Edition 90. September 17th 2011
The path to eternal glory
News events and comment.
●The World Bank has just issued a report warning that "Palestinians are headed for acute fiscal crisis." This is due to lower economic growth and a drop in aid finance. Of course this will add to the tensions.
●Jordan's King Abdullah says "Israel's situation today is more difficult than ever," commenting on the anti-Israel undertone arising within the Arab spring.
●Former US Vice President Dick Cheney says "Israel will attack a nuclear Iran."
●Syria could have significant nuclear weapons arsenal. (I'll share more next time)
●Syria will soon make a fateful mistake. Damascus will launch some sort of attack against Israel. This will result in a lightning attack on Damascus by Israel in which Damascus "will lie a ruined heap". (Isaiah 17:1) This may begin and end in one day according to the implication in the scriptures.
●Russia agrees to sell 1000 of its new T-50 stealth jet-fighters to Syria and Iran. Here is the T50:
●A dangerous offshoot has been created by western help given to the Arab spring nations: The Palestinians are now saying, "what about us." They're saying to the west: "you owe us a yes-vote in the UN statehood bid."
●Jordan: Protests begin with Israel flag-burning and call for US embassy to be closed. New marches and protest are planned for the coming weeks. Jordan has been a close ally of the US and soft towards Israel.
●There is a new possibility of the Palestinians making a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) if their statehood bid fails at the UN. There're increasing calls among the Palestinian authority for their new state to be based on the 1949 armistice border lines rather than the 1967 borders. This now brings in a new very dangerous element to things.
●UDI will end any remaining peace process, isolate Israel internationally, solidify relations between the PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah and consolidate world opinion in favour of the Palestinian cause.
The path to eternal glory
The pathway to glory is the way of death! This was the path our Lord Himself followed to ultimate victory and glory. He had to go the way of the cross. For us it's just the same. Obviously we don't have to die on a literal cross, but we do need to take up our own cross daily. This simply means that we need to die daily to the world system, to self and to the demonic influences all around us.
Satan works to neutralise us or make us ineffective in those three areas. It's actually the power of the cross of Christ that gives us the power to take up our own cross. Denial of the self-life is not easy in this day and age, but the requirement of God has not changed.
If, as a believer, you are not applying the cross to your life, you will be worldly, self-orientated and under the influence of the demonic in many areas. You will also be blind to this terrible state.
But it doesn't end with the cross. What comes afterwards is resurrection. Cross-bearing is the way to a Godly life of victory and success from His point of view. It's the way to a glorious life now as well as in the future.
The people who welcome and take up their own cross are the ones who recognise and receive the substitutionary work of the cross. They accept the exclusivity of the work of the cross. You may think that's obvious. Today there are a huge amount of so-called Christian leaders, who believe that there are other ways to heaven. There are many who believe that the crucifixion, the shed, blood and the resurrection are not required for salvation.
If that were true it would mean that the cross of Christ was meaningless and salvation is based on works.
These counterfeit leaders do not teach self-denial and personal cross-bearing.
The cross of Christ makes true Biblical Christianity exclusive.
The world will come against and stand against true cross-bearing believers with increasing intensity in the days ahead. This is simply because the world's god, Satan has always stood against God and His plans.
Do you want to know who God's true enemies are? It's all those who deny and refuse the cross of Christ. This includes vast numbers of Christians and churches!! The Bibles speaks of many who are "enemies of the cross of Christ." They're not enemies of Christ, but the cross and all its ways.
The way of the cross gives you Kingdom vision. If you have denominational-eyes you don't know the cross!
True discipleship is costly. The scars of the cross and the marks of death will be deeply ingrained into the disciple's life.
Matthew 16:24 "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me."
The believer's future:
The future for true believers is glory, wonder and beauty beyond imagination.
Try to imagine these:
Millions of incredible spectacular living creatures that science fiction could never dream of. A city made of gold and precious stones with trees producing 12 types of fruits on each tree. Many strange things like "flying wheels within wheels.
An entire universe of stars, planets, moons, nebula, galaxies and who knows what else...all our playground for eternity. There will absolutely be life out there, because we will rule and reign over what's out there.
