The Pleasure Of The Lord

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Isaiah 53:9-10

9.  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.

 

 John 10:17-18
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.

 

Hebrews 10:1-7

1.  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. 

2.  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 

3.  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 

4.  For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

5.  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 

6.  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 

7.  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

 

Around the time of the first spring full moon (northern hemisphere), for more than 2000 years, Christians in every nation in which they are found have commemorated the sufferings, crucifixion, death and resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ.  Of all forms of capital punishment that have been imposed by nations through history, crucifixion was amongst the most brutal and cruel.  The condemned person would suffer unspeakable pain and humiliation publicly, before ultimately succumbing to death.  Sometimes death would be prolonged over several days.  The pain of crucifixion was so intense that a word was coined from it to describe a pain that could not be exceeded.  That word is, “excruciating” and it means literally out of the cross (ex-cruc).

During the tenure of the Roman Empire, crucifixion was used extensively as a form of capital punishment to instill fear and dissuade anyone from committing crimes against the state.  The Romans became particularly adept at crucifixion through practice and crucified many thousands through their history.  Since so many people have been executed by crucifixion through history, then it could not have been what made the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ so special.

The unique quality about the death of Jesus Christ is that He was not subject to death as were all people since Adam.  The New Testament records three instances where The Lord Jesus raised people from the dead:  Matthew 9:18-26, daughter of Jairus; Luke 7:11-17, son of the widow of Nain; John 11:1-44, Lazarus.  In the last instance (John 11:26), when The Lord Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He affirmed to Martha, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

Not only did The Lord Jesus demonstrate the power to call the dead back to life, but He also had the power to be glorified without the need to pass through death himself.  In Luke 9:28-36 there is recorded the account of the transfiguration of Jesus.   As He prayed the fashion of His countenance was altered and He emanated glory and dazzling light.  While in this glorified state, there appeared with Him in glory two men who were Moses (the law giver) and Elias-Elijah (the prophet).  Moses and Elias appeared in glory, but they had long since died and subsequently received those bodies that appeared in radiance.  The text tells us that Moses and Elias spoke with Jesus about His decease (departure) which He should accomplish at Jerusalem.  Moses the law giver is credited with writing Genesis which records the first prophecy of the redeemer and destroyer of the arch adversary.  See Genesis 3:15.  Moses also told the people that the LORD would raise up from among their brethren, a prophet like unto Moses.  This prophet should be obeyed in all things (Deuteronomy 18:15).  Elias epitomized the Old Testament prophets in the demonstration of Jehovah’s power with many wonders performed during his ministry.  He also prophesied to Israel concerning their devotion to the one true God and restoration.

At the time of this event, Moses had been dead for above 1300 years and Elias for above 800 years. Moses and Elias were separated from each other in life by over 400 years, as by the time Elias was born, Moses had been dead for about 400 years.  Yet here in the mountain of transfiguration, these great patriarchs representing the Law and the Prophets, appeared in glory and spoke to The Lord Jesus concerning His work in Jerusalem.  While still in this glorified state a cloud overshadowed The Lord, Moses, Elias and Peter, James and John who were privileged to witness the event.  While in the cloud a voice was heard to speak declaring, “This is my beloved Son:  hear him.”  This is just one of the three instances in the New Testament when a voice was heard to speak from heaven declaring heaven’s absolute approval of The Lord Jesus.  See:  Matthew 3:13-17, The baptism of Jesus; John 12:28, A petition of Jesus; Luke 9:28-36 & Matthew 17:1-10, The transfiguration.  The heavens declare the glory of God.~King David in Psalm 19:1

In the Old Testament economy, animal sacrifices were a very significant part of worship in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem.  The parameters for choosing the animals for sacrifice were very specific.  Not just anything could be chosen.  Israel was required to select the best of the flock and those selected had to be separated from the rest.  See Exodus 12:5-6, Leviticus 22:21-24.

From the beginning of His public ministry to the time of His arrest and sham trials before the elders, chief priests, scribes and Pontius Pilate, The Lord had been heavily scrutinized and examined.  I Timothy 6:13 states that Christ Jesus witnessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate.  Luke 23:13 records his words thus,”Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him.”

Pontius Pilate declared Him innocent then handed Him over to be crucified.  Though he himself did not believe nor act out of justice or understanding, in his darkness he still fulfilled what was written of The Lord Jesus Christ through the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms.  Jesus was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.  He was crucified and slain, but raised up by God who loosed the pains of death because it was not possible that He should be held by death.  The pleasure of the Lord was that The Suffering Servant should come into the world to be a redeemer for many through bearing their iniquities by making His soul an offering for sin and subsequently rising from the dead.

