Christian Life Page 12

  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ps.124 "In the name of our Lord"

    "If it had not been theLordwho was on our side, now may Israel say;/If it had not been theLordwho was on our side, when men rose up against us:"

    This song of praise acknowledges the Lord God who shall not withhold any good thing from those who fear Him. "For theLordGod is a sun and shield: theLordwill give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."(84:11)

    'Our help is in the name of theLord, who made heaven and earth.' (v.7)

    The first two lines state the enmity of flesh against the Spirit, 'where men rose up against us' for reasons obvious in that God a Spirit has made a common cause with a nation whose walk is different. Their upright heart has instilled fear and hatred in the ungodly. "Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name."(91:14). This name is what connects us to the Lord God where the time as we know it has no bearing. It is not that we chose him but He set his love upon us. "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not." This name is what our soul represents.(1 Pe.1:8). From the Parable of Laborers in the Vineyard, we have agreed upon our hire charge, did we not? Now the question is how well do we know him?

    "Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:/Then the proud waters had gone over our soul"

    Proud waters going over the soul explains our struggle with wickedness in spiritual places. The kind of online bullying in our times which do kill the vulnerable kids in their teenage explains how Satan shall use our very own strengths to fell what we cherish most. That is sin which rides along the world so world so the progress of the ungodly comes at a price. Soul of the unwary is forfeit in this unequal war. 'Blessed be theLord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our help is in the name of our Lord who spared not his own Son for our sakes.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ps.123 "Unto God of all mercies"

    "Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens./Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon theLordour God, until that he have mercy upon us."

    Everyone of us is like the laborer in Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matt.20:1-16) When God breathed into the nostrils of the man and made him a living soul this covenant set the price and period of service. Soul is the hire price,-a penny and we are accountable to God. Redemption of our soul is the whole duty of man. For this reason the Psalmist compares how every faithful servant would try to please his master to the uttermost. 'Have mercy upon us.' In the vineyard not all works are the same, Fortifying the soil, pruning, gathering grapes in season are all parts of service. Kings, counselors, bureaucrats clerks are all labels and each one attends to their tasks and are accountable to God. "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."(2 Co.5:11). How diligent should we then knowing the time is short we need to make our calling and election sure.

    "s it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?"(2 Ki.5:26). In the age of moonlighting Gehazi would have been the poster boy for the preachers who want holiness and also line their pockets.

    3Have mercy upon us, OLord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

    4Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

    3Have mercy upon us, OLord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

    4Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ps.122 "Set Thrones of judgment"-2

    "To give thanks unto the name of theLord./For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.

    Jerusalem was formerly a Canaanite city and in the time of David he drove the original inhabitants out of the city and since then Zion has remained a shadow of heavenly realities. As analogous to it our soul serves as an altar; so our living sacrifices are about the tabernacle of heart where prayers are before the throne of grace. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty./I will say of theLord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust."(91:1-2)

    'Thrones of judgment' as a spiritual term is the word of God, which is to warn us, exhort comfort as well as testimony. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."(119:11) Soul and Spirit serve a child of God. It is said, those who forget their history shall repeat the same mistakes. It is true in spiritual life as well. It is this we need approach the parable of Asaph in Ps.78. Soul needs to be taught fresh so indwelling Spirit is literally a Helper that the risen Christ has sent to us. "Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:/But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved./And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.:(78:67-69)

    The word of God is to expose our innermost recesses so we may be aware of where are we heading. We are not like the Israelites who perished in the wilderness for their disbelief.


    "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee./Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces./For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee./Because of the house of theLordour God I will seek thy good."
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ps.122 "Set thrones of judgment"

    "Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together." (v.3)

    Jerusalem as a city of peace was never a city of brotherly love or in peace. Where the priestly class had established a status 'holier-than-thou' the name was a misnomer. Peace that can only be found in unswerving bond of peace between God and man eluded the city of Jerusalem then as now.

    In rejecting the prince of peace we have instead a more realistic picture of the city and it came from the Man in whom God sent his gospel. . "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!/Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." The desolation of the house explained their nation which reflected their times and the world. Equally brutalized was their heart to reject the fear of God.

