promise was given to Abraham, the father of faith, when God told him, "I am your exceeding great reward." Additionally, when Israel was moving into the promised land and it was being divided among the twelve tribes, the tribe of Levi was not given a specific portion. Rather, it was said,

That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance... Deut 10:9

I have promised to obey Your words... This promise is only worth its salt because of the statement that preceded it. Unless the Lord is our portion... unless the Lord Himself indwells us and makes that commitment to obey through us then the promise is empty and vain. Israel made this same promise after hearing the Law at Mount Sinai for the first time:

The people all responded together, "We will do everything the LORD has said." Exodus 19:8

Though that promise has not been kept by Israel, even up to this day, both Jeremiah and Ezekiel saw a fulfillment of the promise they made in the last days because of a new covenant that the LORD would be making with Israel:

"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit IN you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:26-27

Saul of Tarsus (Paul) is a kind of first fruits example of the fulfillment of this promise. Before he met the Lord, he was certain that he was pursuing God with all his heart, and he was full of his own brand of "law-keeping" zeal. He was working feverishly to stamp out some new strain of heresy that claimed that Jesus of Nazareth had risen from the dead. That is, until he had his own encounter with the risen Jesus: "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?" 

In the light of that confrontation, Saul was able to consider his ways and turn his steps toward the Lord's statutes. In an instant, his entire view of God and the world died a sudden and horrible death. As with Goliath, the Living Stone (Jesus), struck Saul right between the eyes, sunk into his skull, and laid him low in the dust. He was a dead man, and may not have even had time to consider that he was passing from the ranks of the persecutor to the persecuted. Everything he "knew" about God was transformed into dung.

Many of the themes of the great Epistles of the New Testament were written on Paul's heart that day:

"We know that our old self was crucified with Him... " Romans 6
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galations 2:20
"But now a righteousness from God, apart from the Law, has been made known..." Romans 3:21

I will hasten and not delay, to obey Your commands - Mere days after Ananias prayed for Paul and the scales fell from his eyes, scripture says: "At once, he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God." Acts 9:20 You might think that being made guilty of the shedding the Lord's blood would paralyze one with guilt and shame, but in actuality it a necessary qualification for receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit. It is the straight and narrow gate that leads to Eternal Life. Paul went through that narrow gate and came out a NEW kind of man. "Behold! Old things are passed away and all things are become new." By faith Paul was already living in that city where there is no need of the sun "because the Lamb is the light thereof..." Revelation 21:23

At midnight I will arise to give you thanks - Living by the light and life of the Lamb is why Paul and Silas were able to sing hymns at midnight after being severely flogged. That demonstration of the life of God (in the face of harsh persecution) shook the foundations of the earth then, and it will do the same now. Because of what Jesus did at the cross, His resurrection life, which is the gift of the Holy Spirit, is available to anyone who will receive it. "The Word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart".

The earth is FILLED with Your love O Lord! - Jesus did not leave a single sin unpaid for. He tasted death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9) Teach me your decrees. - What remains for us is to be instructed of these truths in every circumstance; to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and the power of His resurrection.

Thoughts on President Obama's "Audacity of Hope"

Wednesday, May 20. 2009

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for... kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying... 1 Tim 2:1-7

"We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood." Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. Acts 5:28-30

Before I make any comments, let me begin with prayer:

Dear Savior (King of kings, Lord of lords, President of presidents),
As we usher in our new American president, we pray for Your protection over his life. Give the man wisdom from above, far beyond his own thoughts and the council of mortal men and women. Help our president to catch a glimpse of things from Your perspective. Save his soul from the curse of trusting in man and give him an ability to live above mere people-pleasing. I am asking in Your mercy and IN the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

I am asking for what seems to be impossible given the words that our new president has spoken up to now. He has been elected by a clear majority of Americans who are hoping for a fresh start. Obama has in fact written a book called "The Audacity of Hope." Hope is a word that is used often in the Bible and there is a natural desire to believe that when a person, especially the likable Obama, uses the word (hope) that he is referring to the same hope that the Bible is talking about.

