Friday, August 16, 2019

The Struggle and the Crown




This is from the blog A Word in Season:

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;
to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed”
Romans 4:16


The Struggle

 

“And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”
Genesis 25:22 – 25


Within the life of every true believer is the struggle between two natures; two ways of living, two sets of desires and two eternal consequences.  The conflict is between the first Adam and the Last Adam, the first Adam being that nature which is earthly and sensual and the second Adam being the heavenly man, the Eternal Son of Man. We see the very portrayal of this within the womb of Rebekah as she by faith brought forth the one who would become Israel in the purposes and dealings of our great God.

Esau was the firstborn, a man of passions, wild and undisciplined.  He was of the earth, earthly and devoid of any real love of spiritual things.  He was born first, bearing the likeness of the first Adam, which in the Hebrew means “red earth”.  At his birth the scriptures take great care to describe his appearance (See The Things of Esau).

“And the first came out red*(see note below),
all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau”

Genesis 25:25


Jacob, though a schemer and a conniver, had one thing that set him apart.  He had respect for the things of God.  The birthright, which was rightfully Esau’s by virtue of being the first born, meant little to Esau and he surrendered it for  a mere mess of pottage in a moment of extreme hunger.  Jacob, on the other hand, coveted this blessing.  Jacob was the son of promise, a man called to become the Israel of God, not by strength, nor by might but by the mercy and strength of our God.

These two distinct “manner of people” struggled within the womb of Rebekah, yet the promise was THE ELDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER.  Jacob’s journey of faith to become Israel was one of many dealings and breakings in the hands of a determined and merciful God.  The promise of God tarries until the man Jacob is broken.  It is in our submission to His dealings that we become the people upon whom the promise falls.

“The Lord sent a word into Jacob,
and it hath lighted upon Israel”

Isaiah 9:8


The promise to Jacob was a sure thing but the severity of the dealings of God and the determination of God is what made the promise sure.  The man Jacob must become the worm that he might indeed become strong.

“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff”
Isaiah 41:14 – 15


We must see that the inabilities in our life to do God’s will are the result of our strengths not our weaknesses. When we speak of weakness we are speaking of all that has not been brought into submission to the Son; in whatever measure we have known the fellowship of His sufferings there is a corresponding experience of His resurrection life.

“That I may know him,
and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain
unto the resurrection of the dead”

Philippians 3:10 – 11


Let us realize that the struggle within is a struggle that is to be unto life and glory; HIS LIFE and HIS GLORY.  The struggle of Rebekah is prophetic of all that we must know within ourselves.  Jacob will remain Jacob until he is broken.  We too will remain barren unless we discover the wonder and the power of HIS faith in our lives.  A faith like gold submitted to the fire is purified and fit for the master’s use.  Teachings will not produce this life; only a broken and surrendered will in the hands of the God of Jacob!  This is not a day to tarry but it is a day for us to “press toward the mark, for the PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.

Let our confidence be not in ourselves, our knowledge or our associations.  Rather let our confidence be in the God of Jacob who was able to bring forth a PRINCE* (see note below) from the worm and who is able to complete that which He began in us.  The beauty of Jacob’s heart was clearly revealed at Peniel as we see Jacob clinging to the ONE who wounded him for in that place we see and hear God’s declaration… 


The Crown 


“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”

Genesis 32:28


* אַדְמֹנִי ʼaḏmōniy, אַדְמוֹנִי ʼaḏmôniy: An adjective meaning red, ruddy. from the Hebrew Word ADAM
*Israel – Prince with God


Brian Troxel

Broken Bread and Poured-Out Wine
The Man Christ Jesus
Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

It is God Himself that Nourishes the Soul



This is from the Chosen Rebel's Blog:

The poverty of evangelical reflection, the shallowness of our deepest thoughts about God is becoming the Achilles heal of our witness in the world. Our deepest thoughts about God barely skim the surface of the reality of who God is and what He has revealed about Himself in His word. 
And it is killing us.
We are so pragmatic, so filled up to our ears with “relevance” and the flood of information and entertainment at our finger tips and those BORG-like extensions of the human body called “mouses” and “smart phones”* that there is no room for any proper and sustained reflection on anything, let alone the wonder and majesty of the nature of God.

Every word I write on the subject seems alien to the pragmatic spirit of this age. The helter-skelter of activity, seemingly for activities sake, leaves no time, no space, no mental energy for the examination of the glory that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”  (2 Cor. 5:19)


Pastors, I’m begging you, as I’m preaching to myself, make time in your schedule, your overwhelmingly busy schedule, to pursue God.