Isaiah 53:11-12

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.

 

TO HIM BE GLORY AND DOMINION FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER AMEN Continue reading

Fearfully And Wonderfully Made

Psalm 139:14-16   I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:  marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalms 139:14 begins with King David exulting in his own existence.  His exulting was by no means a boasting in his own greatness or accomplishments; quite the contrary.  This Psalm revealed the king’s understanding that he was created exquisitely by God and was utterly known by Him and these were the reasons for his praise.  He praised God because God made him and he marveled in God’s handiwork; knowing that he could not have made himself nor have been the reason for his own existence.  He gave all the credit to his Maker.

David described the marvelous works of God and placed his very own being under this description.  He described his formation in his mother’s womb as if he were cunningly embroidered.  David declared that God saw his incompletely formed body and even had a record of all of his parts before they were formed; as if he were designed and each part was recorded in a schematic manual before his construction.  David implied that God was involved intimately with his making.  This is understood clearly in the choice of the word he used to describe his making (יצר yatsar).  That word is used to describe the work of a potter who employs both hands as a clay vessel is being wrought on the wheel.  If you have ever seen a potter at work, you may acknowledge that full attention is given to the clay while it is being molded.  The potter has both eyes focused intently on the clay and both hands are fully engaged as they surround the clay.  The potter is keenly aware of the clay in its various qualities, attributes and potential and certainly aware of the mastery that will be wrought on the clay by those surrounding hands.

So it is with your existence.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  We ought to do everything in our ability to nourish, improve and preserve our bodies, however, our satisfaction or dissatisfaction with our constitution has no bearing on the fact that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Have you actually taken a look at yourself and really considered what was required to bring you about?  If you can find no other reason to give credit and thanks to God, your very existence is reason enough.  Not only are you unique; you could never have been anyone else nor could you have come at any other time than when you arrived.  Very specific genes were required to bring you about.  Let us consider a few factors.  Most humans have a chromosomal count of 46.  It takes 23 pairs chromosomes to produce most of us.  Most of our cells contain a complete set of DNA.  The vast majority of our cells contain all the information needed to produce us all over again.  The only cells that do not contain 46 chromosomes are red blood cells and reproductive cells.  This brings us to one of the wonders of our being.  The reproductive cells are called gametes. Gametes are cells whose nucleus unites with the nucleus of other chromosomally compatible cells to form a new organism.  The female gamete (egg) is a haploid cell containing 23 chromosomes instead of 23 pairs of chromosomes as in a diploid (somatic i.e. body) cell which have 23 pairs.  The same is true of the male gamete (spermatozoa) which also contains 23 chromosomes.

When a human female is born, she has approximately 1,000,000 eggs.  Each egg contains a unique set of chromosomes.  By the time she reaches puberty that number has been reduced by 70%.   Of the remaining 300,000 eggs, only about 300-400 will ever potentially form a new organism by joining with another haploid cell to complete the normal human chromosomal count of 46.  This potential is realized when a female ovulates.  Even though the egg’s potential to become a new organism is reached, the majority (perhaps 90%-97%) never do because they are not fertilized in conception.    Remember, no haploid cell (gamete with 23 chromosomes) is a new life form.  It takes the combination of 2 chromosomally compatible haploid cells to complete the chromosome count of 46 producing a human zygote hence a new life.  So considering this alone, the odds of you ever being conceived just from the matriarchal (mitochondrial) perspective were literally 1 in 1,000,000.  And from the perspectives of every woman in your ancestry since the very beginning of creation; each woman faced approximately 1 in 1,000,000 odds of coming into being.  Additionally, your every predecessor with the multitude of gene mixtures necessary to produce them, was necessary indispensably, to produce you.  The odds are frankly staggering!