However, hope is a meaningless word unless it is clearly tied to something or someone in particular. In his first letter, Peter wrote, "set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." This implies that it is common (even for Believers) to have hopes set on something besides the grace (undeserved favor) that comes from God through Christ alone. In another place (Acts 4) Peter said, "There is none other name, given among men, whereby we must be saved." The prophet Jeremiah was so bold as to say "Cursed is the man that trusts in man..."

and

"Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. They keep saying to those who despise me, 'The LORD says: You will have peace.' And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, 'No harm will come to you.' Jeremiah 23:16-17

With all the talk about hope and change that has come from our new President, I have seen a consistent unwillingness to focus that hope for change on the only place where it can bear any legitimate and lasting fruit, and that is squarely on God as revealed in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. That said, I find little reason to expect anything less than an increasing "tightening of the screws" that we have seen in recent years as our nation yields to hoping in an increasing diversity of worthless gods.

As this hope in worthless gods increases, I expect the tolerance for those who hope in the One and Only Living God to decrease. Nothing makes the little "gods" angry like exalting the name of Jesus. Therefore, in the hope of preserving peace, governments will increasingly be tempted to restrict speech that could incite the anger of those who serve these false idols. The problem with this approach is that it underestimates the love of the real God. The perfect love of God is not subject to the fear of a penalty and is more concerned with the well being of those who oppose themselves as they perish clinging to their worthless things and false gods.

For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right... Romans 13:1-3

We should be very careful to show respect to those whom God has set in authority over this nation. But if we are witnesses of His resurrection, then we must obey God and not man, and testify to what we have seen and heard. If we want to be like the first century Christians, we will pray for boldness to testify of the living hope that is in Christ and Christ alone.

Your Decrees Are The Theme of My Song - Psalm 119 - Zayin

Saturday, April 11. 2009
Psalm 119

49 Remember Your Word to Your servant,
- for You have given me hope.

50
My comfort in my suffering is this:
- Your promise has given me life.

51
The arrogant mock me without restraint,
- but I do not turn from Your law.

52
I remember Your ancient laws, O LORD,
- and I find comfort in them.

53
Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
- who have forsaken Your law.

54
Your decrees are the theme of my song
- wherever I lodge.

55
In the night I remember Your name, O LORD,
- and I will keep your law.

56
This has been my practice; - I obey your precepts.


Remember Your Word to Your servant.  - Is it ever necessary to bring God into remembrance of something He has spoken? As another section of this Psalm starts out, "Your Word O Lord is eternal." The heavens and the earth might pass away but God's Word will never pass away. So how is it that this prayer is legitimate? Are there cases where it seems that God has forgotten His Word?

The most striking example of this must be Jesus when He entered into the last days of His earthly ministry: the garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal and desertion of His disciples, the mocking and the merciless beatings and scourgings, and of course the final hours hanging on a cross. Here was the man (the only man) who has truly meditated perfectly on the Word of God day and night and he is suffering as only a pure and innocent man can suffer in the presence of evil.

Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge. There is another Psalm that says, "though I make my bed in hell, Thou art there." We have taken the wrong road that leads to destruction, and God (in Christ Jesus) has run ahead to intercept us and turn us back toward Himself. Scripture says that He tasted death for every man. He has tasted the bitterness of where you and I might be at this very moment. He endured the shame of it for the hope and promise that were set before Him. His hope and prayer is that we might be one with Him, even as He is one (in every way) with His Father.

In the night I remember Your Name O LORD. In the darkest hour, when in anguish He cried, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?", God the Father was in Him reconciling the world unto Himself. There was absolutely no evidence of God's nearness to His flesh or His soul, and yet His purity still trusted in the goodness of His Father. "Into Thy hands I commit my Spirit."

This has been my practice. Jesus had prepared Himself for that moment His whole life. He understood that He was the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. From being born in the dwelling place of animals, to His submission to Mary and Joseph, when He returned to Nazareth with them for 18 years of obscurity, He was practicing for this ultimate hour when, in order to win everything, he had to lose everything.

So, God has not forgotten His Word. He has actually fulfilled it in the midst of allowing the very worst to come to pass to Himself. The real question is what we will do with a God who has committed Himself so utterly and completely to us.


The Demands on a Chosen Nation

Wednesday, January 7. 2009

Written partly in January 2009, when Israel invaded the Gaza strip in order to stop missiles directed at Israel, that were coming from that region.

