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Thursday, March 24, 2011

the big picture

At times i read the Bible and just turn one verse over and read it and study it from different angles, but at times i also read large sections. This morning was Matthew 21 through Matt. 26. It was amazing to see the beauty of how it all came together.
In Matthew 21 he arrives in Jerusalem and is given a popular welcome (i don't get why there are two animals a donkey and a colt and how he rode both, but anyway). It was neat that the Message and the NKJV both bring out, that the driving out of the money-grubbers from the temple, made room for the blind, the crippled and the children. He healed the blind and the crippled and the children ran through the temple "running and shouting, 'Hosanna to David's Son!'" The "done in order" crowd took Jesus to task about these noisy kids and how they were giving Him a messianic title. Jesus commended the kids as the ones who were raised up by God to give "true praise" in that situation.
(So the kids were being judged as being wrong in their theology)
Jesus goes away to Bethany to rest, (and to get away from those who thought they knew God and knew what the 'Son of David' would look like.)
He comes back to the temple the next morning. The High Priests and the leaders, who in a very short time would put Him on trial, ask to see His credentials, who gave Him this authority to be teaching. Jesus wants to get His question answered first, "Who gave John the Baptist, his authority to teach, men or God?" They obviously thought it was human authority, because they rejected John and his teaching, but they were too chicken to say that. Matthew 21:32 does not let their 'chicken hearts' off the hook. Jesus confronts them and says, "even when you saw the fruit of John's ministry in the conversion of sinners, you still rejected him." Then Jesus boldly tells them two stories that convict them of their pride and they respond not with repentance, but with a strong desire to 'take Him out.'

The "house" is waking up and i must go, but maybe i will post more on this later.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

a moment in time

me and God had a moment this morning
reading Matthew, got to the part in Chapter 20 when He said
"What do you want from Me?" and i felt like He was asking me that
i sputtered out a couple thoughts but then i was on my face on the floor
crying and weeping before Him and I said, "I want to love like You love."
He met me there.
He met me on the carpet in our dining room this morning.

Martyrdom God’s Strange Victory Strategy

The opportunity to teach on Wed. night came up again
and below is the result.

Martyrdom God’s Strange Victory Strategy
and the practical application “where I live"

What is the eternal purpose of the church?

Ephesians 3:8-10 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

What kind of a church displays to “the powers” the wisdom of God?
What is the wisdom of God?
How is it displayed?

Romans 11:13But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.

What kind of a church would move the Jew to jealousy and see some of them saved.?

At the cross God’s wisdom is revealed and the world’s wisdom is revealed.
The world’s wisdom = Threat, Power, Intimidation and Violence
God’s wisdom = Patience, Suffering, Forgiveness, Humility even unto death. Out of that came the triumph.
The fear of death could not intimidate Jesus. He suffered the worst they could inflict and
did not respond in kind.

“Crisis reveals and absolute crisis reveals absolutely.” Art Katz

It reveals what we really are, not when we are at our best in the best of circumstances but when we are stretched out to breaking and forsaken by all. Even ‘feeling’ forsaken, forgotten by God.
Example; Lazarus, a sickness unto death, a death with no explanation, no knowledge of his being resurrected.
Martyrdom’s ultimate exhibition when faced with physical death, flows out of a life that has been lived with a “my life is not my own” attitude. It has to flow out of love.
1Cor. 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Cor. 13:3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

I have known a few, very young, very new believers in Jesus, who had to endure the death of a close friend or relative, and my thought is, “Why God? They are so young in You, shouldn’t they have a honeymoon period?” And some new believers do get that honeymoon period, but I have seen in these “chosen” ones a depth and a dedication to God, as they come through this ‘early fire.’ They go on to live a life serving God wherever He chooses. God is not wasteful, yet many saints have died young. Jerry’s truth, “You are eternal until you have fulfilled the purposes of God for your life.” John 19:10,11a So Pilate said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above;”