We will have glorified supernatural bodies that will be able to transcend the natural world into the spiritual world and back again. Our bodies will be able to travel at the speed of thought. We will be able to materialise and dematerialise, walk through walls and of course we will know all things.
Our bodies will be just like the body of Yeshua / Jesus after His resurrection.
We will be able to transcend time itself, because the spiritual dimension is above and outside time and space.
We will be forever encapsulated in the beauty of holiness and perfection. We will experience and live within the perfection of God's universal, eternal design.
It will be spectacular, magnificent, beautiful, wonderful, glorious, placid, tranquil, peaceful...beyond imagination.
On the earth nature will be in perfect harmony and balance, restored to the way it was before the fall, for a thousand years. The very nature of animals will be changed. They too will be perfect.
During the thousand year millennium we will rule and reign on a perfect earth, but we won't be confined to earth. We may well begin our universe-reign during this time.
After the millennium, the new eternal order will be created. The Bible doesn't give us exact details of what this will be like, but it does give a few hints that it will be the crowning glory of all time.
All of this is contrasted by the unsaved in a dungeon and prison of torment and suffering, forever trapped with Satan and his demons. These people will live in eternal regret.
I'm not trying to be melodramatic over these things. The Bible has a 100% prophetic fulfilment record. Do you want to gamble against those odds?
Please note that the last book of the Bible, The Revelation ends with a staggering warning in the midst of the glory of all the things to come. Revelation22:18 "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
Then almost in the front of the Bible we have a similar warning. Deuteronomy 4:2 "You shall not add to the word which I commanded you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I commanded you."
Today we have many deceived men of God changing the Bible and the old truths. Many leaders today present a terribly imbalanced gospel. They remove much and add much.
Their aim is to present Jesus the Lamb. They leave out the fact that He is also the Lion. He is both, rightly divided and applied.
I recently listened to a podcast of a sermon from a particular church. The pastor wasn't teaching from the Koran although he could've been. There was nothing wrong with the verses he was using. It was everything that was missing. His message was spineless rubbish. It was a true half-baked message.
Isaiah 5:20 "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."
These people (in the above verse) are they whose values are neutral or greyed out. They are the lukewarm, about to be spat out.
Things to come:
Romans 8:19-21 "For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
Isaiah 11:6-9 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard also shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together and a little child shall lead them...The young lion shall eat straw like an ox...They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."
Isaiah 35:1-8 The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as a rose...then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert...a highway shall be there and it will be called the Highway of Holiness..."
Philippians 3:20-21 "For our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for the saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body..."
1Corinthians 15:49 "As we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man."
Daniel 7:27 "Then the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominions shall serve and obey Him."
2 Peter 1:10-11 "Therefore brethren be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, you will never stumble for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ."
Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
Excuse me for sharing this with you. I do it only as testimony and not with any personal pride at all.
In 1980 My Lord led me to a church who's pastor was an ex-hippie and circus clown. He had a passionate love for the deeper things of God and really inspired me and a group of seven of us guys. We got together to pray and fast on a regular basis with the aim of desperately seeking God's will and way for us.
We started with short fasts and moved on to 40-day fasts. We had decided to be totally radical in the pursuit of our Lord.
Because fasting is essentially denial of self, during this time we each drew up a list of things we would actively do to deny self. Here are a few items on my old yellowed denial list from 1980.
●Never to marry and remain single as a dedication to my Lord.
●Never to go on holiday again as they are essentially self-indulgence. (Working trips excluded)
●Never to go to a movie again and bow down to the great satanic god Hollywood.
●Never to go to or indulge in the secular music and entertainment world.
●Never to vote again.
●Never to participate in the traditions of man like Christmas, Easter and others.
●To intentionally avoid a luxury lifestyle, even though I could afford it and to identify myself with the humble.
●To forsake completely the sense and pursuit of ownership of material things and property.
Because I was born a rebel to tradition, some of these things were easy to accomplish. Others took a bit more time, but soon they all became a normal part of my everyday life. Of course I'm not perfect, but I know my Lord has led me in wonderful deliverance from many things. He is truly my beginning and end and very purpose for living.