With the recent military movements of Israel against Hamas in Gaza, Hamas has achieved a public relations victory beyond their wildest dreams. The little rockets that Hamas has been taunting Israel with from months/years have been like bait, luring Israel to do exactly what it has done in recent days: strike back hard. The fact that some Israeli's have been killed or wounded and that a measure of fear has been instilled in Israel's population is simply icing on the cake for Hamas. What they are really working towards is the turning of popular world opinion against Israel. By drawing Israel into striking populated areas it has made huge strides toward obtaining that goal.

It does not matter if Israel is justified in the actions it has taken. God is holding Israel accountable to a higher standard than He has any done for any of the other nations up to this time. They have obtained His unmerited favor and attention. Other nations may (for the time being) retaliate and defend themselves when attacked. Israel may not. God expects, and even demands, that they turn the other cheek. This is because that is what He would do. In fact this is what He has already done in the person of Jesus.

Israel is powerless to do what it must do because it has rejected the only source of the ability to do it: the Spirit and Life of God in Jesus the Messiah. Except for a remnant, Israel, like the rest of the world, is wholly given over to idolatry. Idolatry is simply serving anything less than God as He knows Himself to be. If we listen to and obey any directive other than the pure, unadulterated Word of the living God, it does not matter what we call it. It is idolatry or spiritual adultery. The angelic principalities and powers know when men cease to respond to their lies and when they are no longer bound by the fear of death. These same principalities also know that God has promised to free Israel from this bondage to idols and make them a nation of kings and priests unto Himself.

more to come

May Your Unfailing Love Come To Me - Psalm 119 - Vav

Monday, November 24. 2008
Psalm 119

41 May Your unfailing love
- come to me, O LORD,

42
Your salvation
- according to Your promise;
-
then I will answer
- the one who taunts me,
- for I trust in Your word.

43
Do not take the word of truth
- from my mouth,
- for I have put my hope in Your laws.

44
I will always obey Your Law, for ever and ever.
45
I will walk about in Your freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
46
I will talk about Your statutes before kings and I will not be put to shame,
47
for I delight in your commands because I love them.
48
I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on Your decrees.


I find the first line of this section compelling. Why is it that we must ask for the unfailing love of God to come to us? Immediately the words of Jesus come to mind: "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find..." There is the treasure of God's love that is always available to any of us, no matter what our circumstances, but we must still ask. "Give us this day our daily bread..." Like the manna of old, we may not gather up extra "unfailing love" for tomorrow lest it rot.

I think this is because we are so prone to forget about our Heavenly Father when we feel His favor and find success in anything. God has established a mechanism in each day that is a safeguard to us falling into the temptation of the devil (which is to exalt ourselves above the Most High). It is he (the devil) who taunts us with accusations that we are not worthy to receive the love and salvation of God. Of course this is true and we must quickly agree with our adversary, but our worthiness is not at all a factor in whether or not the unfailing love and salvation of our God come to us. HE has guaranteed its availability in the person and work of His Son Jesus (specifically His death on the Cross). As we become more convinced and more trusting in the surety of this kind of salvation that has nothing to do with our own merits and everything to do with the merits of God's Holy One Jesus, THEN we will answer the one who taunts us.

In verses 43 & 44 we find another interesting contrast. In v. 43 the Psalmist is asking the Lord to help him keep the Word of Truth in his own mouth. There seems to be a concern that he is vulnerable to losing that Word that he confesses. But he has invested everything he has in that Word and in the Laws of God. That Law includes the sacrificial Lamb. It includes the account of Abraham, (the father of believing and trusting) offering up his son of promise as a sacrifice only to be told that God will provide HIMSELF as the Lamb of sacrifice. It is the Law that condemns us to the death of our own abilities, but then gives us the life of God Himself in exchange. So in v. 44 the Psalmist makes this amazing vow to keep the Law of God forever. That kind of vow can only be made in the light of the unfailing love of God coming to him in his deepest uncertainties of his own Law-keeping ability and assuring him that God will move in and be the Keeper in him.