Now consider the infinitesimally small odds of your conception from the perspective of the progenitor.  The progenitor (male) is not born with his gametes (haploid cells, reproductive cells, spermatozoa), but rather he begins to produce them at the onset of puberty and will normally produce them for the rest of his life.  The number of reproductive cells that he produces will vary during his life, but it is believed that he reaches maximum production in his 20’s and 30’s.  Just as the female’s egg cells have their own individual chromosomal mixture, the male’s spermatozoa are all individually coded.  During normal reproductive processes, a great number of these haploid cells from the male are introduced into the environment where they may possibly be united with the egg cell.  An estimate of that number ranges from 20,000,000 to 250,000,000.  Now to calculate the odds of your conception on the lower and more conservative end, we multiply 1/1,000,000 of your mother’s egg cells by 1/20,000,000 of your father’s spermatozoa and we arrive at the astounding figure of 1/20,000,000,000,000.  That is a chance of one out of twenty trillion. Just how large is 20 trillion?  That is a good question to ask.  Consider this.  Your body contains perhaps 60,000,000,000,000 (60 trillion) cells.  Every one of those cell except for reproductive and red blood cells contains a complete set of your DNA.  Now let’s take 1/3 (20 trillion) of the number of your somatic cells.  If it were possible to remove the DNA from each cell and uncoil it then line them end to end, the stretched out and lined up DNA would reach 1/4 of the way to the sun (22,727,272 miles).  That is from 20 trillion of your cells.  I am not able to really conceptualize this.

These staggering odds apply not just to you, but to every human who has ever been conceived.   To arrive at a more accurate estimate of the incalculable odds. You would have to multiply 1/20,000,000,000,000 by the total  product of all of your ancestors.  I WILL PRAISE THEE; FOR I AM FEARFULLY AND  WONDERFULLY MADE:  MARVELOUS ARE THY WORKS; AND THAT MY SOUL KNOWETH RIGHT WELL.   Psalm 139:14

EYES OF FIRE

For this topical study, I would strongly encourage you to read all the passages selected. Each passage contributes to a better understanding of these aspect of our Master that we seek to understand. May He who accurately discerns all things, give us clearer eyes to see Him who sees us.
Matthew 3:11-12  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: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.



John 2:23-25. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.



Hebrews 4:12-13. 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. 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.



Hebrews 12:29.  For our God is a consuming fire.



I Corinthians 3-15.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 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. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

John The Baptist prepared the way of the Lord. John was the forerunner of Messiah and described how Messiah would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. This baptism speaks of both salvation and judgement. Notice how John the Baptist described the complete discerning and separating action of the one who came after him. He would thoroughly purge His floor, gathering the wheat to be kept and used and burning the chaff with unquenchable fire. Messiah is irresistibly discerning. Messiah is undeceivable. Messiah separates the wheat from the chaff. He gathers the wheat into His garner and the chaff, He burns with fire that will not be extinguished. He sees the difference. He makes the separation. He preserves the wheat. He burns the chaff.
Rev. 1:14   …and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.



Rev. 2:18.  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; 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. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee,…



Concerning the Lord Jesus, there never has been nor ever will be any successful attempt on the part of man to deceive Him. He is thoroughly acquainted with the remotest intricacies of every one of us. He knows the direction of our thoughts and intentions. He knows if we truly love and desire to serve Him. He knows if and when we regard iniquity in our hearts and if our hearts are set on mischief. God never gives us the benefit of the doubt because there is no doubt with Him. Even as much as He knows us and thoroughly understands all the reasons why He could justifiably condemn us, in truth He beholds us and He loves us still. And in His unsearchable love He diagnoses our malady and offers His remedy with these words, “Will you be made whole?”. Is. 53:11 …by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
This love that He has for us does not proclaim our loveliness, but His unfathomable and unsearchable grace. His great love for us is not a reflection of us, but of Him. And because He has set His love upon us we have this hope of glory.
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Psalms 139:1-4 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,  thou understandest my thought afar off.  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Psalms 139:23-24. Search me, O God, and know my heart:  try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me,and lead me in the way everlasting.




Oh Lord, before we ever knew that there was a problem, you diagnosed our sickness and made provision for our cure. Your blood cleanses us from the stain of sin, your Spirit strengthens us against the power of sin and your word instructs against the practice of sin. Forgive us anew for we need your mercy every morning and empower us to walk up rightly before you. For those who do not know of their sickness, I ask that you would grant repentance to the acknowledging of the truth that they may receive remission of sins through your name (Acts 2:38, 10:43); in the name of JESUS CHRIST let this be.

The Search

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

This article is a prequel to one posted previously -The Seven.
Again, we affirm that the Holy Bible is the inspired word of God. The scriptures under consideration are found in Revelation 5:1-7.  When St. John received this vision, he was in the spirit. As he beheld, he was enabled by the Holy Spirit’s revelation to see and understand things that under normal circumstances were not viewable nor were they understandable. This does not imply that St. John was able to communicate complete understanding of everything that he saw or wrote. Even though John received The Revelation, there were things which were sealed from understanding and recording. Rev. 10:4 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.
REVELATION 5:1-7
1 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.

