Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thoughts on Revelation 22:11

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

For awhile I have had some various thoughts that tie into this verse and I would like to write a little about this.

There are 2 negative states which God confirms people in because of obstinacy in evil, and 2 positive states into which God confirms the faithful in good.

In a certain sense these 4 states can be linked with 1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Filthiness and righteousness have to do more with our glorifying or not glorifying God in our Body. I think it is abundantly apparent that in our time there is rampant immorality. Those who do not repent will eventually find themselves in a place where they will be confirmed in that evil and unable to change. I do not wish to write too much on righteousness and filthiness because I think these are well understood by most of my readership.

Injustice and Holiness have to do with the spirit. To some it may seem strange that injustice would be a sin of the spirit, but in Hebrews 12:22-24 one of the things mentioned as being at Mount Zion, which is every Christian’s goal, are the spirits of just men made perfect. Also our sense of justice is very much affected by who our god is. Justice is affected by our moral compass and will be in error to the extent that it is aligned to a wrong pole.

The Nazis considered all of their atrocities just, only because they considered their party to be the arbiter of all actions. The communists likewise could do all manner of evil and claim right because they followed their party. They even used the word “honest” in a very peculiar sense, to denote someone who agreed with the party, even if he flip-flopped with the party and was most dishonest in any normal sense of the word.

There are many different poles to which we can align ourselves. People align themselves to what their peers think, what is traditional, what a certain philosophy teaches, or even to a whatever a certain religious authority says (as the Jesuits do). There is, however, only one true pole, God and His Word. Holiness is being joined to God, and having our mind renewed so we see justice as He calls justice.

Many Christians are not like the Bereans who searched the Scriptures to see if what Paul preached was true. Perhaps this very trait is why they never had to receive epistles shortly after their founding as the Thessalonians did. The Apostle Paul had to counteract falsehood with the Thessalonians almost immediately, apparently some of the errors were found in a letter that was thought to have come from him (2 Thess. 2:2). People who do not search the Scriptures for themselves are easily deceived.

I am an avid fan of history and once was perusing a certain book on military mistakes in a book store. I don’t remember the title of the book, but I do remember the one small section I read. It was about the American bombers during World War II and how at that time they had missions go off course, and even some planes run out of fuel, because they did not do their own navigation. Often there would be around 20 bombers together in formation, the 2 lead bombers would be doing all the navigation. If something happened to both of those bombers, one instance of which was related in the book, then these bombers would have to figure out first where they were, and then try to make corrections. By the time one group which had lost its lead planes figured out where it was, it was too far off course to reach its intended target, and ended up deciding to bomb somewhere else. Another similar instance cost the lives of one bomber crew who ran out of fuel in North Africa, and ended up dying of thirst in the desert only to be found years later by oil workers.

As Christians we are to follow the leaders that God places over us, but not in a servile fashion. They set the course and direction God speaks to them. It is then our job to search scripture and listen to the voice of God so that we are sure we are heading in the right way. If our leader falls away, but we are anchored in God’s Word, we can carry on. However if we are relying on that leader for all our spiritual input, we will either follow him in his fall, or else wander aimlessly until we crash.

I have heard people when considering choices of action make their decisions based on how their denomination or fellowship will view it. This too is a false pole. While as Christians we need to be part of a body and the disapproval of others in that group could be because we are in error, we cannot escape individual responsibility for our actions. When we stand before God as individuals and He queries us concerning something we have done, we will not be excused merely because what we did was considered fine in the eyes of our denomination.

God’s call to the Levites was to let their Urim and Thummim be with the Holy One (Deut.33:8). In other words to let their judgments be in accordance with the Law and inner witness of the Spirit of God. This is the only true pole to which we must align ourselves, because this is the standard by which we will all be judged as we stand before God.

Unto Him be glory in the Church!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Keeping Busy