Acts Chapter 7:60 “Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" Having said this, he fell asleep."
Stephen died more gloriously than Saul had been able live following all the laws. Something was exhibited in Stephen’s dying that planted a seed deep in Paul, that was harvested on the Damascus Road. People are watching how you go through your deaths. The gospel is being preached by you, the wisdom of God is being demonstrated by you, when you walk through dying with the grace given by the Eternal Spirit. The Centurion at the cross had seen many men crucified, but this man, this man, THIS man, THIS MAN dying with the grace given by the Eternal Spirit.
Hbr 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? This is not heroism, not gritting your teeth and determining to do it. Love comes from God and the eternal Spirit of God needs to be yielded to, in us. “NOT my will, but Yours be done.” This is the martyr’s theme. What is the nature of the Eternal Spirit of God? It is the character of God. It is what He is in Himself. The Spirit of self-sacrifice. To reveal that Spirit in the moment of extremity is to reveal God! What higher call is there? What greater purpose for your life?
How could you ever feel more fulfilled, than in the moment when you realize your life is revealing God’s life to another? These ultimate moments reveal God, not as men think Him to be, but as He in fact really is.
Mar 15:39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
So the Centurion, cries out from the depth of his being, “Truly this man was the son of God!”
Please don’t think for one second it was a calm, cool observation. Crashing head on against this man’s life, values, and foundations came the revelation of God, and out of that travail came the birth of this radical thought. This man, This Man THIS MAN, that I just killed was the son of God!!

Martyrdom is an attitude inside of our heart. A willingness to allow God to have His way with our life. It starts in a small way, “That can is full, can you take the garbage out, honey?” ...I was just walking into the kitchen to get a drink... the garbage was full before I walked in here, why didn’t you take it out?, legs broke, just like to give orders to the “help,”... Did I look too relaxed to you, like I was starting to have a good day?,
What is happening here? Self is rising up. The proper response when we see self is, “God forgive me.
The willingness to give up ones life for another is the wisdom of God. This is opposite, at cross purposes to the self-evident truths of the world’s wisdom. The “pursuit of happiness” and other stuff like that, that is supposed to be our goal.
Revelation 13:6,7 6And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.
Daniel 7:21 I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them

Daniel 7:25a He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One
We overcome by the willingness to suffer. Moment by moment we become willing to lay down our life and do the will of the Father.

Let God gather your 5 smooth stones. Smooth stones don’t have our expectations of the outcome, attached to them. Smooth stones don’t appeal to our flesh, they are not decorative, they are effective. Smooth stones bring down the giant of SELF.

Hbr 2:16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.

Gal 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Eph 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, Eph 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, Eph 4:3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Hbr 2:14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, Hbr 2:15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Hbr 2:17Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Hbr 2:18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Romans Study #22 7:1-6

Romans Study #22
Chapter 7:1-6
The Frontier of Religion

Believers United to Christ

1Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?
2For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
3So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.
4Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
5For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
6But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. NASB

Torn Between One Way and Another
1-3 You shouldn't have any trouble understanding this, friends, for you know all the ins and outs of the law—how it works and how its power touches only the living. For instance, a wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she's free. If she lives with another man while her husband is living, she's obviously an adulteress. But if he dies, she is quite free to marry another man in good conscience, with no one's disapproval.
4-6So, my friends, this is something like what has taken place with you. When Christ died he took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with him and left it in the tomb, leaving you free to "marry" a resurrection life and bear "offspring" of faith for God. For as long as we lived that old way of life, doing whatever we felt we could get away with, sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed us in. And this made us all the more rebellious. In the end, all we had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths. But now that we're no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we're free to live a new life in the freedom of God. The Message

We need to “get” this analogy, because of what comes next. There is a reason, from the mind of God, why this particular section is right before the next section of scripture. We are blessed to be able to stop, pause and ponder this section, and see what we it means. If you had told me before starting this Romans study that I would be excited about this section of scripture and how deep it is, I could not have comprehended that. This little section has really turned on some lights for me. We will look at it from every angle possible to get the most out of it.