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5 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.

6 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.

7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
As we read the book of Revelation, we infer that this perfectly sealed book (vs. 1) is crucial to the restitution of the physical Earth and its righteous governance.  Indispensable to the fulfillment of restitution, redemption, reconciliation, and righteousness is an administrator or executor who is completely qualified with knowledge, wisdom, authority and power to enforce what was contained in that most important writing. For what good can come of any writing, regardless of how revered it may be, if there is no qualified executor to interpret, explain and enact its words?

In verse 2, the necessity of the executor was acknowledged by the question, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?”

Subsequent to this question, an exhaustive search was made. In verse 3 we learn that the search, for a man, began in heaven. Heaven can be understood as the place where the redeemed from every generation dwell in the presence of God. Without doubt, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are there. Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel are there. Able, Noah, Job, and Ruth are there. The apostle Paul, Peter, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, the other James and Thaddaeus are all there. Moses is there. All the prophets, patriarchs and saints are there. King David the sweet psalmist of Israel is there. Isaiah and Jeremiah are there.

We know faithful saints and servants of God who have passed into eternity and we are confident that they are there as also. When this exhaustive search was made in heaven, all those righteous prophets, fathers, patriarchs, saints, spirits of just men made perfect and angelic beings were examined and all were passed over. Of all those dwellers of heaven, not one examined thus far was fit to open the book.

A search was made in earth also. Earth is the abode of those living in physical bodies. Humans presently wield great authority over all the inhabitants of Earth. Century after century, rulers rise to power through various means. Some rule with justice and equity while others rule with an iron fist; bringing dread and misery to their own people as well as to the people of other nations. Some come to power by force while others arise through an electoral process. But alas they all disappoint. We might name contemporaries whom we deem fit to govern us and we do not pretend to have the qualifications to head any state or nation. But in this search of verse 3, all the inhabitants of Earth were examined and passed over.  You and I were examined and passed over as unworthy to take, read and execute the book.

Finally a search was made under the earth. This is a reference to Hades. This speaks of the grave and probably refers to those who have departed the earth on the condemned side of God’s judgement. We will not try to identify who might be there, but we will acknowledge that not one there was chosen. They were all examined and passed over.

In heaven, earth and under the earth, no worthy man was found. John wept much.

In verse 5, one of the elders told John not to weep, but to look at the conquering Lion of the tribe of Juda.

In verse 6, John saw the Lion of Juda (King) as a Lamb that had the appearance of having been slaughtered, yet there He stood having seven eyes (complete knowledge and wisdom) and seven horns (complete authority and power). This ONE, with the disposition of a lamb, the regality of a lion and knowing everything and having all power is the only one worthy to be the executor of the perfectly sealed book. HE alone is worthy to take the book, open the book and interpret its contents as well as execute its judgement. UNTO THE LAMB BE GLORY AND DOMINION FOREVER AND EVER.

As we go about, let us do our utmost to serve HIM. Let us also remember to assume our responsibility as subjects under the government that protects us. Pray for your leaders in every branch of government. Rom. 13:1-7, I Tim.2:1-2.

Lord Jesus, unto you be glory and praise forever and ever. Let the reverence of your holy name ever increase for in your name alone is salvation. You are merciful and kind. Keep us under your care and covered by your blood. We trust you. Give us the grace to trust you more for you are faithful and true. AMEN.

A Prayer

Oh Lord of creation, Father of glory, LORD God, merciful, gracious, longsuffeing and abundant in goodness and truth; we come to you broken.  You have given man dominion over everything that creeps on the earth and Lord we have made a royal hash of it all.  Lord have mercy on us we ask.  We have forsaken your righteousness and your ways and we reap the fruit of the wickedness.   We have sown to the wind and we see the strengthening whirlwind.  Oh Lord it is completely out of our control.  If we could control this storm, we would.  We can not see where it will go.  But you Oh Lord are able.  You have your way in the whirlwind and in the storm and the clouds are the dust of your feet.  We call upon you.  Forgive us for our transgressions against you in the hatred that we have shown to those who are made in your image thereby hating even you.  How can we love you whom we have not seen and hate your image that we see on the children of Adam who were created in your image?  Have mercy on us we ask.  We ask that you will grant us repentance that bares fruit.  We ask that you would lead us away from all the evil devices that draw us into more darkness and destruction.   We ask that you would deliver us from the evil that lurks in darkness and deception.  Despite what we see, we acknowledge that all things are in your view and nothing is outside of your control for all power is in your hands even the power of life and death.  All souls belong to you and not even the sparrow falls outside of your knowledge.  We beseech you.  we ask that you would help us!  Save us now. In the name of YESHUA HAMASHIACH we implore you!  Amen

The Knowledge Of The Glory

Habakkuk 2:14
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea.