The situation we find ourselves in is not new. It is part of a long declension seen long ago by such men as A.W. Tozer and others who saw the eclipse of God in the culture in the 50’s and 60’s and wondered aloud and in print about where it would lead. Tozer in particular saw what was happening and gave, many years ago, the antidote.
To great sections of the Church the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the “program.”
. . . it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.
The Pursuit of God
A.W. Tozer, p. 10
That’s it. We have got to get back to nourishing our souls with God Himself.
  • Not success. 
  • Not power. 
  • Not political influence. 
  • Not likes and thumbs up in social media. 
  • Not bigger budgets. 
  • Not bigger buildings. 
  • Not better music. 
  • Not conferences attended or spoken at. 
  • Not “cutting edge” programs. 
  • Not ___________________________________. (Fill in the blank with anything that isn’t Jesus and Him crucified dead and buried, gloriously raised from the dead and coming again for His bride.)
Read the Tozer quote above again. Read it again, slowly. Ask yourself if this isn’t a major problem in your own heart and therefore and inevitably, a problem in your congregation.

Then do something about it.
  • Shut your mouth.
  • Close your door. 
  • Take your Bible in hand.
  • Pray.
  • And seek the living God.
Your congregation, your community, your neighbors, your culture, your nation, your family, need you to be a man who pursues the living God. You and they need that more than anything you can preach this week.

* The irony of “smart phones” making us dumber is a painful but inescapable truth.



Wednesday, July 24, 2019

President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson

Trump and Johnson

This is from the blog Richard's Watch:
Thank you to Tim Shey in the USA for drawing my attention to this short video of Tomi Arayomi, an associate of Revd Dr Sharon Stone, which he opens with a video clip from two years ago, 14th July 2017. Therein, Tomi describes seeing two doors, one marked ‘Brexit’ and another ‘Exit’, with the UK going through the Brexit door but Prime Minister May heading for the other exit. He felt God was saying she will put in place a Brexit strategy but will also prepare a strategy for her own exit – and this afternoon she has retired!
Tomi reviews this in retrospect for the simple fact that we often feel God is doing nothing because no one’s around to point out when a prophetic word gets fulfilled,
“Just like the ‘dopermine rush’ to the brain you get from ticking off something on a to-do list, so there’s the joy of the Lord ‘dopermine rush’ we get as prophetic people every time we see God fulfill one of His prophetic words. Jesus often referred to them…
“We’re in another one of those crucial calendar moments in God, and I often say the most powerful Christians in the world are the Christians who can find themselves on God’s prophetic calendar, but what is God saying for Britain at this time?”
Exactly so Tomi, which is why I try keeping readers of this blog informed as much as possible about prophecies that come to pass, or are on course for fulfillment. In view of the vast number of them it’s become difficult to keep abreast, let alone recall the content of them all. Also, it’s important to keep tack as a means of checking whether particular prophecies are proven true or false. [See Prophecies – Fulfilled for details.]
Tomi then refers to what the Lord told him on 13th December 2018 about Brexit being similar to Exodus. The coming fulfillment of this word was indicated by Boris Johnson echoing Moses’ word on 25th March 2019:

Watch and listen to this video carefully as Tomi brings a very powerful word about Boris being akin to Donald Trump, like two lions dealing with the hyena-like media pack, and much more…

Warning: a sequence of graphical clips near the end of the video is rather unsettling but serves to illustrate the corrective nature of the main word for 2020 on God’s Justice.
Lest we forget, the Wendy Alec 2005 Vision of Great Britain refers to a ‘Lionheart’ and ‘Wilberforce’. Theresa May regarded the latter’s work as an inspiration for her personal mission to tackle modern slavery.

Roger Jervois offers this about recent Churchill-Johnson references:
‘A word popped into my heart today (24th July). Clearly, the mantle of Churchill is on Boris. The Whirlwind of Wilberforce though, is going to be a Christian businessman, operating in the ministry of finance (almsgiving) on a spectacular scale, using the profits of his enterprises to set people free from debt and modern-day slavery in low-income work. He will subsidise entry-level housing and public transport and through innovative schemes set the captives of student loans free. He will be known as the doyenne of disruptors and a madman. This craziness is an honour of Me, says the Lord.
Roger senses that, ‘God will unite Boris’ heart and this guy. They will be the closest of friends, like Churchill had Jan Smuts as his closest friend.’