    How would they fear what they have not believed? Truth in their inward parts they never looked at because the observance of sacrifices and traditions of their fathers made them complacent. In rejecting faith and relying on works they invited catastrophe. Going into exiles under Assyria and Babylon they had a illusion of Jerusalem as city of peace. It was a lie since they found no peace in their own soul. Is it not the case even now? "O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:" (Is.48:18). It is to this Jesus referred,"For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matt.23:37-39)

    This psalm composed by David can be approached literally as well as spiritually which is more to the point than indulging in a make-believe piety. "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2 Ti.3:5)
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ps.121 "For evermore"

    "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.My help cometh from theLord, which made heaven and earth." The Holy Spirit gives us a symbol for God in terms of his Will. He is the Rock and the Son in terms of its fulfillment, the stone ("a stone was cut out without hands,"-Dan.2: 34). Besides we have the rock delineated in spiritual terms. With regards to the Israelites who were led forth from Egypt the Spirit gives a marginal note, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."(1 Co.10:4). When Jesus walked on the earth on one occasion he declared, "Jesus said to them,"Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was,I am."/Sothey picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple."( John 8:58-59-ESV). What made the nation of Israel blind so they could not see Jesus for what he was? He was the fulfillment of the law and Israel could not deem him as such. The same error is in our times as well that man has not insight, an understanding as to what his soul signifies. 'for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."(139:14)

    In Ps.90 we have a wonderful description as to our dwelling place even before the mountains were formed. "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations./Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God." (90:1-2) We were foreknown by our Lord God and He is compared to the rock of Ages to whom we can run for refuge because of his Son. God placing Moses in the cleft of a rock illustrates what He is.

    'The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand', where the Spirit means Jesus Christ. Similarly forever more also refers to Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever' (He.13:8). The Word concerning His children is 'peace'.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ps.120 "False tongue"

    "In my distress I cried unto theLord, and he heard me./Deliver my soul, OLord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue."

    how we are made. "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." (139:14) There is nothing here that we have added to it. It is 'thy works' and only these shall endure.

    The word eternally settled in the heavens attest to it. It only needed a little madness to convince King Nebuchadnezzar that his magnificence was only a make believe. "The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?/While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee."(Dan.4:30-31) The king spoke being a man spoke with 'a false tongue.'

    God formed man of the ground and his breath made him a living soul which Psalmist David affirms as knowing right well. God a Spirit also formed all hearts alike so we are worlds exactly as His Sovereign power and glory created heaven and the earth. In short His will has set everything needful for our life and godliness so inner world and exterior world precisely hold relationship correspondingly. Despite of what is ordained where man says,'There is no God' he is holding truth in unrighteousness. He is a fool.

    According to the will of the Father the man was given authority so obedience of the soul is compared to the Father Son relationship in heaven. Thus Adam was the son of God.( Luke 3:38).

    In this psalm when soul laments.'woe is me' that I sojourn in Mesech, we can appreciate how a Christian abiding in Christ would feel with all the activism of the ungodly going about among the congregation. In vv.3-7 we have the dilemma of being unequally yoked with sons of Belial despite of what they might profess.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ps.119:161-168 "Shin"

    The penultimate psalm leads the last section which is a recap of all other psalms gone before. Firstly what strikes is its heading 'Shin' or sin, the Hebrew letter to signify Shaddai, a name for God, This is coupled with the last, having equally a very apt title 'Tau' for Truth. The Holy Spirit thus rounds off the Psalm with the focus on the Word which in the beginning was with God. In these psalms the Spirit for our spiritual instruction set the word become flesh in terms of the heart where he dwelt by faith. Jesus Christ, (I am the truth")serves as the author and finisher of our faith.

    One possible meaning of Shaddai is of God being associated with Mountain. "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help!/My help cometh from theLord, who made heaven and earth."(121:1-2) Shaddai comes from the Akkadian word Shaddu for mountain.. From the similitude of rock cut not with hands in the vision of Daniel to the mighty angel hurling down a rock like a millstone throwing into the sea the mountain has great spiritual significance. All these psalms we have been looking at are not some dry as dogma but a great movement which can only explain the relationship of the Lord Almighty and His creation. They know the terror of the Power and glory of God. "The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled." (Ps.77:16-ESV) God leading the Israelites through the Red sea for example cause terror which is no less than what mountains shall feel. "O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs?/Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob," (114:6-7) This movement ultimately leads to the day of Judgment, which the psalmist confess 'thy righteous judgments'.

    This being the case how do we handle our life in the flesh? "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."(v.165). They are like mount Zion. ( Ps. 125:1-2)
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ps.119:17-24 "Gimel"

    "I will not forget thy word." from the previous unit leads us to meditate on the reward of having the Lord as our shepherd. "I shall not want: (23:1)

    "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple." 65:4)"For a day in thy courtsisbetter than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."(84:10)

    The word is the testimony set in the heart so the psalmist prays for grace not to forget His word but also keep his commandments. "Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word./Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."

