Reflections upon the meditation writing prompts from the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.  As follows:

(All of these essays have been collected from writings composed starting on Saturday 9/29/18, and continuing on up into the present, and this study is currently ongoing daily.  All essays from before 12/14/18 have yet to be added to this collection in type-written form, and they will be included at a later date.)

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises: 4-13/19-5/20/19, with a 3-day break before the final week

 

Saturday 4/13/19

Week 4/1: Day 1

Luke 24: 1-12.  The discovery of the empty tomb.  What might have been my response if I had been the one to make the discovery?  Would I have believed?

 

“Last Regret, First Responder, True Believers”

 

52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

(“In two shakes of a Lamb’s tail…” with this fear response, is an alert made to the flock, and before the very eyes of the Shepherd, the sheep shall indeed be made to scatter.  What was it that was said?  Was it a warning that the enemy, the antichrist, is near?  Therefore shall the Lamb be made to tremble, and at the twitching of its tail, the sheep shall indeed be made to scatter, as behold, all things are made new!)

 

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:4-5).

And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest” (Luke 24:8-9).

11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not” (Luke 24:11).

 

As the women find that the stone is rolled away from the sepulchre, they enter in, and find the tomb empty.  The body of Jesus is not there.  The tomb is empty and they body of the Lord Jesus is missing.  These women, who had come with spices with which to adorn His body for burial, stand baffled and perplexed for hardly a moment before a vision of angels appears unto them, unto all of them, as two men “in shining garments” (Luke 24:4).

“Shining garments”—shining in an unearthly and dazzling brilliance, “like the white of Jesus’s garments in His Transfiguration upon Mount Tabor,” that is a foreshadowing of His Resurrection; two men in shining garments—shining in this manner, in the manner of halos and the light of God, and not in a dazzling array to be known of any of mere mortal man; two men in shining garments such as this say to the women, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:4; Matthew 17:2; Luke 24:5).  “He is not here, but is risen…” (Luke 24:6).

These were the company of Jesus’s fellows, these were Jesus’s closest comrades and most intimate friends, these were the truest and most loyal of Jesus’s followers and disciples.  As the woman recount their encounter with the eleven and the rest, “…their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not” (Luke 24:11).

These were the people who had been continually with Jesus, and had repeatedly witnessed His miracles and had firsthand bore witness of His teachings, day in, day out; these were the people with whom Jesus was most familiar, and these were the people who were most familiar with Him.  They knew the Scriptures, they knew Jesus, they saw the miracles He performed, and they professed a faith in Him and His teachings.  But, when push comes to shove, and it is either sink or swim, yes or no, do any of them measure up?  Are any of them “to be likened to the man who builds his house upon a rock, upon a foundation that shall yet stand, in being men who not only hear His teachings and commands, but in being men who in hearing them, also so do them?” (Matthew 7:21, 24-27).

Blessed is Mary,” exalted above all other women, “who so heard the will of God, and indeed obeyed” (Luke 1:28, 38; Luke 11:27-28).  Blessed is she in her faith, for hearing the will of God, and so obeying; “Let it be done unto me,” unto the birth of our Savior, and the Son of God—”blessed is she who as she is told also believes”—she who hears the will of God and performs the works thereof (Luke 1:38, 45).

Blessed is she who is suffered not to behold her most holy Son, a regret of the holy Son that she had beheld Him, upon the Cross, but is instructed rather to behold a son in “the disciple whom Jesus loved”—and from that hour he takes her into his home (John 19:26-27).  Blessed is she who is suffered not to behold her suffering Son in His Dark Night upon the Cross—blessed is she, for she hears the will of God and so obeys.  Any last regrets?  Just one.  Just that one.

This company of women and His Apostles, or the eleven remaining of His Apostles, even these chosen as the best of men in the “least of these,” as the most humble and obedient to God’s will, and willing rather that He should be the dazzling Light within them, rather than themselves, even these chosen… (Matthew 25:40, 45).

These least of these in their own glory, renounced as it were, for the sake of being the light-bearers of the Light of Christ and the glory of God instead—even the greatest of men to be had from those with the least of themselves and of man and of sinful human nature within them, even these, upon hearing of the vision of Mary and the women—“11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not” (Luke 24:11).  And for this reason, their castle and their foundation shall not stand—for only upon the Rock that is Christ “can a house in Heaven be built,” and “upon no other foundation” or doctrine of teaching will these doings so take hold, in God’s heart, or in God’s eternity (John 14:2; 1 Corinthians 3:11).  Therefore, their foundation shall not stand any more than a stone shall be made to cover the entry of the sepulchre, the tomb wherein the body of Jesus is laid.  The foundation shall be moved and the stone shall be rolled away, but Jesus in the Father, the Lord our God, the Word of God, with God, and in God, “shall not be moved” (Psalm 46:5).  “Heaven and earth shall fall away, but the Lord our God and the Word made flesh in Christ shall not be moved” (Matthew 24:35).

Because even the greatest of man, in bearing the most of God and the least of self, believed not these women, because even the best of them measured not up to the letter of the law nor to the Spirit of the Faith in the least of these, Jesus’s brethren, before the Assumption of His most holy chosen Mother, therefore shall “the Lord yet do a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19).

“Behold thy mother; woman behold thy Son”; “behold a new Heaven and a new Earth!” (John 19:26-27; Revelation 21:1, 5).  For “in the coming of the wrath of the Lamb, who indeed shall stand,” when even His closest disciples believed Him not (Revelation 6:16-17)?  “No foundation shall stand but the Rock that is Jesus the Christ,” and “whosoever shall build upon this foundation, this Rock of the ages, shall yet stand” (1 Corinthians 3:11, 10-23; Matthew 7:21-27).  As none of the greatest of men in the least of these, His most devoutly believing disciples….

“Look, I am doing something new,” and in an instant, in two shakes of a Lamb’s tail, “in the twinkling of an eye, although we know not how, we shall all be changed” (Isaiah 43:19; Revelation 21:5; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).  Behold, a new Heaven and a new Earth, as it is turned upon its Head, and St. Peter’s Cross is turned once again upright (from his own most humbly requested, “upside-down crucifixion”), in the strangest of changes; in the turning of tables.  The world is toppled over upon itself, and, “Behold, a new Heaven and a new Earth!” (Revelation 21:1, 5).  As “we have all been changed, and we know not how,” this much we do know—that we do yet stand, that we shall yet be found standing, and that Christ Jesus is indeed now here, and somehow, He has been made; beneath us, amongst us, and unbeknownst to us; our Foundation (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

 

References:

  1. Psalm 46

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God,
the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:
God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved:
he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;
he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;
he burneth the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

  1. Isaiah 43:18-21

18 Remember ye not the former things,
neither consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing;
now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert.
20 The beast of the field shall honour me,
the dragons and the owls:
because I give waters in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my people, my chosen.
21 This people have I formed for myself;
they shall shew forth my praise.

  1. Matthew 7:21-29

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

  1. Matthew 17:1-9

17 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

  1. Matthew 24:32-35

32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

  1. Matthew 25:31-46

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  1. Luke 1:26-45

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

  1. Luke 11:27-28

27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

  1. Luke 24:1-27

24 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. 12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23 and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

  1. John 14:1-4

14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

  1. John 19:25-27

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

  1. 1 Corinthians 3:10-23

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

  1. Revelation 6:12-17

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

  1. Revelation 21:1-8

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

 

Sunday 4/14/19

Week 4/1: Day 2

Tetlow’s “Entering the Joy of the Lord.”  Can I enter fully into the light of the risen Christ?  Or do I experience shadows?

 

Title: “What is Joy and Why it is not Pleasure”

Also, “What’s in a Name?

 

“Jesus now lives in a human condition without any precedent” (Tetlow, S.J.).

“But how does the Christ manifest His true Self?  Is it in ways that most of humankind expect?  Does it limit, or enhance, the freedom of those around?  Does Christ manifest His true Self differently to different disciples?” (Tetlow, S.J.).

“If you do not follow Him into His joy, you will ultimately find it hard to believe that you are following Him at all” (Tetlow, S.J.).

 

I find it difficult to believe that joy, as in the joy that is the “fruit of the Holy Spirit,” wrought in virtue through patience and perseverance, is the same concept of joy or happiness in the way that most people define it (Galatians 5:22-23).  I believe that Christ does manifest Himself differently to different people, and that the path and calling that He has set out for each of us, in the will of God, is accordingly different for each of us, based upon our own particular gifts and unique patterns of strengths and weaknesses.  Just as, “Jesus now lives in a human condition without any precedent,” so too does He have the ability to manifest Himself to us in ways that have no precedent, and so too may our life in Him—for, as true Christians, “there is no life save for the new life in Christ that is free from all sin”—be experienced in ways without precedent (Tetlow, S.J.; Romans 8:2-6; 1 Corinthians 15:56).  Christ made a common practice of turning the tables on people’s expectations when He was here 2,000 years ago, and He has made a fine art out of overturning our expectations now as well, as He is still at work in our world and in our hearts.

Christ Jesus is still pulling the strings behind the scenes, of this veneer and façade that is the material world and a merely physical or sensory existence, and He is just beneath the surface of our minds and internal workings as well, playing a role, often unbeknownst to us, in both our consciences and our states of consciousness.  Christ behind the scenes and beneath the surface, of both our temporary, fleeting world, and our God-given spirits, hearts, and eternal souls, is just as alive today as He ever was, Risen and Resurrected, condemned and Crucified, passed on to Heaven and passing through Hell, whether we wish to acknowledge Him or not.  And just as each person’s own unique and individual path and calling in life is different, so too is our experience of Christ accordingly different, as He manifests Himself to us in unique, unexpected, and unprecedented ways, to accompany, console, lead, and enjoin us to Him, in the will of God, in each of our own unique and individualized journeys; from, to, with, and in, Him.

In this path of Christ, which is so different for each different person, as according to the unique traits and states of that person and the will of God, what we follow is Christ—Christ Jesus.  Jesus is a Person, a Man, the Son of God and therefore a divine being consubstantial with God the Father, the path of our journey ahead, the light needed show us the way and get us there, and the prudence and discernment needed to direct our own gifts of grace, and our capacity to carry and exert in our wills and hearts the divine love of and for God; which love is the fuel, and eternally-burning and enkindled embers and spark of the divine life, that is the love of God, needed to motivate and maintain and carry us forth in our journey home, back to our Creator, as we so adhere to, and abide and reside in, this path laid out in Christ.

Just as Christ so manifests Himself differently for each different person as is so needed for each person’s own different and unique path and calling, so too is the experience of joy to be experienced differently in each of us.  And as we do indeed “refuse the carnal lusts of the flesh and the sins of the world, disdaining to be caught up in thereof, so it follows that the joy that we do indeed know and partake of, is accordingly different from the pleasures of the flesh and the comforts or consolations to be found in the world” (Romans 8:5-8; Galatians 5:16-26).

As Christ was “sown in the flesh but arisen a Spirit,” so too as we apply our spirits to His Spirit, of Holiness—the Spirit of God—are we accordingly strangers to the world and the comforts of the flesh, so that when we do so find rest and peace, it is a joy that was; as we were formerly alive in the body more so than in the spirit; it is a joy that was, formerly unknown to us, and so our experience of it now is unexpected, without personally-experienced precedent, and just as we are to the ways of God that is “a new life in the Spirit; this joy, it is indeed accordingly new to us” (1 Corinthians 15:42-50; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17).

We are given a new life in the Spirit of Christ, by virtue of our entire absence from the flesh and the indulgence in the pleasures thereof, or indeed the carnal comforts to be had in and of the world; indeed, to the exact extent that we both detach from the world and attach to God; to the extent that we both forsake and disencumber ourselves from and maintain the spirit of detachment from the world, while at the same time remaining solid rather in our faith, and steadfast in our hope, towards God, and only God, as is true to the path of Christ; indeed to this extent—that we let go of our bodies to claim our souls, are we “alive in Christ and in spirit and dead to the world and crucified to ourselves” (Galatians 5:24-25).

It is to this extent, that we live in and for Christ, homeward-bound and God-wardly driven, forsaking ourselves and “renouncing all earthly attachments to the world, it is to this extent that we come to know both God, and what true joy is; as not according to the standards of man and the comforts of happiness as it is traditionally defined,” as experienced by “those alive in the world, entertained by the pleasures thereof, and at rest in themselves”; but rather, this new joy, this true joy, is like no happiness we have ever known, nor like any “joy” to be experienced “by those at home in the world,” who experience it as an emotional or physical state of carnal, or bodily-derived, pleasure; or sensory or emotional gratification that is more accurately and appropriately termed, “sin,” if not merely a pathway of temptation leading to it (1 John 2:15-17; John 17:13-16).

But no, rather, this new joy of “rest in God and an absence from fleshly joys or emotional highs, is an enduring joy of the spirit,” a humble contemplation, a meekness of an enchantment, entranced as it were, in meditation upon God, and a divine mystical union of our souls and spirits intertwined, with the Spirit of Holiness and of God (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).  This new joy, is called joy, but it is not joy, because the experience we describe does not correlate to or correspond with any other sort of experience which we have formerly called “joy.”  This joy is not happiness, or pleasure, or gratification of the wants and needs of the self, in its own body or its human world.  This joy, that is a God-given gift of the Holy Spirit, is truly grace, and it is the human spirit translated into the divine, into the Spirit of God.  It is “the absence and neglect and mortification and forsaking of self, rather than its gratification or indulgence,” and it is this emptying, this kenosis, this “personal and spiritual pain and agony,” this pathway into the Passion of Jesus, this absence of self or self-forgetting, that “allows this faculty of the soul to be filled instead, with God,” as we become in our minds, hearts, souls, spirits, “and indeed in our bodies too, temples and houses of God” (Romans 8:7-13, 18, 22, 25-27; 2 Corinthians 5:1-9; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20).

Real joy, is rather more aptly termed, human misery; for when the self is forsaken and renounced and dead to the spirit, then is the spirit itself, in all its grace and purity of God and His divine light, truly and fully alive; alive as it is meant to be, in His Spirit.  The glory of God is true joy, and the glory of God within this temple of my soul, is the misery of man.  Therefore, in Christ, true joy is not what we thought it was, and the true joy of God, is to be had in bearing the pain and the Passion and the Cross of Christ.  We are “crucified to ourselves,” “TO BE”; to be, to bear, to behold; the glory of God; to be, as if to be in and of, the one Who first said, “I AM”; “I am that I am,” as if to say, “to be or not to be” (Galatians 5:22-25; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Genesis 32:29; Exodus 3:13-15; Shakespeare, 1603)?  How shall I not be?  How shall I not be indeed, for most simply, I AM.

 

After all, “what’s in a name?” (Shakespeare, 1597).  And by whose mother or father is a name given?  By Whom is a name given, indeed.  He Who is Father of all, just might have to make up His own name.  Alas, “It is what it is,” and so it is thus, that I Am, “THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14).

 

References:

  1. Genesis 32:24-32

24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. 31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. 32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.

  1. Exodus 3:13-16

13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:

  1. John 17:13-26

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

  1. Romans 8

8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. 1 Corinthians 6:5-20

I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:10-58

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

  1. 2 Corinthians 5

5 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. 13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. 14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

  1. Galatians 5:16-26

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

  1. 1 John 2:15-17

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

  1. Hamlet, 1603, by William Shakespeare

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;”

  1. Romeo and Juliet, 1597, by William Shakespeare

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

 

Monday 4/15/19

Week 4/1: Day 3

Tetlow’s “The Risen Lord Goes to His Mother.”  How do I see the relationship between Jesus and His mother?  How does that relate to my faith?

 

Title: “The Assent of Mary and the First Point of Unity: From Humanness, to Humanity, to Divine Spiritual Union”

 

Alternate Title: “Spiritual Food and Mother’s Milk: The Rooting Reflex of the Soul, and the Consolation of the Holy Spirit”

 

(Abstract: An outline of the progression of spiritual understanding, using as a conceptual model a platform with three basic and fundamental levels; starting with humanness, and then moving on to humanity, and then finally ascending to divine union with God, in the Holy Spirit.  The progression from unity in the spirit of man, to unity in the Spirit of God, is described.)

 

It is assumed that, “Straightway, He goes to His mother, the Lady Mary” (Tetlow, S.J.).

 

“The Resurrection of our Lord—The First Apparition:  First Point.  He appeared to the Virgin Mary” (St. Inigo de Loyola, as cited in Tetlow, S.J.).  St. Ignatius of Loyola argues that although it is not explicitly mentioned in the Scriptures that Jesus appeared to His mother, it is to be assumed, at the most common level of human understanding, that He would necessarily have appeared to His mother first.

I agree with St. Inigo’s positing that Jesus would have first appeared to His mother, as it seems common sense at the level that it almost should “go without saying.”  At this common level of humanity, as we are all united in our human nature through our empathy and compassion cultivated through a Christian living out of “the human experience,” we all find common ground in our shared experiences of what might be Jesus’s feelings and motivations, and whom might He feel drawn towards to visit and console first, upon His Rising and Resurrection.

By virtue of our empathy, our unity at this most humble level of, not just humanness—in all its wretchedness and sin, but veritable humanity—in all its understanding, empathy, and compassion—at this most humble “First Point” of the most fundamental level of common ground that is the “lowest common denominator” by which we may all feel united and drawn together—that is the common sense of humanity’s empathy and compassion, at this “First Point” posited by Loyola, as revealed to Him by His understanding, is the rallying point upon which we might all so “assent,” or concede to agree.

For at the lowest level of mere humanness, without the added benefit of its associated qualities of empathy, compassion, or empathic concern, there is no unity, or “First Point” of coming together, but only division, competition, and the striving towards self-preservation; as unity is only upheld at this level ostensibly, and to the extent that it first benefits the individual, in the individual’s own selfish and self-based, lowest-level instincts, towards survival and self-preservation, and then proceeding on in this manner, towards self-advancement, personal gain, and ultimately, reaching to arrive at some sort of personal esteem or attainment, as deriving an ego-based and selfishly pursued individual benefit, from any incidental, or merely instrumental, so-called “unity.”

Just as with Mary’s holy “fiat,” or her assent and agreement with the will of the Lord, that, “As you have said, let it be done unto me,” or “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done according to thy word”; indeed, just as with Mary’s spoken and willing agreement with and assent to, known in Latin as “her holy fiat,” the will of God, the will of God is our ultimate altar of Communion, gathering place for God’s faithful, and Church of assembly for the people of Christ (Luke 1:38).  So too, at the most basic level of shared human experience, is the love of a mother, as the care known by a child from the very womb on to the physical love shown in nursing—so too “this concept of a mother’s love and a child’s irresistible, or undeniable and imprinted by nature and early imprinting or developmental experiences, as it were; so too, is this natural and irrefusable  bond between a mother and child a rallying point,” or “First Point,” around which we may all gather and commune (Matthew 15:3-6).

It is around this “First Point” that we may not only gather and commune at the level of our humanness, at its most base level while it is still drenched in sin, but also may we gather here as we are elevated to our more humane level; and then too may we begin to commune around this “First Point” at the starting level of virtue, that is the humanity of our humanness, as we wean ourselves off from the inordinate attachments of sin that keep us in bondage and fettered to our more primordial and primal phase of mere humanness.  As we let go out our sin, we can indeed come together in truth, as in true, compassionate, caring, considerate, Christian unity, if from this starting level, of the virtue in human nature.

And indeed as we move on from mere humanness to embrace and embody the mercy and compassion, as like symbolized by “mother’s milk” at our “First Point,” that is immersed into us in our humanity, we may then ascend past our last vestiges and attachments to habits or practices still bearing a semblance to sin, to proceed on and claim our prize, redeem our souls (in the Spirit of Christ), and land upon our loftier common ground, as a rallying point at the level of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

As we transcend from the sinful stages of human nature, and proceed beyond mere humanness (and not divinity), as human nature in its raw form, with all of the ravages of wickedness and sin alongside any elements of goodness and virtue to be desired, we go to the next level of the platform.  We proceed on into humanity, as we claim the virtues and forsake the sins that are inborn into our nature, and which drag us down from the path of perfection to which God’s will would have us ascend.  Finally, at a third level of the platform, of our gathering place, Church, and altar of communing and Communion, we may let go of all that clings to the humanness within us, and wholeheartedly and wholly disencumbered from the attachments of worldly ways that are attachments to sin, we may finally be true to our professed Faith, and take hold of life in the Spirit.  We do indeed take hold of true life and new life, as according to our Faith, in the Holy Spirit, but it is rather and more aptly put—God that takes hold of us now; as we grasp after Him for so long, as “like an infant’s rooting reflex in the heart,” only to find ourselves finally and at last completely immersed, by a fiery baptism, in Divine Union with Him (Matthew 15:7-9).

From this divine starting point, of Union with God, can a true unity among man be known, that is beyond even that “First Point” of common sense, at the most basic and common level of human experience; and from this more elevated extension of the “First Point” of a mother’s love, we may now be brought into unity with each other, not through the spirit of man and of humanness or humanity, but through the Spirit of God and His perfect will in His divinity.

As we grasp upon God and as He, in turn, takes hold of us, we have weaned ourselves thoroughly of the comforts of the world and of the flesh, in order to grasp onto something better—something infinitely better, and more fulfilling, and “truly nourishing,” as nourishing to our souls and spirits (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:12-14).  We grasp onto something better, and we are bound in a new unity, at the common level of understanding that is not shared in our humanness, but in our divinity, and we “claim our divine heritage in God as our Father,” as we receive the promise of His Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14-17).

We are united now, not in mortal human understanding that caters to and panders to and suckles our baser, lower nature, but we are now united in a spiritual understanding, that surpasses any understanding to be had by man or by mortal means alone.  By the grace of God, we now firmly plant our feet by faith in Heaven, and “the mouth of our souls” upon that “sweet milk of consolation” that is the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling in our souls, within our hearts (Matthew 15:10-11; 1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-14).  In this soul’s embrace and the Spirit’s kiss, as like with “a click of the tongue,” we are “rooted now in the Father and in our souls, and not in the vanity of our egos or the dust and ash of self and sin” (Matthew 13:20-21).  Now, planted in Heaven and rooted firmly in God, we ourselves may be those branches of the “True Vine”; we may be that outstretched arm; that offered hand; that extended welcome; that exposed breast to a starving infant; that is the symbolic offering of a mother’s milk of compassion, and of “the charity of God in His perfect love, in lovingkindness, infinite compassion, and free-flowing divine mercy”; so freely is it given to all His grasping and rooting children; “…as revealed unto babes…” (John 15:1-10; Matthew 15:15-20; Matthew 11:25; 1 Corinthians 3:1-2; Hebrews 5:13).  I thank Thee O Father!

In the “unity of the Spirit,” is man united at his best, and in the Holy Spirit’s understanding, grasped upon like a rooting infant seeking out and searching for the divine milk of his holy mother, we are all brought low, upon this highest platform of all, that is true humility, and in one and the same shared Holy Spirit, in true equality, under God (Acts 1:14; 2:1-4).

 

References:

  1. Matthew 11:7-30

And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17 and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

  1. Matthew 13:18-24

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

  1. Matthew 15:1-20

15 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men

10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11 not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

  1. Luke 1:26-38

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

  1. John 15:1-17

15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

  1. Acts 1:12-14

12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphæus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

  1. Acts 2:1-4

2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

  1. Romans 8:9-30

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

  1. 1 Corinthians 3

3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

  1. Hebrews 5

5 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 10 called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

 

Tuesday 4/16/19

Week 4/1: Day 4

John 20:11-18.  Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene.  Mary Magdalene thought she had lost Jesus forever, but He came to her and she was able to reclaim her relationship with Him.  Have I ever had such an experience?

 

“The Piagetian Concept of Accommodation, and Old Wineskins with New Wine”

16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved” (Matthew 9:16-17).

 

For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead” (John 20:9).

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:24-25).
31 but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31).

 

These disciples of Jesus find it difficult to believe all that He has taught them, and all that is written in the Scriptures of Him, and indeed, all that God has called them forth to believe and so do.  These disciples and friends of Jesus witnessed over and over again His works of the Father—His miracles of healing, His raising of the dead with Lazarus, restoring the sight to the blind, cleansing the sick, driving out demons, providing food for the multitudes with the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and many other works and signs besides, as miracles of the Father, so that this cold and unbelieving people might believe.

For this nation of people, had taken His commands and precepts and holy Word in the Scriptures, and “had assimilated them, these Commandments, into their own culture and customs, rather than accommodating this Word of God by changing their own ways and schemas to fit into His teachings” (Matthew 15:4-9).

As Jesus had said, “one does not put new wine in old wineskins, or both are ruined, nor does one put a new patch of unshrunken fabric into an old coat of shrunken fabric, or it pulls at the edges and the tear being repaired is made even worse” (Matthew 9:16-17; Mark 2:21-22; Luke 5:36-39).  In just this way, using the Piagetian principles of assimilation and accommodation of new information and knowledge into one’s mind-frame or mental schema—these precepts and teachings and facts of God must be accordingly accommodated, rather than assimilated into the preexisting wrong ideas and old mental framework of these chosen people.

As in line with the theory of “cognitive dissonance” in psychology, is the tear in the proverbial coat to be understood, as upon apprehending both this pre-Risen Messiah and the Risen Christ—for they know not what to make of Him and He conforms not to their present (and fallacious or wrong) understanding of the world, and yet He is truth.  This is disturbing to them, because it means that something must change, and personal, internal change, is what most people fear most in this world.  As with  cognitive dissonance, which is a feeling of internal tension or discomfort caused by maintaining two conflicting ideas, or ideas that conflict with one’s actual behavior, simultaneously; as with cognitive dissonance—something must change—either these people’s ideas, so that they can change themselves to properly accommodate the new, and true, knowledge of, and given by, God (thus putting the new wine of the Holy Ghost into the new wineskins of their restructured and reframed schemas and mental frameworks, as reformulated ideas about what is truth and how the world works)—either these people’s ideas must change to accommodate knowledge of God, or these people must, otherwise, ultimately, reject their God.

Those people far too often choose to cling rather to their old ways and their maladaptive behaviors, or their erring and erroneous ideas and ways of sin and malformed or inaccurate ideas about God, rather than to change themselves to accommodate His truth.  Far too often, they assimilate His ideas and His Word into their preexisting and incorrect ideas, mind-frames and mental schemas, and in order not to burst these “old wineskins,” with the “new wine of God,” they misconstrue it and misinterpret it and assimilate and conform His Word into them, confusing it and applying it incorrectly, to conform it to themselves and to their sins, rather than eliminating their sins, to accommodate themselves to God, and to conform to Him and to His Word (Matthew 9:16-17; Mark 2:21-22; Luke 5:36-39).

They interpret it without understanding it, and they study it without applying it, and therefore, they are as if deaf, dumb, and blind to the Word of God, the Scriptures, and the still small voice of God within, for they choose to maintain the customs and ways of man rather than to preserve the truth and integrity of God’s Word.

They try to “have their cake and eat it too,” as it were, which they may only so do by deceiving themselves.  These people are old wineskins who purport to be filled with “new wine,” “yet these hearts are indeed far from God,” and are filled neither with “His Spirit, as the new wine of the Holy Ghost,” nor with adequate or proper understanding of the Scriptures (Acts 2:4, 13; Matthew 15:7-9).  For they are as yet unwilling to believe that they could be wrong in their knowledge (and arrogance) and interpretations, and so they deceive themselves while they are still just “old wineskins filled with old wine,” and not at all knowledgeable of the true meaning beneath the symbolic gestures and rituals so lengthily described and espoused in the Old Testament.

These cold and uncaring, and arrogant and ego-filled, and stiff-necked and unwilling, unreforming, unrepenting people, would sooner lie to themselves, lost as they are in their egos and their denial, than change their ways to suit the Scriptures.  For when the new fabric is patched into the old coat, it becomes clear of the difference, of the lack of harmony and uniformity in the ideas of man with the ideas of God, and in the ways and behaviors of sin and the world, with the acts and behaviors of virtue and the ways of God.

These old wineskins, must be changed and repent; these people, must change their minds and repent—to be traded in for new mind-frames and mental schemas, or new hearts, as it were, that can truly accommodate the Spirit of God and His holy Word, rather than merely cherry-picking the parts of Scripture that they do like while ignoring the rest, glossing over the hard sayings without thoroughly understanding them, and then making excuses for why the parts that they do not wish to conform to should not apply to them, as they remain ultimately and internally, at heart, unchanged and unconformed to God and the Cross of Christ, and unable to apply these teachings to their own lives; as for instance, “be willing to drop everything, sell all that you have, give it to the poor, and then come follow me” (Matthew 19:21).  These people are merely cherry-picking the little parts they do like, “like straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel whole,” and then with the “real meat” of the “hard sayings,” misconstruing it and altering its meaning, to assimilate His teachings into their own lives, to excuse their sins, and conform it to their customs of man, the ways of the world and of sin, and their own fallacious and incorrect preconceived notions, and preexisting mistakes and misunderstandings, that have now become ingrained ideas and schemas regarding, “what is truth” (Matthew 23:24; John 6:48-51, 57-60; John 18:38).