Fifty Cubits High
Prophetic Photographs:  Patton and Trump
D-Day, 2017:  British and American Christianity
New PM Boris brings Biblical blessing to Britain

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Peace with God means Conflict with the World

Jurgen Moltmann, German Reformed Theologian


This is from the blog A Word in Season:

“That is why faith, wherever it develops into hope, causes not rest but unrest, not patience but impatience. It does not calm the unquiet heart, but is itself this unquiet heart in man. Those who hope in Christ can no longer put up with reality as it is, but begin to suffer under it, to contradict it. Peace with God means conflict with the world, for the goad of the promised future stabs inexorably into the flesh of every unfulfilled present.”
 
― Jürgen Moltmann


The World is the Battleground

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mary Magdalen de Pazzi: "the presence of God"



This is from the blog Dover Beach:

“Prayer ought to be humble, fervent, resigned, persevering, and accompanied with great reverence. One should consider that he stands in the presence of a God, and speaks with a Lord before whom the angels tremble from awe and fear.”

--St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Life in Adam and Life in Christ



This is from the blog Things Paul & Luke:

It was during these days (cf. Mark 3:6-14; Luke 6:11-13 – i.e. the Feast of Tabernacles), that Jesus withdrew to meet with his Father in solitude on a mountain. After praying all night, he chose his twelve apostles from the disciples following him (Luke 6:12-16). It was at this time that he taught them what is summarized in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5, 6 & 7). After coming down the mount he met a multitude and healed them of all their diseases. In doing so, Jesus began to repeat key phrases of the sermon here on the plane, teaching the disciples through his works what he had told them on the mountain (Luke 6:17-49). [1]

Jesus’ teaching is one of contrast between our life in Adam and our life in Christ. Consider all we can know in this world without Christ, whether religion, politics, military, sports, music, commerce, education, science, arts, government etc.[2] All these make up Adam’s world system. This world’s system is not of our Father in heaven (1 John 2:16). All these things were begun by the life of Adam, to satisfy the lust of Adam’s life, and are held in existence today by Adam’s life as it exists within all the people of the world (contrast Colossians 1:16-17).

The unbeliever lives out his life in Adam, while the Christian abides in Christ. These two entities cannot be more opposed. The one lives only to satisfy self, while the other lives to satisfy God within. In Adam, self is supreme. One may sacrifice for others, but the motivation is to satisfy one’s own conscience, personal pride, love for country or organization (religious or business) etc. The Christian lives as though he has given up all rights to these things and lives only to satisfy Christ within (Luke 9:24-26; Philippians 3:7-8). It is all a matter of supremacy. There is a daily struggle in the Christian’s life (cf. Galatians 5:16-25), because there is no agreement between the two lives.

The world looks for men with experience, people with confidence in themselves, men with drive and the ability to push other men forward (Luke 6:24-26). Nevertheless, it is not the way of Christ to drive or push others. Rather, he seeks men, who are willing to place themselves under the influence of his Spirit (Philippians 2:13), men who are willing to lead (not drive or push) others to him (Luke 6:20-23; cf. John 15:4-5). Men need to trust Jesus (John 14:1) and be willing to forsake what they could have had by living for the goals of this world (cf. Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9).

The world’s idea of success is to have the things of this world in abundance (Luke 6:24), but the Christian’s abundance is Christ (Ephesians 1:3). The successful in the world live in fear of want (cf. Luke 6:25a) and go to great lengths to keep what they have and to accumulate more. The Christian gives Christ away and finds his abundance (Christ) has grown from within (cf. John 3:30). The more he releases and gives away, the more he has, and he has no fear of loss.

The religious person, whose certification lies in self, covets the good will of others (Luke 6:26). He will defend tradition based upon falsehood, because this is what the majority believes and treasures. His whole life is lived to satisfy this inner need to be congratulated, and anyone who challenges this self-worship is cast out of his company (Matthew 6:1-2, 5, 16). The Christian will lift up Jesus and will confront and admonish those who, while claiming the name of Christ, lift up someone or something else as their authority. In doing so he will make enemies of those who are carnally worshiping Christ, and he risks being cast from their company and held up to scorn in the eyes of his friends and brothers in Christ (Luke 6:22).

The lives of Adam and Christ are opposed to one another (Galatians 5:16-25). The one wants to live as the world lives, a way that feels comfortable, but the Christian’s Way is Christ (John 14:6). The unbeliever is always concerned over what belongs to himself, but the Christian finds joy in the fact that his life is not his own (1 Corinthians 6:19; Philippians 1:21). Jesus makes all the difference. 