    Wisdom of the word is to choose life than death. "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me./Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness./My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver./I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:/That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures."(Pr.8:17-21) This is the reward the Hebrew letter Gimel indicates.

    The last line is a statement that serves as the end. Each division holds 4 such units of eight lines. The command number Four signifies the Word become flesh,

    To sum: the psalm 119 is made up of 5 major divisions as in the case of canto an Italian term, with the last two units serving as a recap, an envoi.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ps.119:169-176 "Tau"

    "For all my ways are before thee"(v. 168b) links to the last section under the last Hebrew letter 'Tau'* which means Truth. This validates 'the word' ('Thy word is truth'- John 17:18) which forms the focus of the entire psalm. "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever."(v.160)

    Here is a penitent psalm where the psalmist confesses that all his ways are before God. "And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account."(He. 4:13). "Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering."( Job 26:6-ESV)

    "Let my cry come near before thee, OLord: give me understanding according to thy word./Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word./My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes."

    "My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness./Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts./I have longed for thy salvation, OLord; and thy law is my delight./Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me."

    The penitent man rests his case: "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments."(v.176)

    *Note:Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew word emet, which means'truth'. The midrash explains that emet is made up of the first, middle, and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Psalm119:1-8 "Aleph"

    Aleph is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet. As a sign the upper yud represents the revealed word pointing toward the earth; on the other the lower yud represents the word in its return, thereby it encapsulates the verse,"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."(Is.55:11) In a general sense the vav, the diagonal stroke signifies the Spirit, the third office in Trinity.

    This is merely marginalia, a marginal note to the word of God with which the Spirit in order to instruct man in righteousness. has set the will of God in terms of the statutes, commandments and testimonies. Which ought not be any strange to him given that the truth in his inward parts. and it is what his heart enshrines. When the psalmist says,"I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, LORD,/proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds."(26:6-7-NIV) He not only creates a proper atmosphere for devotion,- by washing his hands clean but also declares the loving kindness of God. Faith with works involves confession, restitution, obedience to the revealed word (statutes) and declaration.

    This first section we have a colloquy between the exterior world with its analogous interior world.

    What does truth tell the psalmist? "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of theLord./Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart."

    How does the soul respond? "They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways./Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. The soul is addressing Christ the word become flesh, 'Thou hast commanded'

    The v.8 serves as a bridge to the next section: "I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly."
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Psalm 119 "The letter Beth"

    This psalm is long in comparison and is arranged in sections and also hold an acrostic pattern. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this psalm contains 22 units of 8 verses each. Each of the 22 sections is given a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each line in that section begins with that letter.We shall examine the second letter Beth. Beth literally means house, for example Beth-el would mean house of God.

    In this section the Holy Spirit has organized a running exchange between the psalmist and his inner man: parallelism where the soul 'a tabernacle' the man affirms 'I will keep thy statutes', the truth written in his interior world' to which the soul asks a rhetorical question,'Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? The spirit moderates their colloquy: By taking heed thereto according to thy word." It is thus the indwelling Spirit helps us pray and pay attention to the word of God according to the will of God. "And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God./And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.(Ro.8:26-28)

    Now the entire section:

    I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly./Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

    10With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments./Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

    12Blessed art thou, OLord: teach me thy statutes./With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.

    14I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches./I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.20:44-49 "All flesh shall see it" (2 of 2)

    And ye shall know that I am theLordwhen I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the LordGod.

    45Moreover the word of theLordcame unto me, saying,

    46Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field;

    'There is an emphasis on the 'south' in the Hebrew brought out by the use of different Hebrew words (the Negeb also indicated south of the hills of Judah), and we can see Ezekiel turning towards the south from Babylon in the sight of his listeners. Today the Negeb is waterless desert except where it is watered by man made irrigation, but it is clear that in Ezekiel's time the land somewhat more fruitful and sufficiently watered to produce a 'forest' of trees. It was from the south that Egypt was expected to come with its useless aid.

    But 'the south' in the first two cases may have reference simply to the southern kingdom, to Jerusalem(Ez.21:2a) and the land of Israel (21:2-3) .(Ack:commentary/Peterpett)

    Here we haven alternate redering:

    "And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of theLord; Thus saith the LordGod; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. (v.46)

    This fire shall not be quenched meaning that we need look beyond the circumstances of Israel and to the end times. v.49 gives us the clue.