We must trade in our old ideas and our old wineskins for new ones, to accommodate the Word of God into true ideas and new schemas, lest we “make the tear worse,” by attempting to keep both the old ideas and the new ones, as the truth of God is indeed so different from what we had thought, and it is indeed incongruent with and will not be made to conform to our old ideas and our erring ways of sin and of man, such that it that may be likened to that unharmonious state of cognitive dissonance (Matthew 9:16; Mark 2:21; Luke 5:36).

As we put “new wine in our new hearts and minds,” changed and traded in by repentance, all things are made new, and all things bear truth, meaning, knowledge, and the clarity of understanding, as we behold the truth as it is meant to be apprehended—from within the mind-frame, structure, and schema, of the Spirit of God (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

 

References:

  1. Ezekiel 36:25-32

25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. 31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.

  1. Matthew 9:10-17

10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. 16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

  1. Matthew 15:1-9

15 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

  1. Matthew 19:16-22

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

  1. Matthew 23:23-28

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

  1. Luke 5:27-39

27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. 28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. 30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? 31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

33 And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? 34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

36 And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. 37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

  1. Mark 2:18-22

18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? 19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. 21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. 22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

  1. John 6:41-71

41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. 70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

  1. John 18:37-40

36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. 39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

  1. John 20

20 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. 11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

  1. Acts 2:1-28

2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judæa, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

 

Wednesday 4/17/19

Week 4/1: Day 5

Psalm 24.  The Lord as the King of Glory.

 

Title: “The King of We Know not What”

A Poem.

 

23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23).

36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36).

 

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah” (Psalm 24:8-10).  A long and solemn row of heads cloaked in “starched white hoods” echoes on in chorus, as the words of the psalm tremble off the lips of their mouths, and resonate in sound and in truth from deep down in the throats and guttural fathoms of these “walking white souls,” and singing hearts, of what appear to be Carthusian monks (Revelation 3:18; Mark 8:24).

The scent of chrism is sweet and musky and reminiscent and redolent in the air, as the resounding chorus of chanting monks bleats out the words, and the chords of a dozen sets of voice-boxes vibrate and echo, and vibrate and echo, in a most sacred-sounding and “deeply-rooted” chant, with a sound coming as if from miles away in the unknown stretches of their firmly fixed-open and outwardly maneuvered hearts, at the helm of a long lost art of most angelic vocal control (Matthew 15:21; John 15:1-5).  A choir of twelve reaches decibels of a whole other section of the bass line, and carries forth the tune with the harmony held in synchrony as if from five times as many white-hooded heads.  I can still feel a distant shared memory echo in my own throat, as my vocal chords stretch in “earnestness of apprehension” towards those unheard-of lengths and broadened fibrous clusters of tethered, sinewy, vocal hairs, yet it is just a heart’s yearning from the unheard-of memory still unrealized and unknown, and it sings not along to it knows not what tune, despite the sense of déjà vu, and I know I’ve heard this somewhere before, somewhere, someplace, sometime, so distant… (Romans 8:19).

The distant look in the far-off stare of these eye-catching eyes, somehow conveys the absence of the beholder, as in a memory unseen, their soul is recollected unto an altogether different recollection, and the heart bearing the wounds of its infinite scar bleeds open from tears that have gone unnoticed, because of, and indicated by the fact that, they have been left untouched, and “have gone un-wiped-away” from their thousand-yard stare, as like an untouchable leprotic and necrotic “open wound, ravaged by repeated tearing” as it is evermore “tred upon,” like a “cloak badly torn, unmended,” and thrown over the path, upon a puddle of dirty runoff rainwater, before the Most High (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 21:4; Jeremiah 15:18; Psalm 91:13; Matthew 9:16).  This “wound is laid down before the King, the King Triumphant, upon His entry to Jerusalem” (Matthew 21:8-11; Luke 19:36-38).

Who is the King?  “10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah” (Psalm 24:10).

The psalm is almost unrecognizable if sounded out by just one voice, and the vocal quality of the psalmist cannot be heard of its own in my heart, as the solo of this one thinker’s thoughts are immediately enjoined and inextricably bundled together, like a monk’s elongated and broadened vocal cords, stretched and opened and “multiplied by practice to carry the tune and the Cross” of “a veritable multitude” in these most “spiritual phylacteries of rhythm-carrying devotional prayers”—no, no, no—this psalm carries with it the voices of many and cannot be heard in isolation, as if by a single fiber, a single filament, a single vocal cord, a single psalmist, a single singer (Matthew 14:14-21; Matthew 5:1-2; Matthew 23:5).  No, this psalm, this heard and memorized and recited and sung song, necessarily carries with it the unsounded voices and the unpracticed chanting and the unarticulated hopes, and the unknown dreams, and the unspoken strivings of “a vast multitude of hungry singers and soloist sulkers,” “suckling babes” waiting in impatience and upright astonishment for these, inherently entwined and inextricably assembled-together, souls’ unknown expectations—waiting for something, someplace, sometime, somewhere, “though I know not what”—but something… (Matthew 14:14-21; Matthew 5:1-12; Matthew 11:25; Matthew 21:16; Acts 17:23-31).

Enjoined in our collective vigil of the unknown and unexpected waiting—we wait, we watch, and we vigilantly seek to behold—”we know not what’ (Acts 17:23).  We know not what, yet something, something we know, and “we all know to come together in hopeful expectation” to await it (Romans 8:22-25).  It “clutches at out heartstrings, it plucks at our vocal cords” like King David’s harp, it clamors in our souls “for we know not what” (Isaiah 50:4-6; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2-3).  We come together in soulful unity and harmonious unison and in an ever more strengthening union of spirits, as we are led here; we know to come and “we are led here by the Spirit,” but “to hope upon what, at this candlelit vigil of a starlit twilight hour”—to hope upon what—”we know not” (Romans 8:14-17; Isaiah 26:8-9; Acts 17:23).  But we know to hope, we know to come, we know to await.  Our minds understand the vacant stare as our souls gaze out from beneath these eyes to seek a God beyond its understanding, and a heart’s yearning for that beyond which it can grasp.  It “lays itself low,” as “a cloak with an unpatched rent,” irreparably torn, thrown at the feet of “a King of it knows not what” (Isaiah 25:12; 26:5; Matthew 11:29; John 10:17-18; Matthew 9:16; Jeremiah 15:18; John 18:36).  “Hosanna!  Save me! Save us!  Hosanna in the Highest!” (Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 26:8-9; Matthew 21:6-11, 15-16; Luke 19:37-38).

The King of what?  The King of glory—”Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah” (Psalm 24:7-10).

 

References:

  1. Psalm 24

A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof;
the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas,
and established it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?
or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;
who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord,
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of them that seek him,
that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;
and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
even lift them up, ye everlasting doors;
and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

  1. Psalm 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers,
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side,
and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.

11 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold
and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge,
even the most High, thy habitation;
10 there shall no evil befall thee,
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:
the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:
I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him,
and shew him my salvation.

  1. Isaiah 25:7-12

And he will destroy in this mountain
the face of the covering cast over all people,
and the vail that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death in victory;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces;
and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth:
for the Lord hath spoken it.

And it shall be said in that day,
Lo, this is our God;
we have waited for him, and he will save us:
this is the Lord;
we have waited for him,
we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
10 For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest,
and Moab shall be trodden down under him,
even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.
11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them,
as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim:
and he shall bring down their pride
together with the spoils of their hands.
12 And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down,
lay low, and bring to the ground,
even to the dust.

  1. Isaiah 26:1-11

26 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah;

We have a strong city;
salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
Open ye the gates,
that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever:
for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
for he bringeth down them that dwell on high;
the lofty city, he layeth it low;
he layeth it low, even to the ground;
he bringeth it even to the dust.
The foot shall tread it down,
even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.

The way of the just is uprightness:
thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee;
the desire of our soul is to thy name,
and to the remembrance of thee.
With my soul have I desired thee in the night;
yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early:
for when thy judgments are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked,
yet will he not learn righteousness:
in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly,
and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.
11 Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see:
but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people;
yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.

  1. Isaiah 50:4-9

4The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary:
he wakeneth morning by morning,
he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
The Lord God hath opened mine ear,
and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
I gave my back to the smiters,
and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair:
I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
For the Lord God will help me;
therefore shall I not be confounded:
therefore have I set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me?
let us stand together:
who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.
Behold, the Lord God will help me;
who is he that shall condemn me?
lo, they all shall wax old as a garment;
the moth shall eat them up.

  1. Jeremiah 15:15-21

15 O Lord, thou knowest:
remember me, and visit me,
and revenge me of my persecutors;
take me not away in thy longsuffering:
know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.

16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them;
and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart:
for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.
17 I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced;
I sat alone because of thy hand:
for thou hast filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable,
which refuseth to be healed?
wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar,
and as waters that fail?

19 Therefore thus saith the Lord,
If thou return, then will I bring thee again,
and thou shalt stand before me:
and if thou take forth the precious from the vile,
thou shalt be as my mouth:
let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.
20 And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall:
and they shall fight against thee,
but they shall not prevail against thee:
for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
21 And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked,
and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.

  1. Matthew 5:1-12

5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

  1. Matthew 9:16-17

16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

  1. Matthew 11:25-30

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

  1. Matthew 14:13-21

13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. 14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. 16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. 17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. 18 He said, Bring them hither to me. 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. 21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

  1. Matthew 15:18-23

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

  1. Matthew 21:1-17

21 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, 16 and said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? 17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

  1. Matthew 23:1-15

23 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

  1. Mark 8:22-26

22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. 24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. 25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. 26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

  1. Luke 19:28-40

28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30 saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

  1. John 10:14-19

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

  1. John 15:1-10

15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

  1. John 18:36-38

36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

  1. Acts 17:16-34

16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. 17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. 18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. 19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? 20 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. 21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

  1. Romans 8:14-25

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

  1. 1 John 3:1-3

3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

  1. Revelation 3:18-22

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

  1. Revelation 21:1-4

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

 

Thursday 4/18/19

Week 4/1: Day 6

Psalm 24 (Day 5 again).  The Lord as the King of Glory.

 

Title: “Exorcism: We Have Blessed You Out of the House of the Lord”

Alt. Title: “I will go, Send me.”

 

Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord” (Psalm 118:26).

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in” (Psalm 24:7).

 

…And “to he that overcometh, I will come, and I will sup with him” (Revelation 3:20-21).  “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?” (Psalm 24:3).  O heavenly Jerusalem, city of angels, townsfolk of God; “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;” “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Psalm 24:4; Matthew 5:8).  “This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah” (Psalm 24:6).  “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:4).

This gate of the Lord, “into which the righteous shall enter” (Psalm 118:20).  This gate of the Lord—into which whom shall I send?  “I am here.  Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).  “Who will go for us?”  “I will Go, send me.”  “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?” (Psalm 24:3).  To climb His holy mountain, to ascend to the “heavenly Jerusalem,” the holy Mount Zion (Revelation 21:2)?  “Who shall stand in His holy place?” (Psalm 24:3).  In “the coming of the wrath of the Lamb, who shall stand indeed?” (Revelation 6:16-17)?  I will go.  Send me.

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:4).  I will go, send me.  A seraphim “takes a set of tongs, and places a hot coal upon my tongue” (Isaiah 6:6-7).  “Your lips are cleansed of blasphemy—of the blasphemy of this lying generation” (Isaiah 6:5-7).

“…O ye generation of vipers, who taught you to flee the wrath to come?  Bring with you therefore fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:7-8).  Confess your deeds of sin and deceit and receive absolution—”sin no more!” (John 8:11).  Be thou cleansed, “O ye generation of snakes and vipers—be thou cleansed” “with this water, with this burning coal, and sin no more!” (Matthew 17:17-18; Matthew 3:11-12).

Jesus echoes—”thy sins are forgiven,” “sin no more “(Luke 7:44; John 8:11).

The Apostles echo—“whosoever’s sins thou retain they are retained, and whose sins ye forgive they are forgiven” (John 20:23).

The lovesick Father echoes—forgive from thy heart, for “thou art ever with me” (Luke 15:31).

The lips of my mouth do confess, do confess, do confess, and thus shall we receive absolution.  Be thou cleansed and sin no more!  O ye wicked generation of snakes and lepers, lying children with deceitful hearts.  “Who hath clean hands and a pure heart?  Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully?” (Psalm 24:4).  Who indeed.  Is there “none that is righteous,” even as the Lord has said (Romans 3:10-20).  “He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Psalm 24:5).  Lift up your hands, enter ye into your hearts, and be cleansed; for, “This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah” (Psalm 24:6).

“How long Lord?” (Isaiah 6:11).  How long shall this people be “dull of hearing, and seeing perceive not?” (Isaiah 6:9-10).  How long O Lord shall their hearts be waxed gross, filled with vanity, and hardened over?  “Until every last living soul is made to naught, until every last soul has turned away from Me, unto his own and the ways of man, until there is none that is righteous.  Then shall I make my righteousness be known” (Isaiah 6:11-12; Romans 3:10-26).

“Cleanse thou me from these sins” of hearing, for I have heard untold-of blasphemy from a people hard of hearing, blind of seeing, and dull of heart (Psalm 19:12).  I take the tongs into my hands and bring forth a burning coal.  Be thou cleansed, be thou cleansed, be thou cleansed.

Who will go?  Whom shall I send?  Send me.  “for thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell, and thou wilt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  Thou wilt shew me the path of life…” (Psalm 16:10-11).  I will go, send me.

“Open to me the gates of righteousness, this gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter—” (Psalm 118:19-20).  “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in” (Psalm 24:7).

Through Heaven and Hell shall thy glory be known, through Hell to Heaven shall Thy name be heard.  This gate of the Lord—the gate to Heaven and Hell into which the righteous shall enter—this eternal heart, this eternal soul—I shall claim it as Thine and gather it in for Thee as unmarked territory, in which to be made known Thy resounding glory—the glory of Thy name Lord Jesus.  In the name of the Lord, in the name of God, in the love of the Most High I shall enter in.  Demons be gone!  I shall enter into the House of the Lord, this eternal soul of the Most High God, “and I shall bless you out of the House of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:26).

See to it that thou perisheth not, for thou art a shadow and a contrasting reflection of the light and luminosity of the Most High, overshadowing overhead.  Perish thou not from an intention of destruction or malice, but be thou converted, as I perceive within you the Spirit of the Most High; and be thou clean, as; “He who believes upon Me”—”upon this Rock,” “whosoever shall fall shall be made low, and on whomsoever it falleth shall be ground to dust”—upon this Rock I shall build my Kingdom, for this is the House of the Lord as the infested gates are made clean, and the parasites are cast out, and as the walls do echo with the blessings of the Father (John 11:25-26; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 21:44).

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”—by love we shall cast you out, “we have blessed you out of the House of the Lord” (Psalm 118:26).  This gate, into which Hell only “the righteousness” shall deign to enter—“who hath clean hands and a pure heart?” (Romans 3:21-22; Psalm 24:4).  “Cleanse thou me,” O Lord, and I shall go (Psalm 19:7-12).  “I will go, send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

This Rock, “upon which my Home in Heaven is founded,” this immortal soul passed “clean though the eye of the needle, by the Most High,” through Hell unto Heaven—this Ark of the Covenant bursting forth as “His crown of glory—this rainbow—this covenant with Noah,” and Ark of the New Jerusalem; this Rock, upon which my soul yet stands—upon this Rock have I built my Heaven, and upon this Rock comes forth the endless mercy of the Lord—drenched in floods of Its own immortal blood (John 14:2-4; Matthew 19:24-26; Revelation 4:3; 10:1).  This is the Rock of My Heaven and Earth, My Church and My Heart.  In the last day when I shall lift you up, “I shall reveal what is built in Heaven, on Earth” (1 Corinthians 3:13-17).  “Whatsoever is loosed in Earth is so loosed in Heaven, and whatsoever you bind on Earth, is so bound in Heaven” (Matthew 16:19).  On the last day I shall lift you up “as all things are revealed,” and “thy cup shall runneth over” from this pierced and bleeding immaculate heart—for all things are made new, and “the Lord is the portion of mine inheritance,” and it is the Lord that so filleth my cup (Revelation 10:7; Psalm 23:5; Psalm 16:5).

This cup of the New Testament, this heart bleeding out “the sacred side of the sacred Host”—the sacred Passion of the Lord—this heart and “soul is poured out beyond even death,” and it is “His soul made to be an offering for sin,” for you (John 19:34; Isaiah 53:12; Isaiah 53:10).  For whosoever builds upon Me, this Rock, this soul, “whosoever’s mind is stayed on Me, thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,” and “whosoever believeth on Me, though he shall die, he shall yet live” (Isaiah 53:12; Isaiah 26:3; John 11:25-26).  Now believe.  Believest thou this.

 

References:

  1. Psalm 16:5-11

The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup:
thou maintainest my lot.
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places;
yea, I have a goodly heritage.

I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel:
my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me:
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth:
my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell;
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life:
in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

  1. Psalm 19:7-13

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul:
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart:
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever:
the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold:
sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned:
and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors?
cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright,
and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

  1. Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

  1. Psalm 24

A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof;
the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas,
and established it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?
or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;
who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord,
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of them that seek him,
that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah

Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;
and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
even lift them up, ye everlasting doors;
and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

  1. Psalm 118:15-29

15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous:
the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.
16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted:
the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.
17 I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord hath chastened me sore:
but he hath not given me over unto death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness:
I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord:
20 this gate of the Lord,
into which the righteous shall enter.
21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me,
and art become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders refused
is become the head stone of the corner.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord:
O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.
27 God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light:
bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee:
thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

29 O give thanks unto the Lord;
for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

  1. Isaiah 6

6 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

And one cried unto another, and said,

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts:

the whole earth is full of his glory.

4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

And he said, Go, and tell this people,

Hear ye indeed, but understand not;
and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat,
and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears,
and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed

11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered,

Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant,
and the houses without man,
and the land be utterly desolate,
12 and the Lord have removed men far away,
and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
13 But yet in it shall be a tenth,
and it shall return, and shall be eaten:
as a teil tree, and as an oak,
whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves:
so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.

  1. Isaiah 26:1-6

26 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah;

We have a strong city;
salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
Open ye the gates,
that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever:
for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
for he bringeth down them that dwell on high;
the lofty city, he layeth it low;
he layeth it low, even to the ground;
he bringeth it even to the dust.
The foot shall tread it down,
even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.

  1. Isaiah 53:10-12

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him;
he hath put him to grief:
when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,
he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days,
and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:
by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;
for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
and he was numbered with the transgressors;
and he bare the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

  1. Matthew 3:7-12

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

  1. Matthew 5:1-12

5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

  1. Matthew 16:16-20

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

  1. Matthew 17:14-21

14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

  1. Matthew 19:23-26

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

  1. Matthew 21:42-46

42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

  1. Luke 7:44-50

44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

  1. Luke 15:27-32

27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

  1. John 8:9-11

 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

  1. John 11:21-27

21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

  1. John 14:1-4

14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

  1. John 19:34-37

34 but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

  1. John 20:21-23

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

  1. Romans 3:9-26

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 and the way of peace have they not known: 18 there is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

  1. 1 Corinthians 3:10-17

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

  1. Revelation 3:19-22

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

  1. Revelation 4

4 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10 the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

  1. Revelation 6:15-17

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

  1. Revelation 10:1-3, 7

10 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: and he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

  1. Revelation 21:1-5

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

 

Friday 4/19/19

Week 4/1: Day 7

Psalm 24 (Day 5 again).  The Lord as the King of Glory.

 

Title: “I Could Have Lied”

Alt. Title: “Hide not Your Face from me O Lord”

A Song of Sorrow, so this is Glory.

 

“No one takes my life from me—I lay it down of my own.  I have received this command of my Father, to lay it down and to lift it back up.  And therefore does the Father love me, for I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:15-18).

 

I could have lied.  I could have said, I am not the prophesied-of King of Israel, I could have said, I am not the Son of God.  If it was my purpose to “retain my life, and accordingly to retain your sins,” I could have lied (John 20:23).  I could have been “as crafty and cunning as the sons of man in their trickery and deceit—held in stark contrast to the earnest and open and honest and forthright ways of the children of light”—upon whose lips is no guile found, “upon whose lips rests no deceit,” and upon whose face no emotion dwelling therein can be concealed (Luke 16:8; Isaiah 53:9).

I cannot hide what I feel—it will appear on my face, and just as I am duly and truly honest in word and deed, so too does my face betray my emotions. “On His lips was found no deceit,” and yet, I could have lied. I could have preserved my life if I had so wished to do so (Isaiah 53:9).

“Hide not Your face from me for long O Father” (Psalm 27:9; Psalm 69:17; Isaiah 54:8).  “…Cover thyself but for a moment, ‘till thy indignation be past” (Isaiah 26:20).

For I cover not My face in spite, but the emotion that cannot be concealed upon it, out of grief.  I catch a glimpse of His honest truth, and I have never seen such a face so contorted and fallen in such grief and agony. Let me share Your feeling, for I see now why You hide it from me.

“Hide not Your face from me for long” (Psalm 27:9; Psalm 69:17; Isaiah 54:8).  I could have lied upon my lips, but the expression on my face can express no deceit. It is held in direct conformity and honest truth to what is contained therein, and “nothing is hid from the heat thereof” (Psalm 19:6).

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:4).  I could have lied, but my face cannot lie!

This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah” (Psalm 24:6).

A Man with a heavy Head and a heavy heart. “Rejected of men,” Father and Son alike, and “well-acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in” (Psalm 24:7).

The King of glory shall come in, riding upon a lowly mule fit for a servant. The King of glory shall come in, washing the feet as hired help. The King of glory shall come in, to wash and dry the dishes, the vessels of the altar, the servants of God. The King of glory shall come in, to “make the cups clean, inside and out” (Matthew 23:25-28).  The King of glory shall come in, with His Head hanging upon His shoulders and “His heels dragging upon the ground” (John 13:18). The King of glory shall come in with His back hunched over into frame, and “His side held open,” as His blood is poured out into these willing and open vessels, for the forgiveness of sins (John 19:34).

He shall hang His Head low, and He shall keep His heart trim and tidy, low to the ground with a quick and steady, tight ship turning radius, and a low center of gravity, for He shall turn many heads and turn about-face Himself to gather all conversions into Himself.

He shall come in; “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:4).

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in” (Psalm 24:9).

The King of glory shall come in, “with unwashed hands” as He “makes the inside of the cup clean,” to the forgetfulness of its outer layer (Matthew 15:10, 17-20; 23:25-28). The King of glory, “in spirit and truth,” is ever-mindful of the Spirit and truth, and ever-forgetful of flesh and bone (John 4:23-24).

Were “no bones broken” upon that Cross? Pay no mind, this Head is heavy of heart and pained in its soul (John 19:31-37).

The King of glory shall come in, He shall forget to wash His hands in the sacramental vision He beholds in “the washing of the feet,” and the “cleansing of the cups” (John 13:5-17; Luke 22:19-20). The King of glory shall come in, with a heart low and mighty, hard to knock over, and “quick to turn back,” and to turn the tables and “overturn the tables of the moneychangers” in the temple (Matthew 21:28-32, 12-13). The King of glory shall come in with His Head held low and His heart in-line with His truth.

“Cover not Your face for long,” as we seek Thee “in Spirit and truth” (Psalm 27:9; Psalm 69:17; Isaiah 54:8; John 4:23-24).  For a face revealed in Spirit and truth, cannot lie nor cover its emotions.  The pain is palpable as You betray a glimpse of your heart from beneath your trim and tidy, tucked away bangs and unshaven beard.

“Cover not Your face for long, O Lord—” (Psalm 27:9; Psalm 69:17; Isaiah 54:8).  “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in” (Psalm 24:9).

“Who is the King of glory?” (Psalm 24:10).

He is a King meek and lowly, true and humble, “riding upon an ass, the colt of an ass” (Matthew 21:5).  He is a Man “grief-stricken” with “His side struck with a spear” (Isaiah 53:3-5; John 19:34, 37).  He is a Man low of spirit and humble of heart, and true to His calling to carry “the weight of the world on His shoulders” (Isaiah 9:6).  He is a Man.  He is a Man with a polite disdain for His flesh as He finds Himself hanging, His Head hanging, His heart and mind hanging upon hope, upon the Cross.  “For Thy flesh also shall rest in hope” (Psalm 16:9).  “It is done” (Psalm 22:31; John 19:30; Revelation 21:6).  “Father, unto You I commend my Spirit, and it shall be known—” (Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46).  “10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah” (Psalm 24:10).  And it shall be known, that He is Lord.  And it shall be known, that He is the King of glory, meek and humble, quiet and grief-stricken.  “Meek and humble, lowly of heart,” “rejected of men, and well-acquainted with grief” (Matthew 11:29; Isaiah 53:3).  He shall come in meek and lowly, humble of heart and quickened of Spirit.  He comes in with His Head hanging, “with unwashen hands,” “and His purest heart” (Matthew 15:18-20; Psalm 24:4).  It shall be known that “this is the King of glory” (Galatians 6:14).  It shall be known, that this is the King of glory, and it shall be known, “that He hath done this” (Psalm 22:31).

 

References:

  1. Psalm 16:7-11

I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel:
my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me:
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth:
my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell;
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life:
in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

  1. Psalm 19:1-6

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech,
and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language,
where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven,
and his circuit unto the ends of it:
and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

  1. Psalm 22:1-2, 22-31

To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
why art thou so far from helping me,
and from the words of my roaring?
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not;
and in the night season, and am not silent.

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren:
in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him;
all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him;
and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
neither hath he hid his face from him;
but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation:
I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied:
they shall praise the Lord that seek him:
your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord:
and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s:
and he is the governor among the nations.
29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship:
all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him:
and none can keep alive his own soul.
30 A seed shall serve him;
it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness
unto a people that shall be born,
that he hath done this.

  1. Psalm 24

A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof;
the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas,
and established it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?
or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;
who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord,
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of them that seek him,
that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;
and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
even lift them up, ye everlasting doors;
and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

  1. Psalm 27

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh,
they stumbled and fell.
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear:
though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion:
in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me;
he shall set me up upon a rock.
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me:
therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy;
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice:
have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face;
my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
Hide not thy face far from me;
put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help;
leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
then the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord,
and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies:
for false witnesses are risen up against me,
and such as breathe out cruelty.
13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord:
be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.

  1. Psalm 31:1-8

In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed:
deliver me in thy righteousness.
Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily:
be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
For thou art my rock and my fortress;
therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me:
for thou art my strength.
Into thine hand I commit my spirit:
thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
I have hated them that regard lying vanities:
but I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy:
for thou hast considered my trouble;
thou hast known my soul in adversities;
and hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy:
thou hast set my feet in a large room.

  1. Psalm 69

To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, A Psalm of David.

Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing:
I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried:
mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head:
they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty:
then I restored that which I took not away.

O God, thou knowest my foolishness;
and my sins are not hid from thee.
Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake:
let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
Because for thy sake I have borne reproach;
shame hath covered my face.
I am become a stranger unto my brethren,
and an alien unto my mother’s children.
For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up;
and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting,
that was to my reproach.
11 I made sackcloth also my garment;
and I became a proverb to them.
12 They that sit in the gate speak against me;
and I was the song of the drunkards.

13 But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time:
O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me,
in the truth of thy salvation.
14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink:
let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
15 Let not the waterflood overflow me,
neither let the deep swallow me up,
and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16 Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good:
turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
17 And hide not thy face from thy servant;
for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
18 Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it:
deliver me because of mine enemies.

19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour:
mine adversaries are all before thee.
20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness:
and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none;
and for comforters, but I found none.
21 They gave me also gall for my meat;
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22 Let their table become a snare before them:
and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not;
and make their loins continually to shake.
24 Pour out thine indignation upon them,
and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
25 Let their habitation be desolate;
and let none dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten;
and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity:
and let them not come into thy righteousness.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,
and not be written with the righteous.

29 But I am poor and sorrowful:
let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
30 I will praise the name of God with a song,
and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31 This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
32 The humble shall see this, and be glad:
and your heart shall live that seek God.
33 For the Lord heareth the poor,
and despiseth not his prisoners.