At that revelation the Psalmist bursts forth in praise and begins to exalt in the freedom of who God is. We tend to think of the Law as a constraint, but not him. He has suffered through "the straight and narrow path" and has now found the glorious liberty of the sons of God. He seems to know that he is seated in heavenly places with God, and that he will actually testify to the reality of those heavenly places and even instruct the kings of the earthly.

He has said with Job, "Though He slay me, YET will I trust Him." He now loves the Law that put him to death because it released him into the realm of the very resurrection life of God that will endure for ever and not disappoint.

Listen to the music of Psalm 119f - Vav - May Your Unfailing Love Come To Me


Thy Kingdom Come: The Clash of Two Kingdoms

Thursday, November 20. 2008
Current Events

In this recent story on CBN, I was struck by an observation made by Robert Spencer, author of the book Stealth Jihad. Here is his quote, made (in the accompanying video) about Radical Islam's desire to replace American law with Islamic law:

"Whenever Islamic law and American law or custom collide, it is American law that has to give way and Islamic law that has to be accommodated by American authorities and institutions.

What struck me as the statement was made is that the overriding of American law by Divine Law IS something that WILL happen. Christianity basically says the same thing here:

"EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ IS LORD."

World rule by God is in fact a Divine principle. However, the manner in which the god of Islam plans to accomplish it and the way the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is accomplishing it could not be any different. Islam uses violence, fear and intimidation. It will obtain obedience or it will eliminate those who do not submit. America is helpless against Islam because it has rejected the God that rules through love.

The God of Israel IS the King of kings and yet He is ALSO the Servant of servants. He is so certain of His absolute authority that He governs through humility, patience, long suffering, hope, faith and love. The citizens of His universe have all, without exception, broken His Laws and it has not gone unnoticed. Because of His impeccable integrity He cannot tolerate the injustices that He sees continually from His lofty perspective. On the other hand, His mercy and compassion for our bondage to the those things that destroy us makes demands within Himself to act on our behalf.

The Bible reveals that God took this paradox into account before time began. It calls Jesus "the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world." In the person of Jesus, God resolved the conflict of justice and mercy clashing in His being. Jesus took all the punishment that was due to us and bore it in His own body upon the Cross. In this way the Father became free to lavish His mercy on us by releasing His Spirit to dwell within those who call upon Him in Jesus name.

Since then, God has used those who received Him to be ambassadors of His Kingdom. Mostly, we are those who are foolish and weak. "Not many wise (after the flesh), not many mighty, not many noble" have been able to hear His call. And we are here at the end of the age, when the kingdoms of this world are raging against the ways of this King of kings. Not just Islam, but every way that denies that God has come to earth in the person of Jesus, is rallying it's strength  to resist the God who claims victory out of His ultimate defeat at the Cross.

We who are called by His name, have no other weapons to advance His Kingdom than the ones He used when He graced the earth: truth, mercy, love for His enemies, and a willingness to lay down His life for them.


Widows and Slaves, Employees and Employers

Tuesday, November 18. 2008
Art Katz

This audio message by Art Katz on widows and slaves inspired me to leave these comments at Sermon Index in early 2007 when I heard it for the first time. A year later, after Art had passed on, the transcript was published on the new Art Katz Ministries site and it had a similar effect. As the demands and pressures of my current job have increased in recent months, I have felt the need to listen to it again. I did that tonight and I am reminded of the power and radical nature of the thoughts he and the Apostle Paul have expressed.

In particular, I am struck by the possibility of a bond slave (someone who, in their outward circumstances, is not free to do that which they would prefer to do) being apostolic, or SENT, from heavenly places. This is where the "rubber meets the road," so to speak, or rather where it is openly revealed if we REALLY believe that in Christ we ARE seated in heavenly places, as we are serving our earthly masters/employers.

We see this at work in Christ Himself in the garden of Gethsemane, when He cried out for His Father to take His "cup" away if it were possible, and yet a breath later added, "Not My will, but THY will be done." Jesus was living on earth but was acting from the heavenly fellowship He had with His Father. Jesus was a willing bond slave to the will of His Father. And this is what WE are called to do. Paul says that we are seated in heavenly places in Christ. We may live in this world out of the relationship we have with God in Christ Jesus and this is not possible without truly being apprehended by the Lord. Human determination cannot fake this reality.