_______________________________

[1] Some folks claim Luke 6 and Matthew 5-7 are one sermon, but I find no difficulty in seeing two. After all, most pastors today often deliver at least two sermons every Sunday. Why is it so difficult to see Jesus doing something similar?

[2] I received this definition of the world from reading Watchman Nee – Love Not the World, chapter one, ‘The Mind Behind the System’ page 16.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Carry His Day Into The Night



This is from the blog Words from the Crucible:

At that time Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,
“Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.
Joshua 10:12-13 (ESV)


Those for whom the Lord Himself fights know that they need not do battle in darkness, though it should be the season for night.  Children of light carry The Day Of The Lord with them at all times, for it lightens their way and exposes the enemy right before them.

Yet for the wicked and unrepentant, the Day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. But the man whom the light of the world has permeated becomes a beacon of its radiance. For these, it is always the day, though it be the hour of darkness. For these, victory is seen where unlightened eyes are shrouded in gloom.

But those whose way is not lit by that ever-present flame of the Day of the Lord, and those for whom the Day of the Lord is darkness and gloom: these are the armies of darkness, set against the Lord’s army. These cannot live in the light of the Day, for the mighty men of valour deliver vengeance upon those enemies of God.

Vengeance is the Lord’s; and the men of His warfare bear the sword of His mouth in the brightness of His countenance. They carry His Day into the night, to the great dismay and ultimate downfall of those who have made peace with the encroaching darkness.

In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1:4-5 (KJV)


The Day of the Lord

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Persecution Post - Uganda 1973



This is from the blog A Word in Season:

DEAD ALREADY – AND HIDDEN IN CHRIST

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:3


Kefa Sempangi was pastor of the large Redeemed Church of Uganda. Easter Sunday 1973 was his first serious brush with death at the hands of Idi Amin’s goons. After an all-day worship service he went exhausted to the vestry to change clothes—too exhausted to notice the five strangers (government secret police goons) following him into the room:They stood between me and the door, pointing their rifles at my face. For a long moment no one said anything. Then the tallest man, obviously the leader, spoke. “We are going to kill you,” he said. “If you have something to say, say it before you die.” He spoke quietly but his face was twisted with hatred.

I could only stare at him. For a sickening moment I felt the full weight of his rage. We had never met before but his deepest desire was to tear me to pieces. My mouth felt heavy and my limbs began to shake. Everything left my control. They will not need to kill me, I thought to myself. I am just going to fall over dead and I will never see my family again.

From far away I heard a voice, and I was astonished to realize that it was my own. “I do not need to plead my own cause,” I heard myself saying. “I am a dead man already. My life is dead and hidden in Christ. It is your lives that are in danger; you are dead in your sins. I will pray to God that after you have killed me, He will spare you from eternal destruction.”

The tall one took a step towards me and then stopped. In an instant, his face was changed. His hatred had turned to curiosity. He lowered his gun and motioned to the others to do the same. They stared at him in amazement but they took their guns from my face.


Then the tall one spoke again. “Will you pray for us now?” he asked. I thought my ears were playing a trick. I looked at him and then at the others. My mind was completely paralyzed. “Father in heaven,” I prayed, “You who have forgiven men in the past, forgive these men also. Do not let them perish in their sins but bring them into yourself.”

It was a simple prayer, prayed in deep fear. But God looked beyond my fears and when I lifted my head, the men standing in front of me were not the same men who had followed me into the vestry. Something had changed in their faces. It was the tall one who spoke first. His voice was bold but there was no contempt in his words, “You have helped us,” he said, “and we will help you. We will speak to the rest of our company and they will leave you alone. Do not fear for your life. It is in our hands and you will be protected.”

I was too astonished to reply. The tall one only motioned for the others to leave. He himself stepped to the doorway and then he turned to speak one last time. “I saw widows and orphans in your congregation,” he said. “I saw them singing and giving praise. Why are they happy when death is so near?” It was still difficult to speak but I answered him. “Because they are loved by God. He has given them life, and will give life to those they loved, because they died in Him.”