34 Let the heaven and earth praise him,
the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.
35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah:
that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.
36 The seed also of his servants shall inherit it:
and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

  1. Isaiah 9:6-7

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God,
The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,
upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom,
to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice
from henceforth even for ever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

  1. Isaiah 26:16-21

16 Lord, in trouble have they visited thee,
they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.
17 Like as a woman with child,
that draweth near the time of her delivery,
is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs;
so have we been in thy sight, O Lord.
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain,
we have as it were brought forth wind;
we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth;
neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
19 Thy dead men shall live,
together with my dead body shall they arise.
Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust:
for thy dew is as the dew of herbs,
and the earth shall cast out the dead.

20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers,
and shut thy doors about thee:
hide thyself as it were for a little moment,
until the indignation be overpast.
21 For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity:
the earth also shall disclose her blood,
and shall no more cover her slain.

  1. Isaiah 53:1-9

53 Who hath believed our report?
and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him,
there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth:
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment:
and who shall declare his generation?
for he was cut off out of the land of the living:
for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death;
because he had done no violence,
neither was any deceit in his mouth.

  1. Isaiah 54

54 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear;
break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child:
for more are the children of the desolate
than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.
Enlarge the place of thy tent,
and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations:
spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left;
and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles,
and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed:
neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame:
for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth,
and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
For thy Maker is thine husband;
the Lord of hosts is his name;
and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel;
The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee;
but with great mercies will I gather thee.
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment;
but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee,
saith the Lord thy Redeemer.
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me:
for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth;
so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed;
but my kindness shall not depart from thee,
neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed,
saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours,
and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
12 And I will make thy windows of agates,
and thy gates of carbuncles,
and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children.
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established:
thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear:
and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me:
whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire,
and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work;
and I have created the waster to destroy.
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper;
and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

  1. Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

  1. Matthew 15:10-20

10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11 not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

  1. Matthew 21:1-13, 28-32

21 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

  1. Matthew 23:25-39

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

  1. Luke 16:8-13

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. 10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

  1. Luke 22:14-20

14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

  1. Luke 23:44-49

44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. 47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. 48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. 49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

  1. John 4:19-26

19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

  1. John 10:14-18

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

  1. John 13:5-20

After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. 20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

  1. John 19:28-37

28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34 but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

  1. John 20:19-23

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

  1. Galatians 6

6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. 12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord.

18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Unto the Galatians written from Rome.

  1. Revelation 21:5-14

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

 

Saturday 4/20/19

Week 4/2: Day 1

John 20:19-23.  Jesus comes to the Upper Room.  Has Jesus’ presence ever broken through the wall I was hiding behind?

 

Title: “The Coming of Jesus, as He Awaits Our Return”

My Side Doth Still Bleed…

The Second Coming of Christ: “I’ve Been Here—Where’ve You Been?”

 

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).

“27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).

 

“…Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).  Just as Jesus said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).  Truly, from the very beginning, the chosen people of God, as He called them forth out of Egypt, and again, as He set before them kings, at their request, finally at home in their promised land in the earthly city of Jerusalem, and again, as through His Son He called forth His Twelve Apostles and chosen disciples to follow His ways and His teachings—truly from the beginning, “these were a stiff-necked people, hard of heart, slow to learn, slow to be converted,” and slow to believe (Psalm 95:8-11).  “Resist not evil,” but rather, when they persecute you, suffer it willingly (Matthew 5:39, 44).  “When they strike you on one cheek, offer them also the other,” so that truly, “their left hand might know what the right hand doeth”—that their hearts might feel what their thoughts so inflict (Matthew 5:39; Matthew 6:3-4).

“Why strikest thou me if I have said nothing wrong?  If I have spoken wrongly then strike me down, but I have said nothing wrong—wherefore then dost thou strike me?” (John 18:22-23).

“Yes sir, may I have another.”

Is that all you got?

Only if I thrust my hand into His side will I believe that He has risen from the dead!  Only if I thrust my spear into His side will I believe that He is dead.  Only if I strike His cheek will I believe that He will not strike back.  Only if I follow Him for 40 years, nay, 400 years, will I believe that He brought us not out of Egypt to destroy us and make us suffer.  Only if, only if, only if.  It becomes clear, as history repeats itself with charming new twists of “the knife thrust in His side,” that the issue here, is not the cheek being struck, nor the side being struck through with the spear, nor the wounds of the nails and the stab wound to be felt out and touched, for some sort of sensory and empirical verification, nor even the path through the desert, nor the manna and quail, nor the God of all creation (John 19:34, 37).  It becomes quite clear, that the issue at hand—“…reach hither thy hand”—that the issue at hand, is not some fault with our God (John 20:27).

The issue here, and the crux of the problem that is the true nature of sin, of the fall of man and the allegorical disloyalty of Adam at work in all our hearts, of human nature at the height of its own evolution when left to its own devices without the virtue of loyal obedience to its God—the problem here, is not its absent God, the problem here is its absent faith.

What must be done?  What must He do to impel, incite, inspire, instigate, ignite, induce us to believe?  “Here is my side,” He says, “Thrust it through with your lance that you might see me bleed, and know that I am Man.  If you kill me, do I not die?” (1 Corinthians 15:36-37).   “Here is my risen body,” He says, “still bearing the wounds of the Crucifixion and the Cross I bore on my back—for you.  Thrust your hand into my side that you might believe it is me, that I am God.  If you kill me, do I not rise from the dead?” (Corinthians 15:12-17).

Follow thou me—” (John 21:19, 22).

Follow thou me, so you may know I lead you to freedom and safety.  If you complain of hunger, do I not rain down manna from Heaven?  If it does not suit your palate, do I not bring forth a windstorm carrying a meal of your own choosing—do I not condescend to suit your will, to suit you in handstitched garments after you eat of the allegorical forbidden fruit—do I not bend over backwards when you strike me down, with the full force of a legion of men twice my size?  Do I not demonstrate my mercy by refusing to strike you back, to “strike you dead on the spot?” (Acts 5:3-11).  Do I not show my mercy in refusing to argue, and further elicit forth the voice of temptation from within you, in refusing to further imbed and reinforce and strengthen the inhabitation of Satan within you, possessing your soul?  “And you Judas, dost thou betray me with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48).  “Et tu, Brutus?”  In my back are the imprints of a Cross that was borne and a flock that will not be called home.  “How many times I wished to gather you unto myself, as a mother hen gathers her young, but you, you would not!” (Matthew 23:37-39).

O to gather you from this desert, this wilderness, this exile of Earth, that is so drenched in “the flood of your own customs,” devious designs, polluted atmosphere, ruined ecosystem, ways of man, and cultures of sin (Genesis 6:5-8; Matthew 15:1-9).  O “to gather you from this wasteland” of a pre-Resurrected Christ, “when all have turned to their own ways”—”the thoughts in their hearts—nearly all of them, are thoroughly wicked and deviate from the ways of truth” (Isaiah 6:11-13; Isaiah 53:6; Genesis 6:5-8).  “What is truth?” (John 18:38).  He was truth indeed, Pilate.  He was, He shall be, and He ever is, like an inherently orphaned Father of all creation—Who was Himself begotten of no man, and yet creates and brings forth all of creation and existence out of the sheer nature of “His perfect quintessential Being” (Matthew 5:48).

O to gather you from your wasteland, “as each turns to his own ways, the ways of man,” and claims lordship and godship over each other and over what is right (Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 15:7-9).  As Christ comes in the flesh, as Christ comes in Spirit, either Man or God, you would not so believe Him, and from your erring ways you would not turn back.  “O you perverse and wicked generation,” you would sooner call Jesus the antichrist and condemn Him an outcast, than admit what is truth, to confess your own fallibility and error in sin—in your fully endorsed, engendered, and truly lived out ways of man and of sin (Matthew 17: 17-21; 23:33).

You claim your own godship clothed in the guilt of your sin, sooner than to admit you were wrong and to confess your God.  You would sooner accept the condemnation of Hell than to turn back, to believe, “to be healed and converted” (Isaiah 6:10; Matthew 13:14-17).  You would sooner “receive the mark of the beast, blaspheme your God,” and “call the Christ the antichrist,” just to justify your ways and erringly absolve your own conscience of its indelibly etched sin, and your absence from your God and the ways of the true Christ, and your most culturally fashionable and universally accepted profession of the Christian Faith (Revelation 13:5-6, 16-18; Matthew 12:31; Matthew 24:23-28; Luke 21:7-9, 12-19).

You take the temple of the Lord and make it “a den of thieves,” and you take the religion of God and you pervert it with the ways of man—taking your own spirits of sin and sacrilege in exchange for the holiness of the Spirit of God (Matthew 21:12-13).

“When shall Jesus return?” (Matthew 24:36-39; Luke 17:26-30).  When rather shall the almighty God cease to be present.  He who abides eternal is always here and always has been.  I’ve been here.  This wasteland is your disbelief.  When will you return, for “I am ever with you” and I have always been here (Luke 15:31).  It is I rather, Who await your return.  “Is there not one who will believe?  No, not one!” (Romans 3:10-19).  “Is there not one who so believes?” (John 11:25-26).  Is there not even one?  Even one?

As Abraham asks YHWH, “Would you spare Sodom for fifty righteous men?” (Genesis 18:24-32).   “Yes.”  “Would you refrain from destroying the city of Sodom for the sake of ten righteous men?” (Genesis 18:32-33).  “Yes.”

“…Would you spare Sodom from destruction for the sake of five righteous men?”  “Yes.”

Lord God, “Would you spare the earth from destruction for the sake of one righteous man?”  “Yes.”

“As you have said, let it be done unto me” (Luke 1:38).

“According to Thy Word, let us be saved” (Matthew 24:35).  “Go forth in peace; whosoever’s sins ye remit, they are remitted,” and “Whose floods ye retain, so is it forgiven” (John 20:21-23 Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-33).

 

References:

  1. Genesis 6:3, 5-8

And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

  1. Genesis 18:23-33

23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? 26 And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. 27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: 28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. 29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake. 30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. 31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. 32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. 33 And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

  1. Psalm 95:7-11

For he is our God;
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.

To day if ye will hear his voice,
harden not your heart, as in the provocation,
and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
when your fathers tempted me,
proved me, and saw my work.
10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation,
and said, It is a people that do err in their heart,
and they have not known my ways:
11 unto whom I sware in my wrath
that they should not enter into my rest.

  1. Isaiah 6:9-13

And he said, Go, and tell this people,

Hear ye indeed, but understand not;
and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat,
and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears,
and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered,

Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant,
and the houses without man,
and the land be utterly desolate,
12 and the Lord have removed men far away,
and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
13 But yet in it shall be a tenth,
and it shall return, and shall be eaten:
as a teil tree, and as an oak,
whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves:
so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.

  1. Isaiah 53:5-8

But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth:
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment:
and who shall declare his generation?
for he was cut off out of the land of the living:
for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

  1. Matthew 5:38-45

38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

  1. Matthew 6:1-4

6 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

  1. Matthew 12:31-37

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

  1. Matthew 13:13-17

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

  1. Matthew 15:1-9

15 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

  1. Matthew 17:17-21

17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

  1. Matthew 23:28-39

28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

  1. Matthew 21:12-13

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

  1. Matthew 24:23-42

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

  1. Luke 1:4-38

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

  1. Luke 15:31-32

31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

  1. Luke 17:26-37

26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

  1. Luke 21:5-19

And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.

10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: 11 and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. 12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. 13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. 16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. 18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

  1. Luke 22:47-51

47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. 48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? 49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? 50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

  1. John 11:24-27

24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

  1. John 18:19-24, 37-40

19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. 20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. 21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. 22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? 23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? 24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.

37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. 39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

  1. John 19:33-37

33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34 but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

  1. John 20:19-30

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

  1. John 21:15-23

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

  1. Acts 5:1-11

5 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. 10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. 11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

  1. Romans 3:10-19

10 as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 and the way of peace have they not known: 18 there is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:12-17, 35-49

12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

  1. Revelation 13:13:5-6, 16-18

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

 

Sunday 4/21/19

Week 4/2: Day 2

Luke 24:13-35.  Jesus on the road to Emmaus.  These two disciples recognized Him in the breaking of the bread.  How do I recognize Jesus in my life?

 

Title: “Two Halves Do Not Make A Whole: But They Might Make Something Even Better”

 

25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:25-26).

Jesus had a knack for edification.  It seems that at every turn, at every turn in the road to Emmaus, at every fork in the road of perplexity, at every twist in the Road to Calvary, and at every turning of the tables in our own minds and limited understanding, as like Peter, we “wonder in ourselves at that which has come to pass”; indeed, at every turn, Jesus seeks, indeed He seeks nothing of, in, or for His own self, but “in-line with the will of the Father,” rather, He seeks to clarify; to cleanse, to explain and enlighten; to “lighten our load, lighten our eyes, and enliven our soul”; He seeks to reveal, to redeem, to restore; to “preach repentance and remission of sins,” and indeed “to make all things known to us” (John 14:10; Matthew 11:28-30; Luke 24:12, 47; Matthew 10:26-27).

Jesus had, or has, rather, a knack for edification, explanation, bestowing clarity, and cleansing our minds of confusion or “perplexity” (Luke 24:4).  In this way is Jesus properly known as, not only “the truth, the way, and the life,” but also “the light,” as like “a lamppost to our understanding,” a wisdom that is made evident “even to the simple”; both the unlearned and simple of mind, and indeed the pure and simple of heart, as the honest and upright, without cunning of guile nor deceit (John 14:6; Isaiah 49:6; John 8:12; Matthew 5:14-16; Proverbs 8:5).

Jesus is “the light” and “the will” and “the way” as we do so enjoin our souls unto Him, and like it is written in Proverbs of His navigation, He is the discernment and “the prudence to guide our steps” and keep our feet from stumbling (John 8:12, 28-29, 31; Proverbs 8:12).  For, “as we so tred in the daylight hour of internal honesty of spirit and integrity of heart,” we shall be led along the right path by the purity of our intentions, as we dwell in the protective shelter of God’s good will, and whatsoever may indeed come to pass, we shall not be put to shame; as our hearts—the intentions and thoughts and meditations of our hearts—such that “we seek and follow the will of God” and so “strive to be acceptable in His sight”—because “our hearts are in the right place, and our hearts are with Him,” our God, therefore indeed “shall we not be put to shame” (John 11:9-10; John 6:38; Psalm 19:14; Matthew 6:20-22; Mark 8:38; Romans 10:11).

Jesus is the light of truth, the way to and of and from God, in His eternal nature of perfection, and the prudence to guide our inborn spirits, “the seed of His indwelling Word,” and the Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom (John 8:31).  As it is written, “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions” (Proverbs 8:12).  As Jesus the Christ is the path of our steps to God and the light and lamps by which to illume the seven gifts and seven senses of our souls and spirits, it comes as no surprise—although indeed, they were surprised—that, on the road to Emmaus, “…he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).  For as Jesus is the light to illumine our hearts and “open our understanding,” how shall we have professed to have known anything before His coming—as only upon, and indeed after His arrival, were we given and graced with Him—as He is the means by which any of the wisdom or knowledge of God can be made known (Luke 24:45).

To claim knowledge of God without Christ, or before He came to fulfill His purpose and make all things known to us, would be like reading a book in a different and unknown language and to claim understanding of it—you can comprehend the syllables and sound out the sentences, but until Christ comes to “open our understanding,” it will be as if in Ancient Greek, and will be read and apprehended without understanding the meaning of those words and syllables and what is read (Luke 24:45).  Jesus truly is the light to illumine our spiritual senses, and before His arrival, into both our world and our hearts, we were indeed left like a boat without a paddle, and without the means by which to travel this road and arrive upon our destination—of centeredness within “the Kingdom within”—in God and in rest within our souls; indeed, at the truth in our souls that is the Spirit of God (Luke 17:21).

30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:30-32).

Indeed, just as Jesus had explained to Peter His role in the Scriptures, “that He must suffer many things, be put to death, and rise again on the third day,” and Peter even then did not understand Him, “so too did Jesus need to open the hearts of these men to the Scriptures, on the road to Emmaus” (Mark 8:31-33; Luke 24:26-27).  “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45).  For the Scriptures might have been open to them, but they had only half a mind to understand them, without Jesus bestowing to them the gift of the Holy Spirit—“Receive ye the Holy Ghost…” as the wisdom of God alighted upon and revealed within their human souls, by which means to connect the dots, so to speak, and bring the opening of the Scriptures full circle, unto the comprehension of their meaning, within their hearts and minds, brought together as one within them (John 20:22).

“Did not our heart burn within us…” with the eternal flame of light and truth and wisdom—with understanding, as divine and God-given understanding—as the understanding by faith that is the grace and gift of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:32)?  “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, [“I am the bread of life,” the Word and wisdom of God’s Holy Spirit, that is the Spirit of Christ, within your soul] and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them” (Luke 24:30; John 6:35).  As Jesus breaks His heart in two, and gives it to His disciples, our minds and hearts are not only enjoined together in unity within ourselves, but that unity within us, that translates us from soul to spirit, is then further enjoined unto Him, and His Holy Spirit.  As He breaks His heart for us, we receive His gift, “we receive the promise of the Father upon us,” and our two broken halves of one “lovesick soul,” become as a completed and quickened and Holy Spirit, an extension of God’s Holy Spirit—the Spirit of both God and Christ (as indeed, “We are One”) within us (Luke 24:49; Luke 15:20, 31; John 10:30).

These two broken halves—the brokenness of man apart from His God and “the brokenness of God, given up to save His Son in man”—these two broken halves, when these two broken halves are so brought together “when we do this in remembrance of Him,” are the enjoining and divine union of our ascended, or completed spirits, with His perfect Holy Spirit; and these two broken halves, when so enjoined as we do likewise in imitation of Him, are the “broken bread of our Communion” brought together in Him, “given up for Him,” and “the everlasting cup of the new testament,” that is our “new covenant”; a veritable Holy Ghost poured out in the preaching of “repentance and remission of sins” (Luke 22:19-20; Luke 23:46; Luke 24:35; Isaiah 49:8; Luke 24:47).  This is the “new covenant,” of “repentance and remission of sins” known among us—“preached in His name among all nations” (Isaiah 49:8-9; Luke 24:47).

Indeed, two halves do not make a whole, and our spirits enjoined upon God do not make us entirely man or entirely God, as Christ Himself was both fully Man and fully God—two halves do not make a whole, but they just might make something even better.  And therefore, is the mystery of God, as “…in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets”; and therefore is the mystery of God, so completed (Revelation 10:7).  …Or is it?

“Thus saith the Lord…” (2 Chronicles 21:12).

 

References:

  1. 2 Chronicles 21:12-17

12 And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying,

Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father’s house, which were better than thyself: 14 behold, with a great plague will the Lord smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: 15 and thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.

Moreover the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians: 17 and they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king’s house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.

  1. Psalm 19:14

14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord,
my strength, and my redeemer.

  1. Proverbs 8:1-21, 32-36

8 Doth not wisdom cry?
and understanding put forth her voice?
She standeth in the top of high places,
by the way in the places of the paths.
She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city,
at the coming in at the doors.
Unto you, O men, I call;
and my voice is to the sons of man.
O ye simple, understand wisdom:
and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
Hear; for I will speak of excellent things;
and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
For my mouth shall speak truth;
and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are in righteousness;
there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
They are all plain to him that understandeth,
and right to them that find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver;
and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than rubies;
and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12 I wisdom dwell with prudence,
and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil:
pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom:
I am understanding; I have strength.

15 By me kings reign,
and princes decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
even all the judges of the earth.
17 I love them that love me;
and those that seek me early shall find me.
18 Riches and honour are with me;
yea, durable riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold;
and my revenue than choice silver.
20 I lead in the way of righteousness,
in the midst of the paths of judgment:
21 that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance;
and I will fill their treasures.

32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children:
for blessed are they that keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction, and be wise,
and refuse it not.
34 Blessed is the man that heareth me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life,
and shall obtain favour of the Lord.
36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul:
all they that hate me love death.

  1. Isaiah 49:6-10

And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob again to him,
Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God shall be my strength.
And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and to restore the preserved of Israel:
I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles,
that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Thus saith the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One,
to him whom man despiseth,
to him whom the nation abhorreth,
to a servant of rulers,
Kings shall see and arise,
princes also shall worship,
because of the Lord that is faithful,
and the Holy One of Israel,
and he shall choose thee.

Thus saith the Lord,
In an acceptable time have I heard thee,
and in a day of salvation have I helped thee:
and I will preserve thee,
and give thee for a covenant of the people,
to establish the earth,
to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
that thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth;
to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves.
They shall feed in the ways,
and their pastures shall be in all high places.
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst;
neither shall the heat nor sun smite them:
for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them,
even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

  1. Matthew 5:14-20

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

  1. Matthew 6:19-23

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

  1. Matthew 10:26-28

26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

  1. Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

  1. Mark 8:27-38

27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Cæsarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? 28 And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. 29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. 30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. 31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

  1. Luke 15:18-24, 29-32

18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

  1. Luke 17:20-21

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

  1. Luke 22:19-20

19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

  1. Luke 23:44-46

44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

  1. Luke 24:12-35, 44-53

12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23 and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

  1. John 6:35-40

35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

  1. John 8:12-31

12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. 14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. 23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. 25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

  1. John 10:25-30

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.

  1. John 11:7-16

Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judæa again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. 11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. 16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

  1. John 14:5-7, 10

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

  1. John 20:21-23

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

  1. Romans 10:10-11

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

  1. Revelation 10

10 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: and he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. 10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. 11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

 

Monday 4/22/10

Week 4/2: Day 3

John 20:24-29.  Doubting Thomas comes to believe.  How does my doubt reveal itself?  What overcomes it?

 

“Delivered by Joshua, Son of Nun: The Promised Land as a Placeholder for Things to Come”

The Promise of the Holy Land and the Deliverance of thy Soul to the Spirit.

 

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

 

Then said Jesus, “I won’t leave you hanging.”  “27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).

Just as Joshua, son of Nun, in the days of Moses, was so named to be savior of God’s people, and though the promise itself was not made to him, he was “chosen after Moses to lead God’s chosen people, the Israelites, into the land of the promise,” the promised land of Jerusalem and “the land promised unto Abraham”—just as “Joshua was chosen to deliver the promise, to deliver his people into the promised land,” so too was Jesus named like Joshua, to be savior of the people, as per its meaning in the Hebrew tongue—so too was Jesus, not only chosen by God, but begotten by God as God, to deliver the promise, to deliver His chosen people, indeed all mankind, into the promised land of the “new Jerusalem” (Numbers 27:16-18; Deuteronomy 34:4; Joshua 1:1-2; Galatians 4:26; Revelation 21:1-2).

For just as the man was made “in the image of God,” and the “law bears a shadow of good things to come, but not the very image of those things,” like the woman Eve coming forth out of Adam, or “the spirit being born after the flesh,” or Heaven coming forth after Earth, prepared for us as if “a bride adorned for her husband,” so too is Jesus, like Joshua, son of Nun, sent to deliver us to the promised land—albeit not to the promised land of the earthly Jerusalem, which bears only a shadow that which it is meant to represent, but to the “new Jerusalem,” of God’s eternal life in the Spirit, and the Kingdom of Heaven (Colossians 1:13-15; Hebrews 10:1; 1 Corinthians 15:44-45, 49; Revelation 21:2).

Just as the rituals of old were a mere semblance and foreshadowing of the better things to come, so too was the earthly Jerusalem and the promised land into which God’s people were delivered by Joshua—”so too was this earthly city just a foreshadowing and a semblance of the better things to come” (Galatians 4:24-31).  For just as the rituals and symbols and mysteries of this ancient Faith recorded in the Old Testament, these earthly and material acts and obligations as fulfillment of the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments, were merely meant to be earthly and material acts symbolic of something greater, of things spiritual, so too is this earthly city of the old Jerusalem, meant to be merely symbolic of something greater, of something spiritual, to be obtained in the new Jerusalem.

The earthly Jerusalem and promised land of the Israelites, is merely a placeholder in our hearts, until the heavenly city, that which this earthly land is meant to symbolize and represent, until that heavenly city, the city of God that we await while in this city of man, so appears, as our deliverance unto the true promise, delivered as “like God, in spirit and truth,” by our true Savior, “in spirit and truth” (John 4:20-24).

For just as the things of the material represent the hidden meaning, revealed in the New Testament as that which is spiritual, so too does the earthly promised land merely represent the promised land of the soul, as that which is spiritual.

Just as Jesus said, “the Kingdom comes not by observation” (Luke 17:20-21).  Just as He said through the Apostle St. Paul, “flesh and bone cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:50).  Just as Jesus said to Thomas, “be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).  Just as Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God is within you” (John 20:27; Luke 17:21).

The promised land on earth is merely symbolic, as the material is symbolic of the spiritual; just as the Passover lamb was symbolic of Jesus, and the leaven in our bread is symbolic of the power and doctrine of God, and the parables of Christ are symbolic of the way we ourselves ought to live out our Faith.  For who is not a Prodigal Son, or a Good Samaritan, or “a brother with a beam in his own eye,” “or a self-righteous Pharisee in need of repentance, or a publican who cannot even lift up his eyes to the Lord,” or a “Doubting Thomas,” who cannot believe without first seeing (Matthew 7:1-5; Luke 18:9-14; John 20:29)?

Indeed, just as all these stories are symbolic of a deeper meaning, and the rituals of our religion are placeholders in our actions and ways of life that keep our hearts open to the expectation of the spiritual, and our hopes fixed upon that which is eternal, and for that matter, internal, so too is the promised land merely a symbol of the greater things of the spirit; the spiritual things of Heaven and the eternity that God has in store for us.

Indeed, just as Joshua, son of Nun, led God’s people, delivered His chosen people, into the promised land, so too does Jesus, deliver the promise and deliver God’s chosen people—”as all people are chosen in His supreme justice and sovereign power in the virtue of true equality—so too does Jesus deliver His people” as He delivers the true promise, as “the promise of the Spirit” (Colossians 1:26-27; Galatians 3:14).

For it is not a material, or flesh and bone people that must be delivered to a temporal, tangible, material promised land, but it is a Spirit that must be delivered to the souls of man.  As we keep our hearts and eyes lifted up to Christ in faith, through the symbolism and deeper meaning conveyed to us through our sacramentals, the Sacraments, Mass, Holy Communion, and indeed all of our religious practices, so too can our hearts exchange in these mere material manifestations, these symbols of a deeper, truer, and surprisingly more real, spiritual meaning, for that which these things are meant to represent.

We trade in our material placeholders, as these worthless manifestations that are merely meant to keep our hearts open in hopeful expectation for the true promise, for the true and real treasure, the priceless treasure, that is the eternal Kingdom of the Holy Spirit, and we do indeed receive the promise, as the eternal spiritual treasure to be found within the soul, as “we do so worship our God in truth, and in Spirit” (John 4:24).

As “we await our God and abide both His teachings and His commands, so are we delivered”; but it is not this time our bodies that are so delivered, but our souls that are delivered, to the Spirit of Holiness that is of God—to the eternal city of the heavenly Jerusalem, the “new Jerusalem” of the “Holy Spirit delivered to our souls,” through the opening of “this gate of the Lord”—and we do so enter the “holy House”—nay, the Holy of Holies even, that is the immortal soul, and we do so receive the promise, YHWH’s promise, of “the Kingdom of God within” (John 14:15; Revelation 21:2; John 14:16-17; Psalm 118:20; John 14:2-3; Luke 17:21).

 

References:

  1. Numbers 20:7-13

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. 13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.

  1. Numbers 27:12-23

12 And the Lord said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. 13 And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. 14 For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.

15 And Moses spake unto the Lord, saying, 16 Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 17 which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

18 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; 19 and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. 20 And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. 21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. 22 And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: 23 and he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.

  1. Deuteronomy 34:1-4

34 And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.

  1. Joshua 1:1-3, 16-18

1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. 17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the Lord thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. 18 Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.

  1. Joshua 24:14-15, 19-25

14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20 If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. 21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord. 22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. 23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel. 24 And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. 25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

  1. Psalm 118:19-29

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness:
I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord:
20 this gate of the Lord,
into which the righteous shall enter.
21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me,
and art become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders refused
is become the head stone of the corner.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord:
O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.
27 God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light:
bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee:
thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

29 O give thanks unto the Lord;
for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

  1. Matthew 7:1-5

7 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

  1. Luke 17:20-21

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

  1. Luke 18:9-14

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

  1. John 4:20-24

20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

  1. John 14:1-4

14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

  1. John 20:24-31

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:44-50

44 it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

  1. Galatians 3:1-18, 24-29

3 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

  1. Galatians 4:14-31

14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. 16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? 17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. 18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

  1. Ephesians 1:9-14

having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 in whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

  1. Colossians 1:12-29

12 giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 1for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24 who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: 25 whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

  1. Hebrews 10:1-4

10 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

  1. Revelation 21:1-8

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

 

Tuesday 4/23/19

Week 4/2: Day 4

Isaiah 33:10, 35:1-10.  The Lord comes with new life, refreshing the parched land and consoling the despondent.