God is the creator of the universe. The universe is permeated with illustrations of the brilliance of God’s mastery. God’s creation is splendid in its own right whether or not it is perceived by created intelligence. There is no lack of display of God’s glory, but rather a lack of the knowledge of God’s glory.

God’s worthiness to receive worship and adoration is not based on the knowledge that created intelligence possesses of His worthiness. God’s worthiness is inseparable from God’s worth-His glory. God was worthy of worship and adoration before He ever created anything.

When we ascribe glory to God, we do not increase His glory or worthiness. We only recognize it. The most heart-felt, articulate, reverential, and accurate praise that we can give to God comes woefully short of God’s actual worthiness. There is an eternal deficit of worship and praise that we must do our utmost to balance, though we never will. His glorious name is forever exalted above ALL blessing and praise.

Neh. 9:5 last three clauses
Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.

The enjoyment of anything beautiful is not complete until it is expressed and rehearsed by those who enjoyed their beauty. We don’t worship God so that we can help Him know who He is. We worship God and in worship our joy in Him and His acts and ways, grows and increases. God can’t improve, but our understanding of His greatness does improve and grow and so we magnify Him.

Psalms 34:3
O magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together.

The earth will be filled with the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

h. jacques james

THE GLORY OF GOD

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To begin this study it is important that we examine the subject from its earliest appearances in the sacred scriptures so that we might find precedence and follow its development throughout holy writ. The word under consideration (glory) has been applied to both God and man,

 

however in the interest of this study, only its references to God will be taken into account; hence our title: The Glory of God.

The first reference to the glory of God in the Old Testament (O.T.) is found in Exodus 16:7 “And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: …” In this reference the word glory is most accurately transliterated, KeVOD. The upper case letters represent the Hebrew (Heb.) consonants while the lower case letters represent the Heb. vowels as they are most accurately rendered into English from the Tiberian system of vocalization. In the Mesoretic text KeVOD is preceded by the sign of a direct object which makes the word a noun. Its root can be found in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance under ref.# 3519 of the Heb. dictionary. The second letter in the word can be pronounced as a B or a V depending on whether or not (respectively) it contains dagesh forte (a symbol placed within certain Heb. consonants to indicate certain pronunciations). In Ex. 16:7 KeVOD takes a rare form in that it contains the letter vav or waw. When this letter has holem above it, it becomes long letter o, which is why our transliteration renders the o in upper case. Otherwise the o would be indicated by the lower case. These factors will be reflected in this study when applicable. The definition – Strong’s Heb. Dic. Ref. 3519. from 3513; prop. weight; but only fig. in a good sense, splendor or copiousness:–glorious (-ly), glory, honour (-able).

 In the context of Ex.16:7, God’s glory is predicted. The fulfillment of the prediction was seen in the manifested splendor of God appearing in a cloud in the wilderness (16:10) and in the copious supply of a heretofore unknown food from heaven as well as the quail in the evening (16:13-15). The splendor of God’s manifested presence and the copiousness of His provision were both seen as a result of God hearing the murmurings of the children of Israel. From this we can see both explicit and implicit aspects of the glory of God. As we continue our study we will see that God desired to unfold for Moses and the children of Israel and ultimately for the human family those implied aspects of His glory. In order to have a proper context and development of our subject it is vital that we get God’s perspective of His glory. For this perspective we will look to the Ex.33:12-23 through Ex.34:1-8 for a dialogue between God and Moses. 

Ex.33:12 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, show 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 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 on 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, show me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not 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 cleft 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. 

Ex.34:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were on the first tables, which thou brakest. 2 And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto Mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. 3 And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before the mount. 4 And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up into Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. 5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passes before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. 8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. 