    " Set thy face toward the south" Ezekiel positioned ('As the Lord have spoken it) which is about judgment. "And all flesh shall see that I theLordhave kindled it: it shall not be quenched."

    49Then said I, Ah LordGod! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.20:27-29 "All flesh shall see it" (1 of 2)

    "....O house of Israel? As I live, saith the LordGod, I will not be enquired of by you./"And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone".

    "And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all,"Here we have from the Spirit and it is for our instruction. When the Lord God set Prophet Ezekiel as the watchman for the nation of Israel it has its specific purpose. Therein also are God-inspired lessons for all ages and man. The lesson could be set in few words. Man proposes God disposes. Why history of man always go awry? It shall never be according to how he plans, whether in his own mind or as part of a group as was the case in the Versailles,1919 but it does not work. Pure and simple. A chicken in every pot' President Hoover promised in 1928.

    Wall Street crash of 29 was the unkindest cut. Who is to blame. The nation let loose their commitment to God. Two examples of 21 Tulsa race massacre and close in heels against Osage nation all but forgotten from news media but God sees it all. Multiply such hatred among citizenry upset all calculations of a decent and able man. Hoover was defeated by forces he could not name. Similarly Israel would be defeated by an unseen enemy of their own making.

    It is not laws of nation that is under discussion but the law of the Spirit by which God fashioned all hearts alike(Ps.33:15)" When we speak of vision we need look for the saying of Jesus,"But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how greatisthat darkness!(Matt.6:23)" If thine eye be evil' is conditional and because of which have we not seen law is made a mockery? Benefit of doubt is a state as much as finding a legal loophole. Man escapes but how long?
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.20:1-26 "State of the Union" (2 of 2)

    ' Because of their persistent disobedience their hearts were hardened a condition which we read that Pharaoh developed. It is prior to judgment of God and it is a phase where the laws and statutes become unenforceable.

    God allows their reprobate hearts to devise mischief, but God does not tempt any with anything patently false. The reprobate minds have to learn by own consequences. "And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am theLord."(v.26) For example the slavery question and dispossessing the native Americans of their lands by law would become imponderable issues in course of time.

    From the above quote we can understand our present situation. It was inevitable that wrath of God shall descend on the rebellious house of Israel.''Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols./Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;And I polluted them in their own gifts,...' This last line is very clear.

    Without God what nations choose as their best feature shall be their very weakness. Law was for Israel their pride of joy and if it had become their shame are we to wonder? Under capitalism wealth is all-in all. If pandemic, a series of them were to descend on nations who crowed over their possessions their own gifts have become polluted, a poisoned chalice.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.20:1-26 "State of the Union" (1 of 2)

    Here Prophet Ezekiel is delivering his State of the Union address on behalf of God.

    When the elders came with apparent show of deference to the prophet how does the Lord respond to it? 'As I live, saith the LordGod, I will not be enquired of by you'. He has a good reason not to be taken in by their hypocrisy."Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw nearmewith their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:(Is.29:13)." The only way these elders could have done was to make a clean break with the past. It is why God begins with this" 'cause them to know the abominations of their fathers:(v.4)." St Paul also speaks of outing what has remained unaddressed and not got rid of. Before taking Holy Communion the believer has to examine if he is approaching the Lord's Table unworthily or not. The elder's show of piety was nothing without addressing it first."For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged./But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world(1 Co.11:31-32)".

    We shall enumerate some of the highlights from this Union address:

    It was God who would lead them according to all His promises to Abraham. 'In the day when I chose Israel'

    2. 'Defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am theLordyour God(v.7)'.

    3. in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty Hand God showed the heathen what Israel was to Him(v.9).

    4. 'And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them(v.11)'.

    5. 'Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols./Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness(vv.16-17).'
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.18 :1-4 A Proverb

    The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying,/What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

    3 As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.

    4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

    The proverb concerning Israel has no more use since in his Son it has been settled. "Ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel."

    God sent his Son to the world in the fulness of time and he was the word become flesh. For this reason the Spirit qualifies him as the only begotten Son. He set an example for example, faith a facet of His holiness. He set the standard for which we do not resort to riddle or any proverb. Eating sour grapes has consequence. Living by faith as his Son constitute the same quality of his Son. The just shall live by faith.