 

Title: “It is a small thing…”

 

13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? 14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. 17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity” (Isaiah 40:14-17).

 

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).

 

“Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee!” (Isaiah 33:1).  These are an erring and wayward people.  Woe to these of corruption, indeed.

At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered” (Isaiah 33:3).  “10 Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself” (Isaiah 33:10).

The ways of the Lord are self-evident to the earnest of learning and teachable of mind, to the wise of spirit and upright of heart.  The ways of the Lord are the truths of the conscience to those such as these.  To those such as these, wherein is made a natural habitation of holiness for the Spirit of God, it is a small thing that “the earth should be made His footstool,” “it is a small thing that a life should be given for the almighty God,” and it is a small thing that angels should confess His name, the name of His Holy One Jesus the living Christ, “firstborn of the dead,” from on high (Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 66:1; Isaiah 49:6; Colossians 1:18).

“It is a small thing that all the days of one’s life should be spent in lowly servitude” of this “holy tabernacle of His Holy Spirit that dwelleth within,” and that his own self should be made a small thing indeed, as if nothing at all, “that the Lord may be as all within him” (Isaiah 49:6; 1 Corinthians 3:15-20; 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 15:28; Ephesians 4:6).  It is a small thing that he should be a small thing and laid low, “laid low to desolation even, that the Lord may be exalted as all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).

10 Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself” (Isaiah 33:10).

They that see it not as a small thing to be made a small thing, “that walk in self-exaltation in the pride of the ego,” the bluster of vanity and the joy of life; they that see it not as a small thing that they should be small so that He shall be great, “that they must decrease so He shall increase,” that they must become lesser so that He may become greater; so His greater glory shall be made known; those that see it not as a small thing to become as a small thing, “to give up all for His sake,” so that “He shall be the all,” as “completed” as “All in All”; they are indeed “counted to him less than nothing, and vanity”  (Luke 16:15; John 3:30; Matthew 16:24-26; Matthew 19:27-30; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 2:9-19; 1 Corinthians 15:28; Isaiah 40:17).

Gathered in His glory as one within their souls, are those that see it as a small thing to “give up their lives so that He may be the life of God and truth within them”; those that see it as a small thing to “forsake their lives and selves to gain their souls in Him”—for He is the source of all life within their souls from whence they came—those that see it as a small thing to be small so that He may be known in truth—so that He may be great; so that we may be nothing and “He may be all…”; ones such as these, are those who “truly do see” (Matthew 16:24-26; Matthew 19:27-30; 1 Corinthians 15:28; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 2:9-19; Isaiah 35:5).  Ones such as these, are those who truly do see, “with the eyes of the Lord,” indeed (1 Peter 3:12).

10 Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself” (Isaiah 33:10).

11 Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you. 12 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire” (Isaiah 33:11-12).

It is a small thing to walk in the ways of the Lord for the “lowly of spirit,” the “meek and humble,” the forsaken of self, and upright of heart (Matthew 5:3-11; 11:28-30).  It is a small thing indeed, for, “15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil” (Isaiah 33:15).

The institution of the Ten Commandments is self-evident for those such as these, who rightly perceive it as an insult that such obvious statements should be taught to them.  “Who hath given the Lord counsel?  Who hath instructed the Spirit of the Lord?” (Isaiah 40:13-14).  Who hath taught “the finger of God” to etch His Word in stone, indeed (Exodus 8:10; Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10).  You should be insulted if I see you as such that you must be taught these obvious Commandments.  For the upright of heart, he that walketh righteously, sees them as self-evident, “inscribed in his conscience,” to go without saying—he abides without needing to be taught such things indeed (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

You should be insulted, “you exalted of ego, corrupted of heart, and devious of mind,” that I should deem it necessary to instruct you, that “thou shalt not kill, nor steal, nor lie…” (Luke 16:15; Deuteronomy 10:9).  You should be insulted indeed that I see you to be so ignorant and wicked that you need to be taught such things, if indeed you would be a child of God—a child “born into truth and who walks in the light” (John 11:9-10).

20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. 21 But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby” (Isaiah 33:20-21).

For he that is his own means to the ends, who is his own oars and path and Christ to the city of God and the Kingdom within and the Kingdom to come in Heaven above; he who is his own leaven and his own way and his own counsel in the ways of man, and pride, and the world, and sin, to gain access to “the tabernacle within”—he shall be the one who is as a ship without a paddle—”for no galley with oars, neither any gallant and ego-driven ship,” shall pass thereby (1 Corinthians 3:15-20; 6:19-20; Isaiah 33:21).

In the day of the Lord’s reckoning, “23 Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey. 24 And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity” (Isaiah 33:23-24).

The mast of the haughty of heart, the lofty of ego in the vanity of the wind, cannot be strengthened, for the Spirit of the Lord dwelleth not therein, but in the meek and lowly of heart; therein is the Spirit of God and the integrity that is the mast of the human soul strengthened.  They built their mast in the prideful bluster of ego and vanity, and not in the heart and soul and Spirit of God within, and so they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail unto the “whirlwind of the fire of the Lord,” and their tacklings are loosened, as the lame and lowly and meek and humble of heart, but strong of integrity in the mast of God’s Spirit, as these lame yet enlightened, indeed do take the prey (Isaiah 40:7, 24).

In the land of the upright, the inhabitant of the ego’s overturned ship shall not say, “I am sick,” nor make excuses for his sin (Isaiah 33:24).  He shall confess his pride, he shall confess his ego, his arrogance, his deceitful and erring ways, and he shall not excuse his sin nor say “I am sick” (Isaiah 33:24).  And the people that confess and that dwell therein, that confess their sin without hardening their heart in self-righteousness, nor wax over with indignant arrogance in making excuses—they who confess their sins as inexcusable, in meekness, in shame, in lowliness of spirit and humility of heart—these people who dwell within the “haughty ship and gallant galley” of the “overturned tyrant,” these people “shall be forgiven their inequity” (Isaiah 33:21; Matthew 21:12-13; Isaiah 33:24).

These people shall be taken in, as a gain and a boon and a bounty for the Church of Christ, the community of saints, and the city of the meek and lowly, and humble of heart, wherein only God dwelleth as exalted on high—and only “the Lord God omnipotent reigneth”—the city of Heaven and the Kingdom of God (Revelation 19:6).

And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein” (Isaiah 35:8).

There shall be a way for the haughty of hearty—the high of mast and unstrengthened of spirit—and it shall be called the way of holiness.  To the saints and the holy this path is come naturally, and it is indeed and in clarity, wholly self-evident.  These are the children of light who heed the dictates and commands inscribed in their conscience, and it is a small thing for them to dwell willingly and abide in holiness therein.  It is a small thing and a natural thing for the children of light to be in and of the light.  Yet this path, these dictates, are not for those who find them to be self-evident, and rightly perceive it as an insult to their virtue, their integrity, and their intelligence to receive the Commandments that, “thou shalt not kill, nor steal, nor lie…” (Deuteronomy 9:10).  To ones such as these, it is a small thing, an obvious thing, and it goes without saying to follow this path of holiness—that is as natural as breathing to the upright of Spirit and lowly of heart.

This way is of them, but it is not for them.  This “way of holiness, is for the erring and wayfaring men”—as though fools, they shall not err therein. (Isaiah 35:8).  The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those, and they shall be converted and made clean therein.  Therein, “in the tempest of the soul,” shall the unclean not pass, until they be made clean, and be converted unto righteousness; until they be made as “a pleasing sacrifice of holiness within,” and “acceptable in the sight and eyes of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:24; 1 Corinthians 3:15-17; Psalm 51:16-17; Psalm 19:14).  “The eyes of the Lord are upon all His holy and righteous,” and “nothing can be hid from the light and the truth and the heat therein” (1 Peter 3:12; Psalm 19:6).  Nothing can be hid from eyes of God, and the meditation of His heart in the heat therein.

 

References:

  1. Exodus 8:10

10 and the Lord delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the Lord spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.

  1. Exodus 31:18

18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

  1. Deuteronomy 9:10

10 and the Lord delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the Lord spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.

  1. Psalm 19:4-6, 14

Their line is gone out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven,
and his circuit unto the ends of it:
and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord,
my strength, and my redeemer.

  1. Psalm 110

A Psalm of David.

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand,
until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion:
rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,
in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning:
thou hast the dew of thy youth.
The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent,
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
He shall judge among the heathen,
he shall fill the places with the dead bodies;
he shall wound the heads over many countries.
He shall drink of the brook in the way:
therefore shall he lift up the head.

  1. Psalm 51:16-17

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it:
thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:
a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

  1. Isaiah 33

33 Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled;
and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee!
when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled;
and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously,
they shall deal treacherously with thee.
O Lord, be gracious unto us;
we have waited for thee:
be thou their arm every morning,
our salvation also in the time of trouble.
At the noise of the tumult the people fled;
at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.
And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpiller:
as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them.
The Lord is exalted; for he dwelleth on high:
he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
And wisdom and knowledge shall be
the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation:
the fear of the Lord is his treasure.
Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without:
the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.
The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth:
he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities,
he regardeth no man.
The earth mourneth and languisheth:
Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down:
Sharon is like a wilderness;
and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.

10 Now will I rise, saith the Lord;
now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself.
11 Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble:
your breath, as fire, shall devour you.
12 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime:
as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.

13 Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done;
and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites.
Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly;
he that despiseth the gain of oppressions,
that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes,
that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood,
and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
16 he shall dwell on high:
his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks:
bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty:
they shall behold the land that is very far off.
18 Thine heart shall meditate terror.
Where is the scribe?
where is the receiver?
where is he that counted the towers?
19 Thou shalt not see a fierce people,
a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive;
of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.
20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities:
thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation,
a tabernacle that shall not be taken down;
not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed,
neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
21 But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams;
wherein shall go no galley with oars,
neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.
22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver,
the Lord is our king; he will save us.
23 Thy tacklings are loosed;
they could not well strengthen their mast,
they could not spread the sail:
then is the prey of a great spoil divided;
the lame take the prey.
24 And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick:
the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

  1. Isaiah 35

35 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them;
and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
It shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice even with joy and singing:
the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it,
the excellency of Carmel and Sharon,
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
and the excellency of our God.

Strengthen ye the weak hands,
and confirm the feeble knees.
Say to them that are of a fearful heart,
Be strong, fear not:
behold, your God will come with vengeance,
even God with a recompence;
he will come and save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart,
and the tongue of the dumb sing:
for in the wilderness shall waters break out,
and streams in the desert.
And the parched ground shall become a pool,
and the thirsty land springs of water:
in the habitation of dragons, where each lay,
shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
And an highway shall be there, and a way,
and it shall be called The way of holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those:
the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
No lion shall be there,
nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon,
it shall not be found there;
but the redeemed shall walk there:
10 and the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with songs
and everlasting joy upon their heads:
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

  1. Isaiah 40:3-8, 12-31

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low:
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough places plain:
and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together:
for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

The voice said, Cry.
And he said, What shall I cry?
All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
the grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
and meted out heaven with the span,
and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure,
and weighed the mountains in scales,
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord,
or being his counsellor hath taught him?
14 With whom took he counsel,
and who instructed him,
and taught him in the path of judgment,
and taught him knowledge,
and shewed to him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket,
and are counted as the small dust of the balance:
behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.
16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,
nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.
17 All nations before him are as nothing;
and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

18 To whom then will ye liken God?
or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
19 The workman melteth a graven image,
and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold,
and casteth silver chains.
20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation
chooseth a tree that will not rot;
he seeketh unto him a cunning workman
to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.

21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard?
hath it not been told you from the beginning?
have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,
and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers;
that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain,
and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
23 that bringeth the princes to nothing;
he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.
24 Yea, they shall not be planted;
yea, they shall not be sown:
yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth:
and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither,
and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.

25 To whom then will ye liken me,
or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high,
and behold who hath created these things,
that bringeth out their host by number:
he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might,
for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel,
My way is hid from the Lord,
and my judgment is passed over from my God?

28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard,
that the everlasting God, the Lord,
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
fainteth not, neither is weary?
there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.

  1. Isaiah 49:6

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and to restore the preserved of Israel:
I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles,
that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

  1. Isaiah 66:1-2

66 Thus saith the Lord,
The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:
where is the house that ye build unto me?
and where is the place of my rest?
For all those things hath mine hand made,
and all those things have been,
saith the Lord:
but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word.

  1. Ezekiel 36:26-29

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

  1. Matthew 5:1-12

5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

  1. Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

  1. Matthew 16:24-28

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

  1. Matthew 19:27-30

27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

  1. Matthew 21:12-13

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

  1. Luke 16:8-14

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. 10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

  1. John 3:25-30

25 Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. 27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

  1. John 11:7-14

Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judæa again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. 11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

  1. 1 Corinthians 3:15-20

15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

  1. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

  1. Ephesians 4:1-6

4 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

  1. Colossians 1:18-20

18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

  1. Colossians 2:6-15

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

  1. 1 Peter 3:12

12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

  1. Revelation 19:5-6

And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

 

Wednesday 4/24/19

Week 4/2: Day 5

Romans 8:31-39.  Through the grace bestowed on us through Jesus’ sacrifice, we can never be separated from the love of God.  Do I believe this?  Do my actions bear it out?

 

Title: “Counted as Sheep for the Slaughter

“Counting Sheep” …All Day Long.

 

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:36-37).

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).

 

As it is written, “For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (Romans 8:23).  But are we overcome as we so sacrifice ourselves?  Are we rather not conquerors of self in being conquered by Christ, as we do so willingly suffer so that His glory may shine through us by virtue of our suffering, be that it is for His sake?  For His name’s sake?  For, “blessed are you when they shall persecute you, and torment you, and mock you and slander you—and say all manner of vile wickedness about you, for my name’s sake; for they so persecuted the prophets before you in this manner, and it is ones such as these that inherit the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 5:10-12).

Indeed, through suffering it willingly and without fault on our end, as “we do so accept the cup of affliction”; by virtue of this willing sacrifice of blessed innocence, “for we do so strive to return no insult to injury on our part—as we do so strive to bless those who persecute or insult or slander us,” and “return not evil for evil,” we are indeed conquerors through Christ, wherein dwells the love of God, the eternal Kingdom, and the most blessed “agápē,” which is the meaning of and holy height of the human experience, in this, Life (Matthew 26:39; Matthew 5:44; 1 Peter 3:9; John 21:15-17).

For the “keys to the Kingdom,” so to speak, the secret to this mystery of the Cross, is that like Peter, we heed the call and obey the command, “Follow thou me,” and “we do indeed count ourselves as sheep for the slaughter” (Matthew 16:17-19; John 21:17-19, 22; Romans 8:36).

We count ourselves as willing sacrifices, which are acceptable, as those who are indeed against us, “spitefully use us and speak ignorantly all manner of wickedness about us, falsely”—behind our back as we accept the sucker punch, in all obedience and prescient foreknowledge that we are led out here to die, to suffer, and to be sacrifices (Matthew 5:11)

As we do indeed count ourselves as sheep for the slaughter; indeed as all manner of insults are directed at us behind our back, as if we had not knowledge of their infliction of pain in this cup of affliction, that is our bleeding and agonized heart that we so willingly bear; indeed as we do so count ourselves as sheep for the slaughter, herein in our secret, the mystery of the Cross in the pain that we suffer—it is, in all holy innocence, and it is, “for His name’s sake” (Matthew 10:22).

We do suffer, and we do so willingly and in perfect innocence.  We “return not evil for evil,” but “bless those who persecute us, and despitefully use us,” as “we suffer for righteousness’ sake” (1 Peter 3:9; Matthew 5:44; 1 Peter 3:14-17).  For what is it to be persecuted, if not to be spoken ill of falsely, and to suffer injustice wrongly?  “To be the offscouring to this day,” for their false witness against us (1 Corinthians 4:9, 12-13)?  We find rest in our souls and in God; for, in the comforting words of St. Peter, “we sanctify the Lord in our hearts,” and we abide the Lord, “having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing” (1 Peter 3:15, 16-17).

For just as St. Peter had said, “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:19-24).

They speak ill against us, falsely, as a knife wound in the back plunged through with vicious gossip and spiteful slander, as like a spear wound in the side, of this not-so-ignorant of the abuse, still-suffering and still-bleeding, Paschal heart.

For a lowly spirit, a hubris brought low to be so “overshadowed by the holiness, the Holy Spirit, of the Most High,” and “a tender and contrite heart will the Lord not spurn—indeed a contrite heart and a lowly spirit is a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing in the eyes of the Lord” (Luke 1:35; Psalm 51:10-11, 17).

A sacrifice such as this, snow white in perfect innocence, as if a spirit or a lamb without blemish of sin, yet suffering willingly, and indeed with full knowledge of why it does indeed suffer so, as if for His name’s sake, is indeed greatly to be desired, and precious beyond words, as indeed likewise is the mystic wisdom of God; given by His will, through His own thoughts, and beheld as if with His own mind; a sacrifice of a mystic lamb such as this is precious, beyond words indeed, in the eyes of the Lord.

There was so indeed “a time when God winked at all manner of such persecutions, but in these last days, it shall not be so” (Acts 17:30-31).  In the coming of the Son of Man, in His triumphant glory, “coming indeed as it were, as if in the days of Noah,” this manner of injustice “shall not pass” (Matthew 24:36-42; Luke 17:26-32; Matthew 19:23-26).  For as it is written, as if of the last days, “the Son of Man shall no longer suffer at the hands of the sons of inequity,” and “even as Pilate so washed his hands,” “they shall indeed in these times not wash theirs, until the inside of the cups,” “these hearts and sacred vessels of the human soul, shall be made clean, inside and out” (Ezekiel 3:16-21; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Matthew 27:24-26; Matthew 23:25-28; Ezekiel 18:30-32).

For it shall not pass, in the days of His coming glory, “what was indeed winked at in the days of the early Church’s persecution” (Acts 17:30-31).  For as the Son is the Judge of our hearts and souls, and Christ Jesus, “our High Priest forever, not after the manner of man and the sons of Aaron, but after the order, blessed in eternity, of Melchisedec”; for our Son of God Christ Jesus, is the final say and the final judgement of our souls, and in the coming of His glory, indeed there shall be many, “who shall not pass” (Hebrews 7:15-17, 21-28; Matthew 19:23-26; Matthew 7:14, 21-23).

For in these days, as if in the time of Noah, (“remember Lot’s wife” and turn not back to sin), for in these days “we shall indeed be made to give an account of every idle word” (“and every backbiting bit of slander, inflicted to our ruin, for His name’s sake”); and there are many, as Christ Jesus had said, “who shall not taste of death,” until they so hear the words, “blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord” (Luke 17:32; Matthew 12:36-37; Matthew 12:31-32; Matthew 16:28; Matthew 23:38-39).  As it is spoken, let it be written.  “As you have commanded, let it be done unto me” (Luke 1:38).  Amen.

…Amen, I say, AMEN!

 

References:

  1. Psalm 51:9-17

Hide thy face from my sins,
and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence;
and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways;
and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation:
and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips;
and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it:
thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:
a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

  1. Ezekiel 3:16-21

16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

  1. Ezekeil 18:19-32

19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? 26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. 27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

  1. Matthew 5:1-12, 38-48

5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

  1. Matthew 7:13–23

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

  1. Matthew 10:16-28

16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

  1. Matthew 12:31-37

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

  1. Matthew 16:14-20, 24-28

14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

  1. Matthew 19:23-26

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

  1. Matthew 23:25-39

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

  1. Matthew 24:36-42

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

  1. Matthew 26:36-39

36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

  1. Matthew 27:24-26

24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. 25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. 26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

  1. Luke 1:34-38

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

  1. Luke 17:20-37

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

  1. John 21:15-24

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

  1. Acts 17:22-31

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

  1. Romans 8:31-38

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. 1 Corinthians 4:9-21

For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. 11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; 12 and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13 being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. 17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. 18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

  1. Hebrews 7:15-28

15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: 21 (for those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) 22 by so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 but this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

  1. 1 Peter 2:18-25

18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

  1. 1 Peter 3:8-22

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

 

Thursday 4/25/19

Week 4/2: Day 6

John 20:19-23 (Day 1 again).  Jesus comes to the Upper Room.  Has Jesus’ presence ever broken through the wall I was hiding behind?

 

Title: “Word Play: Born Again from Above and The Deathbed of the Christian”

 

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained” (John 20:21-23).

 

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:3-8).

 

“Whosoever’s sins ye remit, they are remitted, and whosoever’s sins ye retain, they are retained” (John 20:23).  As like the floods “in the days of Noah,” these heavenly waters of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit indwelling at the height of holiness in the human soul, is the source of the “living water,” the “Wisdom of God,” and the breath of life, that as like “a mighty wind” that “skims the surface of our human mortality,” is the “Spirit and wind above us” by which we must be “born again,” so as to be confirmed in this baptism, that “though not unlike the baptism of John, is altogether more real, as it is the baptism of Christ, by fire and the Holy Ghost,” that is the “image that this Sacrament of Baptism by water is merely a likeness” and foreshadowing of (Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:5-8; Isaiah 30:23-25; John 4:10, 14; Revelation 22:1, 17; Isaiah 55:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:6-7, 14; Acts 2:2; Genesis 1:2; John 3:3-8; Matthew 3:11-12; Genesis 1:26).

As like “the mighty wind rushing over the abyss,” “separating the dome of the waters below from the Heaven of the waters above,” so is the ebb and flow of these living waters of the Holy Spirit, the lifeblood and eternal flame and breath of life to the soul (Acts 2:2; Genesis 1:2; Genesis 1:6-8).  As the sins are remitted, the waters recede back into this heavenly body, this Spirit hovering above us, and as the sins are retained, the land is flooded with the drowning and evaporation of “all life upon this mortal soul,” the “immortality indwelling in the Kingdom within” (Genesis 1:10-13; Luke 17:20-21).

The mind is converted back to dust and ash as the land is parched dry, and yet then, correspondingly (as if in Communion and communication with the Lord), “as the heart repents of the wickedness held therein,” the mind is then “reborn from the Spirit above,” as “this Holy White Dove,” “descends in a nosedive,” to bestow upon this holy penitent the olive branch of Christ’s oily anointing; to usher in new life to this newborn soul, coming forth from a land just as drowned and deadened and suffocated in its deluge, as it is scorched and scathed and parched and arid, and the flame of the Almighty that is the purity and holiness of God’s Spirit, takes on a whole new meaning, as it assumes a new place of reverence within the repentant heart (Genesis 6:5-8; Malachi 2:2; 3:7, 17-18; 4:4-6; Isaiah 55:8-9; Matthew 3:16-17; Acts 2:1).

As once before this holy light and immortal flame was the source of a purgative pyre and a death, or intolerable internal immolation—the death of the soul—nay, the eradication and extermination of the sins of the soul, the perishable human mortality of the soul, now, “as if Risen on the third day,” although it be more like on the thirty-third year, this flame is no longer a source of pain and death and punishment, for that which is prone to perish within the soul is driven out, and now dead to its mortality, the chaff of sin no longer catches fire, to the agony of the soul’s tactile sensation, in the eternal flame (Genesis 1:11-13).

Now only the eternal life of the fire is felt, as all the body’s senses are now dead unto the Spirit’s life of an eternal awakening, and there is “no longer any mortality to be scorched, nor sin of man to be purged out and burned away,” from the immortality that now fully takes hold of this truly “born again soul” (Matthew 13:30; Malachi 3:2-3; 4:1; John 3:2-8, 31-36).

Now only “the eternal life bursting forth from this seed, the Word,” watered in this heavenly baptismal font unto a fully-grown kernel of grain, ripe for the harvest, blossoms into heavenly nourishment for this soul.  As it sparks and smolders and will not be smothered by this flame, into which it has indeed been converted, it blossoms forth like an ethereal empyrean rose in its flowery breathy beauty, and “erupts like a kernel of corn set to the flame, as it is consumed therein as its own heavenly sustenance” (Matthew 13:23, 31; Mark 4:20, 26-29, 30-32; John 4:32-38).

In being dead to itself and converted unto the eternal nature of “God’s own consuming breath of fire of brimstone,” it becomes, like Him, its own holy preservation, hotly enjoining its heart to the hearth, its seed to the embers, and “its fan to the flame” (Isaiah 30:27-28, 33; John 4:24; Hebrews 1:7; 12:29; 2 Timothy 1:6; Matthew 3:12).  As “the grain of the harvest is full in the ear,” as the ear of the heart “bends with the weight of the burden thereof,” the growth of agápē is harvested by the scythe and sickle of His own holy Hand, and the eruption of this heavenly Paschal love boils over and bursts forth in billowing and blossoming eruptions, like popcorn exploding in an open flame (Mark 4:26-29; Malachi 1:1; Isaiah 30:27).  “The ear inclines” to its Lord, and man is indeed transplanted, supplanted, and sustained by “each Word and seed and grain, now ripe for the harvest, that has proceeded out of the mouth of the Father” (Isaiah 50:4-5; 55:3: Matthew 4:4; Isaiah 55:10-11; John 4:32-38; Matthew 13:8-9, 23, 31; Mark 4:20, 30-32).

As the lips of His soul grasp firmly and tightly onto mine, “this one little shoot and spring and sprig of life left standing” in this “Lake of Fire” and land of desolation, at once bursts forth into a transcendence as the landscape transfigures itself around “this one little root, this stump, this shoot and tree of Jesse and Christ and charity, and Hell itself bows down to the blade as it is transformed, by His holy transference, into Heaven above (Isaiah 11:1, 10; Revelation 22:2, 16; Matthew 13:21; Mark 4:6, 17; Revelation 21:8).  “Truly, unless you be born from above, born again from the Spirit…” (John 3:3-8; Isaiah 55:8-9).

The double meanings of His “innately understood” “word play,take root and shape as the seed of His Word within my soul (Matthew 13:9-17; Mark 4:9-13; John 3:2-7).  “Mountains are moved,” realms collide, and mountains are transfigured into the “Tabor Light,” as “my mind stands immoveable,” transcended, immutable, and transfixed (Matthew 17:20-21; Mark 4:21-23; Hebrews 12:26-29).

A holy immolation upon the funeral pyre that was the heavenly deathbed of an earthly death drips with its own repurposed kindling of “a kindred candle” found in gasoline, and as a kerosene-drenched wick beholds its own match, made in Heaven, an implosion, an eruption of an internal explosion, bursts forth in an immersion into the depths as the abyss beholds its long-awaited embrace from the embers of new life (Mark 4:21-23; Matthew 7:13-14; John 11:25-26).

Still seething with the scorch marks of the third degree, the self-made sacrifice seeps into its own reemergence as all things are absorbed into this spongey, pliable, planked, and plunged-in kamikaze kiss, and “all in all,” as the Lord above now brings up the rear, and holds position, all things are made “as One” (I Corinthians 15:28; John 10:30).  New life blossoms forth from the furthest inverted point in the fathoms of Hell, and “through the needle of the eye of God,” it turns itself inside-out, without a word, so to speak, and behold—“Blessed are those who so believe without seeing,” for, “all things are made new!” (Matthew 19:24; Matthew 7:13-14; John 11:25-26; John 20:29; Revelation 21:5).

Behold woman, “thy faith hath made thee Whole!” (Mark 5:34; Matthew 22:30; John 11:25-26; Revelation 21:1-3).  “And the Spirit and bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).  And they departed in peace, doing cartwheels and the like.

 

References:

  1. Genesis 1:1-13, 26

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

  1. Genesis 6:5-8

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

  1. Isaiah 11:1-4, 10-12

11 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,
and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord:
and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes,
neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
but with righteousness shall he judge the poor,
and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth:
and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse,
which shall stand for an ensign of the people;
to it shall the Gentiles seek:
and his rest shall be glorious.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day,
that the Lord shall set his hand again
the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left,
from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros,
and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar,
and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations,
and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel,
and gather together the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.