In Ex.33:18 Moses prayed that he might see the LORD’s glory and responding to that petition the LORD said, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee, (Ex.33:19). The fulfillment of this promise is found in Ex.34:6-7 where the LORD passed by before Moses and proclaimed His name before Moses. In the proclamation of His name, the LORD began to reveal His glory to Moses. In proclaiming His name before Moses, God revealed the splendor and honour of His nature (understood in the name LORD, Strong’s ref.#3068), of His acts (understood by the term God, #430),and of His character as understood by the list of attributives which the LORD used of Himself when proclaiming His name before Moses. The immediate and appropriate response of Moses to this revelation of God’s glory was to make haste and bow his face toward the ground and worship. The biblical response to true revelation never bolstered human ego or increased self esteem. This often quoted formula in its various manifestations (Num.14:18-19; Jon.4:2; Joel 2:13; Mic.7:18; Nah.1:3; Ps.85:15, 103:8, 145:8; II Chr.30:9; Neh. 9;17,31), gives us a composite sketch of God’s nature, ways, acts- His glory. These passages lay the foundation of what is revealed throughout the rest of the scriptures. 

The next portion of this study will concern Isaiah 6:1-8.

1 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. 2 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. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 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. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin is purged. 8 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. 

In this passage Isaiah was given a vision of the glory of God and of an angelic order of beings which occupied themselves with the declaration of God’s holiness. These burning creatures, as their name implies (Strng’s # 8314), covered their faces before the glory of Him who sat on the throne. 

In The Holiness Of God, Dr. R C Sproul described them thus, “The seraphim are not sinful men burdened with impure hearts.  Yet as angelic beings they are still creatures, and even in their lofty status as consorts of the heavenly host it is necessary for them to shield their eyes from a direct gaze on the face of God.  They are fearfully and wonderfully made, equipped by their Creator with a special pair of wings to cover their faces in His majestic presence.”  

Isaiah’s response was to declare his own woefulness, undoneness, and sin. The prophet was not rebuked or corrected for declaring his own unworthiness. Seeing his own unworthiness was the natural consequence of beholding a vision of the LORD’s glory. The prophet’s response made it possible for him to receive God’s remedy which was administered to him by the seraph, though not directly (vs.6-7). The end result of this vision of the glory of God was a call to service, for when the prophet saw the glory, he recognized his own shame, which led to his confession, which opened the way of purging, which made him fit for service, hence a continuation of the declaration of the holiness and glory of God.

Oh LORD of all creation, let us see you and die to ourselves and our selfish ways that are so destructive to rightness.  Let your ways and acts be exalted and extolled.  In the name of Jesus Christ, let this be.

Citation: The Holiness Of God by R C Sproul; chapter 2, page 37, paragraph 2.

He Has His Way In The Whirlwind Part 1

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The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power,
and will not at all acquit the wicked:
the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.~Nahum1:3

The term, whirlwind, is used to describe phenomena in nature where air currents are caused to spin on vertical axes, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. These vortices are caused by pressure gradients in an atmosphere that seeks equilibrium. These vertical spinning columns of air vary greatly in size, strength and origin.

While working in the Sonoran Desert, I noted several places where whirlwinds would form very predictably. The Geology and topography of the land along with the powerful desert sun beating down on the landscape all converged to cause daily updrafts which would form dust devils that reached thousands of feet into the sky. I can only surmise as to exactly how tall they were, however, they were visible from more than ten miles away and were seen in the same places and approximately the same times every day, as they spun and reached from the desert floor high into the sky.

In the plains of the United States, whirlwinds are caused by powerful thunderstorms. These fearsome whirlwinds are called Tornadoes. While the environment derives multiple benefits from a good thunderstorm, tornadoes are malefactors and very dangerous. I can not ascribe any good qualities directly to a tornado or its works. Although very powerful, the energy of these storms can not be harvested and they will not lend themselves to any useful work. They cause only destruction and leave pain and misery in their wakes. Each year, tornadoes kill many people and cause much costly destruction to lives and property.  Some communities are destroyed utterly, never to be rebuilt while others survive with varying degrees of damage. Tornadoes are very unpredictable in where they touch down and how they travel. The unpredictability and uncontrollability of tornadoes lend to their terrifying reality.

The greatest of all whirlwinds is the hurricane or typhoon. Both names represent tropical cyclones. These storms derive their power from the heat energy of tropical seas and often span one hundred miles across. Islands are devastated annually by these massive whirlwinds.

The best defense against whirlwinds is a pre warning so that those who might suffer from their destructive power might get clear of their paths or take cover where their wrath will not reach. It is noteworthy that whirlwinds are dissipated by large geological features such as mountains.