    Physical act of eating sour grapes has consequences only as far our bodies are concerned."Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die". The just shall live by faith. Anything that is not done in faith is sin and it is what the Spirit instructs.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.18:1-20 "This soul of mine"

    Key to unlock this chapter is this: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die(v.20)". When God breathed into the nostrils of Adam he made him a living soul. The same creative faith that created everything else is in terms of sentient things. Shape and form of objects are outward manifestation of divine Will that would never err. Glory of divine Power we see but do we see our soul as God would? Does it glorify Him or our own? But soul is what each of us make of by the manner we live by faith. It must speak to God as deep calls unto deep essentially 'the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Co.4:6)'

    How do we translate Trinity in personal terms?

    God created man in 'our image' signifying it is a multilayered image. In terms of body ageing is a manifestation of it. similarly his propensity to work with the spirit of the times in order to get a head start over others is what spirit of man denotes. Consequently with effort we make sense of the words of others sometimes past the words actually spoken and what is really lurking in the shadows. It only goes as far our physical world is concerned. Thus the prophet could confront Gehazi and say,"And he said unto him, Went not mine heartwith thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee?(2 Ki.5:26a)." When we receive the indwelling Spirit we receive it by faith so in the manner we pursue intentionally things of God we do not further notice the former is quite gone. Here also in loving God with all mind and heart we are led by the spirit. God hates double minded person who preaches Jesus as well as run after as Gehazi did to gather wealth. He is like the man whose latter state is much worse than before (Matt.12:42-45).

    There is a day in which soul of man should come for judgment. It is is a day of reckoning. It is what God meant after he put Adam as his steward.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.17:22-24 "Upon an high mountain" (2 of 2)

    Zion is qualified as planted by God 'and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent:'. Eminence speaks for its elevated position takes our eyes to the verse in the Book of Psalms,"Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.(48:2)"

    God's promise through Prophet Ezekiel makes it clear. 'I will plant it.' For this reason we find the tree of life first revealed in the middle of the Garden of Eden quite remarkable. "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads(Ge.2:10)".

    Number four here indicates four cardinal directions upon which the word of God holds sovereignty so it must occur in God's Time. It like an arrow of time looks to the end times where also Time is as determined by God. Thus Adam is a stand in for Jesus Christ and Jesus is 'last Adam' by the same argument. Thus the Bible is to be understood as God document where Jesus Christ as the Son reigns supreme as Alpha Omega aspect, the beginning and the ending, Adam, Noah, Moses and several others being represented in him. "I the Lord have spoken it' spoken by prophets validate this. Moses spoke as was commanded of God also Ezekiel.

    God had in the beginning reserved waters above the firmament (Ge.1:7) which signified His mercy. What does God tell Moses?'For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion(Ro.9:15)'. This pure river in the city of God flows outwards signifying the new earth.

    'Upon this mountain' -in short Zion as planted by God has nothing to do with Jerusalem or Israel per se but for the whole earth.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.17:22-24 "Upon an high mountain" (1 of 2)

    "Thus saith the LordGod; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent."

    Here we have peculiar title of Messiah from the root of Jesse but a branch nevertheless. He is also a high priest but not after the Order of Aaron. " 'Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: "for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch."(Ze.3:8)" What does it mean here? 'Changes are coming' surely. When Jesus turned over the money changer's tables and drove away commerce from the Temple grounds it showed the old heart of mart and rigid legalism would be abolished. No more moral humbug but those who worshiped God in Spirit and truth.

    The tender one refers to Zerubbabel a grandson of King Jehoiachin, but he was pointing to one whose kingdom shall replace all others."And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (Dan.2.44).

    Zerubabbel ( Ezra 2:2) played a part in rebuilding the temple after return from captivity, High Priest Jeshua and Zerubabbel led the captives home. Jeshua a variant of Joshua, the Hebraic name of Jesus meaning God saves. Significance of the name is not merely coincidental. Zerubabbel laid the foundation of the temple (Zec.4:9)." He and Jeshua were equal in rank the former as the king or Governor while Jeshua was the High Priest. This double honor of Priest King we find first mentioned in Melchizedek, the king of Salem and priest of the most high God. The Spirit is accurate with persons and their due place in the Salvation Plan of God. Zerubabbel and Joshua were merely stand in for Messiah.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.17:11-18 "Shall he prosper?"