While in great physical pain, Jesus was able to be gracious to the thief on the cross next to Him, or to consider the future well-being of His mother, or even to utter a prayer for those responsible for His great suffering because GOD was in Him, reconciling the world unto Himself. Without His Father's initiative and power is was not possible for Jesus, and it certainly won't be possible for us ("by the grace of God Jesus tasted death for every man").

Reggie Kelly's recent article on Daniel (Daniel As A Type Of Godly Remnant) got me thinking about Daniel's long life as a servant to ungodly men. It seems that at about the time he actually began to see some evidence of his impact on one king (at great personal cost), he would be placed at ground zero with some new one. Day after day, decade after decade he served these men AS IF they were the King of kings, and only objected when they claimed that they WERE God. He had no "ministry" to point to as evidence of his devotion to God, and yet God has used him in ministry to generation after generation through the pages of scripture, and perhaps most of all to this LAST generation.

I am often grateful for the 18 years of obscurity that scripture totally overlooks in the life of Jesus himself. Between the ages of 12 and at least 30, we get not a peep about what Jesus was doing, except that He yielded up the religious discussions and debates with the doctors of the law and submitted Himself to Joseph and Mary and went DOWN with them to Nazareth. Not one act of "ministry" as we think of it in religious circles, and yet God said "This is my Son, in Whom I am well pleased," before he performed anything besides this great act of submission to his fallible earthly parents.

So, as I go to work day after day, and the demands on my time and attention to earthly matters seem to increase and not decrease, my only hope is that the God of Daniel is aware of where I am and what I am doing every hour of the day. I am comforted by the awareness that He is extravagant in the amount of discipline He is willing to inflict, or the amount of time is willing to allow to pass before He determines that the fullness of time has arrived for His visible purposes to unfold.

Turn My Eyes Away From Worthless Things - Psalm 119e - Heh

Sunday, November 2. 2008
Psalm 119

33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow Your decrees;
- then I will keep them to the end.

34
Give me understanding,
- and I will keep Your law
- and I'll obey with all my heart.

35
Direct me in the path of Your commands,
- for there I find delight.

36
Turn my heart toward Your statutes
- and not toward selfish gain.

37
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
- preserve my life according to Your Word.

38
Fulfill Your promise to Your servant, - so that You may be feared.
39
Take away the disgrace I dread, - for your laws are good.
40
How I long for your precepts! - Preserve my life in your righteousness.

This portion of Psalm 119 is one long cry for help:

Teach me to follow...
Give me understanding...
Direct me in the path...
Turn my heart toward...
Turn my eyes away...
Fulfill Your promise...
Take away the disgrace...
Preserve my life...

And yet there is a quality about the asking that we often lack in our own prayers to God. I am reminded of Solomon's prayer for wisdom.

7"Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8Your servant is here among the people You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9So give Your servant a discerning heart to govern Your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of Yours?"

10The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your
enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.

The kind of prayer that pleases God must actually be born of God, for nothing short of His own character and glory can give Him pleasure. Solomon gave voice to the heart of God when he prayed for wisdom to lead Israel. And like Solomon, this Psalmist prays not for himself, but for the words and purposes of God to be wrought in his life.

Such utter dependence upon God is expressed here in all these stanzas. There is a clear implication that unless the LORD teaches him His decrees, he will NOT keep them to the end. If the LORD doesn't give him understanding, he will NOT be able to keep His commands or obey with all his heart. If the LORD were not to intervene and turn the psalmist's eyes away from worthless things or turn them toward His statutes, then he would be a helpless slave to those worthless things and would never behold the statutes of the LORD.

In verse 37, the title verse, "Turn my eyes away from worthless things", I am reminded of the New Testament admonition to "Set your affections on things above, NOT on things of the earth... for you are DEAD... and your LIFE is hidden with Christ in God." This kind of talk is totally foreign and incomprehensible to the natural man who only reckons something good if it brings direct benefit to himself here and now.