For anyone wondering what I’ve been up to the last few weeks, I give a brief synopsis. Two days were spent putting up the supports for a church roof, the actual roofing will be done later. Several afternoons were spent helping with our housing projects, putting hinges and latches on the shutters, and fitting locks on the doors. Miscellaneous mornings and afternoons were spent drilling holes in the window frames and then pounding in metal burglar bars and painting said bars as well as doors, door frames, etc.
This morning I replaced our earth leakage which had been giving us some trouble. When we lose electrical power (about every other night recently) it trips when the power comes back on. Furthermore it tends to stay down. At first it was just a minor occurrence, but two nights ago it stayed down and refused to come up. We flipped all the switches down and it still refused to budge. Since we realized that the earth leakage was an the way out we decided to remove it and bypass it until we could replace it. Removing it took all of a minute (keep in mind this was all done at 8:00 in the evening by candle and flashlight). However fixing the neutral bar which had become dislodged when trying to free one of the neutral wires and rigging up a joint from the neutral bar to the neutral wire coming from outside took toil and sweat (thankfully no blood) and a good 45 minutes. This morning I installed the new earth leakage without too much hassle and we are up and running.
We start Bible School again on the 7th of October. Between preparation for that and housing projects we will be pretty busy. As a result I may not be getting online very often.
There is a possibility of our getting internet in our home, for at least certain hours of the day. The only snag is that the particular equipment we need is currently out of stock. The company should have more, but we don’t know when they said maybe next week so we’ll have to see.
We recently added another village to our orphan feeding program. There was one widow with several children that requested help. Mom went to see the situation. We agreed to help her. The next day several other people from that area who had seen Mom on her journey showed up at our gate asking for help. It has been about 2 weeks and we now have 60 families from that area that we are assisting to various degrees.
I hope to write another Scripture study soon, but as of right now I have no idea on what I’ll write. So until then…

Monday, September 15, 2008

Psalms of Ascent Part 15

Psalm 134:1 A Song of degrees. Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
Psalm 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
Psalm 134:3 The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

This Psalm is a fitting close to the Psalms of Ascent. Our journey consists of making our way up to the sanctuary of the Lord. Going to His very dwelling place and abiding there, not just visiting.
What are those who dwell in the sanctuary of the Lord (who are there at all hours) encouraged to do? Bless the Lord! It is always appropriate to bless the Lord. From the very start of our Christian walk we have more than enough reason to bless the Lord For His mercy, His grace and His sacrifice. As we walk on with Him we only gain more reasons to bless Him.
When our earthly journey is complete and we join the throngs of heaven we will still be blessing the Lord. Even more amazingly, as we bless the Lord, the God of all creation, He acknowledges it and returns a blessing upon us. Think of it, the God of the whole universe humbles Himself to notice your blessing of Him, and responds. God’s utter humility is shown fully in His allowing Himself to be moved by the prayers and blessings of His own creatures. It is somewhat like an elephant taking notice of and responding to an ant.
This Psalm gives us an eternal picture, because long after the stars have vanished and the sun has faded and the moon dissolved, we will still be blessing the Lord and be receiving of His infinite goodness in return. Praise the Lord!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Psalms of Ascent Part 14

Psa 133:1 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psa 133:2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
Psa 133:3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

This psalm is a psalm of David which brings out the blessedness of unity. In order to better understand this Psalm, it would be good to look at the circumstances which preceded it. David had been a fugitive from King Saul, and had only a small band with him. However, God had promised David the kingship. When Saul died, David should have become king. Saul’s general, Abner, knew this, but instead set up Saul’s son Ishbosheth.

Saul represents a leader who had the anointing and lost it because of disobedience. Abner portrays an unsanctified leader that is very gifted and uses his gifts to promote a human rather than divine agenda. Ishbosheth is a bit of an enigma - a man who neither had any apparent charisma, or great military ability, nor did he have any promises from God. (He was only on the throne because of the intervention of Abner). He had absolutely nothing to offer God’s people; he was simply Saul’s heir. Yet, for the next seven years, the ten northern tribes followed Ishbosheth; Judah followed David (2 Samuel Chapters 2-4).

This certainly has some parallels to our time. In the past century there have been many big names, some of whom like Saul, have departed from the true anointing. Others are like Ishbosheth who claim the mantle of their father, but who lack the anointing and the call.

However, the story does not end here. For seven years it seemed as though there would always be division, but then God began to remove the obstacles. In 1 Chronicles 12, it gives a list of the armies of the various tribes that God stirred up to support David. In verse 38, it says, “All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.” In these men and in all of Israel there was only one desire - that David would be king.

In our time there have been many different leaders who have sought to have the hearts of God’s people, but the day is coming when there will be one King and one alone. Jesus will reign over His own people. In the book of Revelation, two churches are seen, the false church and the true. The false church has sold itself for worldly applause and wealth. The true church, however, is made up of those who are whole-hearted for the Lord.

Even as there was war for seven years between the various tribes, there has also been infighting among believers. However, when God moves, there will be a supernatural unity among those who belong to the true church. This may seem impossible now, but how likely did David’s coronation look just before it happened? God will remove Ishbosheths and Abners and raise up a group of men and women who will follow only Him. They will have one heart and one mind that Christ should reign in His Church (Isa 52:8).

It is at this time that the church will begin to experience the blessedness of Psalm 133. The anointing oil on Aaron shall run down from the head (Christ) to cover even the toes. Every member of Christ ‘s body will have the soothing anointing which will ease tension and friction and help us all to exalt Christ. May God hasten that day!