As we consider Nahum 1:3, we should understand that the book of Nahum is a companion to Jonah.  In Jonah, God spared Nineveh after the preaching and to the chagrin of the prophet, Jonah.  Jonah preached to Nineveh and there was repentance throughout the land.

Jonah 3:4 – 4:2

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. 

​ But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Approximately 100 years after the revival in Nineveh, the Prophet Nahum came again preaching to Nineveh which had returned to her evil ways.  Notice in the last paragraph (Jonah 4:2) where Jonah complained to the LORD about His sparing of the city because He is gracious, merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness, and relenting from judgement.  Though Jonah expressed great displeasure, he gave glory to God (probably unintentionally) when he expressed his confidence in God’s willingness to spare a repentant people.  Jonah’s attitude was not pleasing to God, but oh that we might have the same confidence in God’s willingness to redeem and spare those to whom we preach.  Nahum’s message came to a more obstinate Nineveh.  This time there would be no sparing of the city.  It is also the glory of God that he does not arbitrarily clear the guilty.

The Prophet Nahum opened his message (Nahum 1:3) with a variant of what Jonah complained about in 4:2 of his book.  This revelation of God’s character was first mentioned in Ex.34:6-7.  These words were spoken by the LORD himself and were repeated and rehearsed in various places in holy writ.  See post, The Glory Of God, for a list of those citations.  

For the sake of context consider Nahum 1:1-3.  The title of this study was derived from verse 3.

Nahum 1:1-3

Nahum

​ The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. 

God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth,

and is furious;

the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries,

and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. 

The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power,

and will not at all acquit the wicked:

the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm,

and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Oh LORD God, merciful, gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; open our eyes to see the kindness and severity of your holy ways.  To you be glory and dominion forever and ever.

Matters Of The Heart

“Follow your heart.”
I do not know who originated this idea or phrase. If we could be certain that the human heart were inherently good, this would be sound advice. If the heart truly knew what was best, this would be warm and reassuring advice to follow when we are not in a position to trust our cognition. But this assumes that there is an innate ability to know truth by feelings which reside outside of our thinking process.

This mystical and subjective way of coming to conclusions has brought about much misery in the human family and expierence. We need not search beyond our own hearts and lives to see this verified. If we are so deluded that we think we have escaped this reality, then that delusion only serves to verify further the same truth. It seems that many still believe in the goodness of man despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  The most verifiable, documented and observable fact of humanity is our falleness.

 

Never anywhere have I heard of anyone being described as desperately righteous or holy. If humanity is here by chance, why should not some individuals have evolved to become desperately righteous and completely altruistic? Oh, but the great lack of these individuals speaks truly to us of the reality of our fallenness and the very real evil forces that influence our race. My own experience has shown me rather plainly that I do not belong in this class. Nor have I ever met anyone physically present who does. The Holy Bible does speak of one.
John 1:29
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Our own experiences should have taught us long ago that we should live by principle, making decisions in morally challenging situations long before they ever arise in actuality. Our principles should teach us what we ought to do before we are ever tested. If we are made to decide at the time of crisis, what we ought to do then we might be sure that our failure rate would be significantly higher than its present dismal state. So the question remains, “What should we do with the heart?”
Deuteronomy 4:29  But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

We must seek God with the whole heart.

Deuteronomy 4:39. Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

Consider in your heart that the Lord he is God and there is none else.

Deuteronomy 6:5. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Love the Lord God with all the heart.

Joshua 24:23. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel.

Incline your heart unto God.

Proverbs 3:5. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Joel 2:13. And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

John 14:27. 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.

Ephesians 5:19. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Make melody in your heart to the Lord.
We are in essence whatever is in the secret place of the heart.  We may for a period deceive others and ourselves about what we are innately, but the Bible reveals the true state of the human heart.

Jeremiah 17:9-10. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

It is a fleeting comfort to sooth ourselves by declaring that God knows our hearts, especially when we utter these words to cover our wickedness.  When we attempt to cover our darkness from others by invoking the name of God, we lift up His name in vain.  We call the all seeing one to witness our iniquity.   When we lift up His name in such times, we actually call God to witness our brokenness and guilt.  But God delights in mercy and seeks us to redeem us just as He brought light and salvation to the woman at the well in St. John 4:1-42.  He beholds us and yet He still loves us.  Mark 10:21

He knows you.  Allow God to search and know the heart that He already knows.