    "Moreover the word of theLordcame unto me, saying,Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;"

    "For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon." (2 Ki.24:20). In v.10 we read of Zedekiah's capture. " But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho;" (Je.52:8). King Nebuchadnezzer was amenable to deal kindly with Judah but his overtures secretly made to Pharaoh of Egypt and on being found out his breaking of oath, the king of Babylon dealt harshly with him. From the manner events came into play it becomes apparent that God was in control and Israel could not have escaped divine chastisement.

    Does anyone in possession of an advantage give it away without securing much more from the deal? It must be attributed to God who prompted the conquering king first to set fair conditions for peace than make him a terrible example to other vassal-kings. Why did Israel foolishly persist in defying him? The rebellious house of Israel chose themselves such harsh punishment. Do we see Israel any more enlightened after so many persecutions including a holocaust in recent times? God writes history and while man on winning a battle of dubious worth may crow his own glory. There are several more wars ahead for those who refuse to learn from God's warnings. It is what war on terror has shown us. Sheer indifference to the lives of Palestine civilians in the manner Israel bulldoze their way into Gaza comes up before God whose patience is similar to the fair conditions set by Nebuchadnezzar. ripe for disaster. Zedekiah reneged. God asks, 'Shall he prosper?
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.17:1-4 "The Covenant breaker"

    And the word of theLordcame unto me, saying,/Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel."(vv.1-2)

    A riddle can be framed like a puzzle a famous example of which is the one the Sphinx asked Oedipus. The Hebrew root for it suggests a riddle would need serious thought. We have a famous example of the riddle asked by Samson after tearing a lion to pieces.(Jud.14:14). A parable on the other hand compares two ideas but thing that is compared to the other holds consistency. For example the Parable of the Sower works for this reason: the condition of the heart being varied the message heard and understood by people also varies. Seed falling on a stony ground produces different result than one fallen on the wayside. In this connection a fable relies on fictitious players often animals as in the fables of Aesop to convey a moral mostly implied.

    This chapter is a riddle evidently. Topic is set by God himself and the prophet is to compose it. It is a companion chapter in spirit to the Gospel of St Matthew where Jesus sets forth a parable on the kingdom of heaven and also explains it. (Matt.13). Prophet Ezekiel however is required to speak on the covenant breaking Israel, touching upon the consequences that shall follow when King Zedekiah renege on his oath to the King of Babylon. For the exiled nation it surely must have come raw and a view from inside the furnace as to the events taking place beyond. Thus the topical matter is a springboard for hinting at the shape of things to come. Apostasy of Israel forms the theme of the riddle and besides the folly of the king of Judah secretly turning to Pharaoh of Egypt serves a sharp rebuke on the house of Israel that went whoring after other gods when betrothed to God.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.17:5-10 "In a fruitful field"

    'He placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree' refers to Judea was 'a good land-a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills (De.8:7)

    6And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.

    'Became a spreading vine of low stature' Judah subjugated by the king of Babylon could not have been as high as Babylon. In Daniel's vision the majesty of the king is made clear."The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.(Dan.4:10-12)'

    The stability of Judah depended on Babylon. The repetition "branches" and "sprigs" emphasizes the ingratitude of Zedekiah, who, not content with moderate prosperity, revolted from him to whom he had sworn allegiance.

    7There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation.

    Pharaoh of Egypt is referred here. Water it by the furrows refer to Egyptian irrigation system by means of canals from the River Nile crisscrossing the arable lands. 'Behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him' touches on bad faith on the part of Zedekiah who sought the alliance of Egypt, as though by it he could throw off his dependence on Babylon.

    It shall not need all the forces of Babylon to destroy it; a small division of the army will suffice because God will deliver it into Nebuchadnezzar's hand. (Je.37:10)

    Judah was planted by God in a fruitful field; now be transplanted by the king of Babylon again in a fruitful field. Zedekiah burning with pride and ambition makes his secret plans. ""Let favour be shewed to the wicked,yetwill he not learn righteousness" (Is.26:10)
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.17:5-10 "In a Fruitful field" (1 of 2)

    Here we have a riddle where Babylon and Egypt are two eagles. Judgment of Judah is the certain outcome for rejecting divine chastisement by resorting to their own strategies. In their revolt against Babylon they were resisting God's plan. In their rushing off to Egypt similarly ran counter to God's Will. Like Sodom, Egypt has been judged so it was foolishness to seek help from a tottering wall.

    Splendor of Babylon owed to it strategic location, trade routes facilitated commerce with India and other places and the name Babylon which we shall come across is reinvented for the end times (Re.18:2). Mighty Babylon is not precisely the place we are here concerned with. As with the Spirit's narrative mode persons and places are often a double for some other. We had just seen daughter of Zion once removed from her vows of betrothal being compared to Sodom.'Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness (16:49).'

