Ponderable

Apr. 21, 2020

“Inasmuch as these people have rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah, And rejoice in Rezin and the son of Remaliah; Now therefore, behold, the Lord is about to bring on them the strong and abundant waters of the Euphrates, Even the king of Assyria and all his glory; And it will rise up over all its channels and go over all its banks. Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through, It will reach even to the neck; And the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.” Isaiah 8:6-8.

According to a number of Bible commentaries, the waters of Shiloh represent the Davidic Monarchy, in their most immediate application of these verses. Prophetic writings often have layers of meaning - from their immediate application, to their greatest fulfillment in the Messiah, and also a general pattern of how God relates to His people. By extension they represent the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. 

The waters of Shiloh are compared with the flooding waters of the Euphrates, which refer to political or spiritual alliances made with other powers unauthorized by God that should never have been formed. Those alliances will then become like swelling, overflowing waters, carrying havoc and ruin wherever they flow, and they are spoken of as the wasting sweep of the Assyrian king whose capital stood on the banks of the Euphrates. Pictures are painted with words that define these happenings.

In light of the current situation this is well worth pondering very prayerfully.

All of these also find their applications which address general principles of how a soul relates to the gentle kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ - as the waters of Shiloh. These gently flowing waters depict in type how our Lord rules those who receive Him - He cares for us with His love and His servanthood (and that is the “mind of Christ” we are to allow to dwell within us).

How often is this rejected, however, in favor of surrounding ourselves and our lives with alliances we think will benefit us - worldly things, worldly thinking or doing, persons, political movements, false religions, or things about which we feel passionately? At some point these things that turn us on turn on us and become tyrants in our lives!

If we do not receive and live from the gentle waters along which the Good Shepherd would love to lead us, then the other choices which deceptively offer help, become oppressors. This is the basic take away from these verses. There may also be the choices of sinful pleasures, or even “innocent” things we are “passionate” about, vices, addictions, and the like. Many things have the power, if we choose them, to wash over us and sweep us away like a mighty river - because we reject the gentle waters of Shiloh! This rejection always amounts to faithlessness and idolatry.

The choice of Christ or the other “helpers” determines freedom or servitude. It is something of an irony we need to understand: To serve Christ is to find freedom in Him; or we can continue to choose other alliances which ultimately lead to servitude - often of spirit, soul, and body! Individually, nationally, or internationally.

The “current” situation seems to reflect the choices much of the world has made, especially the USA, whether it is the gentle current of Shiloh, or the flood of the Euphrates. We complain of being captives in our own homes, but is the real source of this flood of oppression a refusal of Christ and His gentle easy way, where we are asked to simply surrender ourselves to Him and to be receptive to the power of His Grace, where we should have been led by His Holy Spirit, and learned of Him, thus finding rest for our souls?

What has befallen the USA and much of the world has come about by many unholy alliances - on personal and political levels. Sadly this also is the case on the part of churches, pastors, and patriarchs who have allied themselves in their thinking and doing with worldly ways and potentates rather than putting on the mind of Christ! This should disturb us as a “mark of the beast” more than receiving some sort of computer chip into our body! For us it not the thinking of our head and the doing of our hand already an alignment with the Beast?!

So now the flood overflows its banks as we refuse the gentle waters of Shiloh. It overtakes many and sweeps away life and liberty. Christ’s offer of servanthood has been rejected. The tyranny of “serpenthood” has been allowed to supplant Him and the Kingdom of God.

The results are obvious. The flood of tyranny grows and overflows. At this point the only way out is probably to go through, to live under the result of these choices. We may, like the ancient Jews to whom this was written, need to learn the hard way that our choices have consequences and that Grace is not cheap.

But then the freedom to choose is actually the god at whose altar many worship , is it not?

Apr. 17, 2020
One day at a time. It's all we can manage. The evening and the morning of any day God called "good" - right from the beginning.
 
I don't care if the predictions are made by wannabe prophets, preachers, politicians, prognosticators, potentates, or profiteers. Jesus' directive, as King of kings, Lord of lords, and the Prince of peace - to Whom all authority is given in heaven and on earth - is applicable to any day. Whether we call it good or bad in our perception.
 
Consider the birds of the air how they toil not. God cares for them.
 
Consider the lilies of the field, more gloriously clothed than the great King Solomon. God cares for them.
 
Now one greater than Solomon is here. This is His take on things:
 
Take NO THOUGHT for tomorrow.
 
Be anxious for NOTHING, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus... whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -think on these things.
 
It requires pulling away from the darkness and saturating our mind and heart in whatever is light and right! A concerted effort.
 
Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
 
Where do we "live" in our consciousness as believers? Do we believe the foregoing with our heads, or do we KNOW it - having received it - in our hearts beyond the shadow of a doubt?
 
Who or what possesses our hearts and affections?
 
I heard someone say yesterday, and it makes perfect sense in the light of what's been happening, that "anxiety is the litany of idolatry!" Wow! Yes! This begs the question, what are we rehearsing and repeating most of the day every day?
 
Mostly, "Ain't it awful?" Right?
 
Where is the mind set in that worry modality?
 
(Guilty as charged. Trying to repent and amend my ways.)
 
Let's pray for one another to let our hearts and minds be centered in Christ Jesus, in our remembering that God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
 
Let's kick doubt and fear to the curb, and walk that highway of holiness!
 
PS: I didn't include any of the references. Thought it might help if you look them up yourself, and that will give you more time to explore and absorb His Truth, the only Truth, and nothing but the Truth.
 
We need to remember that the nature of discipleship doesn't change just because the times do.
 