Religion is a human and limited possibility. The new man in Christ Jesus is no human possibility. Endowed with attributes which are not mine, have not been mine, and never will be mine; in God I am what I am, I am not working my way to something. I am changed, and the process flows from the foundation, a new man, with the grace to obey and live for God. Religion can be pictured as the human being longing for and knowing that he no longer has a direct connection to God. Giving up on that direct connection, he attempts many and varied indirect methods to get reconnected. “Daddy, daddy, look over here, look at me, look at what I can do, do you love me now?”
“I fast, I pray, I bow three times a day toward Mecca, I meditate, I, I, I”

We cannot look at Genesis with all its imperfect people or the human origins of Jesus Christ displayed in the Matthew lineage at the start of the New Testament and come to the conclusion that Christianity is a perfect people religion. It is a one-sided love relationship that calls us to look up when we fall, that works around our failures and sins and redeems and heals. We do not ‘get’ to God, He came down to us.

We are dead to the law to the possibility and necessity of religion, dead to every human possibility; we are removed, set free, unfettered.

All men were “joined” to the law. A woman is joined to her husband. Being joined to the law we were defined by it, we broke the law, we are ‘law-breakers.’ Being joined to her husband, if she marries another she is rightly labeled “faithless,” “an adulterer.”
If, however the husband should die, his wife has been set free. By virtue of his death she is no longer his wedded wife. If she then gives herself to another man, she is neither ‘faithless’ nor an ‘adulteress.’ Thus in marriage we are bound by the life of our partner and freed by the death of our partner. Well thanks be to God our miserable, worthless partner has died and we are free to hook up with a new, loving, filled with grace and forgiveness partner!!!
So long as we are under the religion of law-keeping we are limited, enclosed, and fettered by it. It has dominion over you. You are inevitably under it. But now your husband is dead, you are loosed, unlocked, freed unto the possibility of God, which lies beyond the entire ambiguity of religion. You are therefore not under law. Law is dead, you are not still married to the dead man, if you decide to go get married again, that is okay because you are freed from the dead man.

Get this --- “All human possibilities, including the possibility of religion, have been offered and surrendered to God on Golgotha.” Barth
Christ fulfilled the law but gave glory to God, He did not claim that he was starting a race of super-humans who would fulfill the law. All the glory for His life was given to God.
Colossians 2:14 “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."
An amazing Old Testament picture is Nabal, Abigail and David.
Nabal was Abigail’s worthless husband. (His name actually means worthless.) The law was our worthless husband. We needed to be married to another, God’s beloved which is what David means. So Nabal dies rather quickly and Abigail and David get married.

John Piper added this.
It is not that we don’t do certain laws, it is that we hate the law. “Good people” are simply people who have not been confronted by law, by another’s will at cross purposes with their will.
A spouse, friend, child, God, any other being can be the trigger, (even the dog wanting out to pee) what they do is show that the law brings death. The fruit of the Spirit is love, the fruit of the law is death. So when we are not loving to another person, we do not need to go to law and see that it says “love one another” we need to fix our eyes on Jesus and His Spirit within us, both to be and to do the work. It is not law but relationship with God that we need. Galatians 5:1 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

1 Cor. 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;
Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.The law is fulfilled not by law keeping but by Christ loving.

Keeping the law is not the goal, Christ is the goal, and in Christ,
who fulfilled the law, we can fulfill the law, but the law is not the goal
that Christ takes us to, Christ is the goal the center of everything.
This similar section in 2 Corinthians, makes it a little more clear.
2 Corin. 3:6-18 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was,
8how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?
9For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.
10For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 11For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. 12Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, 13and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. 14But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. 15But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;
16but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
The key to the Christian life is not rule-keeping but Christ loving. It is so easy to get the cart before the horse.

Oswald Chambers to examine another angle. Being so grateful to, in love with, overwhelmed by the love of God, that we choose, not my will but Yours be done moment to moment.