    King of Babylon took ' the highest branch' meaning Jehoiachin king of Judah. "Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king's mother, his wives, his officials and the prominent people of the land./The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand skilled workers and artisans(2 Ki.24:15-16).Only the poorest of the people were left behind.

    5He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree.

    Seed of the land or son of the native soil meaning Zedekiah who was the uncle of Jehoiachin, of David's family. In allowing him to continue under changed circumstances it ought to have been fortuitous for his family.

    'He placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree' refers to Judea was 'a good land-a land with brooks, streams,
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez. 16:35-64 "O Daughter of Zion" (2 of 2)

    The mighty Samson's fall did not come out of a vacuum. His daily walks and the company chose were ever at heels. Evil communication corrupts good manners, in his case his Nazarite vow and it shall lead him inevitable to Delilah's lap. As a lamb to the slaughter he walked into disaster. " And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him." (Ju.16:20. One of the saddest lines ever penned for our instruction. No different is how those who ought to be teachers err in photoshopping Jesus by making him more salable to the congregation. Take away his deity and what is left ? This slipshod attitude to what is holy makes apostate church. Comparing apples with lemon is OK because fruit is a fruit. But knowing holiness of God is a spiritual task so literal significance of a fruit is not called for but what taste has it? "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" This is how one need to approach comparing spiritual with spiritual. (Jas.3:10-12)

    "Thou art thy mother's daughter, that lotheth her husband and her children." When one has left off the godliness and simplicity, mother could be Sodom for all that was her characteristic is now reborn in daughter of Zion. "And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD,thatthou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali( Hosea 2:16)". "For thy Makeristhine husband; the LORD of hostsishis name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called (Is.54:5)".
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.16:35-63 "O Daughter of Zion" (1 of 2)

    "And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.(v.46)"

    Judah has been compared figuratively as daughter of Zion and here God finds her many sins worthy of judgment as He did with Sodom. Sodom is dead but continued in the many sins of omission and commission of Judah. Isaiah faulted her faithlessness, "For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against theLord, to provoke the eyes of his glory./The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves(Is.3:8-9).

    In forsaking the fountain of living waters what Judah chose for herself is something worse. When beasts of the field cannot find fresh grass they are required to pasture far and wide in order to get their daily needs. Suppose one eats and the body cannot absorb anything of it so one feels more starved after it must be pitiable. A mind also could be similarly affected by sin. A reprobate mind is willing to sells one's own future for the moment's pleasure. Sin is disruption of normal working between God and man. "And even as they did not like to retain God intheirknowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;(Ro.1:28)"

    Daughter of Zion is like insatiable in seeking her thrills even as Sodom and Gomorrah did. "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters,andhewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water (Je.2:13)". In this age of sexual permissiveness one can see parallel. Love that is natural has become debased. If ministers of God preaching love of Christ seem more after filthy lucre, the small mis-steps in judgment took them farther away in course of time.
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.16:15-34 "Israel's whoredom" (2 of 2)

    "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?"

    Israel similarly began and now her conduct is tantamount to spiritual whoredom. In our own times are we any better? All that was past,- sacrifices of martyrs, acts of love and joyfully suffering loss of all things in order to please the Lord have become null and void. Modern churches must be said to be most prodigal indeed to scatter all their spiritual inheritance; what have we for posterity but shame? Evangelicalism is in no way better than what Israel has become in the time of Ezekiel.

    When a believer shifts his faith from God to things we see the disaster coming into play with his spiritual life. Consumerism as a philosophy ought to be kept in its place. For children of God if trust in His promises is gone everything is lost. Yes. Israel forgot having received all the advantages of being a theocratic nation. "For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold,whichthey prepared for Baal (Hosea.2:8)". Instead of Baal the name mammon is more apt.

    Sin of Israel :Instead of attributing the glory of her privileges and gifts to God, Israel prided herself on them as her own. In wanting to be like other nations and to be led by a king her sin was to impose her own will. They were sated by waters from the rock in the wilderness. Doing the will of God set a royal fare before his Son. Spiritual meat and drink. " So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him./ He made him ride on the high places of the earth"(De.32:12-13)

    Israel'swhoredom brought this:Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.(Mic.3:9-12)"
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.16:15-34 "Israel's whoredom" (1 of 2)

    But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.