  1. Isaiah 30:23-33

23 Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures. 24 The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. 25 And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

27 Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far,
burning with his anger,
and the burden thereof is heavy:
his lips are full of indignation,
and his tongue as a devouring fire:
28 and his breath, as an overflowing stream,
shall reach to the midst of the neck,
to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity:
and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people,
causing them to err.
29 Ye shall have a song,
as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept;
and gladness of heart,
as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord,
to the mighty One of Israel.
30 And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard,
and shall shew the lighting down of his arm,
with the indignation of his anger,
and with the flame of a devouring fire,
with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.
31 For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down,
which smote with a rod.
32 And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass,
which the Lord shall lay upon him,
it shall be with tabrets and harps:
and in battles of shaking will he fight with it.
33 For Tophet is ordained of old;
yea, for the king it is prepared;
he hath made it deep and large:
the pile thereof is fire and much wood;
the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone,
doth kindle it.

  1. Isaiah 55

55 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters,
and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat;
yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?
and your labour for that which satisfieth not?
hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good,
and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Incline your ear, and come unto me:
hear, and your soul shall live;
and I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
even the sure mercies of David.
Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people,
a leader and commander to the people.
Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not,
and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee
because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel;
for he hath glorified thee.

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near:
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the Lord,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven,
and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth,
and maketh it bring forth and bud,
that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
it shall not return unto me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please,
and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace:
the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree,
and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree:
and it shall be to the Lord for a name,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

  1. Isaiah 50:4-5

The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary:
he wakeneth morning by morning,
he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
The Lord God hath opened mine ear,
and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

  1. Malachi 1:1-5

1 The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever. And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel.

  1. Malachi 2:1-9, 14-17

2 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law

14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment.

  1. Malachi 3

3 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return.

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.

13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? 14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? 15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

  1. Malachi 4

4 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.

Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

  1. Matthew 3:7-17

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

  1. Matthew 4:1-4

4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

  1. Matthew 7:13-14

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

  1. Matthew 13:8-33

but other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32 which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

  1. Matthew 17:20-21

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

  1. Matthew 19:23-26

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

  1. Matthew 22:29-33

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

  1. Mark 4:6-34

but when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. 13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? 14 The sower soweth the word. 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? 22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. 23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. 25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27 and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. 28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. 29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: 32 but when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. 33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

  1. Mark 5:25-34

25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27 when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

  1. Luke 17:20-33

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

  1. John 3:1-21, 31-36

3 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. 32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. 33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. 34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. 35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

  1. John 4:10-26, 31-38

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

  1. John 10:26-30

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.

  1. John 11:24-27

24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

  1. John 20:16-29

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:28-44

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

  1. Acts 2:1-4

2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

  1. 2 Timothy 1:6-14

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

  1. Hebrews 1:6-14

And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

  1. Hebrews 12:24-29

24 and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

  1. Revelation 21:1-8

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

  1. Revelation 22:1-5, 16-21

22 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: and they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

 

Friday 4/26/19

Week 4/2: Day 7

Luke 24:13-35 (Day 2 again).  Jesus on the road to Emmaus.  These two disciples recognized Him in the breaking of the bread.  How do I recognize Jesus in my life?

 

Title: “A Calling by Name: Did Not Our Hearts Burn?”

(The Branding Iron of Christ’s Sheep.)

 

30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up the same hour…” (Luke 24:30-33).

 

…And they rose up the same hour.  They said, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures,” just after he “vanished out of their sight” (Luke 24:31-32)?  It seems that whensoever Jesus deems it fit and prudent to make an appearance in my life, “His handiwork has a certain characteristic, and a certain quality,” a certain je ne sais quois, almost as if bearing an unseen trademark as it bears all the hallmarks of His holy name (Psalm 19:1-4).  Indeed, the work of Christ in my life is not brandished like a flag of victory held up in glory upon this battlefield of a holy war that we call life.

For “we battle not with one another, nor with flesh and blood, as if with war for peace, but we contend rather with powers and principalities, with systems and spirits,” battling to overcome injustice and to conquer self and sin (Ephesians 6:12).  It seems that whensoever Jesus makes an entryway into my life, as if with a chalk outline with the way it may seem in the moment, His cameo bears not all the bells and whistles of pride and prestige, nor triumph and victory, “though we are indeed conquerors through Him,” “nor glory and exultation” (Romans 8:37; 2 Corinthians 11:29-30; 12:6-12).  The hallmarks of Christ, though sometimes they are as if unseen they nevertheless go not unnoticed, are beheld always by His most sudden disappearance, as He at once “vanished out of their sight,” and by the traces of His work that He leaves in my heart, for me to ponder and contemplate in a prayer of holy recollection and of quiet within my soul, as “they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us” (Luke 24:31-32).

Jesus leaves His signature, as author of Life itself, upon all of His work, and, as if bearing the brand of a hot iron impressed into tender white flesh, the logo and initials and mark of His name are upon us, as like the hour of His visitation and the hour of our awakening, scarred over into a bleached white emblem of the eternal etching of His claim, of ownership over us.

We bear the branding in our hearts as sheep and lambs of His own flock, the community of saints and army of white-robed martyrs, “beaming forth in smiles the extracted beams from our own eyes,” as we push forward amidst the crowd of thoughts or vices or spirits of sin that would deign to take ahold of us, to hold us back by our trailing coattails and shredded graveclothes, “garments of white glistening to His glory, as they bear witness to the death of death and the Tabor Light of a transfixed Transfiguration, from our last vestiges of mortality unto the vesture of heavenly angels, declaring the deliverance of all such forlorn and lovesick souls,” from “the entryway and loosened seal and opened mouthpiece, of an empty grave” (Matthew 7:3-5; Luke 24:2-12; Revelation 5:5).

“Christ is risen,” our eyes do speak, “with fiery cloven tongues of the Holy Ghost” held still behind pink lips pursed together in heavenly silence (Luke 24:6; Acts 2:3-4).  “Why seek the living among the dead?” our snow white souls bleat out, among those still asleep in their mortal flesh (Luke 24:5).

Our hearts bear witness to His eternal handiwork, Christ Jesus, arisen from the dead, conqueror of the grave, to the ruin of sin and the desolation of “the unrighteous mammon” (Luke 16:8-13).  “Why thirst ye after water that will not satisfy you, and why hunger ye after husbands who will not fulfill you?” (John 4:13-19).  “Why hunger ye after bread that will not nourish you,” and why seek ye after sustenance that will not sustain you, in your soul and spirit (John 4:32-34; Matthew 4:4; 5:6)?  For the “lusts of the flesh” quench the light of Christ, but the ways of the Spirit enkindle the eternal flame and nurture the heavenly spark of the divine light within; and the path of Christ, as “we follow after the Spirit,” brings fulfillment to our souls, nourishment to our understanding, wisdom to our minds, and a burning zeal that is the holiness of the Most High, and the love of God, to within our hearts (Romans 8:1, 4-9).

These etchings and brandmarks, as if bearing the other half and fulfillment of the promise—like our signature of completion to obey God’s first etchings, of the Ten Commandments in the Stone Tablets of the Law of Moses, as we have indeed been suffered and succored, this “burning in our hearts” is our unspoken agreement and willing acquiescence to the ways of the Lord, and it is like Him signing off for us, in the fleshly tablets of the Law in the consciences and understanding of our hearts, that indeed we have been privy to the workings of His Word, and indeed we have labored alongside Him and obeyed His command (Luke 24:32).

For our branding as His sheep is etched indelibly in our hearts and souls as we bear witness not to ourselves nor our own handiwork, but to Him, our God, our Author, and to His—both His work, and His array of adornment and glory in each lamb and sheep of His flock—to our God and His family in Heaven—to Him and His.

For  even the spirits we strive to cast our bear witness of His works, as they declare Him to those who bear not this “burning in their hearts,” which is recognized at once as He so characteristically, mysteriously, vanishes from their sight—such that “they wonder if they haven’t seen a ghost”—a ghost, as if a Ghost of Holiness, indeed (Luke 24:32, 36)!

As is recorded in the Book of Acts, “We have heard of Paul and of Christ, but you we do not know,” as even the demons of Hell so profess, professing sound theology, but mingled with evil, and spoken alongside the wickedness of sin, as they so conceal themselves alongside good spirits, and “disguise themselves as angels of light” (Acts 15:15; 2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Indeed, all things bear witness of Christ, but when the truth to which one clings, as the root and security and foundation of fact and sound doctrine, and the meaning of it all in one’s heart, bears not witness to God, and bears not the brand of His sheep and the burning of a sharing in the suffering and sacrifice as a piece, and the peace, of His own sacred heart; when the root of your soul is not in all honesty the truth of God as you are held fast in His heaven and in His heart as His, then surely along with the demons of Hell shall the spirits above declare, shall the angels declare, shall we declare, shall this heavenly chorus declare, as mere mouthpieces affixed onto the eternal lips of the Most High, like a mere reed in the eternal wind instrument of musical melody that is His holy will—”Paul we know and Christ we know—but who are ye, we know thee not!” (Acts 15:15).

Truly—verily, verily—there will come a day when you will say, have not we done all things in your name?  And I will say, “not all who so strive will indeed enter the Kingdom, but only those who do the will of my Father” (Matthew 7:21-23).  Therefore I will say to many of you, for “even demons in Hell so confess the name of Christ,” and even demons in Hell do so know the name of the Father and in truth confess belief in God—“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble”—I will say to many of you, indeed you confess the name of Christ in truth, but the will of the Father you have not done, and though you have done many things in my name, and have done many things well, as for laboring in the work of God alongside me, as our hearts burn with the fiery zeal of our shared sacrifice and shared suffering, and our souls are fused together through this fire, in divine union, into One; as for remaining and abiding with me to accomplish the will of the Father, this you have not done, and I will say to you, “I know ye not, depart from me ye workers of inequity” (Acts 15:15; James 2:19; Matthew 7:23).

And so there shall be many who will so confess me, but who have already, departed in their own peace.  I know me, and I know mine, and the peace we seek and the peace we do so attain, is not to be likened to the peace of man known of the flesh.  The peace we so embrace, is the peace of God borne in Christ, and as if bearing up the Cross and the wounds of His hands, pierced through with nails, so do we bear along with each other, in this peace of God as we are made One—One is suffering, in soul and Spirit, and in Christ.  In the peace that is of God, that transcends life on earth, and life in the flesh, and that surpasses all mortal understanding, “we are One” (John 10:30).  And they departed in peace, doing cartwheels and the like.

 

Highlighted Passages:

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23).

13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified” (Acts 15:13, 15-17).

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” (James 2:17-22).

 

References:

  1. Psalm 19:1-6

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech,
and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language,
where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven,
and his circuit unto the ends of it:
and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

  1. Matthew 4:1-4

4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

  1. Matthew 5:1-12

5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

  1. Matthew 7:1-5, 15-29

7 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

  1. Luke 16:1-13

16 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. 10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

  1. Luke 24:1-49

24 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. 12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23 and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

  1. John 4:10-26, 31-38

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

  1. John 10:25-30

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.

  1. Acts 2:1-4

2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

  1. Acts 19:1-20

20 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.

And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. 10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. 11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

  1. Romans 8:1-8, 31-39

8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. 2 Corinthians 11

11 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.

Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth. 12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little. 17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. 20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. 21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak.

Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: 33 and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

  1. 2 Corinthians 12:1-13

12 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. 13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong

  1. Ephesians 6:10-20

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

  1. James 2:14-26

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

  1. Revelation 5:1-10

5 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

 

Saturday 4/27/19

Week 4/3: Day 1

John 21:1-19.  To what service is God calling me?  Can my love of the Lord withstand challenges?

 

Title: “The Safety Net of the Fisher of Men: Follow Thou Me

 

11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken” (John 21:11).

 

“…Yet was not the net broken” (John 21:11).  For all there were so many, and yet, “was not the net broken” (John 21:11).  This description of the last recorded appearance of Jesus to His disciples is most portentous and full, as like the net with fishes, with deeper meaning and hidden, or lightly-veiled, as it were, symbolism.  For instance, was it really necessary to give the exact number of the great fishes caught up in the net—153, all in all?  And yet is nothing recorded that is without some meaning and significance in this Living Word of God.  Did the disciples really sit there to count and record that very precise, oddly precise, number, in just this one Gospel?  Nevertheless, the net, full of the multitude of the great fishes, did not break, even though they, “were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes” (John 21:6).

This net that catches “this great multitude” of “great fishes,” 153 to be exact, is the heart of Christ—cast out, cast overboard, cast off, and cast away (Matthew 15:32; 16:9-10; John 21:11).  And yet, though when the disciples, with the power of man, are able to avail themselves of nothing by the use of this net, this heart, this great safety net and source of eternal “ichthys” sustenance, when Christ gives the command—”Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find… they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes” (John 21:6).

This allegory, though admittedly discerned while perhaps reading a bit too deeply into this passage, nevertheless, let Thy will be expressed in this interpretation as Thy Spirit guides my pen; this allegory speaks to the significance of waiting with the Lord, with precision (“cast the net over the right side”—as if to say, not the left), and depending upon His power to land a catch of fishes, rather than the power of man (John 21:6).

I would liken this allegory to His analogy of the power of God as being like the leaven needed to “raise the Bread,” so to speak, as He warns His “quick-to-lose-faith,” and quick-to-lose-the-trail and train of thought, of His holy mind, disciples—to “beware the leaven of the Pharisees,” as a metaphor meaning the doctrine of man, when held in stark contrast to the true doctrine and real power, of God (Matthew 16:6-12).

So this heart of His, wields power only when used, not by men of their own accord, using the leaven of men and the doctrine of the Pharisees, and the veritable impotence of man without his Christ, but only when used correctly.  This heart of His, wields power only when used by man at the command of his Christ—with the power of Christ’s own Word, and the obedience on man’s part to obey His instructions with exacting exactness (on the right side, not the left), and true precision.

This allegory may bear further witness to the parable wherein Christ had foretold to them, that in the end times, “He shall gather the sheep to His right and the goats to His left,” just as “He separates also the tares, planted by His enemy, so to speak, from the good grain,” of His faithful servants (Matthew 25:32-33; Matthew 13:29-30).

This allegory bears truth on both the individual and the collective levels.  That which is gathered to the right, within an individual and within one’s own soul, as the virtue brought forth in good soil from the seed of His Word, is separated from the tares of sin that shall be gathered to the left, and cast into the eternal flame.

This metaphor, however, also rings true at the collective level, as the souls that bear not witness of God with the truth found in their hearts, and brought about to fruition in the working of His will, will be cast as goats to the left, where the fires will not be quenched as their worm lives forever; “to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,” while His good servants shall be collected into the storehouse for the good grain, apart from the wicked tares to be burned in the fires of hell, and shall be brought safely into Heaven with Him, in the fold of His wing, as the fold of His flock (Mark 9:43-44).

The symbolism of this passage can be read, even deeper, as one looks into the similarity of phrasing in the way Peter casts himself overboard to rush to meet his Master, and the way that Jesus foretells to him of the way he shall die, as a martyr to “feed His sheep,” as it were, with the most ominous instructions, “follow thou me” (John 21:17-22).  For, “when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea” (John 21:7).

After Jesus gives Peter the third degree in grilling him about the nature of his love for Him, and Peter sadly must admit that he “agápēs” Him not, but as Jesus asks him the third time and Peter responds, that he “philias” Him truly—with the love not of God but of man—Jesus says, “feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17).  Slyly avoiding the question, Peter responds to the first question, “Do you agápē me, with the answer, “I philia you” (John 21:15).  “Do you agápē me?” Jesus asks him a second time.  “Yea, you know that I philia you!” (John 21:16).  “Do you philia me?” (John 21:17).  Peter was grieved as Jesus asks him this third time, as his heart cannot hide the truth, and as Jesus asked the third time if he “philias” Him, rather than if he “agápēs” Him as He had asked the first two times, Peter is also thereby forced to confess, not only that he “philias” Him, but also that he ““agápēs” Him not.

Therefore, Peter is grieved at the testimony of his own heart—that he philias Christ, and loves Him with brotherly love, but that he agápēs Him not, as he cannot as mere man love Jesus with the Paschal, sacrificial, agápē love, that is the love of God.

But semantics and translation discrepancies aside, Jesus then says to Peter, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God…” (John 21:18-19).

For when Peter was but a man, he did what he would and followed his own will; but if Peter would but be a real man, as a child of God, as he indeed shall be in following the command “follow thou me,” to his martyrdom and death, as it were, he should rely not upon the leaven of the Pharisees, nor the power of man and the will of self, as “he girds himself in his fishers coat,” over the nakedness symbolic of innocence from original sin; but truly, truly, as he matures into true manhood to be as a child of God, “another shall gird thee, and carry thee” where he cannot go by the power of man alone (John 21:19-22, 7, 18).

Another shall “carry thee whither thou wouldst not,” as the will of God is accomplished not by man, but by Christ, as we are lifted to safety in His safety net, as “this fisher of men” catches all those who so struggle against the current of the world, to make it upstream to God and eternal life (John 21:18; Matthew 4:19).

In this multitude of “great fishes, 153 to be precise,” in this heart of God and net of safety and safekeeping, all such fallen are caught, the landed are sustained, and the will of God is girt about us, as all who so struggle—with varying levels of success—are so indeed brought into the safety and safekeeping and safety net and storehouses of Heaven, by this strangest of man, this fisher of men, this cast out and cast off and cast away God, with a will to save the forsaken, as savior of salvation, this …Christ (John 21:11).

 

References:

  1. Matthew 4:18-22

18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

  1. Matthew 13:24-33

24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32 which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

  1. Matthew 15:32-39

32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. 33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? 34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. 35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. 38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. 39 And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.

  1. Matthew 16:1-12

16 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

  1. Matthew 25:31-46

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  1. Mark 9:38-50

38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is on our part. 41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. 43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. 50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

  1. John 21:1-23

21 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. 12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

 

Sunday 4/28/19

Week 4/3: Day 2

1 Corinthians 15:1-11.  The good news is passed down to us in our turn.  What am I to do with it?

 

Title: “The Sign of the Times and Know Ye the Difference: Discerning the Spirit of Truth from the Spirit of Antichrist” (1 John 4:1-6).

I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” (1 Corinthians 6:5).

34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (I Corinthians 15:34).

 

And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:8).

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed” (1 Corinthians 15:10-11).

 

“But by the grace of God I am what I am… whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed” (1 Corinthians 15:10-11).

 

The Good News of the Gospel.  The good news of the Resurrection.  “The Good News” (Exodus 33:4).  It is passed down to us in our turn, and as Paul says, so may we all concede to his truth in our hearts, “And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:8).  For who among us, of the Church of His faithful who labor not in vain, has not indeed seen the Risen Lord?  Do we not behold our Christ as He raises us each morning?  Do we not behold our Christ, “as His line is gone out through the ends of the earth, wherein He has built a tabernacle in the sun,” as we behold the glory of its rising in remembrance of Him each and every morning (Psalm 19:4)?  Do we not behold our Christ when all else has fallen away, and there is nothing else left to be held by?

Do we not behold our Christ as we hold Him in the memory of our hearts, and in sweet fondness of Him bear testimony of His sacrifice with our lifestyles of charity, our works of mercy, our prayers and devotions to Him, and the tender embrace of His love for us as we let go of all love of self?  Do not we behold our Christ as He holds us, in dearness, in lovingkindness, in “chastisement and compassion,” in “darkness and in light,” in sin and in virtue, through thick and thin, “hard-hearted spirits” or open vessels that we may be (Hebrews 12:5-11; Matthew 6:22-23; Exodus 33:3-5)?

“Is it not rather our Christ Who beholds us,” as we catch that fleeting glimpse out of the corner of our eye, as the sparkle of a fanciful wish dances across the surface as a speck of divine light, “as He skims across our peripheral vision”—in just a fleeting instant, just to make His presence known (1 John 4:12; Exodus 33:20-23).  Is it not rather Christ “Who so beholds us,” as in His full humanity, that is the completeness of perfection in His full divinity, He is actualized, which is to say He is made real, as humanized, for us, so that we indeed may “behold Him who beholds” (Genesis 16:13)?  Is it not rather, “Him Who first loved us” who first beholds us, as we too are then brought around full circle, as we are “made into the image of Him, of Whom we had preciously borne only a mere likeness” (1 John 4:19; Genesis 1:26)?

But this mere shadow and likeness, which in these last days, shall be borne out in the fullness of completion, “as we are beheld by Him Who beholds us, beholding Him,” in kind, as it were, “by virtue of the image of Him that we now behold in full clarity in our hearts”—as what we behold, “as if in a mirror,” is no longer a mere shadow of unrealized intentions, but is “a veritable image of holiness in the Spirit” (1 John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 13:11-12; 1 John 3:2-3).

As we so bear this holiness in our own spirits, what we behold in the mirror and what we behold in the eyes of the soul, this looking glass and “secret window of the Most High,” is indistinguishable from the holiness of His own Holy Spirit, as by virtue of our connection in this clarity of crystal-clear, purest white grace, “that is the Spirit of purity and holiness,” we are indeed made to be one and the same Spirit, for our own spirits have indeed ascended to “the same and single,” most finite point of infinity, in reaching for that “holy peak and pinnacle and height of the human existence, that is our holiness and that is our God” (1 John 3:2-3; Matthew 6:22; 1 Corinthians 13:2, 13).

As we so share in this “singleness of vision,” beheld through the eye of the soul from the vantage point of perfect holiness, by the grace of God and by God’s will, that is God’s Holy Spirit, “we do so indeed behold each other” (Matthew 6:20-23; Exodus 33:11, 20-23).  “We behold our God in truth, for we have been made in His mere likeness to be raised with Him, and arisen in faith, to awaken to His true image”—the glory of the beatific vision—and thus we do so behold our God (Genesis 1:26; 1 John 3:2-3).

“We behold Him Who beholds us, and we die not,” for we have already, in Him… as we have so already died with Him, to have ascended such with Him, and we have indeed, been reborn (Genesis 16:13).  We are “dead to ourselves, so that we may be alive in Christ,” and we see Him as He is, not as we would wish Him to be, nor as our prejudice would mistakenly have us believe Him to be, but as He is in His own truth, for we are alive in that Selfsame “Spirit of truth” (Romans 6:8-11; 1 John 4:4-6).

We behold our Christ in truth, for we, as having ascended in holiness, live nought, but by the truth that is God (John 4:23-24).  We see God in His light, for what He is on His own, and we are drawn ever more deeply into Him, by our hopes thrust upon Him like the glorification of His heavenly halo; for He is now as fully humanized via His Crucifixion, and fully relatable to receive our hopes in His Resurrection, as He is fully held in our soul’s embrace.

As fully Man and fully God, He is indeed fully capable, “Spirit though He is,” of being held as He is beholden, in the hearts of man, the eyes of man, and the arms of man indeed, though at first apprehended only as “like an apparition” through the eyes of the soul, though He only be but God (John 4:24; Luke 24:36-39)  “For with man alone, this is impossible,” “but with God, with God made Man, with God Who made man, and with God Who made me, all things, are indeed possible” (Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37).

 

References:

  1. Genesis 1:26-28

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

  1. Genesis 16:11-16 [Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)]

11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. 13 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? 14 Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. 15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

  1. Genesis 16:11-16 [New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)]

11 Then the Lord’s angel said to her:

“You are now pregnant and shall bear a son;
you shall name him Ishmael,[e]
For the Lord has heeded your affliction.
12 He shall be a wild ass of a man,
his hand against everyone,
and everyone’s hand against him;
Alongside[f] all his kindred
shall he encamp.”

13 To the Lord who spoke to her she gave a name, saying, “You are God who sees me”;[g] she meant, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after he saw me?” 14 That is why the well is called Beer-lahai-roi.[h] It is between Kadesh and Bered.

15 Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram named the son whom Hagar bore him Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

  1. · 16:13 God who sees me: Hebrew el-ro’i is multivalent, meaning either “God of seeing,” i.e., extends his protection to me, or “God sees,” which can imply seeing human suffering (29:32; Ex 2:25; Is 57:18; 58:3). It is probable that Hagar means to express both of these aspects. Remained alive: for the ancient notion that a person died on seeing God, see Gn 32:31; Ex 20:19; Dt 4:33; Jgs 13:22.
  2. Exodus 33

33 And the Lord said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: and I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.

And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments. For the Lord had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee. And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.

And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10 And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. 11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

12 And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. 17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

  1. Psalm 19:1-6

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech,
and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language,
where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven,
and his circuit unto the ends of it:
and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

  1. Psalm 91:1

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

  1. Matthew 6:19-23

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

  1. Matthew 19:23-26

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

  1. Luke 1:34-38

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

  1. Luke 24:26-49

36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

  1. John 4:20-26

20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

  1. Romans 6:1-11

6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  1. 1 Corinthians 6:5-11

I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 11-13

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 33-34

15 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

  1. Hebrews 12:1-17

12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

  1. 1 John 3

3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

  1. 1 John 4

4 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

 

Monday 4/29/19

Week 4/3: Day 3

Galatians 5:22-6:10.  What burdens—whose burdens—am I called to bear?

 

Title: “In Deed is in Truth: Faith Without Works is Dead

 

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden” (Galatians 6:4-5).

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

 

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).  For as St. Paul said, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).  For we are indeed to be as dead to the world and to self and to sin, to be so alive to the Christ in soul and spirit, and “he who forsakes not himself, denies not himself and takes up not his cross daily to follow Jesus; indeed he who hates not himself, his mother and father, family and friends, to the extent that their interests conflict with bearing the Cross of Christ; indeed whosoever seeks himself rather than to offer his own self up for service and duty for the love and Cross of Christ; such a one is not worthy to be Jesus’s disciple” (Matthew 16:24-27; Luke 14:26-27, 33; Matthew 10:34-39).

For “whosoever is ashamed to confess Christ Risen, of him shall Christ be ashamed,” but as for “he who falters not” in bearing forth outwardly the testimony of truth in his heart—”him shall Jesus also confess before the Father,” as a member of the “household of faith,” and as a “friend of God” (Luke 9:23-27; Matthew 15:30-31; Matthew 10:32-33; Galatians 6:10; James 2:23).

To bear forth the good fruit of the love of Christ in our hearts, it needs be that our actions correspond with our intentions, else we love not in deed and truth, but only with idle words that bear forth no fruit at all, save to make us hypocrites on our own part, and utterly useless as servants of God.

For in the words of St. James, “you show me your faith without works, and I shew you my faith by my works.  O ye foolish hypocrites—know ye not that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:18-20).  “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:17-20).

We die to ourselves to live unto Christ, not to profess what prove to be idle words and meaningless chatter, thereby proving the emptiness of our promises, the futility of our faith, and the uselessness of our beliefs, for our own words convict us as liars when our deeds correspond not with what we profess by our words to be truths.  For as we praise our God in Spirit and truth, and “faith without works” is not life in Christ, but merely just dead on all levels, we prove our love and our praise and our faith and our words by living up to them with a holy follow-through—we live up to our beliefs by manifesting that Truth, and making them real with real actions.

We are good to our word, we make good on our promises as they are so honored in kind, and we fulfill our commitments in an expression of responsible faith, in the maturity of an adult faith, of faith made alive in being “faith with works” (James 2:22).  For “God repents not as man repents,” and when God expresses what He so indents to do, it shall be done, as He is indeed “good to His Word,” so to speak (Augustine, 1950, p. 586; 2 Peter 3:7).  For, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,” and “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? …Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain” (2 Peter 3:9; Numbers 23:19, 24).

We bear the testimony of our hearts by the deeds and actions and holiest of behaviors borne forth in the flesh, so that we provide to our hearts, and to our “household of faith,” “a reason to hope,” and a reason to believe in the good Word of God, and in the sowing of the seeds of faith, by the good fruit of what we do, which can be visibly observed in the productivity of our days and the conduct by which we demonstrate our character (Galatians 6:10; 1 Peter 3:15-16).

We “take part not in vain glorying of the flesh,” for this is “fruit sown in corruption” to a perishable and selfish glory, but we take part rather, in the glory of God, so that we may bear forth lasting fruit sown in His name, to “the joys we may know” in the eternity of His Heaven (Galatians 5:26; 6:8; 5:22-25).  For we know what is of self and what is of God, what is of flesh and what is of Spirit, what is the “vain chatter” of “idle conversation,” and what is a “good conversation in Christ” (Titus 1:10-16; Matthew 26:40-41; 1 Peter 3:16).  Knowing as we do the difference between what is sown in the flesh and what is sown in the Spirit, we take heed to avoid all manner of useless pursuits, that bear not the promise of the Cross of Christ and His eternal fruit “to be reaped in due time, if our hearts faint not,” and to be enjoyed as “eternal treasure” when we are taken Home from this sojourn on Earth, to our eternal House; “as my Father’s House has many mansions,” in Heaven (Galatians 6:9; Matthew 6:19-22: John 14:2).  “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).