March 13th.
"God so loved the world that He gave. . ." John 3:16
Salvation is not merely deliverance from sin, nor the experience of personal holiness; the salvation of God is deliverance out of self entirely into union with Himself. My experimental knowledge of salvation will be along the line of deliverance from sin and of personal holiness; but salvation means that the Spirit of God has brought me into touch with God's personality, and I am thrilled with something infinitely greater than myself, I am caught up into the abandonment of God.
To say that we are called to preach holiness or sanctification, is to get into a side eddy. We are called to proclaim Jesus Christ. The fact that He saves from sin and makes us holy is part of the effect of the wonderful abandonment of God.

Abandonment never produces the consciousness of its own effort, because the whole life is taken up with the One to Whom we abandon. Beware of talking about abandonment if you know nothing about it, and you will never know anything about it until you have realized that John 3:16 means that God gave Himself absolutely. In our abandonment we give ourselves over to God just as God gave Himself for us, without any calculation. The consequence of abandonment never enters into our outlook because our life is taken up with Him.

This study is about ultimate things, eternal things - because that is what the Bible is about, so the bottom line of tonight’s lesson is; God will look you in the face at the end of time (and today) and say, either, “lawbreaker” or “beloved!”

Thursday, March 10, 2011

When life is hard

that is the title of a 6 message teaching series by James McDonald
available at
It finished up last night at our church and i share two gems from it.

"It is doubtful that God can use a man greatly, until He has wounded
him deeply." AW Tozer

"If you believe God exists to make you comfortable,
to make your way smooth,
to make your life easy,
then you will find Him absent in a trial, BUT,
if you believe God exists to make you holy, so that you can bring glory to Him, then you will feel Him IN the trial like a rock feels a sculptor." James McDonald

Also I felt this truth the other night at work, "you have to meet people where they are at and then help them from that point, you have to accept them where they are and then help them or speak truth to them or care for them from that point." me

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Last 7 years

I post this because i believe it is accurate. Reggie Kelly is a man i have met and I have seen his love for God and the brethren.