His question seemed strange to me, but he did not stay to explain. He only shook his head in perplexity and walked out the door. I stared at the open door of the vestry for several moments and then sat down on a nearby straw mat chair. My knees were no longer strong and I could feel my whole body tremble. I could not think clearly. Less than ten minutes before, I had considered myself a dead man. Even though I was surrounded by 7,000 people there was no human being to whom I could appeal. I could not ask the elders to pray, I could not appeal to the mercy of the Nubian killers. My mouth had frozen and I had no clever words to speak. In that moment, with death so near, it was not my sermon that gave me courage, or an idea from Scripture. It was Jesus Christ, the living Lord.

Standing Strong

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Direction of the United States



This is from the blog My Dreams and Visions:

As I was praying this morning I saw a very large sailing ship that was sideways in the water of what looked to be a very large waterfall. The ship had to have been heading in that direction for it to have gotten there but now it was at the edge but not going over the waterfall to its destruction. This in the natural would be an impossibility as the sheer force of the flowing river would have forced the ship over the waterfall. Inside the ship I saw a captain at the wheel trying to turn the ship, which as I stated above was a sailing ship, around and there were others at the wheel fighting him for control of the wheel. The ship in this vision is the United States and the captain is Donald Trump. Many are fighting for control of the ship but President Trump had at least turned the ship sideways and was attempting to turn it around. This in the natural would be impossible as the direction of the flowing water would have pushed the water over the falls. Nevertheless this is what he was attempting to do. I think it significant that this was a sailing ship because the pilgrims came over on a sailing ship and dedicated America to the Lord. Secondly it is significant that I saw a sailing ship because a sailing ship needs the wind to fill its sails in order for it to move. The wind here is the Holy Spirit and it is the wind of the Spirit that will turn the ship around and head upstream against the current that was leading the ship towards its destruction.

We need to keep this president in much prayer as there are many forces against him and the fight is going to get worse as the plans of the enemy once concealed are brought to light.

As with any dream/vision I post, take this to the Lord in Prayer and see what He says to you.

A Dream about Donald Trump

Friday, May 10, 2019

Stewardship and the Prophetic



This is from the blog A Word in Season:

“But as for me, I am full of power by Yahweh’s Spirit,
and of judgment, and of might,
to declare to Jacob his disobedience,
and to Israel his sin”
Micah 3:8


True prophetic expressions have their origin in God Himself. The fountain from which they spring is God’s heart, not their own. It is a call, not a career. It is a heart that has touched the sacred atmosphere of His dwelling place and sees and feels the waywardness of the human condition. The Holiness of God is the matrix by which all things are uncovered and made bare. Those who have, in some measure, the “knowledge of the Holy…” (Proverbs 9:10) have nothing to boast of. There is no high-mindedness, for in touching God they have seen themselves in that same piercing, Holy Light (Isaiah 6:5). It is a Light which obliterates any sense of worthiness or merit. It cries out against apathy, disobedience and sin, because God does. Those who bear such things know the dichotomy of the treasure in the earthen vessel. The press from within is of greater value than the animosity from without. The over-riding need to express the Holiness of God becomes the purpose of life itself. Whatever may be the reaction of all the powers of the world, or the indignation of our brothers and sisters, faithfulness to Him is paramount.

“For if I proclaim the gospel, no glory is to me;
for necessity is laid on me,
and it is woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel.
For if I do this willingly, I have a reward;
but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with a stewardship”
1 Corinthians 9:16-17


How few in our Day know of the necessity to declare The Gospel of God; this unutterable, inherent need to speak of His Holiness and His hatred of sin. The horror of the religious ways and methods of men obscure His very person. The presentation of a Gospel entangled with the ambitions of men for personal gain and recognition, dims the radiance of the risen Christ. Where are those who recognize the entrustment of a stewardship? This call is like a ship at sea driven by the winds of heaven, no longer free to navigate its own way. The ebb and flow of God determines the when and the where of such lives. These are the expressions of those who know the fulness (see note below) of His Spirit and from this fulness that the Words of God flow. It is a fulness which makes the vessel aware of its own emptiness. The great mystery of God at work through fragile earthen vessels is the true revelation of the Grace of God.

“the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?”
Amos 3:8


It is in the hearing, the touching and the seeing of Him that the press of His Spirit rises within. He is the origin of all things pertaining to His Glory. He alone is worthy of lives yielded to Him. May God make known to the next generation the Call to Himself that they may be no longer their own.