For as we do so sow in the Spirit and strive to ignore the flesh, the Spirit is made strong, after years and years of tireless pursuit, and eventually, “the flesh too is made strong, as the Spirit is indeed willing” (Matthew 26:41).  We know that “what is loosed on earth is loosed in Heaven,” and we build up for ourselves mansions in Heaven, with more of the adornment of additional rooms added to God’s glory, with each new sacrifice we make, and each new gift of the Spirit we bestow, as we do so give away our selves here on Earth, in charity and good will, and in hope, to the gaining of a soul’s eternal salvation (Matthew 18:18-20; 16:17-19).

The works we put forth here on Earth are not for the vainglory of the self or the glorying in the flesh, but we do these things rather—motivated as we are by the love of God and the desire to prove our love by loyal service to Him—we do these things rather, with an eye turned inward, to the things not of this life, but to the things which lay in store for us in Heaven, by virtue of the good seed we sow, and which we know to be “in deed and truth,” by the evidence we correspondingly bring forth, in the good fruit and good works we reap (1 John 3:18; 2 John:4-11 ).

We “keep one eye ever fixed upon what shall become of us,” as we proceed through this life and in this manner, and “where shall be our eternal resting place,” and what shall become of our eternal manor in Heaven if we do proceed so, as “We proceed, truly not through life, but in the Wisdom of God’s omnipresent foresight, through Heaven” (Matthew 6:19-20; 1 John 3:24; 4:17; John 14:6-7, 10-11; 1 John 4:9).

 

References:

  1. Numbers 23:19-25

19 God is not a man, that he should lie;
neither the son of man, that he should repent:
hath he said, and shall he not do it?
or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless:
and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob,
neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel:
the Lord his God is with him,
and the shout of a king is among them.
22 God brought them out of Egypt;
he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob,
neither is there any divination against Israel:
according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel,
What hath God wrought!
24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion,
and lift up himself as a young lion:
he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey,
and drink the blood of the slain.

25 And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.

  1. Matthew 6:19-23

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

  1. Matthew 10:32-42

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

  1. Matthew 15:26-33

26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

  1. Matthew 16:13-28

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

  1. Matthew 18:15-20

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

  1. Matthew 26:36-44

36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

  1. Luke 9:23-27

23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

  1. Luke 14:25-35

25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

  1. John 14:1-14

14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

14 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it

  1. Galatians 5:22-26

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

  1. Galatians 6

6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. 12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Unto the Galatians written from Rome.

  1. Titus 1:10-16

10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

  1. James 2

2 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

  1. 1 Peter 3:8-22

3 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

  1. 2 Peter 3:7-18

but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

  1. 1 John 3:16-24

16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

  1. 1 John 4:9-21

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

  1. 2 John:4-11

I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

  1. Augustine, ., & Dods, M. (1950). The city of God. New York: Modern Library.

 

Tuesday 4/30/19

Week 4/3: Day 5

Matthew 28:16-20.  Jesus charges us to continue His work on earth, but He does not leave us to do so alone for He remains always with us.

 

Title: “The Ends Do Not Justify the Means, But Rather, They Are Determined by Them”

Alt. Title 1: “An Evil Tree Does Not Put Forth Good Fruit, Nor A Good Tree Evil Fruit” (Matthew 7:18; 12:33).

Alt. Title 2: “Hail… Mary, Full of Grace. The Mystery of the Corrupted Soul Explained.”

Mystery Solving 101: Read the Report.

 

15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day” (Matthew 28:15).

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20).

 

When the miracle of Jesus’s Resurrection occurs, and the women encounter the angel at the empty grave, who proclaims to them that “the Lord is risen,” the disciples then rush off to tell all those whom they encounter, and “some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done” (Matthew 28:6, 11).

Now what is the first thing that the chief priests and elders, when they were assembled, take counsel to do, at the hearing of this Good News of the Gospel—the Resurrection of the Lord?  The first thing that the chief priests and elders take counsel among themselves to do, is to arrange a massive cover-up.  They conspire to bribe the soldiers to lie for them, they assure the soldiers and Roman police that they shall “persuade” the governor by the same means, if this “Good News” so happens to reach his ears as well, and they teach “all those after their kind,” namely, in this instance, the Jews, to teach this lie amongst them, to cover up and hide away and deny and lie about the Good News of the Risen Lord—”and this saying is commonly reported… until this day” (Matthew 28:14; John 8:37-47; Matthew 28:15).

This is a classic example of “the designs of man” when brought face to face with his God—while the “good women rush to proclaim the Good News to the Lord’s disciples, the evil elders rush to deny the Good News to the public, with the chief priests” and the “chosen people,” using every trick up their sleeve, by way of bribery and perjury, at their disposal, to accomplish their own evil ends (Psalm 33:10; Matthew 7:17-20; John 8:44-45).  As by using evil means to accomplish their own will, they cannot but arrive upon an evil ends; as the path that one follows, be it virtue or vice, does indeed dictate the destination one will meet at the moment of arrival—be that moment of arrival the results and outcome of one’s earthly plans, or the moment of one’s death, or the day of the Lord’s Visitation, “as even a good work is cut short, in God’s wisdom, so that His greater wisdom, and greater ends, may be known” (Romans 9:28).

The devices of man are all brought to nought before the Lord, as “the ends shall not justify the means,” and in truth, this feeble statement is indeed a proclamation of guilt, as it only bears witness that man, in so claiming that “the ends justified the means,” seeks justify his sin to arrive upon the completion of sin, in accomplishing his own will.

The ends is determined by the means, and the means of sin, in lies and deception, shall arrive upon the ends of the completion of sin, in still more lies and deception, and indeed also the resultant inability of the liar to discern between truth and deception; “for the truth is not in him” (Matthew 7:15-20; 12:31-33; John 8:31-47; 1 John 2:4).

For these men do indeed know what they do, and as the Lord had said to Moses as he so begged Him not to depart from him—”Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence”—as the Lord so said to Moses after Moses so begged Him not to depart from before his face—”And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Exodus 33:13-15, 19).

“I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy” (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15-18).  Jesus “did indeed make intercession for the transgressors as He was counted among them”—“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!” (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34).  And just as in “the story of the ten lepers who were cleansed, but only one returned to glorify God,” “in just this way does God show mercy on whom He will show mercy,” and “set His face against them who do evil” (Luke 17:11-19; 13-15, 19; 1 Peter 3:12).

As the one man returned to the church to glorify the Lord, the Lord said, “Were not ten healed?  Where are the other nine?  Well, salvation is indeed brought to this one soul today—for he has returned to glorify and give praises to the Lord, and to thereby claim the promise, and to grasp hold of the extended open Hand of mercy and salvation” (Luke 17:15-19).  Indeed, “this one man out of the ten only has truly been healed, though they all be cleansed of their leprosy” (Luke 17:17-19; Matthew 9:5-8).

In jus this way, though Jesus begs, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do,” only one man, the criminal being crucified to His right, begs of Jesus, “have mercy upon me O Lord,” and this man only, as “like the one leper who returns to the temple to glorify and praise God for his healing”—”this man only receives the forgiveness that Jesus wills to bestow,” by reaching out, by praying to Him for it, and by accepting it into his heart, as none of the other sinners in His midst had indeed done (Luke 23:34; Luke 23:40-43; Luke 17:15-19; Matthew 9:5-8).

“I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy”—and to a large extent, whom He will have mercy upon, depends entirely upon us (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15-18).  His arm is ever outstretched to bestow forgiveness—offering to us His mercy, “not seven times only after seven sins, nor even until seventy times seven (as an example of an unthinkably large amount, just to illustrate), but infinitely does God so forgive us, and bestow His mercy upon us, each and every time we repent,” change our mind, change our ways, change the direction and inclination of our will, and turn about-face to seek Him in His mercy (Matthew 18:21-22, 35).  Truly every time we seek His forgiveness, we do so receive it—for He is a good God, a generous God, “His mercy trumps justice,” and “His mercy endureth forever” (James 2:13; Psalm 118:29).

But if we do not seek Him in His mercy, if we do not confess our sins and seek His forgiveness for the wrongs we have done, then we do indeed not receive His salvation, nor indeed His forgiveness.

For the confession of our sins, in an admission of guilt, is indeed required of us, as like our end of the deal, if we so wish to be forgiven for them.  If we do not repent, then we shall not be forgiven; if we do not admit that we have done wrong, then we cannot be forgiven for that wrong.

For indeed, repentance and confession, are prerequisites, and the conditions He sets for us by which to receive His promises, of forgiveness, salvation, Heaven after death, and His Holy Spirit into our souls.  For “after the manner of the righteousness of faith that was imputed to Abraham by virtue of His trust in the Lord, over and above all other alternatives or appearances; it is only as we so conform ourselves to be borne forth after this kind of seed, in the Spirit of the faith and trust exhibited in Abraham,” that we may be absorbed into God’s Holy Spirit, by which we may then actually receive the promise; “the forgiveness He does indeed will for us, and the everlasting salvation of His Spirit that He promises to us,” to all of us who so seek Him, in humility, obedience, faith, and truth (Romans 4:3-8; 2 Peter 3:9).

“For if a gift is given to us, and we do not reach out our hearts and our hands to take hold of it, how shall we expect to receive it?” (Matthew 12:25-33, 43-45).  The forgiveness is ever here, and as the Lovesick Father so declares, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine,” but just as a covenant or a promise or a contract is an accord or a mutual agreement, it involves the action of two parties to so take effect (Luke 15:31).  God gives us forgiveness, and we receive it.

The Word proceeds out of the mouth of the Father.  The forgiveness is ever there, as Jesus so echoes.  The forgiveness is ever there, as “the Ghost of our conscience” so echoes, as “the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Truth and the Comforter who has indeed now come,” upon and atop and into our souls, indeed so echoes; “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Romans 9:1; John 14:15-21; Matthew 28:20).

For there will always be those who so endeavor to accomplish the devious designs of their own wills, and to do so by sin, deceit, bribery, lies, lies, and more lies.  And what will they accomplish by these sins and lies?  A means that corresponds to its ends, with an outcome of confusion, self-deception, more sin, and more lies.  If the Spirit of Truth is not in them, for they have blasphemed the Holy Ghost, then where shall be the Spirit of God in their souls, “the strong man of their hearts, by which to protect their own souls and eternal houses against the incoming barrage of corrupted thoughts and evil spirits,” “which are indeed to be expected while still in this world” (Matthew 12:25-31, 43-45; John 17:14-19)?

And because there will always be “ones such as these, veritable hot houses for evil spirits with their own ill will run rampant,” so too must there always be an ever greater circle of goodly and decent God-fearing folk, veritable hot houses of the eternal flame that is God’s love and God’s Holy Spirit, to contend with and topple over these opponents of God’s will—by a means that shall blend and meld and melt gracefully, like a tenderly loving heart, into the ends, as we do so accomplish God’s will, by the means that are the very essence of God’s will, which is to say, by virtue and not by vice; by hope, faith, and charity; and truly, on our part, by grace, grace, and still more grace (Matthew 28:12-15; John 8:34, 41, 44, Matthew 12:25-28, 31, 43-48).  Amen.

 

References:

  1. Exodus 33:12-23

12 And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. 17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen

  1. Psalm 33:6-22

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made;
and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap:
he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord:
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
For he spake, and it was done;
he commanded, and it stood fast.

10 The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought:
he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever,
the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord;
and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
13 The Lord looketh from heaven;
he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14 From the place of his habitation
he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15 He fashioneth their hearts alike;
he considereth all their works.

16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host:
a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
17 An horse is a vain thing for safety:
neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him,
upon them that hope in his mercy;
19 to deliver their soul from death,
and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord:
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in him,
because we have trusted in his holy name.

22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
according as we hope in thee.

  1. Psalm 118:29

29 O give thanks unto the Lord;
for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

  1. Isaiah 53:12

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
and he was numbered with the transgressors;
and he bare the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

  1. Matthew 7:15-24

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

  1. Matthew 9:2-9

And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

  1. Matthew 12:28-33, 36-37, 43-50

28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

  1. Matthew 18:21-35

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

  1. Matthew 28

28 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13 saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

  1. Luke 15:15-32

15 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

  1. Luke 17:11-19

11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

  1. Luke 23:32-43

32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. 33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. 35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. 36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, 37 and saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. 38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

  1. John 8:31-47

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the deeds of your father.

Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

  1. John 14:15-21

If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

  1. John 17:13-23

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

  1. Romans 4:3-8

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

  1. Romans 9

9 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. 27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 for he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33 as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed

  1. James 2:10-13

10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

  1. 1 Peter 3:8-16

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

  1. 2 Peter 3:8-10

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

  1. 1 John 2:1-6

2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

 

Wednesday 5/1/19

Week 4/3: Day 5

2 Corinthians 1:3-5.  We are called to share with others the gifts God has shared with us.  Has this been my response to God’s generosity?

 

Title: “Some Lazarus or Another, in Some Christ or Another”

The Gospel of a Scarlet Letter.

 

who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:4-5).

 

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

 

The “gift bestowed on us” is “the burning hot coal heaped upon our own Head,” as this not-so-hard-of-heart seer and listener receives the verbal assault of your slanderous lies and ignorant insults (2 Corinthians 1:11; Proverbs 25:21-22; Romans 12:20-21).  But “it is good to suffer, if needs be that one must suffer,” for our conscience is clean; “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward” (1 Peter 3:17; 2 Corinthians 1:12).

“Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

The earnest of the Spirit in our hearts bears the red eye of a dead-eye, as “with beams shooting out in all directions as they ricochet off us,” this pure Spirit is indeed “pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (Matthew 7:1-5; 2 Corinthians 1:8).  But we do so accept the attack of the unjust willingly, knowing full well just exactly what we suffer and why, and what we “in our hearts repurpose this piercing agony” to suffer for—for it is in the name of Christ, and in all innocence (Luke 2:34-35).

For we are well aware that we deserve not the title that they would indeed impose upon us, slandered with the name antichrist as we are, and as like a red siren of high alert and sheer terror goes off in our Head, and in our soul, each time that trigger of a word is pulled, and the shot hits its mark as the soul bears the scars, we take comfort in knowing that our conscience feels that pain because our Spirit is clean, our eye is clear, and we deserve not the insult of the name that is inflicted upon us, as we do not consent to the rape of our hearts with the imposition of an insult, in the name of a false prophet, fake messiah, charlatan liar, and impostor Christ.

The insult upon injury reaches new heights of a trancelike dissociation, as “in our hearts, where that heaping burning hot coal of ill will lands as it is directed straight at us, like barbed arrows dipped in the poisonous venom of the name of an antagonistic foe and evil spirit inflicted upon us,” in our hearts, our already wide-open and tenderly loving hearts, we know that we did nothing to deserve this, and that we are unworthy of that name (Psalm 55:2-5, 10-23).

“Our conscience is our rejoicing,” for were it not clean, this would not be as painful torment for us, to be called as such, as our hearts bear witness rather, of the true Christ of the Lord God, and of everlasting mercy and eternal salvation (2 Corinthians 1:12).  Because we are pure in Spirit, and upright of heart, does this name-calling, this insult upon injury hurt us so.

“Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

“Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul…” (2 Corinthians 1:23).

For I know that as I suffer injustice, as I suffer wrongly but willingly for the good name of Christ upheld in holiness within my heart, my soul does sparkle and glisten with the flame and flare of being overburdened by a flagrant onslaught of live ammunition.  As those hot coals, of another man’s sin, are wrongly heaped upon the Head of this open heart and Holy Spirit, and raw, denuded, and  self-mortified soul, already having passed through that Dark Night, in both senses, as it were, those fiery painful burning coals are added upon me as a passion and agony and as fuel to the fire—enkindled “to the soul’s eventual delight” as they may become the means by which the power of God, “Who is a consuming fire,” is loaded up within it (Isaiah 53:10-11; Hebrews 12:29).

For God “does indeed hate inequity,” and He does indeed “defend and avenge all those faithful and willing who do so trust in Him” (Psalm 5:5; Hebrews 1:9; Romans 12:19-21; Psalm 55:23).  As He receives a full tank from these fiery burdens, the flame crackles and spits as it is stoked and stirred, to my own agony, within this massive and Christly heart.  God pulls back the release valve of His own holy trigger, and in the sign of benediction He unloads a full clip of blessings upon the world, and a holy recompense upon the souls of the wicked.

For just as I know that I bear this pain because others have sinned against me, I know that in the world to come, “they shall reap what they sow, and bear the weight of their own sins” as they so flagrantly and egregiously blaspheme the Holy Spirit and defile the good name of Christ with the name of the faker, and false messiah, and His own adversary and archenemy (Galatians 6:4-5, 7-8).

For just as in “the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man,” all will indeed balance out in the end, as we shall reap what we sow and receive that which is indeed worthy of us, as recompense for suffering, wrongly, through no fault nor sin of our own (Luke 16:19-31).  As I now “bear the burning—truly scorched and raked and raped across the coals, bleeding sacrificial heart—of the sins and evil thoughts against me, of many”—too many to even count, in due time I know that this added suffering shall be a crown of glory to an otherwise holy and faultless, or in the very least decently-lived, human life, elevating my own lowly little soul to the very arms of the Most High Himself after death (Luke 2:34-35).  I fear not of death, for I see with my soul my eternal Home already, waiting for me in Heaven.

Like Lazarus covered in bleeding sores, collapsed in a pool of his own blood and infirmity at the doorstep of the rich man, I too have known this suffering in my life, and like this Lazarus as well as “the other Lazarus,” I know what awaits me—the eternal arms and “comforting voice of the Bridegroom,” as I am risen in Christ’s own glory—”for I die daily” with Him, and for His name’s sake, as an antichrist I am not (John 11:38-44; John 3:28-30; 1 Corinthians 15:31).

And just as like the rich man, blindly ignoring the suffering babe of Lazarus left on his doorstep, his own fate, that of “he who accuses us falsely,” is sealed, just as surely and securely as “the Spirit sets Her seal” (Revelation 12:10-11; Psalm 63:9-11; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

“For if they listened not to Moses, nor the prophets, nor to Christ Himself, how shall I be of any service to you, to save your family, you poor rich man doomed to Hell?” (Luke 16:27-31).  For “what you did to the least of these—you did it to Me, and in what you failed to do for the least of these, you indeed failed to do for Me” (Matthew 25:31-46).

In the life of Lazarus, treated as lower than even a dog, as the dogs did come and lick his sores as he was so afflicted by this life, in the life of this Lazarus is to be had a heavenly recompense in the world to come; as “Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented”  (Luke 16:25).

And in the life of the rich man, the rich man, and no Good Samaritan indeed, the rich man who rather stepped over the suffering Lazarus as he proceeded out over his doorstep, in the life of this rich man, who showed no mercy, shall be seen a holy recompense in the world to come, as He echoes after the soul of him who he stepped over, dying, on a doorstep like an abandoned orphan in Moses’s basket, or maybe like an eternally-orphaned and “rejected” Son of Man, dying, hanging on a Cross, Son of God though He may be… (Isaiah 53:3).  In the soul of one such as this, some Christ or another, the soul of the rich man echoes, “I thirst…” (Luke 16:24).  “I thirst too,” my friend (John 19:28).  “I thirst,” indeed (Psalm 42:1-5; 63:1-3; Isaiah 55:1-5).

 

References:

  1. Psalm 5:3-7

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord;
in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness:
neither shall evil dwell with thee.
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight:
thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing:
the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy:
and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

  1. Psalm 42:1-5

To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.

As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
when shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my meat day and night,
while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me:
for I had gone with the multitude,
I went with them to the house of God,
with the voice of joy and praise,
with a multitude that kept holyday.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted in me?
hope thou in God:
for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

  1. Psalm 55

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David.

Give ear to my prayer, O God;
and hide not thyself from my supplication.
Attend unto me, and hear me:
I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise;
because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked:
for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
My heart is sore pained within me:
and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me,
and horror hath overwhelmed me.
And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove!
for then would I fly away, and be at rest.
Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.
I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues:
for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof:
mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it.
11 Wickedness is in the midst thereof:
deceit and guile depart not from her streets.
12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me;
then I could have borne it:
neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me;
then I would have hid myself from him:
13 but it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.
14 We took sweet counsel together,
and walked unto the house of God in company.

15 Let death seize upon them,
and let them go down quick into hell:
for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.
16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.
17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud:
and he shall hear my voice.
18 He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me:
for there were many with me.
19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah.
Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
20 He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him:
he hath broken his covenant.
21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart:
his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee:
he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
23 But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction:
bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days;
but I will trust in thee.

  1. Psalm 63

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:
my soul thirsteth for thee,
my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
to see thy power and thy glory,
so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life,
my lips shall praise thee.
Thus will I bless thee while I live:
I will lift up my hands in thy name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness;
and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
when I remember thee upon my bed,
and meditate on thee in the night watches.
Because thou hast been my help,
therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul followeth hard after thee:
thy right hand upholdeth me.
But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall fall by the sword:
they shall be a portion for foxes.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
every one that sweareth by him shall glory:
but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

  1. Proverbs 25:21-22

21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat;
and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
22 for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head,
and the Lord shall reward thee.

  1. Isaiah 53

53 Who hath believed our report?
and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him,
there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth:
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment:
and who shall declare his generation?
for he was cut off out of the land of the living:
for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death;
because he had done no violence,
neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him;
he hath put him to grief:
when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,
he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days,
and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:
by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;
for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
and he was numbered with the transgressors;
and he bare the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

  1. Isaiah 55:1-5

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters,
and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat;
yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?
and your labour for that which satisfieth not?
hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good,
and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Incline your ear, and come unto me:
hear, and your soul shall live;
and I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
even the sure mercies of David.
Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people,
a leader and commander to the people.
Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not,
and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee
because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel;
for he hath glorified thee.

  1. Matthew 7:1-5

7 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

  1. Matthew 25:31-46

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  1. Luke 2:33-35

33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

  1. Luke 16:19-31

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

  1. John 3:25-30

25 Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. 27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

  1. John 11:38-44

38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. 40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

  1. John 19:28-30

28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

  1. Romans 12:9-21

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:29-34

29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

  1. 2 Corinthians 1

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 11 ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 13 For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; 14 as also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.

15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit; 16 and to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judæa. 17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay? 18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. 20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22 who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. 24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

  1. Galatians 6:1-10

6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

  1. Hebrews 1:7-11

And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;

  1. 1 Peter 3:9-18

not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

  1. Hebrews 12:28-29

28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

  1. Revelation 12

12 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Thursday 5/2/19

Week 4/3: Day 6

Galatians 5:22-6:10 (Day 3 again).  What burdens—whose burdens—am I called to bear?

 

Title: “What Is Forgiveness, With a Digression Upon What Is Divine Union

(Also Included: An exegesis of the soul and the spiritual heart, with an elaboration upon its mode of functionality and its various working mechanisms.)

 

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

For every man shall bear his own burden” (Galatians 6:5).

 

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Galatians 6:4).

If a man trespasses against thee, how many times shall I forgive him, Lord?  Thou must forgive every man for his trespasses against thee, from your heart, else ye have no part with me, and no inheritance with my Father Who is in Heaven.

“Unless you forgive every man from your heart…” (Matthew 18:35).

And this is the burden we so bear.  For as it happens, how many times sin they against us?  “Is it seven times only?” (Matthew 18:21).  “Is it seventy times seven?” (Matthew 18:22).  Or do we “take up our cross daily to follow Thee,” as these same offences against us are committed daily, and seventy times seven does indeed now sound a bit low of a number to illustrate the extent of just how many times we are expected to so forgive these sins against us, as “we are indeed expected, nay required even, to forgive our brethren, and our enemies too, from the heart, for each and every so instance of sin and offence and trespassing against us” (Luke 9:23; Matthew 18:35).

The key phrase here being, “from the heart,” for if the resentment of their crime does indeed so burn there in place of the forgiveness that is also an openness to let in God, then the resentments we do so bear, in our lack of or absence of forgiveness, do us more harm than they ever will to them (Matthew 18:35).  For even as we do so every day encounter these same sins against us, every day we must, indeed as for is there is no other option, we must forgive them, lest we be overcome in the fire of Hell that awaits them by letting our hearts close up to the grace of God in our resistance, that in this case is just another word for resentment.

As we let the resentment go—from the death grip of our heart, this is indeed the forgiveness of which God speaks, so that the heart is no longer clogged in its own hatred and sense of injustice, but accepts its lot willingly, and offers no resistance, or reaction of instinct, in this natural inclination to so feel resentment at an offence or insult, or injury and harm, or sin and trespass against us.  Jesus so had this same burden in His heart, as He professed to the Father in His agony in the garden; “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 18:39).

As our hearts let go of the grasp upon the specific injury it so fastens itself, in its focus and acknowledgment of upon… this little speck of hatred, which they have imposed upon us, and now becomes ours as like a ball thrown at us that we catch with our hands, as now we so hold the burden of their hate and their sin… but as our hands, our hearts, do so let go of our grasp upon, or attention paid to and focus of the mind’s eye set upon, this other man’s sins hurled at us—as we drop the ball, so to speak, and “let go,” we do so unclog the release valve of the heart. As we do so let go, we do unburden ourselves of this burden, this resentment, this other man’s sin that is not indeed ever rightly ours to bear, and then the grace and air and oxygen and Spirit and healing power of God may again flow through us, as we regain our foothold of faith in His trust, and that offense of sin, as like through the working of gravity as the ball rolls back to its own center, that offense of sin rolls back to he who committed that sin against us.

For as we so unburden ourselves of resentments at sins thrown at us and imposed wrongly (for they are not ours to bear) upon us—as we forgive them from the heart (which is to say the heart releases them), those sins then return back to their rightful owners as we in our forgiveness are enjoined back to the grace of ours (which is to say, our rightful Owner), and the burdens of which we let go, become the responsibility of those who committed the sins to then retrieve and pick up and so collect.

For as we forgive and let go, we in our hearts are then open to God and grasping at nought, and so God retrieves us, and collects us into Him.  As we grasp with this one point of openness (this mouth of the soul, so to speak) upon anything but Him, we are closed to Him, but, as we so maintain that openness for Him with just a general loving awareness, an open loving gaze, and no landing of our thoughts or minds upon any specific thing or particular thought at all—as we so maintain this general loving attentiveness without any focus on the particular or any single specific thought, then do we so embrace the same mind state as our God, and fall into line and conformity ever so naturally as it were, into a state of unity and divine union with Him.

Any particular resentment; just as with any particular thought at all, that our mind, as the mind’s eye or the mouth of our soul, so to speak, may latch upon; any particular resentment is indeed a thought landing and dwelling on the particular, and does so close us off from the general state of openness that brings us into harmony, or opens us up to the opportunity to be brought into harmony, and then divine union with, our God.

This state of openness, is like a cracked-open coconut, or drilled-through to create a hole in one sense, as at an early stage; or at a further level of advancement, this spiritual heart at the nape of the neck, is like a gushy tomato, soft and ripe and ready, and easily popped open with little effort, and with the insides just waiting to be squeezed out.

But in another sense, this heart is open, not as if with a mouth or an opening, or in being popped open, but it is open as like a peeled orange, as at a more advanced level or stage, and it is this state of openness, which we may so enter into as like an Interior Castle (as if of St. Teresa of Ávila O.C.D.) of sorts.

It is a heart that is deeply peeled open and entirely denuded of self, and fixations and particular thoughts or “lingerings upon” of spiritual gifts or attachments; it is a heart that is widely and deeply open in this sense, of being like a peeled-open orange, entirely freed of its rind and outer coating, that the soul is as raw and as tender and as ready as it may be, as layer upon layer is peeled back, to be consumed by and absorbed into perfect unity with God.

As after the manner of a complete fusion into Him, the mouth of one soul latches permanently onto His, and this one soul becomes as like a mere appendage of the divine, or a holy apparatus so to speak, via this process known as divine union.  It is in this state of openness, and through this means, by which God may so grasp upon and overtake us, and complete our efforts towards union with Him, by His response of a grasping back upon us.  Over time, this state of unity, known as divine union, may become more or less permanent, to be described as and specified by the terms of partial or full, depending upon a great variety of factors, both on our part and His.

God Himself, by virtue of His reply or response towards our work towards Him, is what (or Who, to be more precise) ultimately brings us into a state of contemplation or mystic grace, as we ourselves can only do our best to make ourselves as prone as possible to it, by putting ourselves in the best possible state of mind and soul and spiritual condition (which is to say, as close as possible to that of the Holy Spirit), for Him to finish this work, as it is God Himself Who must bring it (as it is to be His work) into completion.