    What a contrast do we find in the circumstances of Israel from that of Abraham. "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness(Ro.4:3)".Walking with God and being in the centre of His Will as Abraham did is the path to righteousness. Faith is one and when it is adulterated as Israel did, embracing foreign gods and also taking pride in their temple it was a recipe for disaster. Ezekiel is given charge to show his people where they went wrong.

    As said before faith is one as the gospel of God is one. No nation can dilute either faith or the gospel and expect God's favor. Israel whoredom was in the many advantages she would receive from the nations about her by following their ways. So faith in her case was not completely relied on God.

    Faith works in those who have no confidence in their flesh so would instead build up squarely on the eternal word and promises of God. "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things thatpertainunto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:(2 Pe.1:3)". Our own times is a good example. Many are loath to admit the wonders and miracles in the Bible as true. Their rational mind is in denial of what had worked into the spiritual lives of their fathers. In denying it their steadfastness is gone but can they manufacture something new in its place? In denying their own faith how genuine is faith that is borrowed according to current fads? Instead, wanting to be a good citizens they embrace also the national goals and wealth for everyone which are practiced patently on amoral principles. If faith was genuine and had knit him with God could he have tolerated social injustice and racism as though it never existed?
  • Jema - 8 months ago
    I was thinking about an earlier post of mine where I said that the three heavens were : the garden of Eden , the kingdom of Israel under Solomon and the Kingdom of God on Earth during Christ's one thousand year reign . Looking at the kingdom of Israel under Solomon , it seems very imperfect considering that Solomon married many foreign women who turned his heart from following God wholeheartedly . As I believe very much that the old foreshadows the new , how can I justify my belief in this ? Solomon is a type of Christ . He married many foreign women :) what are we ? Not Jews most of us ! Foreigners ! Only instead of us turning Christ away from God , Christ has turned our hearts to God ! So that's how I feel about Solomon and his foreign wives , they are a foreshadow of Christ and his foreign wives , us ! :) .
  • Jema - 8 months ago
    We must remember that Israel in the old testament had a history of relying on its "friends" . Time after time , when Israel strayed from the Truth , worshipped idols etc , even put idols in the Temple ! God would pronounce judgement upon them for their actions and ask them to repent and turn back to Him . They would refuse and put their trust in their friends that they had hired to protect them . This never worked out for them of course , God's punishments stood and Israel suffered defeat after defeat . Only after they had been defeated by their enemies and let down by their friends did they turn their whole hearts back to God . I believe the old to be a foshadow of the new . Solomon says : there is no new thing under the sun . This I think will happen again . Israel has a lot of support and "friends" at the moment , this is emboldening them . To require justice is natural but revenge ? That's for God , vengeance is Mine , I shall repay . How close will Israel's friends stick if Putin openly declares support for Hamas / Palestinians ? He has the biggest nuclear arsenal by far . How close will Israel's friends stick if they keep on killing ordinary Palestinians caught in the cross fire ? I believe that Israel's friends will at some point draw back from them and let them down leaving them extremely vulnerable , this will be too much temptation for their enemies . From Zechariah it would seem as if nuclear weapons will be used , but by who and on whom ? That I can't answer for certain . I think that when Israel is on the brink of destruction this is when the most awesome thing will happen :) . I'm guessing you all know what I'm thinking ! This is how I interpret the last days , the last days of the kingdoms of men and the first days of the Kingdom of God on Earth . It's going to be a bit scary at times for sure , but we who know the Truth should be strong and excited and try to help our loved ones through this scary time for them . Much love to you all .
  • Bennymkje - 8 months ago
    Ez.12:16; 23-28 "The long and short of prophesy" (2 of 2)

    Of this we shall see in this nugget of God's providence,"And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us./And Jesus said unto him, Forbidhimnot: for he that is not against us is for us(Lk.9:49-50)". Partisan spirit of John had to go a long way before he would come to be known the Apostle of Love. So learning as he went in the company of Jesus is what Christian Living in its kern teaches us. We are not dying to sin in water baptism so we may spend the rest of our lives like Israelites hungering for the fleshpots of Egypt. It is what prosperity theology of false teachers work with.

    Ezekiel's words "vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel' are for our times as well. Similarly it shall be spoken of the churches in future before out Lord shall make an end of blasphemy from the church."25For I am theLord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the LordGod(v.26). When these false diviners are in charge we are to be like Ezekiel.

    "Son of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and with carefulness;(v.18) .

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