Psalms 139:23-24. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
In the name of JESUS CHRIST, let this be.  Let our hearts love and serve you for you are worthy.  Unto you LORD be glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.

Set Your Sails-Heave To

imagePsalms 107:21-30
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and declare his works with rejoicing.
They that go down to the sea in ships,
that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord,
and his wonders in the deep.
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind,
which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths:
their soul is melted because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,
and are at their wits’ end.
Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble,
and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
He maketh the storm a calm,
so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they be quiet;
so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

In the summer of 2012, shortly after I acquired my sail boat, I began reading about and researching sailing. As far back as I can remember, I have had a silent fascination with sailing vessels. In 2002 the tall ships came to Detroit and docked on the river. Tall ships enough that those most distant appeared microscopic. In sailing vessels, there is a unique romance which can not be experienced in other water borne modes of transport. For the enthusiast, there is great appeal even in the creaks and squeaks that are peculiar to sailing vessels; creaks and squeaks caused by the lilting movement of boats as they bob and sway in gentle waves.

There is also the fascination of learning and practicing the positions of sail as well as various other maneuvers and factors that are unique to sailing. There is launching with its many nuances, more varied than the 360 points on a compass multiplied by any number of weather conditions. There is the raising of the sails. There are the five points of sail and their countless conditions.

In the first days of my sailing experience, I was uneasy and concerned about the possibility of capsizing. Though concerned, my uneasiness was outweighed by my determination to learn to sail and experience the thrill of being moved by the wind; the thrill of controlling my vessel as she plowed the high seas (made ripples in small inland lakes). During one of these early excursions, I was beating with wind from port (moving toward starboard) in rather heavy winds. The vessel’s rigging was really tested as I had not previously seen. That day she was powered by two sails, the Genoa and the Main. The Genoa was attached to the forestay and overlapped the mast and the lower luff of the main. As I pulled the tiller to come about and tac to port, I was slow to release the Starboard Genoa Sheet from the fairlead and expected a lot of heeling and unsteadyness. To my surprise the choppiness of the water as well as the strength of the wind seemed to just settle down. The waves were still in fact there. The choppiness had not ceased. The winds were just as powerful as before I pulled the tiller. What was this sudden calming of the weather and seeming abatement of the stresses on the vessel’s rigging? I had unwittingly HOVE TO. HOVE TO is the past tense and past participial form of HEAVE TO.

When a sailboat captain performs the HEAVE TO maneuver, he sets his sails in opposition to each other, at perhaps a 90 degree angle so that the wind is split at the mast and spills around the sails in opposite directions at approximately 45 degrees. In this position, the sails cancel each other and produce opposing whirls on the leeward (downwind) side of the sails.

The Heave To maneuver is very useful when sailing in exceptionally adverse conditions because though the sailing captain has no ability to control the weather and wind, he may adjust the members of his craft so that the stresses on the rigging and on the passengers and crew are minimized. The winds and waves are just as powerful and boisterous during the Heave To as before this vessel calming maneuver was executed. What has changed is the attitude of the vessel and her members to the storm.

This maneuver can be a vessel and life saver when a vessel, captain, crew and passengers find themselves far from any harbor and in waters too deep and too rough to drop anchor. Continuing in stormy conditions is extremely taxing on the vessel, crew and passengers. It is vital for the vessel that her crew get sufficient rest and refreshment. If the captain, and crew are not properly rested, they may not make the best decisions or take proper actions for the journey. Improper decisions and actions could lead to the lost of the vessel and all those aboard.

During stormy conditions it is more difficult to get rest while under way. When a vessel is Hove To, the passengers and crew are able to rest and refresh themselves for a while even in the midst of a great storm. The storm still rages and the waves are just as violent as before, but when a vessel is Hove To, she rides the waves and winds in a much more tolerable manner for all those aboard. The Heave To maneuver is not one that makes progress in the way of distance traveled. Progress may actually be lost, but in the process of losing some progress, the crew, passengers and even the very vessel may be saved by the decision to Heave To.

Oh Lord God, Captain of our salvation and of the LORD’s host; we pray that you would speak to the storms in our lives. We trust that you have the power to speak and even the winds and waves will obey you. We ask that you would command the storms to be still. Never the less, if it is your will that we ride out the storms, we implore you to be with us. Be our Captain. We ask that you would cause our vessels to Heave To by your command and instruction. We ask for rest in your care until you have brought us to safe haven. In the name of JESUS CHRIST we pray, Amen.