So back from this digression upon divine union, and back to the key phrase, “from the heart,” we must forgive each of our brethren, friend or foe in this case, for each of our sins, spoken of here collectively (Matthew 18:35).  It is not because our forgiveness is for them that we must do so, but so that we may receive our own sort of forgiveness, as a union via God’s Spirit within Him.

As our heavenly inheritance is God, as the fruit of our labors and the striving of our soul, the divine union that is the sort of forgiveness, in a sense, which we so seek, is brought about for us only as we do so open our hearts by letting go of the resentments they have become as if stuck upon (as like with a spider’s fingers, as by fibrous sticky filaments, or like with suction cups, as with the mouth of the soul, so to speak), in so sensing a wrong to be righted.

This wrong is not ours and we cannot heal another man’s sins if it is not rooted in our own heart, and so we can do nothing to fix it but let go of it, and so allow God’s grace once again to flow through us.

And so, this other key passage from the Gospel becomes relevant, as we find we do so seek to remedy the sin that is not ours to remedy, by being so fixated in resentment upon it; “If a man commits an offence against you, tell him privily.  If he will not heed you, tell him with one or two witnesses.  And, if he still will not heed you, tell him in front of the whole church (which is to say, assembly of people), and if he still will not heed you, let him be as an outcast among you, and heed him not” (Matthew 18:15-17).

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:15-20).

Indeed, if he will not repent (or change) of his offense against you—”be no partaker in his activities and neither bid him God speed, lest ye be drawn into his sin, and be then by association a partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John:9-11).

For to shun a man is at our discretion, but to correct a sin that is not ours to bear, is his own responsibility and not ours.  For we shall be doing his soul a disservice if we forgive him not from our hearts, drop the ball, so to speak, and drop the weight of the world, as we carry already our own cross, and allow him to make peace with his God, bear witness to his own soul, and have the opportunity to be cleansed of his offense in taking responsibility for his sin, and gaining an opportunity to enter Heaven, rather than the damnation that awaits him if he does not take responsibility for wrongdoing, and repents and confesses not.

For though we shall be expected to “bear with one another gracefully,” we shall “be held accountable for our own work,” and in the Spirit of Truth, honesty, and justice, each man shall glory in his own work if it be of God, and “each man shall bear his own burden,” be those burdens of sin, or grace, or glory or resentment (Galatians 6:2, 4, 5; 2 Samuel 7:10-11; Ezekiel 3:17-21; 18:19-20, 30-32).

For in the words of Jesus—”take my yoke upon you—my yoke is easy, and my burden—as it is borne as ours in Him with truth and justice; it is indeed, Light” (Matthew 11:29-30).

 

References:

  1. 2 Samuel 7:10-17

10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 11 and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house.

12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15 but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. 17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

  1. Ezekiel 3:17-21, 24-27

17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

24 Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house. 25 But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: 26 and I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

  1. Ezekiel 18:19-32

19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? 26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. 27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

  1. Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

  1. Matthew 18:15-35

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

  1. Matthew 26:36-39

36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

  1. Luke 9:23-27

23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

  1. Galatians 5:19-26

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

  1. Galatians 6:1-10

6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

  1. 2 John:4-11

I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

 

Friday 5/3/19

Week 4/3: Day 7

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (Day 5 again).  We are called to share with others the gifts God has shared with us.  Has this been my response to God’s generosity?

 

Title: “A Student Experimented On: Troubleshooter of the Most High”

From Thesis to Theosis: The Folklore of an Unbeliever and the “Bryn Mawr (College)” of an Urban Legend.

16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16).

12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions” (Proverbs 8:12).

And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation” (2 Corinthians 1:6).

 

In the words of St. Paul—”whether we suffer or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation” (2 Corinthians 1:6).  For the means by which “we find out knowledge of witty inventions”; or rather, the means by which we find out how to endure and overcome these sufferings and affliction, “is effectual [for you as well] in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer” (Proverbs 8:12; 2 Corinthians 1:6).

For we know that as this general rule of justice and natural law of balance, as like that which was described in “the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus,” or as described in “the Beatitudes”; we know that in the justice of the Lord and in the words of St. Paul, “our sufferings are not to be compared to the glory that awaits us,” and “as we receive affliction in this life,” “happy are we, for we shall receive good things in the life to come” (Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 5:1-12; Romans 8:18; Luke 16:25; 1 Peter 3:14; Matthew 5:10-12).

And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation” (2 Corinthians 1:7).  For God lowers that which is exalted in its pride and vainglory, and exalts the lowly and humble of spirit, so that no man may be brought to glory or power, save by and for and in the grace of God.  Only God is worthy of exaltation, and in perfect justice and righteousness, only by His own Hand shall any be exalted or brought to power.  The prideful of ego and “leavened of man,” shall be brought to nought, so that the glory of the Most High, as demonstrated by the meek and humble, shall be elevated in its place (Matthew 16:6-12).

For no man shall glory in his own power or in his own right, but only in the hope of salvation and the righteousness of justice shall any man have glory.  In this way shall “the rich be sent empty away,” and those poor in spirit and “of lowly estate” shall be filled—for blessed are they who “seek not their own selves, and seek not their own in this life, but seek rather to give themselves away in charitable giving, and to empty themselves of all that is of their own” (Luke 1:53, 48; Matthew 16:25-26).  And “blessed are they who hunger and thirst not after the riches of this world,” but after “the righteousness of God,” for they shall be filled (Proverbs 8:18-21; Matthew 5:6).

As we do so undergo all for the sake, not of our own glory, but for that of God, we do find out, as like “wisdom who dwelleth with prudence,” understanding and knowledge “by witty invention” (Proverbs 8:12).  As we do undergo and endure all for God’s sake, we do overcome all in Christ Who is our salvation—for “He is the way, the truth, the life,” and “the Light” (John 14:6; John 8:12).

This struggle for us is like troubleshooting for you—as we do so struggle in so many ways (“it is hard to kick against the pricks”), we do so find out how to overcome all these many modes and means of personal struggle, and we find out how to overcome each and every sort of difficulty we do so encounter, by God and in Christ (Acts 9:5).  As we do so expect our hope of salvation in Christ, we do so receive it, for it is “in truth and in Spirit,” and in unfaltering faith (John 4:23-24).

“We do so record and set forth for you, for your sakes our reason to hope” and “the path we have found to overcome these struggles of life,” “so that you may follow after the Lord as well, and overcome as we have overcome,” in trust and faith and in earnestness of Spirit, and in an abundance of labor—for it is truly by tireless hard work that so many good works are accomplished (1 Peter 3:15; Romans 8:36-39; Philippians 4:8-14; 1 Corinthians 15:10, 26-27).

As we do so sacrifice ourselves, as if guinea pigs in an experiment—”for we fear not in the perfection of trust in God and His perfect love”—as we do so sacrifice ourselves to find out the means by which all these various struggles may be overcome, we see it not as a sacrifice, for we see, as if lasers illumined by a smoky mist, or an invisible spider’s web made apparent by the glistening drops of dew sticking to its threads, from which we may extrapolate its silky infrastructure; we see the Hand of God lifting us up in all things (1 John 4:16-19; Matthew 5:48).

And as we do indeed have full knowledge of self, and we do indeed know just what we are—”that we are nothing”—as like “Gideon with only a handful of soldiers,” we triumph not in our own doing, but in “the work that is merely accomplished through us by our God” (Galatians 6:3; Judges 7:2, 7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:10).

We place ourselves in the most dangerous of scenarios, “like Joseph, by happenstance and ill-fortune,” as if through our unspoken willing consent to follow the Lord’s path for us wheresoever it might lead; and then, “with the childlike trust of King David as he slays the giant with just a slingshot”; or with “the might and power of Gideon, as he knows his army is too small to have won in its own power, but has defeated the enemy who outnumbered it so impressively, that only by the power of God could he have won”—as we do so overcome all dangers in our path, we do not deviate from the path, and “we look neither to the left nor to the right,” but we keep our hearts in God and our eye on the prize (Genesis 50:19-20; 1 Samuel 17:32, 45-47, 50-51; Judges 7:2, 7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:26-27; Proverbs 4:23-27).

For we do not pray that the obstacles be removed from before us, but that they may be overcome in Christ, for the glory of God.  “We do not wish to be taken from this world, but protected from the evil of this world,” as “we suffer for Christ’s sake so that the light and consolation of God may be revealed to our hearts” (John 17:15; 2 Corinthians 1:4-7).

20 according to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith” (Philippians 1:20-25).

We undergo all struggles, truly not to die, “21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better”; truly not to die; “24 nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you”; truly not to die; but because we know that Christ has triumphed already over death, and we trust in Him to reveal the answers to us, as we do so labor tirelessly until we arrive upon a solution; we undergo all struggles, truly not to die, and in this way, we rely on God as we perform His will to transform us into “Wisdom, so that as we dwell with Christ, our Prudence,” we do see this life as merely a test run, and we do take on the task of troubleshooting and self-experimentation in it, “to find out understanding and knowledge, by witty inventions” (Philippians 1:21-23, 24; Proverbs 8:12).

For as Christ has indeed already conquered death, then with Christ and by the will of God, so too may all things be conquered, and so too may all good works be accomplished, according to His designs and fulfilled to His glory, “as we do so trust in the Lord, and as we do so remain in Him” (John 15:4-12).

“O ye of little faith, wherefore dost thou falter?” (Matthew 14:31).  As we step out to sea, “torn in the tempest of an internal unrest, we falter not,” for “we see that same net bearing the multitude of fishes” illuminated in the truth of our faith and the security of our trust, just beneath our feet (Proverbs 4:23-27; John 21:6-11).  We bear the holy threads of this same net too, coursing through our veins; and we bear the holiness of that single thread of trust in God and God alone too, tied securely around our necks; and as we know just Who shall catch us, “we shall not fear to fall” (Luke 1:30; 1 John 4:17-19; Matthew 5:44-48).  As we do so die with Christ, we do so live with Christ, and hanging upon the Cross, “cursed in hanging upon the tree,” “we cannot pretend to fear, even fear itself” (Galatians 3:13; Matthew 5:48; 1 John 4:17-19).

 

References:

  1. Genesis 50:15-21

15 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. 16 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, 17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. 18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. 19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

  1. Judges 7:1-8

7 Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

  1. 1 Samuel 17:32-51

32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.

38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. 40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. 41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. 43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. 45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.

48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

  1. Proverbs 4:23-27

23 Keep thy heart with all diligence;
for out of it are the issues of life.
24 Put away from thee a froward mouth,
and perverse lips put far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes look right on,
and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26 Ponder the path of thy feet,
and let all thy ways be established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left:
remove thy foot from evil.

  1. Proverbs 8:1-7, 12-21

8 Doth not wisdom cry?
and understanding put forth her voice?
She standeth in the top of high places,
by the way in the places of the paths.
She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city,
at the coming in at the doors.
Unto you, O men, I call;
and my voice is to the sons of man.
O ye simple, understand wisdom:
and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
Hear; for I will speak of excellent things;
and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
For my mouth shall speak truth;
and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

12 I wisdom dwell with prudence,
and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil:
pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom:
I am understanding; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
and princes decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
even all the judges of the earth.
17 I love them that love me;
and those that seek me early shall find me.
18 Riches and honour are with me;
yea, durable riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold;
and my revenue than choice silver.
20 I lead in the way of righteousness,
in the midst of the paths of judgment:
21 that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance;
and I will fill their treasure.

  1. Matthew 5:1-12, 43-48

5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

  1. Matthew 14:24-33

24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

  1. Matthew 16:5-12, 24-28

And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

  1. Luke 1:30-33, 45-55

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

46 And Mary said,

My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden:
for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things;
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm;
he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats,
and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy;
55 as he spake to our fathers,
to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

  1. Luke 16:19-31

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

  1. John 4:19-26

19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

  1. John 8:12-20

12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. 14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

  1. John 14:5-7

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

  1. John 15:4-12

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

  1. John 17:13-19

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

  1. John 21:5-14

But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. 12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

  1. Acts 9:1-9

9 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

  1. Romans 8:18-21, 36-39

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:9-11, 24-31

For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

  1. 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 11 ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

  1. Galatians 3:12-14

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

  1. Galatians 6:1-6

6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

  1. Philippians 1:20-26

20 according to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 26 that your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

  1. Philippians 4:8-14

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

  1. 1 Peter 3:13-16

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

  1. 1 John 4:16-19

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us.

  1. Revelation 16:12-21

12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

 

Saturday 5/4/19

Week 4/4: Day 1

Acts 1:1-14.  The Ascension.  Am I looking for Jesus in heaven rather than in my own life?

 

Title: “Tethered: Field of Blood, Field of Dreams. If You Build It, They Will Come.

Alt. Title 1: “Truth or Dare Ye Deign to Ask?

Alt. Title 2: “Book of Revelation: Pro-Leaguers of the Ghost Race and the Second Coming of Christ

 

19 holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 of whom is Hymenæus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Timothy 1:19-20)

For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:3-5).

 

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Acts 1:7).

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11).

 

When Jesus reappears in His glory, it shall not be He Who has returned to us, in His Second Coming, but rather, we who have returned to Him.  As the Lovesick Father so portentously, and prodigiously, states, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine” (Luke 15:31).  For Jesus is ever with us, as indeed He shall show, “after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen…” (Acts 1:2).  For it is not Jesus Who departs from the Apostles, but rather “the mortality, or corruptibility as it were,” of their flesh and the hardness, or tendency towards non-belief or a lack of spiritual understanding, of their hearts that so obstructs their inner vision, and obstructs justice done unto them (1 Corinthians 15:42-43, 50-54).

For, if they are to be quickened of Spirit, firm of faith, weary of man, “absent from the world,” and alive in Christ, then they too shall preside over their own souls in like manner as Christ, in being true to God’s Word and at Home already in the Father (1 Corinthians 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8).

For as the “two men who stood by them, in white apparel,” the “same pair of angels who reported too of His Resurrection to the women,” inquire of the Apostles, “why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” (Acts 1:10; Luke 24:4-10; Acts 1:11).  As if to say, why endeavor ye to behold the unseen Spirit of Christ, of God, with the eyes of the flesh, “when He so beholds you” with the inner vision of the eyes of the soul (Genesis 16:13)?  For “there is one man, born as carnal, and another, born as spiritual…” (1 Corinthians 15:44-49).

It is almost as if an invisible Jesus traverses our world, in body and Spirit, unseen and unbeknownst to us, as He waits for us to return to Him—as He abides steadfastly in God, waiting for us to return and so abide “in Spirit and truth,” having transcended the false appearances of the world, like Him (John 4:23-24).  For to Him, Who is Spirit and the Highest Truth of the Most High God, this world is like the false veneer of a flimsy cardboard filmset, or a mere ghost and apparition or semblance and shadow of that which is truly real (just as a Spirit seems as if a Ghost to us, our world seems as if a ghost to Him), but which we behold not, for we deign not to reach beyond that which we prove to our sensibilities with our bodily senses.  And this is the spiritual fallacy of an overly purist take on empiricism.

The true of heart and “earnest of Spirit,” do indeed intuit, as if like by the unignorable pounding of a beating drum, the insane ticking of a buried and hidden secret clock, and the palpable, still-alive, pulsing beat of a pounding heart; those true to the Spirit do sense this unignorable and indisputable, irresistible and irrefutable, calling of a higher reality, to be lived like Christ, like the Risen Christ, “in Spirit and truth” (2 Corinthians 5:5; John 4:23-24; Luke 24:36-39).

As we ignore the world so that “our ears that hear, eyes that see, and hearts that heed” the deafening cry of the Lord may attend to Him with perfect and undivided attention, this world fades away, and a new dimension slowly rises in our hearts to take its place; our God appears to us and “takes shape on the horizon,” like a ship of sorts never before seen, and our makeshift scaffolding of a temporal impermanence slowly crumbles off, to make way for and disencumber “the deeper truth, of God’s Kingdom,” and the “new Heaven and new Earth, of a deeper reality”  (Revelation 2: 7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22; Matthew 14:25-27; Luke 17:20-21; Revelation 21:1-3).

In this highest form of reality, that of the Most High, we dwell still upon this Earth of man, but our souls, in a transcendence or Ascension, or transformation and Transfiguration, so to speak, of holiness, now take part more rightly in the reality and ways and ponderings of Heaven, as our reality and what is real to us, is made manifest, by virtue of our heart’s honesty about the truth of God as our actions so correspond with the Truth in our hearts, and by the sheer power of belief.

As Jesus had said, “Believe upon me…” for “with God, all things are possible” (John 11:25-26; Luke 1:37; Matthew 19:26).  Jesus came to meet us, to give us proof of life, so to speak, as being eternal in Him as He so “paid His life for the ransom of many,” and now, in these last days of the Second Coming, it is our turn to take hold of faith, conform to our belief, make good on “the promise (of the Holy Ghost),” and so return to Him (Matthew 20:28; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5; John 20:21-22).

As He meets us half-way, we fill the bill and sign off our endorsement of His truths by “proving them” with our own souls and Risen Spirits to be reality (Acts 1:3).  “Yes, Jesus, I believe…” (John 11:25-27). “You were right and here are the works to prove it.”  If thou believest in me, “even though you may die, you shall but live,” for “the eternal life of the Father already dwelleth within you” (John 11:25-27; Luke 17:21).  Remain in Him as I remain in you, and you shall have life—the life of God, and you shall have peace—the peace of being true to His truth.  For all that which does not so conform to the Father’s own truth shall so crumble away, and be knocked down and fall off, in the flimsiness of a fake Hollywood filmset, or into falsehood, as if in the pretend world of a child’s make-believe in a toy dollhouse.

As “Jesus does indeed set an open door before us,” it is for the strong of heart, the steadfast in faith, and the followers of the one true God in His one true Spirit, to race for that reality; to endorse it with the pro-league level follow-through, of their beating hearts and batting eyelids, and their come-hither eyelashes, and to have the belief to support their footfalls as they step through that door; and to meet Christ at His own level, in Spirit and truth; and to be welcomed Home to the best of both worlds, on Earth and in the Father, as He so bids of us, “Where have you been?  It took you long enough!” (Revelation 3:8; 4:1-2).

“To he that overcomes as I overcame…”; “To the victor…”; “To he who makes it here first…”; “I will…”; “Give rest.”  “Sup with him…” (Revelation 2:7, 10, 17, 26-28; 3:5, 11-12, 20-21).

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:20-22).

“Selah.

16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. 18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood” (Acts 1:16-19).

As with the “field of blood,” “purchased width the reward of inequity,” into which Judas fell headlong as he burst asunder in the midst, so too shall be the flimsy-cardboard, makeshift-plywood reality of this world of man and rickety planking, in plank-walking and waterboarding, of sin; and whosoever shall be the “victor to arrive first upon the fruit that never spoils, the Fruit of a Virgin Womb,” “he shall reign with Me” “in the New Jerusalem, the New Heaven and New Earth,” and “I shall give him a new name,” as “I inscribe the name of God upon him,” “and confess to Him, my new name as well” (Acts 1:18-19; Revelation 2:7; 3:20; 2:26-28; 21:1-2; 2:17; 3:12; 3:5).  The promise of the Holy Ghost is a reality open for the grasping.  Reach out your hand.  Enter your soul.  Come and get it.

As if with the hissing of steam engines from a well-fueled, well-oiled, finely-tuned and triumphantly-emerged-from “iron rigging of ancient machinery,” “from my own open pupils of a blazing red, fiery hot, dilating and contracting coal-burning furnace,” she echoes, jingling and twisting “my set of keys” around her little finger, “Come and get it” (Revelation 2:27-28; Revelation 4:3; Revelation 3:7).

 

References:

  1. Genesis 16:11-16 [Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)]

11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. 13 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? 14 Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. 15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

  1. Genesis 16:13 [New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)]

13 To the Lord who spoke to her she gave a name, saying, “You are God who sees me”;[g] she meant, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after he saw me?”

  1. · · 16:13 God who sees me: Hebrew el-ro’i is multivalent, meaning either “God of seeing,” i.e., extends his protection to me, or “God sees,” which can imply seeing human suffering (29:32; Ex 2:25; Is 57:18; 58:3). It is probable that Hagar means to express both of these aspects. Remained alive: for the ancient notion that a person died on seeing God, see Gn 32:31; Ex 20:19; Dt 4:33; Jgs 13:22.
  2. Matthew 14:24-33

24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

  1. Matthew 19:23-26

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

  1. Matthew 20:24-28

24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

  1. Matthew 24:23-31, 36

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

  1. Luke 1:37-38

37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

  1. Luke 15:18-32

18 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

  1. Luke 17:20-37

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

  1. Luke 24:1-12, 36-42, 49

24 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. 12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

  1. John 4:21-24

21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

  1. John 11:17-27

17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. 18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: 19 and many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. 21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

  1. John 20:21-23

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

  1. Acts 1:1-22

1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphæus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) 16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. 18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. 21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

  1. 1 Corinthians 5:3-5

For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:42-58

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:5-10

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

  1. 1 Timothy 1:18-20

18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 of whom is Hymenæus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

  1. Revelation 2:7, 10-11, 17, 25-29

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. 26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

  1. Revelation 3:5-6, 7-8, 11-13, 19-22

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

  1. Revelation 4:1-4

4 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

  1. Revelation 21:1-8

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

 

Sunday 5/5/19

Week 4/4: Day 2

John 16:7-15.  Jesus promises to send an Advocate for us, the spirit of truth.  Am I beginning to recognize the truth when faced with decision, the truth that reveals the Will of God for me?

 

Title: “I Dwell in Him and He in Me: I Know that I AM Never Alone, for I AM Never Lonely”

Alt. Title 1: “Fisher of Men and the Folk-Lure of Christ: Spoke He Many Things in Parables”

Alt. Title 2: “You Complete Me Just Beneath the Surface: To Understand and To Be Understood

 

His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. 31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? 32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:29-32).

 

Selah.  Which is to say, I can just imagine Jesus here giving a big sigh of relief, or maybe of exasperation, groaning and sighing about in His Spirit, as He so commonly seemed to do.  Jesus here might reflect back upon His time with the disciples, and consider how He, as He had worded it when He so implored Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, and the sons of Zebedee, James and John his brother, to so come and join Him in His ministry; “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).  Jesus did indeed speak many things in parables as did nearly all the prophets, and “He did this specifically not to be understood by the general public and the common people,” as just any old man, as it were (Matthew 13:10-15).

He spoke in parables, so that those would heed His call first, who were equipped already with spiritual insight and understanding, as like abstract thinking, which ability one might have to the extent that one is practiced in meditating upon the unseen, contemplating the unknown, and dwelling upon the hidden spiritual aspect of the ostensible and visible rituals and practices of their Faith at that time; “…for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone… for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also… Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:23-28).

He speaks in parables, for this; as He is indeed a fisher of man; for this is like dropping a line, watching the current ripple, and waiting to see who bites.  Indeed, He collects those practiced in belief, exercised in understanding, and in-tune of heart, which is to say, “having ears to hear and eyes to see,” and thereby to perceive the message that is only allegorically or metaphorically spoken in His words, “so that He might heal them and they be converted” (Matthew 13:15-35).

As He first collects those already equipped with eyes and ears for that just beneath the surface of the concrete and literal, He comes by many who “are last but have now become first, as many who are first, now become last” (Matthew 19:27-30; Luke 13:23-30; Matthew 7:21-27; John 16:24).  As like “the Canaanite woman” who perceives His parable and retorts in parable, “even the dogs eat from the scraps of the children’s table”; those who do indeed perceive His meanings and understand His ways are the first to inherit His Kingdom (as like the Word of His Spirit that resides in their souls), and to receive His blessings of healing (Matthew 15:22-28).

For He distributes His gifts not only to His own in-crowd of the disciples, but so too to the infamous Good Samaritan of this parable of the same name, “the Roman centurion,” of whom Jesus says, “No, not in all of Israel is there faith as great as this,” and even to “Zacchæus in Jericho, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich (and a sinner),” who obediently and proudly returns to Jesus, bearing the fruits of his labor in receiving Christ, proclaiming to Him as if with a wide grin, “Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 19:1-10).

For Jesus is a fisher of man, and came to retrieve all those first who are ready for Him, willing and able to receive Him, and have the open heart bearing eyes and ears by which to understand Him, and so save all those who respond willingly and take into their hearts and souls His Word of truth, and so receive salvation.  Jesus did indeed speak many things in parables, to “separate the believers form the nonbelievers,” “the open from the hard of heart,” the obedient listeners from the scornful scoffers, and the men from the boys, so to speak, in the faithful of God (Matthew 13:47-50; Mark 8:17-18).

Indeed, “many are chosen, but few are called,” and “many are called, but few are chosen,” in taking the bait, “being hooked into the Most High upon Christ’s line,” and reeling into each other as they find that, just as Christ says; “my Word is in them as I am in You…” and “I will that their joy may be complete as they are one in the Father as I am one in the Father, and they are in me and I in them”  (Luke 13:22-30; Matthew 22:1-14; Isaiah 37:29; John 17:14-23, 26; John 14:15-21; John 16:24).

And so, as all indeed are chosen, he calls out to His sheep in parables, so that those firstborn of the Spirit in heeding their understanding of His Word, may be received into salvation, mutually so, as it were, for they are the first to so receive His Word into their hearts.

Jesus tells His disciples that “this hidden working of the spiritual understanding too, shall be made known to them,” as “He sends to them the Advocate, the Comforter, and the Spirit of Truth—who is the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ deposited of the Holy Ghost into their souls so that all things may be accomplished through this gift of the Father with them,” “and no longer through Christ’s intercession, which He makes in His physical form as He does so dwell in this way among them” (John 14:15-26; John 16:7-13; 23-28).

But as Christ departs, which they barely understand, despite being His disciples as they are, just as when they know not by His delicate phrasing what He means when He says that, “Lazarus is asleep”—so too “they believe what they want and not what He tells them, and so are at a loss when reality—the reality that He must first die to be arisen, escapes them, for they struggle against His Word in believing what they want rather than in what God would will” (John 11:11-15; Mark 8:17-18, 31-38).  As He had said—Until now you have done nothing in my name,” which is to say, according to the will of God, but “have merely prayed as if children, saying grant me my will, and perform for me my wishes” (John 16:24; Matthew 7:21-27; Luke 13:26-30).

So when Jesus sees they do not understand that when He says, “a little while you will not see me,” He means that He shall die before He reappears, “and again, a little while and ye shall see me,” this key feature, of their inability to remain “hooked into His line” by their response and reception of Him by virtue of their spiritual understanding—speaks most portentously, or prophetically as it were, of His veritable need to depart from them, so that they may receive His Spirit within them (John 16:19; Isaiah 37:29).

“The Spirit of Truth, and of Christ, and of God, and of Holiness, and the Word indwelling,” “deposited by grace into their souls and brought up and borne and cultivated and nurtured into a living stone of the temple of God in their hearts by their willing acceptance of Him and obedience in their hearts and their ways to all His commands”—”this seemingly inherent inability of even His closest followers, His disciples, to remain in unity with Him”—indicates not that they are not doing their best, but that they are as yet only as half a man, and indeed, “until He delivers to them the promise of the Father, as the Holy Spirit and Word of God into their own hearts and souls”—”they are indeed neither equipped nor fully capable of indeed understanding Him, and are as yet, incomplete beings” (John 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17; 6:19-20; Mark 8:15-18; John 16:12-15, 23-27; 1 Corinthians 3:1-17).

After “Christ delivers the promise,” He does indeed Himself, with the gift of His Spirit, this Spirit of Truth; He does indeed Himself complete us, as like a Bridegroom to the Church, His Bride, that is not only “the collective body of His Church that is each and every one of us,” but “is also each of us chosen and called individually,” for “the Kingdom of God is within,” we are only complete in Him as we are in no other, and “the soul and spirit is a temple of the Holy Ghost which dwelleth within us,” to the extent that we too dwell within ourselves rather than in external pleasures or external people who are not God, and as “we do so dwell, ultimately and in all things, regardless of where we are, be it in flesh or in Spirit,” as we do so dwell in Him (John 20:21-22; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 6:14-20; 1 Corinthians 3:10-17; John 15:16; Luke 17:21; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:5-9).  “Abide in me as I abide in you, so that your joy may be complete” (John 15:4-11).

