Understand And Know

Thursday, February 20, 2014, 9:31 p.m. – I fell asleep at around 6:30 p.m. and woke up at approximately 9:30 p.m. The Lord Jesus put the song “He Lifted Our Burdens” in my mind. Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. I read Isaiah 32:1-8 (ESV).

Behold, a King

Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
and princes will rule in justice.
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.

Jesus Christ is our righteous king. He is our God, and he is our creator. He reigns supreme over all things, all things are under his feet, and he is completely sovereign over all things. He holds all things together. He rules with justice, virtue, uprightness, honesty, and integrity. His kingdom, the kingdom of heaven (or of God), began with his first coming and will ultimately be fulfilled (realized) in his second coming when he comes back to judge, to gather his saints to him, and then to rule and to reign on the earth for a predetermined period of time known as the millennium – his saints reigning and ruling along with him.

The kingdom of heaven is Jesus Christ – his deity, his life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension into heaven, his second coming, his millennial kingdom reign and rule on the earth, and him as forever King. In other words, he is the embodiment of the kingdom. The kingdom is also his salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the saints of God (the body of Christ) - heavenly Jerusalem, the City of God, and Mount Zion (the church), and eternity with God in glory! Amen! So, his kingdom is not just something future, but it existed in him and with him when he lived on the earth, it now lives in and out through his church, and one day soon he will rule and reign on this earth in place of the evil which now reigns.

So, when the prophets of old spoke of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and of his kingdom, and of his kingly rule and reign, what they spoke of was not just concerning the time of the millennium, but of that which also encompassed all of Jesus’ life and ministry, including in how he is presently lived in and out through his church, i.e. through his true followers. So, not only is Jesus Christ our shelter (refuge; protection) in, through or from the storms (troubles; trials) of life, offering us his comfort, guidance, counsel, love, grace, strength and support (encouragement), but we, as his body, should also be sources of his love and grace to others who are also going through difficult times (see 2 Co. 1). As well, just as Jesus Christ is the giver of the living water (his Spirit; our salvation) welling up within us to eternal life to all who would come to him, we, as his body, are to be ministers of this living water, as well, through the sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ and through being ministers of his grace, love, mercy, and kindness to the people of this world around us.

Eyes Opened

Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.

When the Apostle Paul (then called Saul) received his calling from Jesus Christ to be a minister of the New Covenant of grace, he was told that he was being sent by God to open blinded eyes, to turn people from the darkness of sin to the light of truth, i.e. to Jesus Christ, and away from the power and control of Satan and sin over their lives to faith in Jesus Christ (to God), so that they could receive forgiveness of sin and a place among those who were being sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (See Ac. 26:16-18). This is why Jesus Christ came to earth, and it is why he died. He died, not just so we could go to heaven one day, but so we could be set free from the control of sin and Satan over our lives now, and so we could live and walk in his righteousness in his power and strength within us.

The people of Isaiah’s day were hard of hearing when it came to the truth of God’s word, they were dull in listening, and they closed both their ears and their eyes to the light of truth which shines in the darkness. Many today are in this same condition. Some are truly still walking in darkness and have never truly entered into the light of the gospel. Among those still walking in darkness are those who make professions of faith in Jesus Christ, but their faith is surface (or shallow and superficial) only. It never really took root. Yet, there are also those who are genuinely saved but have since wandered off to follow after other gods and have thus closed their ears and their eyes to what they know is the truth, in order to sear their own consciences and to alleviate their own guilt because they know they are choosing to willfully walk in disobedience to their Lord and to his word.

The encouragement here is two-fold, I believe. First of all, when we come to Jesus Christ, by God’s grace, through faith, and we allow the Spirit of God to transform our hearts and minds away from a life of sin to a life given over to Christ, and indwelt and empowered by his Spirit to walk in his righteousness and holiness, our spiritual eyes are opened to the light of Christ, his truth and his gospel. Ears that were once deaf to hear the truth, are also opened so that we now listen to what God’s word teaches us, and we desire to and are active in putting his word into practice in our daily lives, by God’s grace. As well, we now have spiritual insight, wisdom and understanding into the truths of scripture and how they are to be applied to and lived out in our daily lives. Yet, this also speaks of the time of the end when Jesus Christ returns for his bride and he sets up his earthly kingdom reign. Then we will see clearly and will have complete knowledge and understanding (See 1 Co. 13).

Ungodliness Practiced

The fool will no more be called noble,
nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
For the fool speaks folly,
and his heart is busy with iniquity,
to practice ungodliness,
to utter error concerning the Lord,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil;
he plans wicked schemes
to ruin the poor with lying words,
even when the plea of the needy is right.

When Jesus Christ comes again to judge and to rule and to reign on the earth, all things that are now hidden will be exposed. Those who presently are living lifestyles of wickedness, but who may now be honored among humans - perhaps because they have been able to fool people into believing that they are righteous when in fact they are liars, deceivers, and those who plan wicked schemes - will have the light of Christ shined on all their wicked and evil deeds so that humankind will no longer give them honor and praise. Though presently they may get away with hiding their wickedness, though not from God, one day all will be revealed and the wicked will no longer be able to do their evil deeds. Amen!

Among these who practice ungodliness are those who purport to be ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but they spread error concerning the Lord. There is much error being spread today here in America from the lips of those who call themselves pastors, teachers and preachers of the word. So many of them have become followers of mankind – of big business, marketing schemes, and diluted gospel presentations designed to appeal to the flesh of mankind and to tickle their ears with feel good messages which they long to hear, but which are filled with lies, deception and false hope.

They give people the idea that faith in Jesus Christ is a religious preference, joining a social club, some kind of euphoric feeling or experience, or some type of intellectual or emotional assent to what Jesus Christ did for us in dying on the cross for our sins, and a realization of our need of him as Savior so we can go to heaven one day. And, yet they do not teach that faith in Jesus Christ involves surrender and submission to the cross of Christ in allowing the Spirit of God to transform our lives away from bondage to sin and self, to a lifestyle given over to walking in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, by his grace, through faith (See Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; Ro. 6; 1 Jn. 1-5; Gal. 2:20). Thus, they are guilty of leaving the spiritually hungry empty, and of withholding the living water from the spiritually thirsty.

Noble Plans

But he who is noble plans noble things,
and on noble things he stands.

To be noble or to do what is noble means to be and to do what is honorable, moral, decent, upright, gracious and righteous. So, a noble person is one who walks in the Spirit of God and in his righteousness, and who does not live to gratify the desires of the flesh. They are those who follow Christ, who listen to what he says, and who put the word of Christ into practice in their daily lives. What they do in the power, strength and wisdom of the Spirit within them will stand for eternity, and on what is right, true, honorable, just, pure and godly they take their stand. They are able to walk in freedom, for sin no longer has dominion over their lives. Amen! They will reign with Christ for eternity. His love and joy will overflow in their hearts and lives, because Jesus lifted their burden of sin and set them free!

He Lifted Our Burdens / An Original Work / February 15, 2014

Based off Isaiah 9:2-7

People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.

Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.

Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.

We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.

Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.

He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.