Our Pride And Crown

Thursday, July 03, 2014, 8:46 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “Praise Be Told.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 28. I will quote selected verses in the NIV due to the length of the passage, and I will summarize other parts of it. The passage in its entirety may be read here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+28&version=NIV

The northern kingdom of Israel was under judgment by Almighty God. The government of this kingdom was the nation’s pride, and that was also part of her downfall. Recently the Lord Jesus gave me a picture of the northern kingdom as similar to the institutional church, whereas the southern kingdom was to be paralleled over to the true church, the body of Christ. One is an institution of humans whereas the other is of God. One is a corporation of mankind, whereas the other is a spiritual entity of the Spirit of God. One is headed by humans and government, whereas the other is headed by Jesus Christ. One is operated like a business of humans whereas the other is operated in the Spirit. One is physical. The other is spiritual. One gives allegiance to governments of men, whereas the other has its allegiance to Christ alone.

Yet, the true church, the body of Christ, can exist within the institutional church, but this church is divided because part is of the flesh and part is of the Spirit; part is of men and part is of God. In other words, it has divided loyalties. And, I do believe God is calling to his true church to come out from these institutions of men and for the church to operate in the Spirit as a spiritual entity with only Christ as the head (her only Pride and Crown).

The judgment was specifically against the government of the northern kingdom. Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind, God would throw the nation’s pride, their government, to the ground. Many times over the Lord Jesus has shown me how this may be applied to the institutional church here in the USA whose government is her “pride”, and how God intends to bring such a judgment against the US government. When this judgment comes, and it will come, the church will no longer look to the government as her pride, but the Lord Jesus will be her glorious crown. Amen! And, he will be a source of strength “to those who turn back the battle at the gate.”

I believe this “turning back the battle at the gate” has to do with those who have resisted Satan’s lies and deceptions and temptations in their own lives, as well as this represents those who are actively involved in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to turn back this battle of Satan against God’s people, and at the gate of human’s hearts so that people can be saved, so they can be free from the power of Satan and sin over their lives, and so that they no longer allow Satan and sin to overcome them. They stop it at the gate. For those who have done this, i.e. for those who have “turned the battle back at the gate,” God will be their refuge and strength. This does not mean they will not suffer or even die for their faith in Jesus Christ and for his gospel, but it means that he will be with them even in death and he will bring them safely into his glorious presence.

Though They Mock

“Who is it he is trying to teach?
To whom is he explaining his message?
To children weaned from their milk,
to those just taken from the breast?
For it is:
Do this, do that,
a rule for this, a rule for that;
a little here, a little there.”

Many of the leaders of the people in the institutional church of today, for whom the US government is their pride (their crown), are captivated by the philosophies, values, marketing schemes, and teachings of humankind over and above the teachings of Christ and of his word. Books on how to grow big churches or on how to plant churches have often become their “bible,” as well as are books which teach eastern mysticism and a diluted gospel, in order to tickle the itching ears of their adherents. They bring God/Jesus down to their level. They no longer teach the fear of the Lord. They make God into a buddy who is altogether like us rather than exalt him to the holy and powerful God that he is. They make the gospel comfortable, non-threatening, non-judgmental and pleasing to the senses so that the world will embrace it and will come to their churches, i.e. to their places of business.

Many of these leaders thus reject the true gospel of salvation and all who hold to the foundational teachings of Christ and of the apostles. Many of these leaders are even taught and also teach that the church should avoid, cast out, discourage and get rid of those with strong spiritual convictions or those who have a depth of knowledge of scripture, and some are even taught to discourage the bringing of Bibles and the teaching of the word in their meetings, because they see religion as something which divides people, and so they try to minister to Christian and non-Christian alike in the same ways, teaching an ecumenical gospel which appeals to people of many religions, because it is tolerant of sin and it is tolerant of various religions, and it works to bring all people of all faiths together as one.

And, so they mock those who still preach the gospel as taught by Jesus and the apostles, and they work to discredit them, trying to prove that obedience to Christ and repentance are works of the flesh that people perform in order to try to earn their salvation. They don’t like messages that say we have to leave our lives of sin behind us and that we must walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. They give their adherents a free license to continue in sin without guilt, thinking they have their ticket into heaven and that God’s grace covers it all. Yet, the Bible teaches that God’s grace teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled and upright lives in this present age while we wait for Christ’s return (See Tit. 2:11-14). Jesus Christ died, not so we would be free to continue in sin without guilt or remorse, but he died so that we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave himself up for us (See 2 Co. 5:15; cf. Ro. 6-8; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:17-24; & 1 Jn. 1-5).

So, God will judge these leaders, too. He will bring foreigners against them, and this will be God’s way of speaking to them, since they will not listen to his word, and since they will not listen to his servants and messengers who tell them the truth about what God’s word says. They - both government and religious leaders - have made a lie their refuge and falsehood their hiding place. They have followed the lies of our government leaders, which is why they have made the government their pride, and they have followed the lies of these writers of books who tell them that they need to change the gospel to make it more appealing to the world and that they need to run the church just like a business so that they can grow in numbers. And, in these lies, deceptions and manipulations of truth they have trusted.

A Precious Cornerstone

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.
I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the plumb line;
hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie,
and water will overflow your hiding place.”

Jesus Christ is our precious cornerstone. A cornerstone is the foundation of something. Another word for cornerstone is capstone, which I believe gives even a much more vivid picture of who Jesus Christ is in relation to his church, his building. The capstone is a crowning achievement, i.e. a reference to the Pride and Crown that he will be to the people once he comes in judgment on the government in whom they have taken pride and made their crown in place of Christ, in many cases. Jesus Christ, as our capstone, is the top, the first, the most important, the foundation, the beginning, the center, the support, and the keystone of this building, his church, whereas the government in the US is the head of the institutional church. Yet Jesus Christ is our only sure foundation. All other things we put our trust in – the government, wealth, possessions, land, health, humans, humanistic teachings and philosophies, church edifices (buildings built by humans), etc. will all pass away and they will all disappoint us, but God’s love will never fail us. He is faithful in all he does!

So, make sure you are not trusting in a lie. Make sure you are trusting in the word of God, the word of truth, the true gospel of salvation, and in Jesus Christ as your only foundation.

Praise Be Told! / An Original Work / December 28, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.

He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.

He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.

By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.

He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.

Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.