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

 

References:

  1. Isaiah 37:22-29

22 this is the word which the Lord hath spoken concerning him;

The virgin, the daughter of Zion,
hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn;
the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.
23 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed?
and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice,
and lifted up thine eyes on high?
even against the Holy One of Israel.
24 By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said,
By the multitude of my chariots am I come up
to the height of the mountains,
to the sides of Lebanon;
and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof,
and the choice fir trees thereof:
and I will enter into the height of his border,
and the forest of his Carmel.
25 I have digged, and drunk water;
and with the sole of my feet have I dried up
all the rivers of the besieged places.
26 Hast thou not heard long ago, how I have done it;
and of ancient times, that I have formed it?
now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste
defenced cities into ruinous heaps.
27 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power,
they were dismayed and confounded:
they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb,
as the grass on the housetops,
and as corn blasted before it be grown up.
28 But I know thy abode, and thy going out,
and thy coming in, and thy rage against me.
29 Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears,
therefore will I put my hook in thy nose,
and my bridle in thy lips,
and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.

  1. Matthew 4:18-22

18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

  1. Matthew 7:21-27

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

  1. Matthew 8:5-13

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

  1. Matthew 13:10-17, 34-35, 47-52

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48 which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. 52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

  1. Matthew 15:21-28

Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

  1. Matthew 19:27-30

27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

  1. Matthew 22:1-14

22 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

  1. Matthew 23:23-39

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

  1. Mark 8:14-21, 31-48

14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. 15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

  1. Luke 13:16-30

16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? 17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.

18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. 20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

  1. Luke 17:20-21

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

  1. Luke 19:1-10

19 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchæus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

  1. Luke 24:49

49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

  1. John 11:7-16

Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judæa again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. 11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. 16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

  1. John 14:15-26

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

  1. John 15:13-17, 24-27

13 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. 26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

  1. John 16

16 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? 18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.

19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? 20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. 23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27 for the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. 31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? 32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

  1. John 17:13-26

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them

  1. John 20:20-23

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

  1. Acts 1:4-5

and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

  1. Acts 2:1-4

2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

  1. 1 Corinthians 3:1-17

3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

  1. 1 Corinthians 6:14-20

14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

5 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

 

Monday 5/6/19

Week 4/4: Day 3

Acts 2:1-13.  All were filled with the Holy Spirit and were given the gift of communication.  In what language, through what images, does God communicate with me?

 

Title: “Shew Us a Sign and What is Mystical Theology”

A Michtam of the Most High and a Punk Rock Love Psalm.

 

Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:6-8).

 

11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11).

13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine” (Acts 2:13).

 

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:3).  “For we know that if this earthly house were dissolved, we have a tabernacle of Heaven,” wherein “…appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost…” (2 Corinthians 5:1; Acts 2:3-4).

The most outstanding feature of this description of Pentecost from the Book of Acts, is that when they were “confounded” by God, it was because they were “amazed and marvelled,” at their understanding; and furthermore, when by the fiery tongues of the Holy Spirit things are spoken to them, which they hear and understand in their native languages though they be spoken in foreign tongues, these things spoken of pertain only to “the wonderful works of God”  (Acts 2:6, 7, 11).

God dumbfounds these men with an overabundance of understanding, sense, and clarity, whereas there should be none, and as He does indeed make things known to them in mysterious ways, the things He does make known by this gift of His Holy Spirit, are the ways and workings of God.

For God brings peace and clarity where there is none, He brings understanding where others bring confusion, He brings praise and knowledge where others bring irreverence, questions, doubt, and uncertainty, and He declares His own wonderful works, those that be of God, while others remain ensnared in the unimaginative, uninspired, and hardly wonderous, works of man.

When God communicates, He does so with His Holy Spirit, and though the signs and showings may be subtle, the undercurrent of His essence is always unmistakable, and even a slight breeze, if it be brought to our mind’s eye and our heart’s attention by Him, shall indeed feel to us as if “a rushing mighty wind, sent from Heaven,” filling the whole house of this heavenly tabernacle, through our soul’s intuition and unseen knowledge of Him, with His presence; as He does indeed communicate His presence like no other, and He does indeed fill us like no other (Acts 2:2).

When God wishes to reveal Himself to us, there is a certain indefinable yet unmistakable quality that is like an unspoken and unseen but undeniable token or signature of His presence, a certain quality of life or “aliveness,” a certain fullness, or watery quality, like staring off into the distance through the billowy streaks of steam rising from a hot asphalt street, or staring through the heat rising from a charcoal grill.

When one is in the presence of God in the soul, it is as if the world, or life in general, is beheld through this billowing undulating air of His Spirit, breathing in a sweet, milky and metallic thickness of pulsations with its fullness of water particles, and all that is seen through this thin veil, this smoke screen of liquidy rising steam, seems ethereal.

To be in the eternal house of the soul, “in the Spirit and the presence of God like this,” seems ephemeral and evanescent; indefinitive with a certain vagueness, and yet more real and distinct and clearly known (for we are beholding God first, and the world, as like only an afterthought); indistinct with the looseness of nonspecificity and the ambiguity of vapor, but somehow more accurate, precise, specific, and well-known; strangely airy and surreal, but conversely, more tangible and realistic than concrete; uniquely and oddly familiar, and yet still unknown, or eerily unfamiliar and yet still innately and inherently, always perfectly known, all at the same time; less specific and more universal than a single thought could possibly contain, but defined down to the sharpest finite point of precision to be fathomed in this infinite grasp of reality (the reality of God); God Himself in His purest essence, shrugging off, like a camera lens, into the out-of-focus blur and haze of the distance, all that is not first focused primarily and fixated directly, in this gaze, entirely on Him, as He so chooses to be, in this moment, this glimpse of eternity, this… je ne sais pas… this glory of God and truth of Him; this essence, ghostly and spiritual as if from beyond the grave, and yet more alive, as if of the Risen Christ (John 3:5-8).  This, is Life (John 3:15-16).

Through this veil or screen of being one with God “within the secret place of the soul” and His presence in this heavenly tabernacle of “our eternal house within,” when observing the world from within the place of the soul and the eyes of God, it is as if a deep reality, a deep, damp wetness to all things ripples through our sense of life; it is as if “God Himself—appears before our eyes,” showing us by the flowing and undulating interconnectedness and aliveness and synchronicity of His reality, how stale and cold and dead the world is from without, from outside this home, from outside His presence, and when seen through the eyes of man rather than the eyes of God (Psalm 91:1; John 14:1-4; Luke 17:21; Psalm 16:8; Acts 2:25).

A living and ongoing communication transpires and transforms itself around this heavenly home, “as responses appear to us in line with our heart’s ponderings,” and our spiritual intentions are regarded and correspondingly tousled at in this dance with God and communion through the Holy Spirit (this experience is known in eastern religions as “moksha”)—this ebb and flow, and give and take of a mutual relationship, a prompt correspondence, a mutual reciprocation of unearthly and unequivocal trust, and an astounding and otherworldly clarity of thought in God’s clairvoyant conveyance of His deepest thoughts in perfect understanding, in accord with the means by which we may best understand Him—this, is Life (Psalm 16:5-7).

As a community of shepherds or fishermen receives parables regarding these sorts of lifestyles, so too do we receive analogies and metaphors, instantaneously, that take shape around our own personal experiences, and His Word explains itself to us through the means that convey to our hearts most effectively, efficiently and expediently the deepest, highest, best, and most fully-fathomed level of understanding, regarding our shared ideas and the sharing of ideas at hand, in the active, electric, and enlightening current “of this line of thought,” through which we commune—”at His level” (Psalm 16:5-7; John 3:5-8; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 5-8).

It is as if God deposits the meaning and understanding of His own thoughts directly into our mind, and learns and understands these ideas and concepts for us (by sharing with us His mind, by which to understand His thoughts), which He does indeed do, through this indwelling gift of His Holy Spirit.  For “God does not confound, save to confound us by how well we understand that which by all earthly means, we should not,” and God does not aid and assist our communication of understanding, save for the purpose of “proclaiming the mighty and miraculous works of God” (Acts 2:6-11).

In an influx of the Holy Ghost is to be expected an outpouring of the heart, as Peter so goes on to exclaim in this passage from the Book of Acts, “in these most devout, honest, inspired, revelatory, and heartfelt words, the thoughts of God as if revealed to God’s own mind given to us, in the words of wisdom to be understood by the common man, the simplest of minds, or vast masses of foreign speakers, the truth of Christ, in the holiness of the Spirit, the Kingdom to come and the remission of sins,” so that all who are so called; “even as many as the Lord our God shall call,” regardless of religion, sex, gender, ethnicity, or any other defining feature regarded by man but irrelevant to God; so that all such as these that the Lord may so call, “shall receive the promise of His baptism, of the Holy Ghost,” and be ushered into His holy tabernacle and eternal house in Heaven, which shall endure past death unto life eternal, which is our salvation (Acts 2:14-40; Acts 2:39; Matthew 3:11-12;).

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:41-43).

And in God’s world, “this is happily ever after,” that by virtue of Him, in the internal gift of the inner man and His Holy Spirit, “…all that believed were together, and had all things common [namely God, via His Spirit] …and parted their goods and possessions to all men, as according to every man his need …and they continued daily with one accord in the temple, breaking bread from house to house …with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God …and the Lord added to the church daily all such as should be saved” (Psalm 16:5-11; Acts 2:25-28, 44-47).

 

References:

  1. Psalm 16

Michtam of David.

Preserve me, O God:
for in thee do I put my trust.
O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord,
Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;
but to the saints that are in the earth,
and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god:
their drink offerings of blood will I not offer,
nor take up their names into my lips.
The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup:
thou maintainest my lot.
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places;
yea, I have a goodly heritage.

I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel:
my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me:
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth:
my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell;
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life:
in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

  1. Psalm 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers,
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side,
and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold
and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge,
even the most High, thy habitation;
10 there shall no evil befall thee,
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:
the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:
I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him,
and shew him my salvation.

  1. Matthew 3:7-12

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

  1. Luke 17:20-21

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

  1. John 3:1-21

3 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

  1. John 14:1-4

4 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

  1. Acts 2

2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judæa, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:1-11

5 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

 

Tuesday 5/7/19

Week 4/4: Day 4

Romans 8:18-27.  The Spirit intercedes for us in our weakness.  Do I trust that the Spirit can understand my sometimes inchoate anxieties and yearnings better than I can and delights to place them firmly before God?

 

Title: “Counted as Sheep for the Slaughter, Counted Among the Transgressors by the Transgressors, and Taking Careful Accounting as We Count on Christ

Alt. Title: “A House Undivided, Is This Man An Island?”

…To Wit, and Clad in White on Whit Sunday.

 

46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:46-50).

 

50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! 51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52 for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Luke 12:50-53).

 

that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4:6-8).

 

“…even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23).

“…but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27).

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34).

 

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  … As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (Romans 8:35-36).  Indeed, we are accounted for, all the day long, and as sheep for the slaughter at that, as we do audit our investment in turn, and as we do so take care of our own accounting “even as we are so accounted among the dead—nay, among the transgressors, then among the dead” (Isaiah 53:8-9, 12).  For, “Who is he that condemneth us?” (Romans 8:34).  “It is Christ indeed Who shall prove our works, or condemn this house that be of God, by fire as it were,” as “His fan is in His hand, and He shall thoroughly purge His floor,” and those “cast out to the left whom He reckons among the transgressors shall be cast into the pit,” where “their worm and soul dieth not, and the fire shall not be quenched” (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; Matthew 3:12; 25:31-33, 41-46; Mark 9:43-48).

For as we are so accounted for among the transgressors by the transgressors, we make our appeal to the Lord God, for we know that it is only Christ Who shall judge us, as He is seated at the right hand of God.  “As we do groan within ourselves, we confess in Spirit to the unknown travails within us,” as “in the Spirit and by the Spirit He shall indeed make intercession for us” (Romans 8:26-27, 34).  “To wit, we do groan within ourselves, awaiting the adoption, that is to say, the redemption of our body,” as we are “delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:23, 21).

For who shall condemn us?  Is it not Christ rather Who shall save us, “as we turn to Him when our brethren turn against us” (Luke 12:51-53, 57-59; Matthew 10:34-37; 12:31-33, 36-37, 46-50; 25:40, 45; Mark 9:40; Matthew 12:30)?  To wit, is it not rather our false brethren who are reckoned among the condemned as we bear witness of Christ’s intercession, not in our glistening gold, glowering red, glorious glowing souls only, but also in the “redemption of our body,” as He adopts us and claims us as His in Spirit, for we do so groan within ourselves not to be alleviated of this burden, but to accomplish “the will of God” (Romans 8:23, 27)?

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren,” and as we do so groan within ourselves as we do so travail within our souls, we do know that, “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us,” and, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:29, 18, 28).

For who shall condemn us?  Is it not Christ?  “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified,” as our Shepherd takes His accounting of us just as astutely as the “unrighteous mammon” takes accounting of the things of this world, as together with “the prince of this world,” they too “shall be made to bear witness of their works” and “the treasures of their hearts before the Lord,” in the final day of His reckoning (Romans 8:30; Luke 16:10-13; Matthew 15:4-6; John 14:29-30; Matthew 3:7-10; 6:19-23; 15:7-9).

“What shall we then say to these things? …” to Whit, “He that spared not his own Son…” (Romans 8:31-32).  “It is God that justifieth” (Romans 8:33).

For indeed as we do follow after the fashion of the Shepherd, we too do our own accounting, “to wit,” and just as is described in the soon-to-be-retold parable told by Jesus Himself, we shall be made sure, and we shall be accounted in the eyes of God among the just, “as in the eyes of the transgressors they do count us as transgressors,” and they shall bear witness of their own souls “when this scapegoat is indeed removed,” like “the thoughts of the heart of God, far from them” (Romans 8:23; Ezekiel 13:16; Matthew 7:3-5; Isaiah 53:5-9; Matthew 15:7-9).

For in this parable from the Book of Luke, “who when building a house, shall not first take care to do his accounting, to see if he can indeed finish it, lest he be put to shame when he has not the means to complete it.  When he has not the intercession of the Holy Spirit within his soul by which to stand fast in his faith?” (Luke 14:28-33; 1 Corinthians 3:9-17; Matthew 12:25-31; Romans 8:26-27, 34).  “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27).

To Whit,” as clad in white as if newly baptized by the Holy Ghost on Whit Sunday, nay on Pentecost, we shall not be shamed, but shall sparkle as pristine white as freshly fallen snow, for it is Christ Who shall try our hearts, and Who shall not find us wanting (Revelation 2:20-23; Ezekiel 13).  It is Christ, to wit, Who shall be that final cost at Pentecost Whom we have taken account of.  For as like “a king at war, who does not first take account of his soldiers before leading his army into battle, lest it be found that his army of 10,000 be outnumbered by the enemy camp of 60,000, so he may send negotiators to make terms of peace with them while they are yet in the way, lest they be utterly defeated and ruined by the greatness of the fall thereof” (Luke 14:31-32; Matthew 5:23-26; 7:26-27; Luke 12:49-53, 57-59).

For “what man when waging war against his brethren takes not first a careful account of his assets, lest Christ not be found among them, and he finds that he has not the means by which to overcome condemnation?” (Luke 14:28-33; Luke 12:52-53, 57-59; Matthew 10:19-28, 34-39; Matthew 12:25-33, 46-50; Acts 5:38-39).

For it is Christ Who condemns, to wit, to Whit, and “it is right that we should fear not man, but Him Who can cast us into Hell forever,” “where the most rudimentary worm of our eternal soul shall not die, nor the fires thereof be quenched” (Matthew 10:28; Mark 9:43-48).

For it is right that “we should obey our God rather than man,” for this is He Who was counted, by the transgressors, Whit, as being among the transgressors (Acts 5:29-32, 38-39).  And this too is He of Whom we shall take careful account as we do so count Him among our army, and we do so number Him among the many in our camp who are actually worthy, like an army of martyrs, to be so clad in white and receive the baptism of the Ghost at a Holy Pentecost in these last days.

For “as we are so counted all day long as sheep for the slaughter,” we likewise take a careful counting and inventory of our own words, actions and deeds, and we look to our Shepherd to assure our hearts that we are so reckoned as one of His flock (Romans 8:36).  And this, “for it is Christ Who condemns,” it is Christ Who baptizes, and “it is Christ Who trieth, testeth, and delivereth our hearts and souls”; and “this is how we know that” “on the final day we shall have the means by which to complete our house, and to overturn the enemy army—for we take a careful account of ourselves” as we are counted as sheep for the slaughter, as the unrighteous mammon and prince of this world in their sins count us among the transgressors (Romans 8:35. Revelation 2:23; 1 John 3:19-22, 24; 4:2-6, 13-17; Luke 14:28-33).

And we do find that Christ is in us and among us with Him as He is on our side, and we do find that we shall stand victorious, as we are not rather “conquerors through Him Who we seek in our hearts” and count as our own—we count in Christ, we count on Christ, and it is Him Who shall finish the work (Romans 8:37; Matthew 6:20-23).

It is “this careful accounting of and for Christ,” that shall make our House to stand strong, “like a masterbuilder of souls,” and our army of chosen souls to be victorious (Romans 8:36; 1 Corinthians 3:10, 16-17).  For “we are rather more than conquerors in Him,” for “it is only Him, this Christ, the only Christ, on our side,” “in our House undivided”; “as we are not the antichrist our false brethren have deceived you to believe”; “Who strenghteneth us, and through Whom, we can indeed do all things” (Romans 8:37; Acts 5:38-39; 1 Thessalonians l4:6-8; Matthew 12:25, 28-32; 1 John 4:2-5; Acts 5:41-42; Philippians 4:13).

 

References:

  1. Isaiah 53

53 Who hath believed our report?
and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him,
there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth:
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment:
and who shall declare his generation?
for he was cut off out of the land of the living:
for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death;
because he had done no violence,
neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him;
he hath put him to grief:
when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,
he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days,
and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:
by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;
for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
and he was numbered with the transgressors;
and he bare the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

  1. Ezekiel 13

13 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The Lord saith it; albeit I have not spoken? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord God. And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord God.

10 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: 11 say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. 12 Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? 13 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. 14 So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 15 Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; 16 to wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord God.

Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them, 18 and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? 19 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies? 20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. 21 Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: 23 therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

  1. Matthew 3:7-12

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

  1. Matthew 5:21-26

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

  1. Matthew 6:19-23

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

  1. Matthew 7:1-6, 21-27

7 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

  1. Matthew 10:16-28, 34-39

16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

  1. Matthew 12:24-37, 46-50

24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

  1. Matthew 15:4-9

For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

  1. Matthew 24:36-51

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  1. Matthew 25:31-46

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  1. Mark 9:38-50

38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is on our part. 41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. 43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. 50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

  1. Luke 12:47-53, 57-59

47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! 51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52 for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? 58 When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. 59 I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.

  1. Luke 14:25-35

25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

  1. Luke 16:1-18

16 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. 10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. 16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. 18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

  1. John 8:13-26

13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. 14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. 23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. 25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

  1. John 14:27-31

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. 30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

  1. Acts 5:29-42

29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. 34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35 and said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. 40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

  1. Romans 8:18-39

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. 1 Corinthians 3:8-23

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

  1. Philippians 4:11-14

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:6-8

that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

  1. 1 John 3:19-24

19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

  1. 1 John 4:2-6, 13-21

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

  1. Revelation 2:18-28

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. 26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

Wednesday 5/8/19

Week 4/4: Day 5

“Contemplation on the Love of God.”  All that God has done for me I return to Him.

 

Title: “Aim High and Do No Harm: The Boomerang Effect.”

These are the mechanics of the human soul, of which you knew not.

Alt. Title: “Why We Need God: Mercy Over Justice”

 

“…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” (Luke 23:34).

 

Considering again the expression “take and receive,” I am reminded of what was once said, that we are changed as a result of the act of loving, and we are transformed in such a way that we become as like the object of our desire.  There is a funny thing about love, in that it has this strange quality of transforming the lover into that which he loves.  We become as like that which we love.  “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also…” (Matthew 6:21).

The grace of God dwells within us, for He has given us His Holy Spirit.  “We love Him, because He first loved us,” and we receive the love of God by God, through that little piece of God in us, that living stone of His eternal church, that is His Holy Spirit (1 John 4:19).  God dwells in us, and we in God, as we “take and receive” Him, His Spirit, into our minds, bodies, and souls, “with all our strength, mind, might, heart, and soul, and obey His commandments, through the power and motivation of this vital energy of His love, tapped into by first obeying His first commandment, and loving Him” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:36-40).

We love Him with His own love, as “we love Him through the power of His Holy Spirit within us,” “and we love Him not out of any virtue on our own part, but by virtue of the fact that He first loved us,” and as we so open ourselves to “take and receive,” without any resistance towards Him or redirection of the will away from Him on our part, we become like Him (1 John 4:13, 10).

“We are like willing and prone receptive vessels made for Him by Him,” and as we so lay ourselves prone to His purposes without any interference from our own, without any objectives of our will but to let Him work upon us, work His way into us, and accomplish His love through us, we so fulfill His designs for us and become as He would have us to be—like Him (2 Corinthians 4:7).  We become like that which we love by lifting not a shred of variance against Him, objecting not to His inclinations, and moving not a muscle out of alignment with Him.

As “it is He Who first loved us,” it is Him and Him alone Who first moves us, and in minimizing and then eliminating all extraneous motions of the will—first movements on our part, our micromovements that are brought about outside the “strait and narrow” channel of His will and not ours, as we become as sharp as a razor, “and as finely-tuned as any double-edged sword, in walking this fine line,” keeping this delicate balance, and holding this steady, painful, and uncomfortable internal motion in alignment with His Spirit and not ours—we ascend to the Spirit of God from the spirit of man, shuttled as we are, by virtue of this careful cadence as He sets the pace “into the fine point, peak, and holy height of the inner man, into the Holy Spirit of God” (1 John 4:10, 19; Matthew 7:13-14, 21; Luke 17:20-21; Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17-18; 2 Corinthians 4:15-18; Ephesians 3:16-19).

As if instigated by an opposition of internal forces, the mind’s eye is sent spinning like a top, carefully centralized into its core and axis, and as like the levitation caused by balancing a spinning magnet upon another magnet reversed in polarity, our center is lifted, our central axis is fixed into place, and our rising is in accord with our adherence to God’s determination and not by any act on our part or by any exertion of our own will, as He does so place Himself within us to dictate the location of the central axis of His will and He does so complete His own movements, around which we must orient and arrange ourselves.

So this phrase, “take and receive,” does accurately describe the manner by which we love God; for it is by receiving Him first, by accepting that we already possess Him by His own will, and it is through His self—giving, that we may then give Him, “for He is love,” back to Himself, as the perfect gift, and the only gift, the only sacrifice, suitable for His perfection (1 John 4:7-8, 16).

For only God, nay the love of God, as He is in His most undisturbed, uninterrupted, most refined and perfected form—as He is as His best self—”only God, is perfect,” and so only God Himself is the one gift and the only sacrifice worthy of offering in His name, and giving back to Him, in an expression of thanks and gratitude that speaks to His own heart’s most honest desire, and His own best and brightest, truest glory (Matthew 5:48).

In this way, as we “take and receive,” or rather accept what has already been given, we may offer Him back up to Himself, His Holy Spirit to the Father, and thereby offer God a gift worthy of God.  For no other gift and no other spirit can ever be pleasing in the purest sight of God save for His own purest Spirit and His own perfect sacrifice—the Spirit of Christ and His own Spirit of holiness—His own, one and the same Selfsame Spirit, dwelling within us, as we so obey Him to gain access to it, “and through it, all the hidden gifts of the soul and spiritual blessings of eternal treasure and virtue” (Ephesians 3:4-5, 8-10, 17-19).

It is this passivity of our wills and our openness and conformity to His—to let Him first move us as we stir up no micromovements of ourselves, as contrary ripples not first impelled by God Himself, “it is this faith, rather, and our obedience to be led by that which we see not but which our Spirit intuits and interprets, that is the means by which we are so flooded by grace” (2 Corinthians 4:13-18).  “Still waters run deep,” and as we do so cross the threshold of the human spirit “into the Spirit of God, there is no limit” to what can be accomplished, albeit all that is done, is decided not by man but is determined by God alone (Psalm 23:2, 5-6; Ephesians 3:4-5, 8-10, 17-19; John 3:34).

Man in his best state, is not man at all, and exercises not His will at all, but is merely a passively active participant in the mind and working of God—as like a passenger in the backseat of a vehicle.  He can see where he is headed, he may exercise his voice or opinions if he so wishes, but it is God choosing the destination, God behind the wheel, and God steering the will.  The epitome of man is not man at all but a different sort of being altogether.

The epitome of man is rather two, nay the one man enjoined onto Three in the tradition of the Triune God, separate creatures all working with one accord within one body in this holy relationship—for the epitome of man is this relationship—this relationship with God.  The epitome of man, is as if not to possess, but to be possessed by, the Spirit of God.  We “seek not to conquer, but to be conquered by God” (Romans 8:36-39).  We “seek not to overturn nor overcome, but to be overturned and overcome by God” (Ephesians 6:10-20; Acts 5:29, 38-39).

As we do so aim high, Most High indeed, towards God, and as we do so endeavor to make no movement against His will and to do no harm and make no action contrary to His will, we do so find that His will is revealed in us.  As like not only “a double-edged sword, the Word, the Word of God”—”which shall endure even if Heaven and Earth should pass away,” the Word of God may be likened also to a boomerang (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17; Matthew 24:35).

For just what we issue out of our selves, our souls, of the channel of the will, “just what we put forth from our hearts, our motivational centers of willpower fueled by desire, by love and hate, just what we send out in this channel of the will, we receive back directly, in this life or the world to come” (Galatians 6:7-8; Matthew 15:18-20; Matthew 12:31-33, 35-37).

For every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and “even if it may be forgiven, even if it may be retained and delayed,” or “held back for a season,” it shall return upon the giver just exactly what was given—it shall return upon the actor just exactly what was perpetrated, and “in the perfection of this law of justice” (and Newton’s third law of motion), no more and no less, but for the grace of God in His lovingkindness, as “He does have mercy upon whom He will have mercy,” and “set His face against those who so set themselves against Him” (John 20:22-23; Luke 4:12-13; John 8:16-18, 21-26; Exodus 33:19; 1 Peter 3:12).

As we seek God to intercede, the damnation awaiting us, for this soul does indeed return upon us all that we have put into it, out of it, and through it, like a boomerang (“the stone which the builders refused”), “that fate of damnation may be superseded,” as if by God’s heavenly and executive power of veto (Matthew 21:42; 23:33; John 8:21-24).  We do indeed, need God.  For none of us is without sin, and this is indeed how the human soul works, like a boomerang, although none of us could have known this in our ignorance.  “Father forgive them…” (Luke 23:34).

This soul is the Rock of salvation, “the Rock which Moses struck in the desert to bring forth water, and the living stone and Word of life which followed around the Israelites in the wilderness during their exile,” before their return to the promised land (1 Corinthians 10:1-5).  And these historical happenings were foreshadowings and prefigurations of the things that should come and which now have taken place, in this new occurrence, after the fashion of the Spirit.  This soul is the “Word which was God and was with God from the very beginning,” and the Rock of salvation, “upon which you must be a broken man to fall, and which if it falls upon you, it shall grind you to dust” (John 1:1-5; Matthew 21:44).

Our only hope of salvation is through the intercession allocated to and designated to Christ, and the grace of God to forgive us as willed by His unsurpassed and ultimate sovereignty over the laws of nature and balance, to intervene upon this fate that awaits us, to redound upon our own heads.  God is to be found, by prayer, in His supreme form of perfection, in the goodness of mercy, and “God’s perfection in mercy shall always indeed overcome His slightly inferior state, in the form and virtue of the perfection of justice” (James 2:13).

 

References:

  1. Exodus 33:12-23

12 And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. 17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

  1. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

  1. Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

  1. Matthew 5:43-48

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

  1. Matthew 6:19-23

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

  1. Matthew 7:13-14, 21-27

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

  1. Matthew 12:31-37

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

  1. Matthew 15:15-20

15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

  1. Matthew 21:33-46

33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34 and when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

  1. Matthew 22:34-39

34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

  1. Matthew 23:29-33

29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

  1. Matthew 24:32-44

32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

  1. Luke 4:12-13

12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

  1. Luke 17:20-21

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

  1. Luke 23:34-38

34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. 35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. 36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, 37 and saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. 38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

  1. John 1:1-5

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

  1. John 3:31-36

31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. 32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. 33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. 34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. 35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

  1. John 8:14-30

14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. 23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. 25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.

  1. John 20:21-23

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

  1. Acts 5:29-42

29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. 34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35 and said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. 40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

  1. Romans 8:35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. 1 Corinthians 10:1-5

5 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

  1. 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

  1. Galatians 6:4-10

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

  1. Ephesians 3:1-19

3 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

  1. Ephesians 6:5-20

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

  1. Hebrews 4:12-16

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

  1. James 2:4-13

are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

  1. 1 Peter 3:8-12

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

  1. 1 John 4:7-21

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of