Reggies basic outline of the last seven years

I am traditional futurist in the basic outline of events, but with important differences, which I will elaborate later. Believe it or not, I was fully intending to get back to the outline this very day, but will go ahead and give you an even shorter version, since you’re asking for something much briefer than I thought.
The seven years begins with the event described in Dn 9:27, i.e., the confirming of the covenant (should not be translated “make a firm covenant,” but “make firm THE covenant).
This is not the creation of some new peace league with the Antichrist. It is that (Dn 11:23), but it is also much more. It is the formal, and I think international, recognition of what is called in Dn 11:28, 30, the “holy covenant.”
This tells me that the Antichrist, in tandem with other nations confirms “the holy covenant” with many. “Many” here need not mean only Jews. It could just as well mean the heads of other nations.
The covenant is not “made”; it is “confirmed”. On one side, it is indeed an unholy and presumptuous “league” that Israel enters into with the Antichrist (Dn 11:23). On the other side, it is particularly “the holy covenant” (Dn 11:28, 30) that he (the Antichrist) confirms with many.
I believe we should not rule out the possibility (I think probability) that at this point, the Antichrist is only one among many other heads of nations that have convened to decide the question of Jerusalem.
I believe we will see a situation whereby many nations, the nation of the Antichrist among them (a king of the north), will recognize, not only Israel’s right to exist, but Jewish right of access to the temple mount (for Muslims, “the Noble Sanctuary”).
In the present religious and political context, there is a huge improbability that the current impasse could ever countenance Jewish access, let alone Jewish dominance of the temple area. The literal fulfillment of the prophecies that pertain to a literal Jewish “holy place” and “daily sacrifice” on the temple mount in Jerusalem, is admittedly, against all odds. Such an unlikely scenario will require the most radical kinds of changes. Either the literal interpretation is wrong, or the end of the age will be its most dramatic vindication, since the first coming of Christ.
I won’t take the time to make the case here, but I believe that from Dn 11:23 to Dn 11:30, we have a definite chronological order of events that covers the first 3 1/2 years. Dn 11:31 is the event that Jesus says begins the tribulation (Mt 24:15, 21). It starts the last 3 1/2 years that end at Christ’s return at Armageddon. We know that the abomination starts the last half of the seven years described in Dn 9:27, because Dn 12:11 shows that this event begins the last 3 1/2 years that take us up to the time of Daniel’s personal resurrection (Dn 12:2, 13).
Notice that the standing up of Michael in Dn 12:1 marks the start of the unequaled tribulation that ends in nothing short of the resurrection (Dn 12:2). Jesus directs His disciples to read and understand Daniel’s reference to the abomination of desolation. He quotes Daniel almost verbatim to show that this event begins the great tribulation (Mt 24:15, 21 with Dn 11:31; 12:1, 11).
Dn 12:11 is particularly decisive to show that the last 3 1/2 years begins when the sacrifice is stopped, and Dn 8:11 shows that is not Messiah, but the self exalting king of Dn 11:36-37; 2Thes 2:4) who takes away the sacrifice. Remember also, it is not because the Jewish people are faithful to the covenant; it is the “place” that is holy, because this is where God has put His name. However, there is also a sense in which the Jewish people, even in their unbelief, are called “the holy people,” not in the sense of personal righteousness, of course, else there would be no “Jacob’s trouble”, but in the sense of “set apart” by the unchanging covenant of God (Zech 2:8; Ro 11:16, 29).
While Daniel describes the earthly side of this event, John’s Revelation gives us the heavenly side. According to Rev 12:7-14, the great tribulation begins with standing up of Michael to cast down Satan. From this point forward, Satan knows “his time is short” (Rev 12:12). This “short time” and the final beast’s “short space” (Rev 17:10) is manifestly the unequaled tribulation, since it marks the time of woe upon the inhabitants of the earth, and the final assault against the elect people of the covenant (Israel and the church; Dn 7:21, 25; 12:7; Rev 6:11; 13:5).
This clearly future event (see Dn 12:1 with Rev 12:7) makes the way for the kingdom of God to the saints in full power (Rev 12:10). Manifestly, Michael’s expulsion of Satan corresponds to Paul’s care to show that the mystery of iniquity cannot be revealed in the final man of sin until someone who is now holding back is taken out of the way (2Thes 2:7).
As you know, I believe this has reference to Michael’s forcible eviction of Satan. We know that Satan dreads this, being cast down, because it will mean his time is short (Rev 12:12). From the heavenly perspective, the final tribulation starts when the evicted and dejected Satan is forced to take up a full and unhindered residence in the body the mortally wounded beast, who ascends out the abyss, as the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, who must continue a short space (Rev 17:8, 10; i.e., the 3 1/2 years). So the middle of the week accomplishes the two primary events that must be fulfilled before the Lord can return: namely, the revelation of the mystery of iniquity in the man of sin, and the final desolations of Jerusalem.
It is a revived Antichrist that goes to the temple of God at Jerusalem to commit sacrilege and set himself forth as God. This begins the last 42 months of the trampling down of the holy city (Rev 11:2). Towards the end of his tyrannical career, he is opposed by the nations of the world that descend upon him at Jerusalem (Dn 11:45), from every direction (Dn 11:40-44; Rev 16:12-16).
Therefore, Armageddon isn’t about nations mobilizing to attack the Jews in Israel. Israel has been prostrated and crushed beneath the heel of the Antichrist for 42 months, since the point of the abomination. It is probable that the greater number of Jews that survive the sudden and unexpected invasion of Antichrist (1Thes 5:3), will be those who manage to escape into the neighboring wilderness of Judea (Mt 24:15-16), and on down into the Petra area (Isa 16:1-5; 26:20; 42:11; Dn 11:41; Rev 12:6, 14).
Armageddon is initiated by a revolt against the Antichrist. The nations rushing towards Megiddo and Jerusalem are not expecting to be met by Jesus in His descent to the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4). Rather, their initial interest is to try to cast off the yoke of the oppressive tyrant. Check the above texts; it is a very different picture from what is usually presented, with implications that creates problems for many popular interpretations.
Well, that’s a super short, in the rough, sketch of the time line of events, as I see them, pertaining to the last seven years. No defense, just a summary. Hope that is at least enough to get you started. Grace to you, Reggie
Lots more info at