In verse 38, the writer wants the LORD to fulfill His promise to him because it will bring benefit to GOD, so that healthy fear and respect may come to HIM - "so that YOU may be feared." His prayer might bring benefit to himself, but that is not why he is asking it. And what kind of promise could cause those observing to be moved to the fear and respect of the Lord? The first thing that comes to my mind is the Ten Commandments viewed as the Ten Promises: Thou shalt have no other Gods before me... Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother... Thou shalt not covet... etc. As Ezekiel prophesied, "I will give you MY Spirit and I will write MY Laws upon your hearts." When the lost see another worthless sinner living the life of God, expressing His nature, and delighting to do His will despite the cost, they will know that there is a God who can demand accountability because He has accomplished His will in this lowly vessel.

Finally comes the cry for God to save his life... in God's righteousness. "Preserve my life, in YOUR righteousness." There is no other salvation than God's own righteousness being imparted to the inner being of those who are otherwise lost in the darkness of self. And there is no other way to gaining this impartation other than through the resurrection life of Jesus, who is the express image of God in bodily form. And there is no other way to that resurrection life than through His suffering and death at the Cross. Ultimately, THIS is where the understanding of God's Laws is gained. THIS is where God reveals His great love and the fullness of His statutes and commandments. "A new command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you." THIS is where He removes the disgrace we dread, as PERFECT love (displayed in Jesus at the Cross) casts out all fear.

Listen to the music of Psalm 119 - Heh - Turn My Eyes Away From Worthless Things


The Writings of Reggie Kelly

Wednesday, October 29. 2008
Bible Commentary

Since March of this year, I have had the privilege of hosting the writings of Reggie Kelly on the Zion Christian Press web site. Because of the "Angry, Jealous, Foolish" structure of the site, his writings are relatively difficult to find there. I believe that Reggie's articles and Q and A are precious and priceless insight into the days that are soon to come. May those who have ears to hear be strengthened in the inner man.

UPDATE (07-25-2009): Reggie's content has been moved to mysteryofisrael.org

University Denies Christian School Credits

Tuesday, September 2. 2008
Current Events

This recent story on CBN News caught my attention.

To summarize: a major University in California has begun to deny classroom credits to students who have attended Christian High Schools that use text books teaching Creation and the Inerrancy of Scripture. To make matters worse, the courts have upheld their right to do so.

This development does not bode well for America, as she continues to penalize those citizens she needs the most as her day of judgment draws near. The surprise to me is not that America is moving away from any Christian heritage she may have had, but how rapidly she is doing it.

Scripture says that ALL nations shall gather against Jerusalem (Zech 12:3). That "all" doesn't leave much room for allies, so up until recent years it has been a wonderment how Israel has had such a staunch supporter in the USA. It has seemed as if the US would be by Israel's side through thick and thin.

The news of this aggressive action by a government-run school, serves to raise the red flag of concern for those watching for signs of the last days tribulations. As I see it, Christians in America are the last obstacle to the unrestrained, world-wide assault on Israel and the Jewish people. In WWII Germany, before Hitler could begin seriously thinking about the wholesale annihilation of European Jewry, he had to silence the Evangelical Church. This was done through the regulation of Churches, State-mandated education and later, outright persecution. Interestingly, the next article at CBN is on Germany's recent crackdown on home-schooling there, in an attempt to remove the type of citizen that is sensitive to God's Word.

The anti-christ spirit is becoming more emboldened with each "successful" battle. It brings to mind the words of Daniel:

As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. Daniel 7

The people who know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. Daniel 11
We need to prepare ourselves for such a defeat; begin to anticipate it just as Christ Jesus instructed His disciples about His sufferings that must come to pass. At the Cross, Jesus suffered the greatest defeat of all time. But, in the wisdom and power of God it was turned into the greatest victory. The Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgement in favor of Him, and the time came when He possessed the Kingdom.
He is bringing us into the reality of what He purchased for us at the Cross. We will drink from His cup, as He told James and John, but first we must come to be as concerned about our enemies as Christ was: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Paul puts is this way in 1 Corinthians 4:
11To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.

I will wrap this up with this quote from Hebrews 12:

2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Apparently something happens within us when we consider HIM, and what He endured for us. That consideration of Him refreshes and strengthens the heart so that we will not faint. Therefore, as news of these various "defeats" rolls in, let us remember Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself (as the KJV puts it), so that we may live to gently (yet boldly) proclaim Him to those who oppose themselves and whose eternal fate yet hangs in the balance.