Soli Deo Gloria!
Mar. 19, 2020
 
This evening I went for a ride into a nearby ordinarily bustling tourist town. Yes, in the rain. It looked like a ghost town. Odd even for this time of year. Or maybe it just resembled the town after 5pm the way it used to look back in the 1950s, 60s (when it was normal that folks were actually home, having dinner together, kids doing homework, cleaning up, getting to bed at a decent time, and not staying up half the night isolated in your room - locked into, addicted to, mind bending computerized games).
 
No one even thought about "going to the store" just to have something to do in the evening. I recall Dad watching the news, reading the papers, or working in his vegetable garden in the summer. And Mom loved to read Reader's Digest Condensed Books after dinner (probably nobody now even knows what those were). She delighted in flowers and plants too, indoor and outdoor. ALL were gathered as family in the living room after supper, not off "doing your own thing." I loved to do art and practice my music, after finishing homework - done at the dining room table adjacent to the living room (piano was in the dining room too, guitar next to it). No arms had to be twisted, nor was it resented. That's just how it went. Because there was love there.
 
Occasionally there were some after school activities, but it was not an ongoing string of exhausting competitive events, night after night. People lived simple and lightly disciplined lives, and it was frankly a very pleasant way to be. We lived in a time where the world shut down on regular hours and days. Many businesses closed around noon on Saturday, in honor of getting ready for Sunday as the Lord's Day. There may have been a few places open for Sunday dinners, but not many - the exception, not the rule. It was only for special occasions that we got to eat out.
 
Picnics and pot lucks were often held at the homes of relatives. Most extended family gathered together for dinner on Sundays at someone's house. It was a rare treat to go out to one of the few restaurants open on a Sunday. There were special times of gathering too, usually Thanksgiving and Christmas.
 
There were "breathers" in life, where toil and work STOPPED. And I wonder if this "strangeness" that has entered our reality isn't a time for us to take stock, to re-evaluate the crazy pace at which most of us live, to slow down, to pause, to actually THINK, to reset. Instead now we must have classes on how to breathe to relax, with a hefty price tag attached. What?
 
Riddle me this. Where did this simple goodness go?
 
Personally I never liked living like a machine, or being treated like one. All it does it create hypertension, anxiety, depression, dysfunction, and even disease - which comes from dis-ease. Sometimes I wonder if we know how to be anything but a list of our diagnoses, disorders, and disabilities. And that is truly the saddest commentary when that becomes chief part of one's identity.
 
Even while we're crippled and wounded, we're still prodded to "dream big," be all you can be, achieve, and push ourselves to the next pasture where we think the grass will be greener. We think that is the cure, when it's a symptom of the disease of chasing the world!
 
"Motivationalism" is the foremost pop religion, the god at whose altar so many bow (race, compete, and jockey?). Push, push, push! And much of it sadly is done in the name of the Prince of PEACE. You remember - the One Who makes us to lie down in green pastures, leads us beside still waters, and restores our soul, Whose yoke is easy and Whose burden is light. Yes, that Guy. The One Who said to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the things necessary will be yours.
 
Perhaps this strange pause might give us a chance to find out what our real identity is, as dear children created in the Image and Likeness of our Creator Father. And then once we capture the "vision," of that, to take back who we really are. It will require pulling away long enough to reflect, to pray, and to LISTEN, so we can hear Him Who says, "Be still, and KNOW that I am God."
Jan. 1, 2020

Let's start with what a lot of people think it is, but it's not.

Christianity is not a democracy. Christianity is not a constitutional republic. Christianity is not about the US Constitution or any other government institution. Christianity is not about gun control. Christianity is not about legitimizing what is morally wrong or any other liberal agenda. Christianity is not about supporting Israel or any other foreign government or lobby. Christianity is not about supporting Donald Trump or any other political leader. Christianity is not about "fire insurance" theology.

Christianity is about the revelation of Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom of God coming about through the hearts and minds of humankind, one at a time, through the knowledge of God. Christianity is about individuals being transformed by the grace of God through the Holy Spirit, so as to be conformed to the likeness of the Son of God, not only in love but in righteousness. That's called "holiness", which means wholeness. This is the foremost component of what it means to be "saved", to be salvaged, to be made whole.

Where did we ever lose track of that message?

Why have the pulpits of preachers, pastors, priests, and popes been compromised by these other things having nothing to do with the Kingdom of God?

We must wake up and understand that this world will change when we are each changed from the inside out. Let's take back the Faith that has been hijacked and supplanted by the world system!

Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.

Dec. 22, 2019

Signs? Wonders? Phenomena? Apparitions? Prophecies? False teachers? So called wisdom? Philosophy? Eastern mysticism and meditation? Prosperity and success gospel? Everything from dead works religion to extreme liberal antinomianism. (And more...)

What says the Word of God? There are plenty of warnings. The following are but a few. Pray for the Holy Spirit. Pray for discernment. Stay in God's Word. Embrace the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ alone! These are times of great apostasy, and there is "something for everyone" of it in every branch of Christendom. It is time to not fall asleep at the post, but to watch and pray always.

"And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and annihilate by the majesty of His arrival. The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of POWER, SIGN, and FALSE WONDER, and with every wicked DECEPTION directed against those who are perishing, because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them." 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10.

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1

"Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." Matthew 7:15

"Now there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them -bringing swift destruction on themselves." 2 Peter 2:1

"At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and PERFORM SIGNS AND WONDERS THAT WOULD DECEIVE EVEN THE ELECT, if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything in advance." Mark 13:21-23.

"The prophets are prophesying lies in My name," the LORD replied. "I did not send them or appoint them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, a worthless divination, the futility and delusion of their own minds." Jeremiah 14:14.

THE ANSWER: THE SIGN OF THE CROSS!

"For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks search for wisdom, but we preach CHRIST CRUCIFIED, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles." 1 Corinthians 1:21-23.

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13,14.