The offshoot of this was a dramatic change in my life's direction. From that point onwards I've always felt consumed and arrested by my Lord, His word and ways.
The secret key to the deeper Christian life is to give up and die! Until the day you see that in your own self-effort you're completely doomed, worthless and helpless, you'll be of no use to God.
The way to glorious freedom and victory is the way of devastation. Outside of death to self, you may be saved, but you're food for the world and it's god Satan. He'll eat you and spit out the pieces.
"Me, myself, I" is the song of self righteousness. "Me now" is self-orientation personified. The tragedy today is that this is the way of most Christians. Self-will is their lives.
Only once the cross has done it's devastating work in you will you be free from the dictates of self and the world. "It's not I that live, but Christ who lives in Me" is the way of victory. "I must decrease and He must increase." is the victory chant of Paul the apostle.
The application of the cross and self denial, changes your life's focus from me-centred to others-centred, God-centred and Bible-centred.
Death to self is a powerful force, restraining sin and evil in our lives. Becoming a bond-slave to our Lord and His word is the way to freedom. It's the delightful dawn of many fantastic things to come in your life.
Today's shallow, spineless Christianity is a haven for self-indulgence and worldliness. There is very little out there today that demands deep change and very little that passes as true Christianity..
Today's Mickey Mouse Christians have Jesus as a sort of sponsor of their respectable lives. He's in the background not interfering too much, but He's there, like fire insurance. You hope you won't need it and you most certainly don't want the insurance guy to interfere in your life. Their churches are no better than the local sports club. A place where you can have a lot of good, clean, jolly fun. They're a big fat zero.
My life's purpose is to offer you glimpses of our Messiah and our glorious future and to encourage you into a deeper pursuit of God, experiencing the fruit of this spectacular journey. My purpose is to help you to become unshakable as you enter the secret place of the living God.
The "Highway of Holiness" that we are to follow is paved with promise, with the refreshing dew of heaven itself. It's a path of hope, anticipation and ultimate victory
You and I are called to perfection and into the beauty of holiness, after all, that's our future too.
Most people have a view of heaven and eternity that's greatly lacking. They've been taught hand-me-down traditions by blind guides. The devil himself has been at work obscuring the truth. In reality there's a vast amount in the scriptures about our eternal future.
The things of the world grow dim in the light of the coming glory. It may all begin not far from now.
There is very much that we don't know for sure about eternity. The Bible gives glimpses and hints in many passages from Genesis to Revelation. All we can do is study those verses and apply our imagination. What we do know, is that it's all going to be beyond what our wildest imagination can even comprehend of.
The end is the beginning:
True Biblical Christianity costs you everything that you are, but with it comes a glorious exchange too wonderful to describe. What lies ahead for all true believers is beyond imagination! Our end is the beginning of all these things.
When you ask yourself the question, "what is my life", what sort of answer do you come up with? Can you truly say Yeshua / Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of glory is your life? Are you consumed by the Lamb and the Lion?
With eternity set in our hearts we experience light, sight, revelation, wisdom, strength, power, love, peace, rest and blessing.
God will share His glory with no one, except His own family of believers.
Matthew 11:25 "I thank You Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes."
2 Corinthians 4:17 "Our light affliction is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
Daniel 2:22 "He reveals deep and secret things..."
Heaven or hell:
Old lady clutching your Bible, you're actually clutching eternity. You've made the right choice. Your old hands have done the right things. You remind me of a time not long ago when I sat in a restaurant and saw a very old lady sitting nearby reading the scriptures, while at another table a group of younger women were talking about how proud they were of their gay sons!
Old man you will soon see the blinding glory of God. It may be too late though. You will be cast from glory to deep eternal darkness and you'll have no choice. It will be God's choice. If, like the old woman next to you, you've made right with our great God, you will not need to hide from His brightness. You will be welcomed into the family of glory.
Here's a painting by Ferdinand Delacroix done in 1845 representing the crucifixion and next to it a painting by Maxfield Parrish titled dreaming of heaven.
Kind regards and many blessings...Shalom and grow in grace!