STEWARDSHIP


“For if I do this willingly, I have a reward;
but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with a stewardship”


To know the life of stewardship is as costly as it is precious. A steward is entrusted with the goods of the master. He owns nothing. He is conscious that God’s things are Holy, and he dare not handle them carelessly. Stewards do not have their own doctrine, nor do they subscribe to the popular teachings of the day. They carry within themselves the true doctrine of the Lord:

“My meat is to do the will of him that sent me,
and to finish his work”
John 4:34


The stewards do not have their own agenda. They do not live to build up a following, or what men call a “ministry” or “church”. They are His alone and by the grace of God they remain such. Their ministry is simple:

“That which we have seen and heard
declare we unto you”
1 John 1:3


Ω


A Steward of the Lord

“And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem,
not knowing the things that shall befall me there”
Acts 20:22


Brian Troxel

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Draining the Swamp



This is from the blog Richard's Watch:

Fulfilled Prophecy #25 is about one particular version of corruption not covered in the series on Fulfilled Prophecy #10, namely the Deep State scandal worse than Watergate and President Trump’s attempts to drain the Washington Swamp, but being thwarted by an ‘official war’ from top officials in the Obama-Clinton administration.

Published in January 2018 that post was updated three months ago by coverage of the swamp’s failed coup against Donald Trump.

Watch this 7 minutes video for latest developments (thank you Jennie):


Monday, May 6, 2019

Dorotheos of Gaza: “Self-elevation begets contempt”



This is from the blog Dover Beach:

“Listen to what the Lord Himself tells us: ‘Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you shall find rest for your souls’ (Mt. 11:29). There you have it in a nutshell: He has taught us the root and cause of all evils and also the remedy for it, leading to all good. He shows us that pretensions to superiority cast us down and that it is impossible to obtain mercy except by the contrary, that is to say, by humility. Self-elevation begets contempt and disobedience begets perdition whereas humility begets obedience and the saving of souls. And I call that real humility which is not humble in word and outward appearance but is deeply planted in the heart; for this is what He meant when He said that ‘I am meek and humble of heart.'”

--Saint Dorotheos of Gaza

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Straight Gate & The Narrow Path



This is from the blog A Word in Season:

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
MATTHEW 7:14


Without context, the focus of most Christians becomes the gate. The message presented in many places today is one of being “born again” with little thought of entering the Kingdom of God. Religion likes things simple and easy and the English language plays into this concept very well. However, in the Greek language, there is a whole different thought to what Jesus is saying to us.

“Because strait is the gate, and narrowing (compressing) is the way,
which is leading unto the life, and few there be that are finding it.”
Literal Greek Translation


The Greek tense used here is the Participle mood, best translated here with an “ing” suffixed to the basic verb form. This communicates to us a progressive walk and an on-going sense of growth and development. The narrowing or compressing of the way is the daily experience of all who would find the resurrection Life of Jesus. The leading speaks of following Him with the discovery that death to the outward man is the path to experiencing His life within. Discipleship is the life of the narrowing way, and few there are who choose this path.

SEEING VS. ENTERING


We hear much of the scripture:

“Except a man be born again,
he cannot SEE the kingdom of God”
JOHN 3:4


However, Jesus goes on in his discourse to Nicodemus:

“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot ENTER INTO the kingdom of God”
JOHN 3:5


While many of God’s children are content with seeing the Kingdom, there is a cry within the heart of God that some enter into the Kingdom. There is a pursuit  and a cost involved with this entrance. The narrowing and confinement of the path must be walked in the reality of our hearts. We discover that this way is neither popular nor easy. It is the way of the Cross. It is found in the following of Him, not in the structured ways of men. It leads us into the wilderness where we discover that He came not only to forgive us but to save us from our sins and self-will. Of necessity we must be born not only of water (the cleansing aspect of His life) but also of the Spirit (the empowering aspect of His life) where we find enablement to overcome the issues that bind us. This birthing of the Spirit is also accompanied by the fire of His life to purge the dross and the impurities from our hearts. It is a purifying that no amount of washing will ever accomplish.

The strait gate is the introduction to the Narrow Way. The Gate is not an end in itself as many suppose. It is merely the beginning ever leading us farther on the Narrowing Way wherein we discover the “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of our God.

“We want to reach the kingdom of God,
but we don’t want to travel by way of death.
And yet there stands Necessity saying: ‘This way, please.’
Do not hesitate, man, to go this way,
when this is the way that God came to you.”
--AUGUSTINE


It is the broad and easy road which leads to destruction. A crossless walk is the way of the broad and easy way, its end is judgment and misery.

“…for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,
and many are the ones entering in through it”
Matthew 7:13


Ω


“If you here stop and ask yourselves why you are not as pious as the early Christians were, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor through inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.”
--William Law


Brian Troxel